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Eating Disorder Recovery Message Board

Eating Disorder Recovery Board Index

Hi all,

I'm 18 and I've struggled with compulsive eating for about a year. The end result was an extremely unhealthy amount of weight gained VERY quickly. I had to buy a whole new wardrobe to compensate for my weight gain, which occured in about a month. This was the first in which I experienced compulsive eating/emotional eating. Since then, it's been a year, and I've recovered alot. Here's what I've learned, and I hope this can help you, too.

1. Compulsive eating is very deep-rooted. Like many problems, it can't be solved overnight and the recovery process is very long and painful... sorry.

2. Study the patterns of your compulsive eating. Does it typically occur after a long day at school/work? Do you tend to do it at night? When there is alot of food in the fridge? Look at the patterns and find ways to stop it. If you eat at night, eat dinner, a small dessert, and then floss and brush your teeth, so you won't eat.

3. Put only healthy foods in your house and small amounts of unhealthy foods (chocolate, ice cream, carbs, whatever you're eating.) Don't take ALL of it out, because you will find reasons to compulsively eat outside. The key is not to deprive yourself. If you eat at night, eat dinner, a small dessert, and then floss and brush your teeth, so you won't eat.

4. This one is hard but it works. Keep a journal. Everytime you feel the need to eat, stop and MAKE yourself write. Write what you want to eat, why you want to eat, why you think you want to eat, whatever. Analyze the situation. Don't blindly go to the kitchen and start eating. Make yourself stop and think about it. Give yourself a minimum limit of a page of writing, or 15 minutes. After analyzing it you'll have persuaded yourself not to: because you don't need to, because it will just reinforce bad habits of compulsive eating, because you will gain weight, it will make you unhappy, whatever. FORCE yourself to think of the consequences.

5. When you compulsively eat, it means you're not paying attention to your body (eating when you're hungry, stopping when you're full, etc.) Here is a very hard habit to instill but one that will ensure that you will eat healthy for life: EAT SLOWLY, so you know when you're full. When you're full, STOP EATING. If this means using a smaller plate with smaller portions to make you stop and think before getting seconds, so be it.

6. If you CANNOT stop yourself from eating-- you HAVE to eat something, eat something that is LOW in calorie density. For example, eat fruits and vegetables. Baby carrots. Popcorn. Drink tons of water. Eat soup, etc.

I'm not sure exactly what kind of compulsive eating you are experiencing, but I have been through almost every kind of eating disorder, including compulsive eating. PLEASE, please, feel free to ask me more questions. I know how it feels and am willing to help!

Otherwise, I hope this helps someone. Once again, feel free to ask me any more questions you may have.

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