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Can you be thin and have a binge eating disorder?

153 Answers
Last Updated: 12/18/2020 at 1:52pm
Can you be thin and have a binge eating disorder?
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Melissa Strauss, LPC

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I am client focused and believe everyone has a strength. I feel confident in seeing clients with generalized and social anxiety, depression and relational goals.

Top Rated Answers
March 31st, 2018 6:35am
of course, you can, your body shape is not defined by your eating disorders. there are people that struggle to lose weight and there are many people that struggle to gain it. Either way, your body shape is not an indicator of how healthy you are.
March 31st, 2018 7:15pm
Yes, you can, I've seen it mostly in the case of bulimia. When you eat a large quantity of food and then force yourself to vomit it up again. There are those who binge eat on a large amount of food one day a week and then refuse to eat several other days or the rest of the week. There are many spectrums and I wouldn't consider myself an expert on the subject.
April 5th, 2018 2:03am
Yes! Binge eating disorder doesn't mean you're overweight, some people with binge eating disorder only eat once a week, and just binge when they do. If this is something you're worried about I'd consult your doctor right away. It can be life threatening.
April 6th, 2018 6:38pm
Of course. Eating disorders come in all shapes. Telling that thin people can't suffer from them might be the biggest misconception about this problem.
April 11th, 2018 8:06pm
Yes. In the past, I had an eating disorder where i was thin and would, in fact, binge. After bingeing, I would then not eat for a few days and stay thin. So, yes, it is possible.
April 12th, 2018 10:45am
Yes, some people have fast metabolisms, or are bulimic. It's important to remember binge eating disorders are mental illnesses and identified by certain behavioural characteristics. You could be severely underweight or overweight, regardless of this, it's important to seek help immediately.
April 13th, 2018 5:25am
Yes! You can be thin and still have a binge eating disorder, being thin does not always show a low or healthy appetite. This happens because of a faster metabolism, when the rate at which we burn fat or use up energy is high. While being skinny in spite of having a binge eating disorder might seem not so bad, it still has harmful and unhealthy effects on your body and it is best to sort the issues out professionally and see it for what it is.
April 14th, 2018 12:46pm
People of all sizes can have eating disorders - the thing they have in common is that they are looking for control within their lives or are very unhappy with the way they look (they often see something different from how they actually look)
April 25th, 2018 9:43pm
Yes, some people have a fast metabolism and digest it all fast, or it doesn’t show. It doesn’t matter how thin you are anyone can get a binge eating disorder
April 26th, 2018 12:15pm
Yea, I, personally have a binge eating problem but am actually quite scrawny. It is hard and difficult to obtain help like this because a lot of people won't believe that I have an eating problem, let alone eating too much, when I am so small.
April 28th, 2018 2:41am
yes. everyone digests and processes food a bit differently. being thin does not mean that your eating patters are not unhealthy.
May 9th, 2018 2:55pm
yes it's totally possible. if you need help try this self-help guide
May 9th, 2018 9:46pm
Sure you can! Binges don't happen every day, so a certain person can burn most of it through exercise or any other physical activity
May 12th, 2018 2:35am
Yes you can be skinny and still have a binge eating disorder . :) good luck on your Journey to recovery
May 23rd, 2018 5:32am
Yes, make sure you talk to a professional if you think this is an issue for you. Take care and remember that this is completely normal to reach out for help for.
May 24th, 2018 7:43am
yes. Thin is based on your body and its metabolism. I once read an article on greedy fat cells. The thesis was you could work out, eat perfect and still be overweight because you body would be greedy and hold onto the fat cells. Add a thyroid condition and someone could be 600 pound life. But in the other side, someone might burn too much. No person is generic and it makes sense that an opposite would exist.
May 26th, 2018 7:47pm
Absolutely, but you should never intentionally engage in an eating disorder, as I'm sure you know. Bulimia is a disorder in which you binge and then regurgitate. It can cause serious bodily harm, like damage to your throat, and a serious gain of weight later on.
