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Learn more about the results we get at Within

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Treating binge eating disorder at home

Binge eating disorder (BED) is one of the most recently defined eating disorders, but it is already considered the most common eating disorder in the United States.9

The condition involves eating large amounts of food within a short period, accompanied by a sense of loss of control over eating behavior.1

Thankfully, BED can be successfully treated in several different ways, including binge eating disorder treatment at home.

Last updated on 
December 29, 2023
Binge eating disorder treatment at home
In this article

What is binge eating treatment at home?

At-home treatment programs for eating disorders have long been available, helping people work through issues related to emotional eating and other disordered behaviors through workbooks and occasional in-person meetings or phone calls.

More recently, people have been able to practice binge eating treatment at home through the internet. Programs can vary in length and modality but typically involve connecting remotely with mental health professionals through websites, apps, or over the phone.

Many programs will help create individual treatment plans for each patient, though some types of at-home treatment for binge eating disorder are broader, such as support group meetings. Some programs utilize additional tools, including medical equipment that is sent through the mail to help accurately and remotely transmit medical check-in information.

Learn more about Within at-home treatment program for binge eating disorder. Call our admissions team and find out what to expect.

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How to treat binge eating disorder at home

Once you've had binge eating disorder diagnosed, at-home treatment can be a helpful, healing, and convenient option, especially when it’s done with a professional treatment provider. However, there are a few things that individuals with BED can do at home to help reduce binge eating behaviors and other symptoms.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), some helpful self-care tips for individuals with binge eating disorder include:8

  1. Avoid skipping meals, as it can increase hunger and the urge to binge eat.
  2. Eat regular meals and snacks to help regulate hunger and fullness cues.
  3. Practicing mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques, such as yoga or meditation, to help manage stress and anxiety that can trigger binge eating episodes.
  4. Engage in regular physical activity, as it can improve mood and reduce stress.
  5. Work with your healthcare team by completing food journals and eliminating substances like marijuana or alcohol from your diet.
  6. Enrolling in group therapy—support from others who struggle can make a world of difference.

Benefits of BED treatment at home

At-home BED treatment brings numerous advantages.

Access to specialized mental health care can be extended to those who live far from in-person treatment, have challenges around transportation or mobility, or have children or other social responsibilities that may make it difficult to stay for an extended period at an in-person facility.

Telepsychiatry has also proven to help with more than disordered eating, showing effectiveness at treating various conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders, which often coexist with eating disorders.4,5,6

At-home treatment programs can also be delivered at several levels of care, including more intensive programs such as day programs or less intensive programs like outpatient care.

Binge eating disorder treatment at home

Complications of treating binge eating disorder at home

Despite all its advantages, home treatment for BED is not the best option for everyone.7

If you're dealing with any of these issues, trying to tackle binge eating disorder treatment at home might be more challenging if you:3

  • Are struggling with severe depression or have had suicidal feelings
  • Have ever injured yourself during a binge-eating episode—like having to rush to the ER because of choking or coughing up or passing blood
  • Are simultaneously dealing with substance use, such as alcohol or marijuana
  • Have uncontrolled diabetes, heart disease, or other health issues
  • Have had a pattern of relapsing in the past 

While this is not a comprehensive list, inpatient treatment may be the safest option in these cases. This is why it’s important to communicate with your providers and have them officially diagnose binge eating disorder to help find the best solution for you.

Finding help for binge eating disorder at home

If you or a loved one are struggling with binge eating disorder, it's essential to seek out help. But options are available.

Remote treatment from an expert care team

Within Health's team of specialists offers a particularly robust at-home treatment program to help stop binge eating behaviors and other eating disorders. Our team of multi-diverse specialists can help create personalized treatment plans, providing remote monitoring devices, regular check-ins, guidance apps, and after-hours support when necessary.

Get help today

You can also contact your primary care physician or therapist for direction on nearby programs or ways to incorporate healthy eating habits into your routine.

But regardless of where you look for help, the most important thing is making that first step. It's often what leads to a healthier and happier future.

Disclaimer about "overeating": Within Health hesitatingly uses the word "overeating" because it is the term currently associated with this condition in society, however, we believe it inherently overlooks the various psychological aspects of this condition which are often interconnected with internalized diet culture, and a restrictive mindset about food. For the remainder of this piece, we will therefore be putting "overeating" in quotations to recognize that the diagnosis itself pathologizes behavior that is potentially hardwired and adaptive to a restrictive mindset.

Disclaimer about weight loss drugs: Within does not endorse the use of any weight loss drug or behavior and seeks to provide education on the insidious nature of diet culture. We understand the complex nature of disordered eating and eating disorders and strongly encourage anyone engaging in these behaviors to reach out for help as soon as possible. No statement should be taken as healthcare advice. All healthcare decisions should be made with your individual healthcare provider.

Resources

  1. Binge Eating Disorder. (n.d.). National Eating Disorders Association. Accessed November 2023.
  2. Giel, K. E., Bulik, C. M., Fernandez-Aranda, F., Hay, P., Keski-Rahkonen, A., Schag, K., Schmidt, U., & Zipfel, S. (2022). Binge eating disorder. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 8(1).
  3. Yager, J. (2022, October 26). Eating disorders: Overview of prevention and treatment. UpToDate. Accessed November 2023.
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). What is Telemental Health? National Institute of Mental Health. Accessed November 2023.
  5. Pandemic experience shows benefits of telepsychiatry in increasing access to care. (2021, April 12). Pandemic Experience Shows Benefits of Telepsychiatry in Increasing Access to Care. Accessed November 2023.
  6. How well is telepsychology working? (n.d.). American Psychological Association. Monitor on Psychology. Accessed November 2023.
  7. Frayn, M., Fojtu, C. & Juarascio, A. (2021). COVID-19 and binge eating: Patient perceptions of eating disorder symptoms, tele-therapy, and treatment implications. Current Psychology, 40, 6249–6258.
  8. Eating disorders. (n.d.). American Psychological Association. Accessed November 2023.
  9. Definition & Facts for Binge Eating Disorder. (n.d.). National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed November 2023.

FAQs

What is the best treatment for binge eating disorder?

The most researched psychotherapy for binge eating disorder (BED) is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a manual-based approach that focuses on the interaction between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Other options include interpersonal therapy, family therapy, and medication.3

Can binge eating disorder be treated at home?

Yes, binge eating disorder can be treated at home, but it is important to work with a professional. Seek out a program that pairs counseling and nutritional help, like the program offered by Within that helps you recover from mental illness.

How long does treatment for binge eating disorder take to complete?

CBT for binge eating disorder is a manual-based approach that is usually completed in 16-20 sessions over the course of 4-5 months.

Further reading

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