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...
Sugar Addiction: Eat More Protein and Crave Less Sugar

Sugar Addiction: Eat More Protein and Crave Less Sugar

Sugar addiction – a behavior of binge eating sugary foods – is a problem reported by many people, especially at this time of year, when Halloween candy is so prevalent! Some “sugar addicts” attempt to abstain from sugar, only to find that restriction can trigger binge eating. As I discussed in my last blog (August 18, 2016), carbohydrates are essential for health, and sufficient carbohydrate consumption can reduce cravings for sweets. Now, let’s look at the importance of protein. I find very few of my clients are fearful of protein, which seems to stem from the messages from the media telling us that if we consume lots of protein, that means we will lose weight and fit into society’s view of perfection. I specifically just read an article saying protein can help us lose belly fat. Honestly? Let’s think about that a minute. How can eating a chicken breast cause fat in our belly to shrink? Keep in mind that everything we eat breaks down into calories. If we over consume calories, we gain weight; if we restrict calories, we’ll lose weight. We should consume a variety of nutrients from all food groups. We do not gain or lose weight from certain foods, but rather from calories. For example – if we eat fat, it does not immediately turn into fat in the body, nor does protein foods immediately turn into muscle in the body. All food breaks down to calories and the body uses them where they’re needed or burns off what isn’t needed. To better explain this, let’s say you overall eat a balanced diet and your weight is...
Sugar Addiction: Why Am I Constantly Craving Sweets?

Sugar Addiction: Why Am I Constantly Craving Sweets?

Do you constantly crave sweets? Do you try to avoid sugar, but eventually binge? Do you wonder if you have a sugar addiction? We are constantly bombarded with conflicting nutrition messages; “Eat only foods that are fat-free or low-fat,” “Consume high fat food and lots of protein,” “Avoid all carbohydrates,” “Everyone should follow a Paleo diet,” etc. Let’s step away from the fad diet band wagon for a moment, and consider why it’s important to consume all nutrients in moderation – including carbohydrates. Foods containing carbohydrates are broken down to glucose in your body, which is the key nutrient. Examples of a few carbohydrate-rich sources are foods containing sugar like desserts or candy – as well as bread, rice, grains, lentils, potatoes, pasta, juice and fruit. Carbohydrates are an important energy source for your body, which you likely are aware of already. Not only are they important to provide energy for your body but they also provide fuel for your brain to function. Glucose is the only nutrient that can cross into your brain to be used as fuel to allow you to concentrate and think clearly. What is often not talked about is how important carbohydrates are for the production of making the messenger’s in your brain, specifically serotonin, which is responsible for functions such as making you feel happy and relaxed, as well as helping you sleep, regulate your blood pressure properly, have pain sensitivity and control your mood. Have you put carbohydrates into a “bad food” category? Especially sugar – have you told yourself that you should never eat sugar, because you have a “sugar addiction”?...
Eating Disorders and DBT: Finding a New Relationship with Food

Eating Disorders and DBT: Finding a New Relationship with Food

Eating disorders and DBT skills can go hand-in-hand – to find a new relationship with food. We often think of spring as a time for new growth – flowers are blooming, trees are blossoming, and life begins anew. We can relate this to our relationship to food – making new choices, feeling rejuvenated and getting a fresh start in recovery. However, every so often we’ll be in the midst of powerful changes with a spring-like attitude – then a massive snow storm will occur, and we feel discouraged and set back! Exploring eating disorders and DBT skills – with the DBT skill called Radical Acceptance – you can accept where you are, change your attitude, and move forward in a healthy and powerful way! Radical Acceptance means to look at your life in a new way. Instead of striving for perfectionism, why not strive for being healthy and giving yourself permission to feel the way you feel, even on a gloomy day. Let’s say you have been making healthy eating choices and making changes in your relationship with food, then something stressful happens, or it’s snowing out, or you feel sad or lonely and you decide to binge eat. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP! Instead try these four Radical Acceptance steps: 1. What was your role in what happened? 2. What was another person or situation’s role in what happened? 3. Accept what happened, even if you don’t like it, but realize that you can’t change the past. 4. Find a healthy coping skill to combat the pain. Also, realize that you have the POWER to make a new choice next time and it...
Eating Disorders Therapy: How Is Therapy Like Doing Laundry?

Eating Disorders Therapy: How Is Therapy Like Doing Laundry?