June 27th, 2018 2:05am
It's possible for anyone to have a eating disorder, no matter what body type they have. If you think you might have a eating disorder, please visit a doctor. :)
June 28th, 2018 3:44am
Yes. While weight is a diagnosting characteristic of binge eating disorder, it is not the sole characteristic. Just like there can be overweight anorexics, there can be skinny people that binge eat
July 4th, 2018 9:28pm
Yes, first, digestion is different for everyone and sometimes binging can be accompanied with purging or a longer period of self-starvation. In any case, consider getting professional help.
July 5th, 2018 11:33am
Yes, of course you can. A binge eating disorder is not a body type. It is a mental illness or disorder.
July 21st, 2018 9:13am
yes that has happened to a lot of my friends except for me i tend to put on weight when binge eating , i mean food is great who doesn't like food
July 21st, 2018 2:30pm
I think it's possible. Typically, a binge eating episode is about once a week and the body can handle an excess in calories without contributing to (noticeable) weight gain. If a person has multiple episodes a week, then they are less likely to be thin because those with BED do not participate in compensatory behaviors.
August 3rd, 2018 2:29am
Absolutely! Contrary to what's widely believed, eating disorders don't look a certain way. They present themselves in different ways, and a person with a thin complexion can indeed have a binge eating disorder. just like someone with a more robust complexion can have anorexia. Eating disorders are a symptom of a mental health issue, after all!
August 12th, 2018 6:07am
Yes, you can be thin and have a binge eating disorder. But, binge eating is unhealthy and can eventually add weight.
August 16th, 2018 7:18pm
No one has to be thin to have a binge eating disorder. Same goes for any eating disorder. People need to understand that thin people aren't the only people with eating disorders. There are many people out there who aren't "thin" who have eating disorders. Being thin is a stereotype for someone who has an eating disorder. When in fact, many people who are overweight can have an eating disorder too. They can't help how their body looks, and they either eat, or they try to not eat, or they binge and purge. The only thing people with eating disorders should be told is that they can be dangerous. Not that they have to be thin to have on, or have one to be thin.
August 17th, 2018 2:46pm
Binge eating disorder is a serious condition characterized by uncontrollable eating and resulting weight gain. However it does not depend upon being thin or fat.Metabolism is the controlling factor on your weight control.Binge disorder is a mental condition.If your metabolism is high it can process at a faster rate what you eat and you may not get fat.Weight cannot define any disorder you are having except obesity.Also binge order can be genetic in nature.They may be temporary or permanent in nature.It's better to consult a professional in this situation and not judge it based on appearances.Your size is not in relation to an eating disorder.
September 14th, 2018 12:40am
Yes! You can be. Binge eating disorder (or BED for short) is diagnosed based on someones behaviour, not on a persons weight. It's a really common myth that people have to be a certain weight when in reality you often cannot tell whether someone has binge eating disorder just by looking at them. If you or someone you know is struggling with this I advise you to reach out to someone you trust! Whether that's a friend, family member, therapist or a 7 Cups listener. Hope this is helpful!
November 11th, 2018 3:08am
Yes you can, being thin doesn't define your struggles. What you are going through is completely vaild regardless of weight
December 6th, 2018 3:17am
The most important thing everyone needs to know is that you don't have to look like you have an eating disorder to have one. Eating disorders do not pick their targets. For example, people who suffer from anorexia aren't always rich white girls who strive for perfection out of pure vanity. In the same way, not everyone that has binge eating disorder is fat. They could have a great superhuman metabolism, be a chronic exercise addict or have medical or hereditary factles that prevents them from gaining weight. One of my brothers would consume thousands of calories a day since he was very young and now even though he is 18 years old, he never weighed a pound above 120 lbs. The fridge would be full of food and snacks one day, and he would eat everything we had at night then go to sleep. Possibly it's the fact that he exercises a lot, but I'm aware that he binge eats but he is still very slim.