Monday, June 17, 2013

Beauty and The Beast, Treatment Options For Binge Eating (Part III)

This is the final part of the series on binge eating which has finally come to the DSM-V manual, it is meant to provide a primer for helping to identify binge eating behaviors in our clients and how to appropriately utilize mental health professionals, programs, and self-learning and discovery.

Binge eating and emotional eating come from stress, depression, or other trauma.

People who may binge eat have difficulty with resisting impulses here are some tips for developing a binge eating action plan.
·         Meal plan: encourage your client or patient to keep a long of what they’ll be eating for the week, a calendar can be used or you can download a free template, the easiest may be using a smart phone app such as MyFitnessPal to track Calories.  Smart phone apps can also double as a food journal which is also encouraged so the client can see exactly how much they’ve eaten
·         During your education with your client/patient put together 3 meals and healthy snacks within the allotted Calorie budget you have created for them
·         Stop making it a diet.  In some people “dieting” or the thought of restriction may work in the short term but may not have any longevity. 
·         Encourage exercise,  find distractions to avoid boredom, and make sure your client is getting enough sleep.
·         Self-help is available for those who may not feel comfortable with a group (Overeaters Anonymous) or individual therapy; a six-step program by Dr. Christopher Fairburn, Overcoming Binge Eating  (The Guildford Press, New York, 1995) uses problem-solving strategies, monitoring, and control.

Medications for binge eating?
Medications are not the sole answer for binge eating as some can overcome the sensation of satiety.  Meridia is a medication that may reduce binge eating but has side effects that affect the heart, brain (seizures) and other complications.  The seizure drug, Topamax and some anti-depressants may be helpful and the client can be encouraged to discuss this with this doctor. 

Gina Lesako RD, LD is the SCAN blog coordinator, those interested in writing for SCAN can email her directly at  (Resolve to increase your online exposure in 2013!)

She can also be found blogging at  Find her on SCAN: