Binge-eating disorder

Binge-eating disorder is characterised by regular episodes of compulsive eating. Unlike bulimia, a person with binge-eating disorder will not use compensatory behaviours, such as self-induced vomiting or over-exercising after compulsive eating. According to the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, 2 to 3% of people are diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder

Binge-eating disorder involves two key features

  • Eating a very large amount of food within a relatively short period of time (for example within two hours)
  • Feeling a sense of loss of control while eating (e.g. feeling unable to stop yourself from eating)

Warning signs and symptoms

An individual suffering binge eating disorder will likely experience the following: 

  • Eating more quickly than usual a large amount of food.
  • Difficulty to stop eating even when someone is overly full and uncomfortable leading to digestive symptoms such as abdominal cramps, bloating and acid reflux. 
  • Eating often despite not being hungry.
  • Guilt and shame after binge-eating episodes
  • Hiding foods or eating specific foods when alone 
  • Restricting food intake after binge-eating episodes
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Excessive preoccupation about body image
  • Increased isolation
  • Stress of eating out or in public out of fear of losing control with food


Like other eating disorders, the triggers for binge-eating disorder are multi-factorial. Some of those factors include: 

  • Dieting or any other forms of food restriction: As the body undergoes restriction of any form, whether intentional or non-intentional (for example due to financial constraints), it will try to compensate for the lack of food by creating an urge to eat. Therefore, the binge-eating episodes are means that the body uses to protect itself from starvation. 
  • Emotional distress: An eating disorder is often not just about food. It can be used as a coping mechanism to deal with uncomfortable emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, etc. Eating can be used as a means to fill a void and it could become a habitual behaviour that can seem hard to break. 


Stopping the binge-eating episodes is not about lacking willpower or motivation. In fact, if a binge-eating struggler thinks that, it will just reinforce the issue as the latter’s self-esteem is negatively impacted. 

Instead, at our treatment clinic, we dig deeper to the root causes of the issue. We assess if there’s any restriction (whether physical or cognitive) that could be triggering the binges. Our nutritionists specialized in binge-eating help the individuals navigate all their beliefs about some foods and their metabolism and break the rigidity surrounding those foods. As all foods are normalized, the binge-eating sufferer becomes more connected with their body and it becomes easier for them to be in tune with their body cues, therefore decreasing the frequency and intensity of the binge-eating episodes. 

The treatment of binge eating disorder may require working with a multidisciplinary team such as a therapist or psychologist specialized in eating disorders. At our binge-eating clinic, our dietitians work closely with psychologists and refer patients as needed. 

Suffering from binge-eating undoubtedly brings about feelings of embarrassment, guilt and shame. However, you are not alone! Recovery from binge-eating disorder is possible and our eating disorder nutritionists are available to help you at our treatment clinic. Feel free to contact us!


“I had a wonderful experience with the dietitian at NutriVie Santé. She was patient, listened to all my concerns, and offered valuable tips tailored to my prenatal needs. Her advice was practical and easy to follow, that will surely make my pregnancy journey much smoother without any weight obsessive approach. Highly recommend!”

“If you’re having trouble with your relationship to food and you can’t figure out where to begin, I highly recommend booking an appointment with Jaimie. She’s kind and professional. I didn’t realize the bad habits I was repeating over and over again until I spoke with a dietician. I highly recommend it, even for just a few sessions.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Is binge-eating the same as over-eating?

Over-eating from time to time does not mean someone suffers from binge-eating disorder. To suffer from that disorder, the over-eating is usually accompanied by the urge to eat and feeling out of control while eating which makes it hard to stop. 

Do I need a diagnosis or a referral to be seen at our treatment clinic?

A diagnosis or referral from a doctor is not required to start treatment with one of our eating-disorder nutritionists. In fact, it could prove to be beneficial to start the recovery process even if your symptoms do not meet the diagnostic criterias yet. This is because early intervention in the treatment process can minimize the detrimental effects of the eating disorder on the sufferer and enhance chances of long-term recovery.

Therefore, do not hesitate to contact us.  Our dietitians specialized in binge-eating disorder will be able to help you heal your relationship even if you don’t have a referral from a doctor. 

How many sessions do I need for binge-eating disorder recovery?

Since everyone’s needs are different and given that the binge-eating disorder treatment plan and intervention are very individualized for each person’s needs and reality, the number of sessions varies from one person to the other. 

At the beginning, the treatment process can involve a weekly or biweekly appointments. However, nothing is imposed and our eating disorder dietitian will respect your pace. 

Are sessions covered by insurance?

Our services are typically covered by most private insurance companies and may also qualify for tax deductions, making it more accessible to get nutritional support for your eating disorder recovery journey. All of our eating-disorder specialists are members of the Ordre Professionnel des Diététistes et Nutritionnistes du Québec (ODNQ). Therefore, do not hesitate to consult your plan to see if you can benefit from any coverage. 

How do I make an appointment?

One of our nutritionists at NutriVie Santé will gladly help you in your recovery from binge eating disorder. You can simply write to us or call us. We will take some time with you to explain our approach and discuss about your needs and eventually book an appointment for you. 


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