If you don’t feel you eat large quantities of food in one sitting, but you have struggled with your weight and have been on and off diets most of your life, you may be a compulsive overeater (CO).   The main difference between binge eating disorder and compulsive overeating is that people with CO don’t experience discrete episodes of binge eating.  They tend to eat past the point of fullness, but don’t necessarily binge while alone or hide their overeating.  Here’s an example of a person who is a compulsive overeater.

David, the compulsive overeater
David’s parents fought constantly when he was growing up.  After every fight, David’s mother would take him into the kitchen and cook their favorite comfort foods, encouraging David to eat right along with her. David was overweight as a child, but his mother insisted that he just had “big bones.”  In college, he dropped weight when he played sports but after college, the weight just came back.  David overate when he was happy, sad or lonely.  He was always successful in losing weight on a diet but the weight always came back.  By the time he was an adult, married and with two small children, David’s weight was in the obese range and affected his health. David suffered from depression and felt that he was a failure because he could not control his overeating.

Are you tired of the diet treadmill? Yo-yo dieting can be more harmful to your health than not losing weight at all.  Think of focusing on healthy behaviors – no matter what your current size.