Eating disorders therapy can be very beneficial, and in fact necessary – and yet, eating disorders therapy can also seem like a lot of work, so it might be tempting to let issues pile up until they absolutely have to be dealt with. And then, by facing these issues a little bit at a time with lots of guidance and support, the work in eating disorders therapy isn’t so hard. The outcome of fresh perspectives and a sense of freedom from past pain is worth it! Isn’t eating disorders therapy a little bit like doing laundry? Introduction to Erica Faulhaber’s blog post written by Dr. Dorie McCubbrey, MSEd, PhD, LPC, CEDS, Owner & Clinical Director at Positive Pathways ***** Laundry – the necessary evil to get out dirt, grime, stains and unwanted stench.   A task resulting in revitalized, fresh and clean garments to go forth into the world. Doing laundry for most involves time, sorting, detergent, water and folding skills. Manufacturers provide labels that suggest hot or cold water, low or high heat and “lay flat to dry” or the fan favorite “dry clean only.” Who really likes doing laundry? There may be a few folks out there that enjoy this task, but for the most part it is just something that needs to get done. Like laundry, therapy is an option to get out the gunk – it may take longer than the standard seventy-minute wash cycle, but it will be well worth it! I think of coming to therapy (including eating disorders therapy) like coming into a laundromat. You bring a bag or two or three, and we will start to work...
Food Addiction vs. Binge Eating Disorder

Food Addiction vs. Binge Eating Disorder

Does it seem like you can’t stop eating once you start? Are especially unable to control your intake of sugar? Have you ever wondered if you are addicted to food? Food is NOT a drug! It’s physiologically impossible to be addicted to food, in the same sense that an individual can be addicted to alcohol, cocaine, heroin or other drugs. Drug addiction is a progressive disease of the brain, where an individual develops chemical dependency with chronic drug use over a period of time. Once drug addiction develops, an addict “needs” that drug to prevent painful and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. However, with proper abstinence-based treatment, the addict in recovery can function without drug use of any kind. We don’t need drugs to live. But we need food to live. Sugar is NOT a drug! It is a carbohydrate which our bodies use for energy and brain function. Table sugar — or sucrose — is a simple carbohydrate, like lactose (the natural sugar in milk), or fructose (the natural sugar in fruit). Whether fructose or lactose or sucrose, once in our bodies, all simple sugars are broken down into the simplest — glucose. If you have ever had your “blood sugar” measured, it’s actually the level of glucose in your blood which is being assessed. It’s very normal and necessary to have sugar in our blood, brains and bodies! So if we’re not really addicted to food, and specifically sugar — then what the heck is going on when it feels so impossible to stop binge eating, especially foods which contain sugar? Just like an alcoholic is told, “One drink is too many,...
Binge Eating Help for the Holidays

Binge Eating Help for the Holidays

Making Peace With Food During the Holidays Cheesecake and poundcake and fruitcake, oh my!  It can be challenging to be surrounded by so much food during the Holidays. You might tell yourself you just won’t have any of those sweet treats you really like… only to find yourself obsessing about eating them, and then ultimately binge eating and possibly purging. What would it be like to make peace with food this year during the Holidays? Binge eating help is here! Try these Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ strategies at the next Holiday Buffet or Family Gathering you attend: 1. Check in with your hunger.  Your body’s unique hunger signals are a direct link to your intuitive wisdom. When you pause to align with your hunger, you can work with your body to overcome anorexic avoidance or binge behaviors. How hungry are you right now?  What subtle signs indicate you are feeling hungry? What specific food would best satisfy your hunger?  Is that specific food available at the buffet or party you’re attending?  If not, what can you substitute to adequately address your body’s need for specific nutrients? Do you have a snack with you which you could enjoy instead? 2. Check in with your desire.  The sight and smell of food can trigger a desire to eat. These desires for food can feel confusing and sometimes overwhelming. When you pause to notice your various desires for food, you can clarify your true desires and eat intuitively rather than impulsively. What specific foods do you have a desire to eat right now? Are there some which have more appeal than others? If you could only choose...
How to Stop Binge Eating Halloween Candy

How to Stop Binge Eating Halloween Candy

10 Steps to Stop Binge Eating and Make Peace with Food Trick or Treat? If you struggle with Binge Eating Disorder or Food Addiction, then Halloween can be a tricky time of year. You have to pass by all of those bags of candy in the aisles at the store, and you have to overcome the urge to buy several bags of candy “for trick-or-treaters.” Who would know all of that candy was just binge food for you? Perhaps you actually do buy candy with the real intention to give it to the children who come by your home on Halloween. What do you do with the candy until that night? Do you hide it, so it’s out of sight, and hopefully out of mind? Do you wait until the day of Halloween to buy the candy, so that it’s not around, tempting you? Even if you wait until that day, how do you keep your own hand out of the candy bowl that night? It’s such a trick. People with Binge Eating Disorder and Food Addiction often have to work very hard to fight off cravings for sweets. It’s a game of all-or-nothing — where many people with eating disorders can’t stop eating binge foods once they start, so they try to abstain from any trigger foods. But doesn’t this leave you feeling deprived? Don’t you wish you could have a few pieces of candy and stop? It can be a treat. What would happen if you really could have 3 or 4 mini-packets of candy, without binge eating? Here’s how you can make peace with Halloween candy. Try these...