Written By: Caitlin Pessig, RDN

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a classification of eating disorders which is characterized by eating an objectively large amount of food in a short period of time with a feeling of lack of control around the consumption of food. This eating disorder is associated with a feeling of uncomfortable fullness, consuming food when not feeling hungry, and with feelings of guilt and shame and embarrassment when eating or after eating. It is important to note that the DSM-5 does not use weight as an indicator of a BED diagnosis. Signs your loved one may suffer from BED include; food hidden throughout the house, large amounts of food disappearing, your loved one eating in secret and avoiding situations that include eating around others.

Understanding the Cycle of Binge Eating and Restriction

Often binges are a result of two things nutritionally; restriction of intake throughout the day and/or restriction of certain foods deemed “off limits” or “bad” or “untouchable”. When the body is deprived calorically or deprived of satisfying, appealing foods, it reacts through binges. Biologically this makes sense. Humans have a natural drive for taste satisfying foods and of course, an inherent need for enough food daily. This pattern becomes a viscous cycle named the restrict-binge cycle. Restriction of food in general or of a specific food group or type with lead to feeling obsessed with the food and preoccupied with having it. When we finally allow permission to eat, it will likely lead to a binge. Binges lead to feelings of guilt or shame and the desire to “get back on track” which encourages restriction. 

Weight Cycling

The cycle of binge and restrict will likely lead to fluctuations in weight. This is identified as weight cycling. Weight cycling creates disruption to the body’s normal metabolism. Disruption to normal metabolism as a result of weight cycling has been linked to increased risk of chronic disease. 

Virginia’s Boutique Eating Disorder Treatment Center


At Prosperity Eating Disorders & Wellness Center, we are dedicated to providing evidence-based, individualized treatment for eating disorders across all age groups, ethnic backgrounds, and genders.

Our approach addresses psychological, nutritional, emotional, and relational needs, guiding individuals toward a full recovery. We specialize in treating a range of disorders including Anorexia, Bulimia, EDNOS, Orthorexia, and Binge Eating Disorder.

Take the first step towards recovery with Prosperity Eating Disorders & Wellness Center today!

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