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What is the difference between binge eating and overeating?

Most of us at one time have overeaten, whether it’s because we are depressed, we fall out of our normal routine, we decide to splurge, we’re on vacation or it’s the holidays. Those moments when we find ourselves overeating, doesn’t diagnose us as having a binge eating disorder because there is a difference.

A binge eating disorder is described as being, “a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food”. The huge difference between overeating and a binge eating disorder is the fact that when you overeat it happens once in a while, while a binge eater frequently overeats.

Other ways to differentiate between overeating and binge eating include:

  • A binge eater is embarrassed by their behavior and will usually binge eat in private and not in public areas.
  • A binge eater overeats due to drastic emotional feelings like anger and sadness.
  • A binge eater compulsively eats and has feelings of being completely out of control when they are eating and can’t find themselves to find a way to stop.

Here are some signs that you or a loved one may be a binge eater:

  • Not being able to stop or control what you’re eating
  • Never feeling satisfied no matter how much you eat
  • Eating even when you reach the point of being full
  • Feeling emotions of guilt and embarrassment for the way you eat
  • Hiding food somewhere secret to eat later



There are long term effects for binge eaters. Binge eaters usually turn out to become overweight individuals that fall into multiple different health risks including:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Risk for cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Gastrointestinal Problems

The good news is that there are treatment options for people suffering from binge eating disorder, but you have to want to do the work. There are multiple different types of therapies, medications and support groups.

To contact Cedars Cobble Hill about our Disordered Eating Treatment Plan, please contact us at 1-866-716-2006.

Our Residential Addiction Treatment Centre

Specializing in the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction, Cedars at Cobble Hill also provide treatment for other process addictions including eating disorders and gambling.