obsessive calorie counting
sometimes accompanied by self-harm and increasing isolation from others
The prevalence of binge eating is similar amongst men and women – but men seek help less, are studied less, and get less treatment than women, largely because masculine ideals negatively conflict with seeking psychological help. Binge eating in men is strongly associated with depression.
Although there is tremendous media attention to women feeling compelled to be physically perfect men are just as much exposed to these standards: pervasive, tinged with the threat of failure – and just as unattainable. Men, just as much as women can eat compulsively to soothe the painful gap between the ideal presented to them in the media – and their actuality.
I have extensive experience working with emotional eating. I taught for a decade at Geneen Roth’s retreats, at which more than 100 people at a time entirely focus on emotional eating.
In my private practice, working with many, many individuals on these issues I have seen the healing effectiveness of a body-centered mindfulness approach. In conjunction with group work, consultation with dietitians who work with emotional eating, and as needed, 12 step approaches multimodal treatment can turn these issues around for men. Healing happens: breaking free of emotional eating is a reality.