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The Brain over Binge Recovery Guide: A Simple and Personalized Plan for Ending Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder Paperback – January 11, 2016
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"Kathryn's Recovery Guide is brilliant! She breaks down the science and explains in easy-to-understand language how to stop binge eating. This is a must read for anyone looking to finally get a handle on their unhealthy eating patterns." -Stacey Cohen, Integrative Health & Lifestyle Coach
"The Brain over Binge Recovery Guide is a deep dive into the concepts of Kathryn's original book, Brain over Binge. She insightfully anticipates the typical roadblocks her readers will experience, and, in her compassionate expert manner, gives us very actionable and understandable alternate ways to think and behave. I loved Brain over Binge and now have another excellent resource to share with my own clients who struggle with binge eating." -Cookie Rosenblum, MA, Master Weight Loss Coach & Author of "Clearing Your Path to Permanent Weight Loss"
"This book is a game changer. It's transformative both for people with bulimia and for therapists and treatment centers alike. I'd recommend to anyone who's looking for a new approach to traditional therapy or who has had recovery relapses to give Kathryn's techniques a try."-Polly Mertens, Eating Disorder Recovery Coach & Recovered Bulimic
"Kathryn's approach to overcoming binge eating is the most useful and effective I have ever found. Her writings take all of the drama out of eating disorders and simply deliver pure, rational principles in an easy and understandable way. The intent is clear that this is just to help you get better and nothing more ... and it has transformed my life forever." - Lydia Wente, Lifestyle Coach & Recovered Binge Eater
About the Author
Kathryn Hansen recovered from bulimia in 2005; she is now dedicated to educating and empowering women and men who struggle with binge eating. She is the author of "Brain over Binge: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn’t Work, and How I Recovered for Good."
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There is a simplicity in this approach: 1. Learn to recognize and say no to urges and 2. eat adequately. I personally noticed that my urges dramatically subsided with eating regularly and enough. My urges beyond that are much easier to see as separate from myself and therefore I did not need to act on them.
This book also addresses non-binge eating including non-hungry urges and emotional eating. I realized that my emotional eating triggers really do try to address an emotional lack with food. Now, I know that these can be dealt with other self soothing techniques I've learned form other books (End Emotional Eating).
Most importantly, this book really gives HOPE. That yes, we can all recover. I now believe I'm in recovery. I have the insight to face the urges eagerly knowing that I can rewire my brain. The book addresses how important getting excited to be recovered is.
Kathryn Hansen and Amy Johnson have captured the best self help guide here that I've ever read or heard about.
I'm 40 yrs old and I've been struggling with EDs for over 30 years. I have confidence to face my urges and I'm in control of nourishing my body.
--The layout of the book makes it very easy to complete. You can do it step-by-step (which makes more sense for some parts of the book), and you can skip around some, too, if needed. Ms. Hansen regularly states that it is ideal if the reader takes only what she or he needs from the book and goes with it, which allows a degree of flexibility. I think it may also be building my confidence, too--that *I* can make decisions about what I do and don't need, instead of a regimented plan of some sort being prescribed to me.
--I had believed for years that I was the voice of my urges, and that I had to argue with myself to keep from binge-eating (which often didn't work). Gaining insight into just how different those urges are from who I really am was astounding. When I looked at the words I used to describe myself versus those I used to describe my urges, I couldn't believe it. There it was, in black and white, that the urges AREN'T ME. Who knew? I sure didn't. I really thought that there was something wrong with me, and that I'd developed disordered eating early in life due to my family-of-origin issues and perfectionist tendencies. It was so frustrating that no amount of insight-oriented psychotherapy could help me change my behavior. And now I know why--restrictive dieting. Did restrictive dieting developing due to some of the things going on in my life? Yes, probably at least in part. But those things didn't directly start my binge-eating and purging, and they certainly weren't maintaining those habits all of these years.
--I am almost embarrassed at how my mind was blown at the idea of eating adequately. I did have a grasp on the basics of current nutritional recommendations (I think most people w/ED do), but there was information on how much food I actually need per day that was completely new to me. And the idea of eating when I'm hungry to reduce binge urges--you would think a freaking light bulb had exploded over my head! I believe that allowing myself eat adequately over the past two weeks has strongly supported my newly-found ability to dismiss binge urges.
--The perspective presented on "food addiction" was extraordinarily helpful. I was just coming out of a "failed" attempt to lose weight through a (fairly expensive and very en vogue) online program aimed at food addicts. [This program provided everyone with the exact same food plan. Given my tendency toward plant-based foods and my particular food tastes, I found that I was coming in around 800-900 calories per day. When I expressed my concern about this to the "coaches" in the program, I was told that, "We don't count calories in XYZ program." I guess not, because if you did, you'd know why you were dropping all of that weight so fast.] Anyway, I loved how Ms. Hansen discussed that, yes, sugar and highly processed foods can be "addictive" in a sense, but that this DOES NOT NEGATE CHOICE. I hesitate to use the word "brainwashed" regarding the aforementioned program, but I was told so many times that I was so highly susceptible to foods containing sugar and flour that I really started to believe that abstinence was my only option. However, I now feel much more confident that I can eat (at least some) of these foods in moderation in the future because I have a CHOICE as to what and how much I eat. I'm not just functioning on a lizard brain here. Related to this area, it's possible that this book saved me from additional years of ongoing struggle and anxiety secondary to overly restrictive program to which I had begun to adhere.
--Some of the exercises look simple, but I was amazed at how I had never questioned my thoughts in such a rational way (nor had my therapists over the years). For example, when I first looked at the material on defining my own "binge" definition, I started to balk. I mean, I know what a binge is, right? Do I really need to do this? It turned out that I did need to do it. It was so helpful for me to really pin down what I was going to be targeting, and it made identifying the binge urges easier, too. That being said, I would encourage readers not to skip the introductory exercises. They may be more helpful than you think.
--Ms. Hansen's arguments against restrictive dieting make so much sense. Of course I'm going to feel like binge-eating when I restrict my food--I'm legitimately hungry! Upon perusing the information in the book about ways to ensure adequate eating, I decided to call a very reputable nutritionist in my area and set up an appointment to talk about my personal eating plan. She looked so clearly happy when I told her that I was not going to diet anymore (seriously--her eyes lit up), and that just confirmed my decision to trash restrictive eating for good.
I have no doubt that I still have a great deal of progress to make in the future with my eating. I definitely still question my food choices, and I have a lot of "shoulds" and "should nots" about food that I'd never even noticed until I was really allowing myself to eat. But I know that if I continue to work on the material in this book and with my nutritionist, I will be able to eventually gain confidence in my choices. I've also actually lost several pounds since I stopped restricting/binge-eating/purging. I never would have imagined that, since I believed that I was "getting rid" of all the binge foods I ate (this was clearly not the case). So, that's a nice side effect, for sure.
It's probably pretty obvious that I would recommend this workbook. I did not read the original book, and I don't think you need to in order to benefit from this one. My sincere thanks to Ms. Hansen and her collaborators for writing this--I am deliriously happy with how much progress I've made in such a short amount of time, and I feel so much more peaceful and at ease in my day-to-day life. I am truly grateful.
UPDATE: It has now been over 7 months since the last time I binged or purged. I no longer fit criteria for any Eating Disorder. I couldn't be more grateful to Ms. Hansen and the contributors to this workbook, and I still strongly encourage anyone struggling with binge-eating to try this.