Binge Eating Disorder and Weight Loss

Binge Eating Disorder and Weight Loss

Binge Eating Disorder and Weight Loss Success Strategies Binge Eating Disorder and weight loss goals tend to surface with New Year’s Resolutions. However, your therapist tells you, “Trying to lose weight can trigger binge eating.” And, your dietitian tells you, “Cutting calories too much can trigger binge eating.” But you’re wondering,”I’ve gained so much weight because of binge eating, so how can I lose this excess weight in a healthy way?” Based on my 20+ years of clinical experience in the treatment of Binge Eating Disorder and Obesity, as well as my own personal experience overcoming these issues, I have some Binge Eating Disorder and Weight Loss Success Strategies to share with you. Stop Trying to Lose Weight. You’re probably thinking, “But I want to lose weight!” As strange as it may seem, weight loss happens when you stop trying so hard to make it happen. Allow weight loss to be an outcome of other goals, such as reducing or eliminating binge eating. Don’t Diet or Forbid Food. Many people with Binge Eating Disorder attempt to restrict or forbid certain foods (usually the foods they tend to binge eat). However, deprivation eventually triggers binge eating. The key is to have “permission to have” all foods in moderate amounts. Learn Mindfulness Meal Skills. Binge Eating Disorder typically involves rapidly eating large quantities of food. Incorporating mindfulness skills at mealtimes can help to restore balance to the quantity and quality of food consumed. There are many books about mindful eating – and our therapists and dietitians at Positive Pathways can give you 1-on-1 guidance. Incorporate Intuitive Eating Practices. Intuitive eating is...
Body Image Issues: How to Love Your Self

Body Image Issues: How to Love Your Self

Love Your Self – it might seem like a great concept, but how can you put it into practice, when you struggle with body image issues? You might think, “I will love myself when ___.” Fill in the blank: I lose xx pounds, my thighs don’t jiggle, I have flat abs, my arms are toned, I can fit into my skinny jeans… When I sculpt/mold/change my body into… what? The perfect body. What is this, anyway? Would your body ever be good enough? Or, despite the changes that you make to your body, would you continue to have body image issues? What if your body is already good enough, just the way it is? The body others love. Whose love are you really seeking? Is it worth it to become someone you are not in order to get others’ praise? If others love your body, would you love your body? Or, would you continue to have body image issues? What if your body is already lovable, just the way it is? The body that is fit. Who determines what fitness is? If you can run a mile, 6 miles, or 26 miles? What does fitness look like? Even if you’re a fitness model, would you still have body image issues? What if your body has its own powerful abilities, just the way it is? The body that fits in. Are you looking to fit into society’s standards of beauty? Do you really want to just blend in with the crowd? If you look just like everyone else, would you be happy? Or, would you still have body image issues? What if your...
Drunkorexia: Health Risks & Recovery Tips

Drunkorexia: Health Risks & Recovery Tips

“Drunkorexia” – it’s not a medical term, but literally, this term implies a combination of excessive alcohol consumption (“drunk”) with desire or appetite (“-orexia”). On college campuses, this term means much more than “an appetite to be drunk.” It’s used to describe the behavior of deliberately avoiding food intake and/or exercising excessively before drinking. Drunkorexia is also used to describe the behavior of self-induced vomiting after eating (to empty the stomach of food before drinking alcohol), or purging in the midst of an evening of heavy drinking (to allow for continued alcohol consumption). This is a very dangerous behavior, which can result in severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and sudden heart attack – or, an accidental overdose of alcohol, coma and sudden death. A recent article cited research by the University of Houston, which studied 1200 students who reported at least one episode of heavy drinking in the past month. 80% of students disclosed drunkorexia behaviors – including meal-skipping, self-induced vomiting, and/or laxative abuse prior to drinking. The study revealed that males are just as likely as females to engage in this behavior. (Source: Yahoo News) It’s speculated that drunkerorexia behaviors are motivated by the individual’s interest to prevent weight gain from the calories in excessive alcohol consumption, by avoiding calories from food itself. Another possibility is that the lack of food in the gut will result in a “quicker buzz,” and an overall intensified effect from alcohol consumption. Is drunkorexia a type of Eating Disorder? In part, yes. One of the diagnostic criteria for Anorexia Nervosa, a type of eating disorder, is “intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat, or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain, even...
Eating Disorders and Valentine’s Day Sadness

Eating Disorders and Valentine’s Day Sadness

February 14th is St. Valentine’s Day – which has been celebrated as a day of romance for many years. Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making this the second most popular card-sending day after Christmas (Source: History.com). And then there are all the flowers, jewelry and other gifts – and of course, chocolates in a heart-shaped box. If you are currently in a relationship with a “significant other,” then this time of year may be very special to you. However, if you have recently gone through a breakup – or, if you have been single for a while – then you might think of St. Valentine’s Day as “St. Sadness Day.” If your eating disorder (ED) seems like the only relationship you have, and you’re tempted to binge on those chocolates (or engage in other ED behaviors) – consider these strategies instead: Name Your Feelings: You may notice a sense of discomfort, or an awareness of low energy levels – see if you can get more specific, and identify the actual feelings you are experiencing. Sadness? Loneliness? Grief? Depression? Explore WHY You Have These Feelings: Perhaps you feel sad because you know that no one is going to buy you a romantic card or give you flowers. You might feel lonely, because you realize that you don’t have anyone to spend this “special day” with. Maybe you are thinking about previous years, when you were in a relationship – and you are grieving the loss of this relationship. You might even feel depressed, because you wonder if you will ever find that “special someone” to share your life with. Although these...
New Years Resolution: Don’t Diet!

New Years Resolution: Don’t Diet!

It’s the New Year – and according to Time Magazine, 39.6% of people surveyed set a resolution to lose weight this year. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese (BMI ≥ 30). Some of the health risks commonly associated with obesity include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Many people who are overweight or obese want to lose weight as a means of reducing these risks. However – typical diets, exercise and weight loss programs address the symptom of excess weight through the control of caloric intake and expenditure. The Binge Eating Disorder Association reports that about one-third of people enrolled in commercial weight loss centers have Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – and dieting has been shown to cause binge eating, especially in people who already have BED. There is only so much “willpower” that can be used as a means of adhering to restrictive diets, and numerous studies have shown that 90-95% of dieters regain any weight they lose within 1-5 years. Diets don’t work – so what will work to lose weight (and keep it off)? Here is some “Don’t Diet” food for thought: Stop Trying to Lose Weight – instead, focus on health gains. According to Linda Bacon, the author of Health At Every Size and founder of the HAES™ community, overall health is more important than any number on a scale. In fact, many people who are a “normal weight” or “underweight” may not be healthy. Who is to say what BMI is truly healthy for each individual? With health as a goal, the achievement of a healthy weight...