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Tell tale signs of compulsive overeating

The symptoms of Compulsive Overeating are largely focused around a preoccupation with food and unhealthy eating patterns with large consumptions of food. Compulsive overeating typically results in weight gain and obesity, however, not everyone who is obese is also a compulsive overeater. Considering your own, or a loved ones current eating habits, self-esteem, and lifestyle choices, do any of the following statements apply?

Eating Patterns and Body Image:

  • Regularly eating large amounts of food, despite not feeling hungry. Feeling powerless to stop and continue eating until you feel so full you could burst. Afterwards, you are left feeling guilty or ashamed.
  • Deriving a sense of temporary relief from the stress in your life by overeating, but subsequently feeling increasingly out of control.
  • Having experienced a dramatic weight gain as a result of your overeating
  • Disposing of the evidence of your overeating – for example, food wrappers, packets or boxes - away from your home.
  • Often getting up during the night and eat.
  • Your health has been affected by your overeating – for example, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, development of diabetes or joint pain.
  • Harbouring feelings of shame or disgust with your appearance – always able to find flaws.

Compulsive overeating disorder is undoubtedly the most prevalent eating disorder in the Western world and while most people with this problem are either overweight or obese, normal-weight people can also suffer from this disorder. In a bid to tackle some of the most common misunderstandings surrounding eating disorders, this and our previous blogs illustrate that diagnosis based on mere physical presentation cannot accurately capture the entire picture. Hence, obesity does net necessarily imply compulsive overeating disorder, and an accurate diagnosis is rarely possible in the absence of an assessment of the cognitive, physical, and mental aspects. The above are some of the common tell tale signs of compulsive overeating. If you feel that any of the above statements reflect your attitude to food and your body image, it might be time you seek appropriate treatment and regain a greater life quality.

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