New Program Successfully Treats Binge Eating Disorder with Mindful Eating

Share Article

Binge Eating Disorder (BED), which affects 3% of the general population and up to 40% of those seeking weight loss, can be treated successfully with an intensive program using mindfulness-based strategies. In a recent study, participants in The Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Binge Eating program went from severe binge eating to a non-bingeing level in just ten weeks.

Polishing off an entire bag of potato chips from time to time is not uncommon in our current food-abundant environment, but for some people, bingeing is a painful, secretive eating disorder.

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder, affecting an estimated 3.5% of women, 2% of men, and 30% to 40% of those seeking weight loss according to the Binge Eating Disorder Association. Despite its prevalence, many sufferers feel isolated and alone in their struggle with food.

In a recent study, a new program, the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Binge Eating, helped participants go from severe binge eating to a non-bingeing level in just ten weeks. Kari Anderson, DBH, LPC, a Phoenix-based eating disorder specialist and co-creator of the program, has over 20 years of experience working with individuals who struggle with their relationship to food. She explains, “Individuals with BED are typically competent and accomplished in other areas of their life, yet feel unable to stop this secret behavior. Bingeing is a way to escape or disconnect from feelings that seem intolerable.”

Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating at least once a week for three months, feeling out of control while bingeing, and feelings of guilt and shame afterwards. BED was added to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in May 2013. (For the full diagnostic criteria for Binge Eating Disorder or BED, see

Those who experience the symptoms of BED understand the seriousness of the disorder, but feel powerless to stop it. Fortunately, with the right professional help, the disorder is treatable. “Mindfulness-based strategies aimed at self-regulating emotional and physical states have shown promise in the treatment of Binge Eating Disorder,” explains Michelle May, M.D., the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Workshops and Facilitator Training Program ( and co-author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating (available November 2013).

May developed the innovative Mindful Eating Cycle, on which the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Programs are based. She said, “For most people, the issue isn’t what they eat, but why. The Mindful Eating Cycle provides the missing structure that patients and therapists need in order to identify problematic eating behaviors, the motivations driving them, and effective solutions.”

In October, May and Anderson will offer the first Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Retreat for Binge Eating for people struggling with binge eating and for therapist who want to be trained to use this method. The 5 day/4 night all-inclusive retreat will take place at the Carefree Resort & Conference Center in Carefree, Arizona from Oct. 26-30, 2013. Under the guidance of professionals with years of experience working with emotional eating, participants will explore why they eat and learn new skills and strategies to break the “eat-repent-repeat” cycle. The retreat includes mindful movement and mindful eating experiences to help participants heal their relationship with food and their body.
For more information, please visit

Am I Hungry?® ( provides mindful eating workshops to end ineffective yo-yo dieting and resolve mindless and emotional eating. Programs are available for diabetes, binge eating, bariatric surgery, and corporate wellness initiatives. Am I Hungry?® also specializes in training facilitators, coaches, and therapists to provide mindful eating workshops and counseling.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Michelle May M.D.
since: 03/2009
Follow >
Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Workshops and Facilitator Training

Visit website