Compulsive overeating can often be confused with binge eating but they are different. Lots of binge eaters will describe themselves as being emotional eaters but there are some differences in the behaviours and the outcomes. Binge eating is generally eating a lot of food in a discrete period of time, and usually a relatively short period of time. The binge is a result of restriction and includes feelings of guilt, shame or disgust. It can often be done in secret and the person can even be completely out of control when they binge. Compulsive overeating is not restricted to "a binge" but is overeating or using food in general for emotional reasons. Binge eaters don't fall into a typical weight range as it can effect even those who are starving, but compulsive overeaters are highly likely to occupy larger bodies and will find that size is almost always increasing. In both cases they may have been on many diets and it's more likely the compulsive overeater would be deemed to be "less successful" on these diets. Compulsive overeating remains when the emotional reasons for their food habits are not addressed. It is true that in binge eaters there will also be an emotional component but it's important to understand that the difference is in the amount of restriction also occurring in the diet as the main physiological driver for the binge is different and should be addressed differently when helping the client to improve their health and wellbeing.
If you are concerned about your eating habits or feel trapped with food and emotions then please book in for a free call and have a discussion about what kind of help would be best for you.