Wednesday, 31 December 2014

How to Avoid a Binge Eating Relapse

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WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD

You can recover from binge eating disorder. It takes time to learn how to manage your eating, though.

You might start to get better and then have another binge. That’s called a relapse. Up to half of people with an eating disorder have one after starting treatment, especially when they're stressed.

If you have a relapse, you can get well again. You can use it as a chance to learn and become better prepared for the next time you face the things that make you want to binge.

Here are 11 ways to help you avoid a relapse.

Step 1: Be Willing to Take Time and Put in Effort

It probably took you a few months to stop binge eating. It can take even longer to stick with your new, healthy habits.

"Recovery requires work. Changing behavior is difficult and takes sustained effort, but it becomes easier with practice," says Angela Guarda, MD. She's the director of the eating disorders program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Step 2: Know the Warning Signs

It’s important to look for clues that you're bingeing again. You might be slipping back into your old pattern if you:

  • Feel overwhelmed with work, family, or life in general
  • Think about your weight all the time, and often check the mirror and scale
  • Feel ashamed or guilty about the way you eat
  • Try to eat in secret
  • Hide your eating from your treatment team

Step 3: Have a Plan

While you're still in treatment, ask your doctor what to do if you start to relapse. Together, you can come up with a healthy plan to face the things that trigger you to binge eat. This might include keeping a food journal, so you can track your eating.

Step 4: Don’t Let a Single Setback Get You Down

You might slip up and overeat once in a while. Many people do.

If you do, "the key is to get back to a normal eating pattern with the next meal instead of going into a full relapse," Guarda says. "Tell yourself, 'I had a slip. … Now I need to make sure I get back on track and eat three regular meals.'"

source : How to Avoid a Binge Eating Relapse

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