Can Diet Pills Make Your Compulsive Eating Disorder Worse?

A compulsive eating disorder is generally rooted in emotional challenges. Diet pills are intended to decrease hunger or increase metabolism, which are both physiological processes. When you take diet pills to lose weight, you may not be addressing the true reasons behind your need to eat.

What Causes a Compulsive Eating Disorder?

If you are dealing with a compulsive eating disorder, you probably turn to food to relieve your sadness, anxiety, stress or you may even eat in times of celebration. Food can provide temporary relief from uncomfortable feelings and be a source of enjoyment. This becomes a problem when your relationship with food is addictive and/or leads to excessive weight gain.

A compulsive eating disorder is sometimes a result of parenting styles that use food as a way to make a child feel better. If a child’s sadness is routinely treated with a snack or treat, for example, he or she may not learn healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with negative emotions. The child then regularly associates food with relief from unwanted feelings.

The challenge with this strategy is that in adulthood, no one is guarding the refrigerator or cupboards. You have to control your own portion sizes and choose healthy foods that nourish and energize you. Diet pills seem like a solution because, once again, it is through taking or consuming something that you believe you will find relief.

Understanding Why You Overeat

The key in dealing with a compulsive eating disorder is to identify the underlying cause of your need to eat. Do you eat because you are truly hungry? If so, does your hunger exceed normal caloric levels needed for adequate nutrition? If you are overeating due to extreme hunger, there may be an underlying physical issue causing the excessive hunger. Speaking to a doctor or nutritionist may be necessary.

If you are truly hungry all the time and there are no identifiable causes, look closely at your eating patterns. Do you skip breakfast causing you to binge later in the day? Do you sleep enough? Not sleeping enough causes hormonal changes in the body that lead to an increase in appetite. Do you drink enough water? It is possible to mistake thirst for hunger.

Addressing Emotional Eating

If you find that your compulsive eating disorder is not related to hunger, then you may want to keep a journal to document your reasons for eating. When you do this, you may detect patterns in your need for food. Did you overeat after an unpleasant incident at work? Do you always eat more when dining alone? Does anxiety over an upcoming, challenging event cause you to eat?

When you pinpoint the reasons behind your compulsive eating disorder, it is easier to find solutions. If you are truly hungry all the time and your doctor or nutritionist agree that a diet pill will be helpful to decrease your appetite, then that may be a solution. If you find, however, that the underlying cause of your eating is emotional, this realization enables you to find healthy ways to cope with unpleasant feelings. Meditation, keeping a journal, exercising, and talking to supportive people may be helpful solutions.


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