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Learn more about the results we get at Within

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Binge eating self-help

Self-help is the process of improving oneself or overcoming one’s problems without help from others.1 People who binge eat and who seek self-help look for resources on their own without professional help. 

These resources may include:

  • Books
  • Websites
  • Workbooks
  • Podcasts
  • Apps
  • Helplines
  • Other publicly available materials

A person may seek self-help for binge eating or binge eating disorder (BED) to learn to cope with the emotions and physical symptoms that occur before, during, and after binge eating. They may seek advice on reducing or stopping binge eating episodes and on creating healthy eating habits.2,3

Binge eating disorder and compulsive eating are not the same thing. Compulsive eating behaviors only occur from time to time, while binge eating disorder is a mental health condition.

Last updated on 
December 7, 2023
Binge eating self-help
In this article

Self-help for persons with active binge eating disorder (BED)

Guided self-help for a person with BED is the most effective type of self-help. A structured program typically includes reading material, online education, at-home assignments, and professional check-ins by a therapist or nutritionist. Persons with active BED pursuing self-help have a better chance of reducing their symptoms and recovering from BED by taking part in a program that offers structured self-help and accountability.4,5

Self-help for persons recovered from BED

Structured or guided self-help programs are the most beneficial for persons who have recovered from BED and seek self-help. However, self-paced, continued education is valuable, as is using the tools learned in any prior active BED treatment.2 There is a risk of relapsing with BED; therefore, persons recovering from BED need ongoing support and reinforcement.

How effective is binge eating self-help? 

Self-help is an effective method for treating BED. Self-help is most successful when it is within a structured program.2,3 If a person with BED seeks professional treatment, studies have shown that they are more likely to stay committed and consistent with treatment recommendations than those seeking self-guided self-help alone. With cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-led treatment, persons with BED are less likely to drop out of a program and more likely to complete the work needed for recovery.6

Tips for binge eating self-help

For reliable self-help materials or websites, people struggling with binge eating should speak with a healthcare professional when possible. If it is difficult to decide whether to seek professional help versus trying self-help, consider contacting Within for a free consultation.

Call us today

How to stop binge eating

Best self-help books for binge eating and BED

  • Overcoming binge eating, by Dr. Christopher G. Fairburn, is a self-help book aiming to help binge eaters recognize and change harmful eating habits, understand the feelings associated with binge eating, and improve body image acceptance.7
  • The DBT solution for emotional eating, by Debra L. Safer, MD, Sarah Adler, PsyD, and Phillip C. Masson, Ph.D., supplies valuable tools to break the binge eating cycle by teaching its readers how to recognize emotional triggers, create behavioral changes, and through promoting mindfulness.8

Binge eating self-help workbook

The binge eating prevention workbook by Gia Marson EdD and Danielle Kennan-Miller, Ph.D., encourages an 8-week plan to help overcome binge eating by learning to detect emotions surrounding food and to cope with them. This book tries to get to the root cause of binge eating and supplies strategies for recovery.9

Guided help for BED 

A therapist or healthcare team supplies guided self-help for BED in person or virtually. CBT for binge eating disorder or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are successful therapy methods often used to help stop binge eating. Guided programs may also offer email or phone check-ins with the healthcare team.4,6,10

Get help for binge eating disorder

If you think you have a binge eating problem, you should seek professional help as soon as possible. BED combines overeating, often in a brief period, with associated feelings of loss of control on a recurring basis.11

If this description fits, seek help now. Call us for a free consultation and find out if remote treatment is for you.

Call for a free consult

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.


  1. Definition of SELF-HELP. (2023, May 20). Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  2. Davey, E., Bennett, S. D., Bryant-Waugh, R., Micali, N., Takeda, A., Alexandrou, A., & Shafran, R. (2023). Low intensity psychological interventions for the treatment of feeding and eating disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Eating Disorders, 11(1), 56.
  3. Peterson, C. B., Mitchell, J. E., Crow, S. J., Crosby, R. D., & Wonderlich, S. A. (2009). The efficacy of self-help group treatment and therapist-led group treatment for binge eating disorder. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 166(12), 1347–1354.
  4. Traviss-Turner, G. D., West, R. M., & Hill, A. J. (2017). Guided Self-help for Eating Disorders: A Systematic Review and Metaregression. European Eating Disorders Review: The Journal of the Eating Disorders Association, 25(3), 148–164.
  5. Carrard, I., Crépin, C., Rouget, P., Lam, T., Van der Linden, M., & Golay, A. (2011). Acceptance and efficacy of a guided internet self-help treatment program for obese patients with binge eating disorder. Clinical practice and epidemiology in mental health: CP & EMH, 7, 8–18.
  6. Carter, J. C., & Fairburn, C. G. (1998). Cognitive-behavioral self-help for binge eating disorder: A controlled effectiveness study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66(4), 616–623.
  7. Bissada, H. (2019). Book Review: The DBT Solution for Emotional Eating. A Proven Program to Break the Cycle of Bingeing and Out-of-Control Eating. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Revue Canadienne de Psychiatrie, 64(10), 736.
  8. Overcoming Binge Eating-second edition. (n.d). Chris Fairburn. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  9. Marson, G., & Keenan-Miller, D. (2020). The Binge Eating Prevention Workbook: An Eight-Week Individualized Program to Overcome Compulsive Eating and Make Peace with Food. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  10. Grilo, C. M., Thompson-Brenner, H., Shingleton, R. M., Thompson, D. R., & Franko, D. L. (2021). Clinical moderators and predictors of cognitive-behavioral therapy by guided-self-help versus therapist-led for binge-eating disorder: Analysis of aggregated clinical trials. The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 54(10), 1875–1880.
  11. Definition & Facts for Binge Eating Disorder—NIDDK. (2021, May). National Institute of Health. Retrieved May 20, 2023.
  12. Binge-eating disorder—symptoms and causes. (2018, May 5). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved May 24, 2023.


What is binge eating disorder treatment?

BED treatment methods may use group or individual psychotherapy, guided or unguided self-help, and learning mindfulness and positive self-care.12

How can I treat binge eating disorder at home?

Contact Within for an assessment with a mental health professional to help treat BED from home. Self-help may also aid in treating BED from home.

When do I need treatment for binge eating?

If you suspect BED in yourself or a loved one, treatment for binge eating should start as soon as possible to help with BED’s physical and emotional effects.

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