The first step in recovering from compulsive overeating is realizing there’s a problem. Someone who eats compulsively cannot recover until facing up to the fact that he’s addicted to food, admitting powerlessness over his eating disorder. It’s only by surrendering to a higher power, seeking support from other compulsive overeaters, and using the tools of recovery that this eating disorder can be stopped.
Compulsive overeating, a serious eating disorder, is continuing to eat when you’re full, consuming more food than needed. If not arrested, eating compulsively can lead to feelings of hopelessness, as well as severe health problems. Instead of giving up, take advantage of recovery resources. Besides seeking professional counseling and changing eating habits, take part in support groups, using all the recovery tools available.
Find a support group of others who are addicted to food and meet with them regularly. Nonprofit 12-step recovery organizations such as Overeaters Anonymous (OA) and Food Addicts Anonymous (FAA) offer meetings in almost every area of the world.
Find a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who’s achieved success working a recovery program and is available to help others who still struggle. After choosing someone whom you feel can help you, call your sponsor regularly for moral support, as well as for help with a food plan.
Find a food plan that will help you stop overeating compulsively. Although OA doesn’t recommend a standard food plan at meetings, most members believe in staying away from ingredients such as sugar and white flour that result in compulsive overeating. To find the right food plan, consult your sponsor or doctor. Then, daily call (or email) your sponsor to report your meal plan for accountability.
Work on a 12-step program. Besides meeting with others, go through each of the 12 OA steps of recovery with your sponsor, outside of meetings. Working the steps of any recovery program means you take each step, one step at a time, and apply it to your life. The 12 OA steps of recovery are based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Use all your recovery tools. In addition to having a sponsor, utilize other tools of recovery such as the telephone. It’s important to reach out and call members in your OA support group between meetings. Other recovery tools include writing down your emotions in a journal and reading recovery literature.
Reach out to others who struggle with food addictions. When you share the message of recovery, you strengthen yourself.