If you suspect you have a binge eating disorder, it’s important to seek the right resources. Books can be helpful while in recovery, but it's also essential to seek specialized therapy if needed.
Below we’ve outlined what an eating disorder is, how to choose the right book, and a comprehensive list of books about binge eating disorders.
Books About Binge Eating Disorder
Check if your local library carries these books instead of purchasing them. That way, you can see if you like the author’s tone and voice before committing to buy. Every recommendation on this list is written by a medical professional or expert in binge eating disorders or disordered eating.
I Can’t Stop Eating: How To Break Free From The Cycle Of Binging, by Sarah Dosanj
This author is a certified therapist and has recovered from a binge eating disorder. After ten years of trying to heal, she recovered and now shares her tips in this book. She shares personal stories and exercises you can do at home to help you break out of a binge eating cycle.
Getting Better Bite by Bite: A Survival Kit For Sufferers of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder, by Ulrike Schmidt and Janet Treasure.
The authors have created a compact guide of exercises that can help you heal from a binge eating disorder. The book contains illustrations and is filled with gentle messages to comfort you as you work through your eating disorder.
Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.
Intuitive eating focuses on nourishing your body instead of denying it. This book can teach you strategies and new ways to view food and nutrition. If you constantly feel in a tug of war with wanting to eat but feeling guilty when you do, this book is for you.
Overcoming Binge Eating, by Christopher Fairborn
Dr. Christopher Fairborn has published several books on health and eating. This book is older, it was published in 1995, and the writing style may not appeal to everyone. Some people find this book helpful, while others feel it is dated. We’ve included it on the list so you can decide if it’s worthwhile for you or not.
More Than A Body: Your Body Is An Instrument, Not An Ornament, By Lindsay Kite and Lexie Kite.
Lindsay and Lexie are twins who both hold Ph.D. statuses. They are devoted to sharing body-neutral messaging and helping people develop a greater sense of self-love and acceptance. In the book, they share their scientific research on body image in a simple and easy-to-understand format that makes you think about the motives of messaging in media.
If you struggle with body issues, body dysmorphia, or feel it's hard to love yourself - you will adore this book.
These books are written by non-medical professionals. The authors have lived experiences with eating disorders, and many patients have found their stories relatable and helpful to their own healing journey.
Brain Over Binge: Why Conventional Therapy Didn’t Work and How I Recovered For Good, By Kathryn Hensen.
The author shares her own experiences with conventional therapy for an eating disorder. She details why she believes those treatment options didn’t fit her. She offers readers a different way to think about eating disorders; this new framework helped her immensely, and she recovered from her eating disorder.
The Brain over Binge Recovery Guide: A Simple and Personalized Plan for Ending Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder, By Kathryn Hensen.
Another book was published by the same author listed above. This more recent book focuses on learning how to dismiss the urge to binge and learning how to eat adequately. The book is longer, but it is filled with exercises to help you put your learnings into practice.
Breaking Free From Emotional Eating, By Genee Roth
Emotional eating can make it harder to feel in control of your diet choices and portion sizes. This book is filled with reassuring advice on how to break the link between eating and self-soothing.
Below are recommended workbooks that might be beneficial for you. These workbooks will complement therapy sessions and can help you gain more insight into your binge eating habits.
The DBT Solution For Emotional Eating: A Proven Program to Break the Cycle of Bingeing and Out-of-Control Eating, By Debra L. Safer, Sara Adler, and Philip C. Masson.
Dialectical behavior therapy is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that helps people regulate their emotions. This workbook suggests exercises to help you identify emotional triggers and how to cope with big emotions through non-harmful behaviors.
Many people who suffer from binge eating disorder can also suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT can help improve binge eating disorder and BPD behaviors.
The Mindful Eating Workbook: Simple Mindfulness Practices To Nurture A Healthy Relationship With Food, By Vincci Tsui.
Learning mindful eating skills can completely change your relationship with food eating. This workbook, written by a registered dietitian, can help you apply mindful eating practices to your everyday life. Vincci offers sensory exercises and prompts for self-reflection. Her guidance can help you go deeper within and heal your binge eating habits.
What Is Binge Eating Disorder?
As of 2021, binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the united states.1 Both men and women are affected by this condition, and people who live in larger bodies and suffer from obesity have the highest rate of binge eating disorders.
Weight bias can make it harder to diagnose this condition. Some people assume that anybody living with obesity must always eat large amounts of food, but that’s not the case. Anybody with BED experiences clear psychological distress during a binge or immediately after. The disorder is layered with intense guilt and shame and can be mentally taxing.
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
- Feeling out of control while eating.
- Eating alone because people are ashamed of how much food they consume.
- Eating quickly.
- Eating beyond the point of fullness and feeling uncomfortably full.
- Feeling disgusted with oneself.
- High levels of secrecy at meal times or about what they ate.
- Showing distress during a binge or when talking about the experience.2
Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder
Most people who suffer from BED will do best with a combined treatment approach that includes psychotherapy and medication. Medications will not be appropriate for every case, but it is important to know your options to make an informed decision about your care plan.
Some medications function as appetite suppressants, which can help decrease the amount of food consumed during a binge or prevent a binge altogether. This can break the binge cycle and allow healing from the disorder. Other medications can target other mental health disorders exacerbating BED, such as anxiety or obsessive-compulsive traits.
How To Pick A Trustworthy Book
When managing your health, you need to seek advice from reliable and vetted leaders. Nowadays, anyone can publish a book about health, even if they have no formal education or certification to support their claims.
Choose a book from a professional with a background in the subject matter. Even healthcare providers can be guilty of reaching beyond their scope of practice and writing about topics outside of their wheelhouse!
Remember to walk through this quick checklist when you consume content (books and beyond!):
- Does the author hold credentials? If the book offers medical advice, the author should be an MD. A registered dietitian should write Nutrition books.
- Is the author writing within their scope of practice? A cardiologist is a doctor, but they are less qualified to write about binge eating than a psychiatrist (also an MD) specializing in eating disorders. Choose to consume content from experts who share information about their field.
- Are they trying to sell me something? Be wary of any books or programs that try to sell you something at the end.
- Is it too good to be true? Avoid books that use sensational language, such as “miracle cures” or “overnight success stories”. These are marketing terms to create buzz about the product and are not evidence-based health claims.
People share anecdotal stories about their experiences with eating disorders. In most instances, it will be safe to consume this content, but always keep your critical thinking skills on while reading.
If you read a type of compelling treatment, follow up with your dietitian or health care provider! They can further educate you and help you decide the right course of action.
Nourish Can Help
Learning as much as possible about your medical diagnosis is important; it helps you understand how the condition affects your health and what treatment options you can take to heal. An eating disorder can also be a lonely experience, and it can be inspiring or motivating to hear others' experiences.
While reading about BED, you should also consider working with a dietitian. They can help you bring everything you learn into daily practice and work with you to build a treatment plan that directly caters to your needs.
Nourish has a team of registered dietitians who specialize in binge eating disorders. All appointments are remote, and every provider is covered by insurance. Click here to learn more about our services and book an appointment today!
Frequently Asked Questions
See a Registered Dietitian with Nourish
- Covered by insurance
- Virtual sessions
- Personalized care