4 Best Books For Overcoming Binge EatingOct 19, 2021
Learning how to stop binge eating is tough work! After working with hundreds of women to help them stop binge eating and find food freedom, and of course my own recovery, I’ve learned that recovery isn’t linear. There will be ups and downs. It can be frustrating trying to figure out what works for you.
And that’s the thing - different tools, approaches, mindsets work for different people. Recovery doesn’t come in just one neat rulebook that works for everyone.
Because there are a multitude of reasons why someone may be stuck with binge eating. Even the fact that anyone from those struggling with bulimia, to anorexia, to binge eating disorder, to people without a diagnosis - can all be struggling with binge eating.
Everyone has their own set of needs when it comes to recovery. If you’re looking for help with binge eating recovery, I’ve put together a list of books that I found helpful in recovery / would imagine others may find helpful too.
The list is varied in terms of topic matter because of the aforementioned reason.
One person may be binge eating due to physical restriction. Another may be binge eating due to emotions reasons like trauma or stress.
So the list below touches on various topics.
4 Best Books For Binge Eating Recovery
This book dives into binge eating and food freedom directly. I would definitely start with this book on your binge eating recovery journey because it does cover the bases. Not only does it back up everything with scientific research (I found that section on releasing fatphobia particularly helpful) but it also helps you take actions towards intuitive eating.
The book is interesting, easy to read, and the author, Caroline Doomer, manages to convey the serious message of eating disorder recovery in a relatable and witty way.
The cause of binge eating isn’t always as simple as just not eating enough. For many, the emotional side of it is dominant. For example, it used to be common for me to rush home from a bad day at work or a bad date to binge. It would help me distract and numb out. It would help me decompress. More than just that, the euphoria of the first few bites a binge would be the only dose of pleasure I’d experience in my day oftentimes.
Yes, I did need to be eating more. But! I also needed to learn how to cope with difficult emotions in a healthier way.
That is exactly what Emotional Agility teaches you: how to manage the whole range of human emotions in a healthy way.
It taught me that it’s ok to feel feelings. They don’t actually harm you. In fact, the sooner we lean into them, the sooner they move through and out of our body.
The book taught me to not brood and ruminate on thoughts and emotions (something I’d very often do particularly around poor body image days).
Susan David, PhD, fills the book with relatable stories and examples to help you absorb the material that is completely science-backed.
When it comes to binge eating recovery, we often focus on just the food side of things. We try to change our diet. We try to cut out our binge foods. We try to normalise our binge foods.
But we sometimes forget what kicked all of this off in the first place.
For many, it’s low self-worth and/or trauma.
Low self-worth manifests for so many women through body image issues. We attach so much of our worth to the way we look. How To Do The Work helps you do some serious soul-searching through journaling and action-taking. Each chapter ends with journaling prompts to help you uncover childhood wounds and behaviour you may have taken on from parent-figures. An example is: Growing up with parents who didn’t let you express your emotions - who ridiculed those who cried. Enter binge-eating to help you cope with that.
More directly, you may have grown up with parents who constantly commented on people’s appearances. Your child brain, eager to please your parent-figures, did everything they could to look ‘good’. Enter dieting, weight obsession and then binge eating.
You may have grown up in a scarcity-mindset household where every piece of food had to be eaten on the plate even if you weren’t hungry - teaching you to ignore your body’s needs.
Even if you’re not struggling with binge-eating, this book will change your life. Dr. Nicole LePera also has an awesome presence on Instagram so definitely give her a follow there.
Sometimes we start off binge eating because of trauma or undereating. But over time, the initial reasons to binge may be dealt with yet we’re still binge eating. And that can be frustrating and confusing. I often hear women tell me, “But I haven’t been restricting for a year now. I’m still binge eating though!”.
Binge eating can become a habit. When we’ve done it so many times, that becomes hardwired into our brain. Binge eating becomes a habit. The good news is - we can always break habits. It just might take some time and consistent work.
That is where James Clear's Atomic Habits comes in. This book explains how habits are formed but more importantly how we break them and create new helpful ones. I found it very easy to read and helpful how each chapter was summarised at the end. There were so many small, actionable tips that anyone could apply to increase the likelihood of breaking and creating habits.
There you have it - my top 4 books to help you stop binge eating and find food and body freedom! Enjoy!
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