National Eating Disorders Association

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Is it a habbit?

Last year I started my recovery from anorexia and orthorexia and I could tell that I was healing with everyday. I was not afraid of food I ate and do not categorised food anymore. After sometime I started to have episodes when I eat lots of food in one sitting. That food contained lots of sugars due to the reason I was restricting everything that was sweet in the past. These binging episodes repeated about 4 months almost every week. I don't remember actually how I stopped to do that but for almost 7 months I do not have those urges to sit and eat everything around me. I was eating reguraly but I was scared If i puted some extra bites in my mouth. So I also wasn't happy with my relationship with food. I use physical activities to maintain my weight and was feeling guilty everytime I missed gym session. Almost four months ago I started to prepare for my final exams and my binges comeback. Whenever I started to learn these urges hit me and I was feeling guilty afterwards. My weight is normal, I still exercise, but now I started to do that i really like it and listen to my body more. I believe in moderation and let myself to have some treats daily, my calorie intake is quite high but I still binge every weak. At first i thought binges are caused by stress but exam session is over long ago and I still eating compulsive repeatedly. As I said, I binge every week for 4 months and I'm afraid that it becomes a habbit. Maybe someone has the same experience?


Hi, Mmarij! Thank you for posting. We hope that you get the support you deserve here on the forum. When you get the chance, please let a look at our community guidelines here: If you need any resources, you can reach out to the Helpline at (800) 931-2237. The Helpline is open Monday-Thursday 9AM-9PM EST and Friday 9AM-5PM EST. You can also chat during these hours by clicking chat now at the top right hand corner.  


Hello and welcome to the forum. I am sorry you are struggling with the binging. I know from personal experience how difficult it can be. I am now in recovery but it took a long time. I just took a class at my local college and did a presentation on are eating disorders a habit or an addiction? I concluded that they are both. Our brains get used to certain behaviors and there is dopamine released when we overeat or over exercise, use addictive substances. Even the restricting activates the dopamine which is a feel good effect on the brain to the body. The trick is to learn to understand why you are binging and having a therapist would be a great help with that. Also, if you write down how you are feeling before you binge, first, it may postpone one, but if it doesn't then write down how you feel after the binge. Do this each time and see if you can find a pattern or certain things that set you off. One is stress from what I read. If I am wrong, please correct me. I also believe it can be a habit. Something we just go to because we have always done it. This is where we need to learn to start saying NO to the eating disorder. Out loud even. But it is important to have a backup plan in place so that you can do that when feeling like binging. Even in the Bible when they cast out evil spirits, Jesus says to replace it with something else so it doesn't return. So, this is just my non medical opinion. I am not a professional.

Also you may want to practice taking a day off from the gym so that you can learn that it is okay not to go. It may be difficult but it is better for your body.

I hope this helped you some. I am glad you reached out and posted. Please let us know how you are doing.

iwanttolive and I am


Hi Mmarij-

I also wanted to welcome you to the forums and just let you know that you are not alone in what you are going through. I also struggled with orthorexia in high school and then began having issues with binge eating which lasted throughout college. This is not an uncommon experience after restricting for so long- binging on what we have deprived ourselves of. I want to echo Iwanttolive's comment in that what worked for me was starting to work with a counselor at my university and exploring the underlying issues contributing to my issues with food. It wasn't overnight but over time as I learned to articulate my emotions and not turn to food as a way to numb them out/cope, binges started happening less and less until stopping completely. I have been in stable recovery for about the past 4 years. I just wanted to let you know that full recovery and freedom from disordered eating behaviors is possible- but also remind you that binge eating is not just a lack of willpower or self-control- and is rooted in a lot more complex issues psychologically and biologically- but there is hope to overcome it. What are your thoughts about seeking professional support? Just wanted to let you know that we are here for you-- hope you continue to post and keep us updated on where you're at! <3

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