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: 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: Physical vs. Emotional Eating

Eating Disorders: Physical vs. Emotional Eating

As a Registered Dietitian, part of my role is to provide education about nutrition. I recently taught a class on emotional vs. physical eating. I started the class by asking who felt they were an emotional eater, at which point about half of the class identified they emotionally ate. How about you? Let’s identify what exactly physical vs. emotional eating means, and discover which category you fall into majority of the time. CLICK THE CHART TO VIEW IN LARGER SIZE After I spent some time explaining this chart, the whole class was able to identify that they all do indeed emotionally eat. The reality is, we all emotionally eat at times – but, we each have differences in the frequency that it happens and the quantity of food consumed. We all link food with certain memories and we’re either taught or have learned to use food for enjoyment, to comfort ourselves, or try to satisfy a particular emotion we’re feeling. There is actually nothing wrong with some emotional eating; I bet you didn’t think you’d hear that from a dietitian! Emotional eating does become a problem, though, when it begins to affect someone’s weight negatively – with significant fluctuations, either up or down. Emotional eating is also a problem if it starts to control someone’s life to the point where food becomes their primary coping tool, leading to a complete loss of the ability to eat according to true physical hunger/fullness cues. So, maybe it’s time to stop beating ourselves up if we have a little something because it just sounds comforting or good. What would happen if you actually acknowledged that some emotional...
Eating Disorders Dietitian & Nutrition Counseling

Eating Disorders Dietitian & Nutrition Counseling

My name is Janelle Hunt, and as a Registered Dietitian, I’m excited to be joining the team of therapists at Positive Pathways! I’ve specialized in treating Eating Disorders for the past twelve years, and I am an EDIT™ Certified Counselor who can offer nutrition counseling and much more. I welcome the opportunity to be a guide on your journey of recovery! What can I expect when I work with a dietitian? I’ve found that many of clients have either had bad experiences with dietitians or are confused at the role an eating disorders dietitian can play in their recovery. First of all, I’m not going to change everything you are currently eating! I focus on taking the judgment out of what you eat or don’t eat and help you learn to understand your intuitive cues. Your current and previous behaviors and dietary intake have likely played the role as a coping tool, so it’s important to understand this and give yourself grace during the recovery process. We work together as a team, and I find a balance to point out ways we can work on adjusting your dietary intake to help you decrease behaviors and meet your individual goals. What can I learn about nutrition to support my recovery? Certain nutrient deficiencies or the way we eat can greatly impact depression, anxiety, mental function, as well as how we feel physically. So, it’s my job as an eating disorders dietitian to guide you to achieve an overall better sense of well-being. I will help you work on eliminating your good and bad thinking around food as I believe we can incorporate all food into our...
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...
Eating Disorder Support Groups

Eating Disorder Support Groups

I remember what it was like when I was struggling with eating disorders – I tried to hide my eating disorder behaviors from others, I justified my actions if I was confronted, and I denied that I had a problem. I felt ashamed about my eating disorder behaviors, confused because I couldn’t control them, and afraid to ask for help. To cover up all of those uncomfortable feelings, I turned to my eating disorder even more. Can you relate? Eventually, I had a moment of honesty with myself – I admitted that I had an eating disorder, and that I needed help. I had a friend who was in school to be a social worker, and I contacted her to see if she had any resources for me. She told me about eating disorder support groups in my area, and suggested that I start there. What?!? Walk into a room full of people I don’t know, with the label eating disorder stuck to me? My friend explained that other people at eating disorder support groups probably felt the same way when they went to their first meeting. She added that although I might not know anyone, that we would all share a similar experience – and that I would quickly feel understood and connected with others. Really? There are other people like me? I won’t have to feel so alone any more? I contacted the facility where the eating disorder support groups were held, to get some additional information, and to ease my worry about what to expect. I learned that there were usually 4-6 people at the eating disorder support groups, and that the groups were led by...
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...