How To Help Binge Eating Disorder Patients Lose Weight


I know that a lot of articles in this blog provide information on how to lose weight, with plenty of input from psychologists, nutritionists, fitness coaches and research articles. However, today we are going to do something a little bit different. We are going to “eavesdrop” on some thoughts by psychiatric professionals.

A psychiatrist recently reported that she had a patient who wanted to participate in a medical weight-loss program, but was wondering if she should address her binge eating disorder before even considering joining up. This is a sad reality that psychiatrists face every day – patients who have a disorder but are hell-bent on trying out one fad after the next.

Another psychiatrist commented that for some patients, it was easy to commit to addressing their binge eating and working on that rather than focusing on the excess weight that they are carrying. However, others remain trapped in a mentality that puts their weight at the centre of it all. It is no surprise that these patients often meet with little success.

Like it or not, the work that psychiatrists do for patients with binge-eating disorders is on the polar opposite end of the spectrum from what weight-loss programs provide. It does take a major paradigm shift for people to understand that, and unfortunately, a lot of them don’t.


In order to release their patients from being a slave to the diet mentality and the number on the scale, there are ten treatment factors that can help with this process.

One – Not setting a weight loss goal. Instead, goals should be focused on reducing binge-eating and improving their relationship with food.

Two – Dislocating the patient from fads such as cleanses and other trends. The emphasis should be how the patient can add to his or her diet, rather than what can be removed.

Three – Develop a positive body image by letting the patient know how the stigma can affect his or her mental and physical health.

Four – Do not neglect working on acceptance of his or her body.

Five – Show the patient that there is a relationship between binge eating and food restriction. To make it seem more real, draw a timeline of the patient’s weight loss and gains.

Six – Encourage the patient not to have foods that are banned, but that high calorie foods should be incorporated into the diet in a mindful way

Seven – Show that the media over-inflates the effects of obesity. Convince them that some people who are a little overweight are just as healthy as those who are of a healthy weight range.

Eight – Tell the patient that recovery from binge eating is a slow and gradual process, and that he or she should trust the professionals for guidance.

Nine – Encourage the patient to exercise, with an emphasis that movement is something that is joyful rather than a chore.

Ten – Demonstrate to the patient that an attachment to the diet mentality can trigger binge eating.
I hope this has given you an insight on how psychologists and psychiatrists think when dealing with binge-eating patients. That is why the Granite Fitness programs always advocate that people with genuine disorders should only start the program with approval from the professionals.


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