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Thursday, 15 February 2018 14:58

Disordered Eating Patterns

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The other day I touched on the subject of disordered eating. Today I want to take a deeper look at some basic disordered eating paterns that were designated as "disordered eating styles" from Self Magazine a few years back (still very relevent today, maybe even more so). 

If you have been plagued with dieting literally all your life and still haven't gotten your weight down permanently it's time to explore the possibility that you may need more professional support dealing with food issues. I would suggest both a qualified nutritionist and a therapist specializing is eating disorders, or even Overeaters Anonymous if your budget doesn't allow for professional counseling. The following are some patterns of eating that are just not normal and need to be modified in a more healthy way. Do you see yourself, or know someone else caught up in any of these disordered eating categories?

Calorie prisoners are terrified of gaining weight, tend to see food as good or bad, and feel extremely guilty if they indulge in something that’s off-limits. My comment: First, food is not good or bad, some is just better for you.  Obviously when you are actively trying to lose weight it’s better to stick with more healthy foods and less of it to lose weight, but a small indulgence shouldn't be the end of the world either. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with monitoring your weight once or twice a week as long as it is actually helps you. (It's ideal for Step 3 as long as it does not set you up feeling bad about yourself!) but if weighing yourself that frequently literally changes your entire mood or you kick the scale, stick to once a week weigh-ins.

Secret eaters binge on junk food at home, in the car — wherever they won't be found out. My comment: Here there is blatant shame around personal eating. It's time to get honest with yourself about specifically why you are bingeing or overeating in the first place. Hiding food intake only adds more disordered eating and increases the shame around eating. If you don't ever come to understand exactly why you are eating like this, and then figure out ways to actively modify the behavior, you will never end this behavior.

Career dieters may not know what to eat without a plan to follow; despite their efforts, they're more likely than other types to be overweight or obese. My comment:This is the person who has probably dieted their entire life but does not know how to maintain a given weight. Additionally I would strongly suggest to really work on the maintenance part of your chosen diet program once you have been successful losing weight. It's been my experience that most people do not continue with maintenance long enough to solidify healthy eating and lifestyle habits. When there is no learned self-accountability, weight gain occurs quickly and old unhealthy habits return.

Food addicts eat to soothe stress, deal with anger, even celebrate a happy event; they think about food all the time. My comment: This is emotional/stress eating clear and simple, yet many people will deny it and just say "I just enjoy food" not realizing they are even eating for an emotional reason of some kind or another. I call it "stuffing feelings."

Extreme exercisers work out despite illness, injury or exhaustion and solely weight loss; they are devastated if they miss a session. My comment: I consider this a form of bulimia actually. In addition to the general public, professional actors, dancers, sports advocates and athletes can find themselves caught up in this serious disordered eating pattern affecting physical and emotional health, all in the name of their sport.

Certainly, these are not all the forms of eating disorders but it highlights the most common ones. If you repeatedly have ongoing issues related to any of these types of eating problems remember a diet won’t magically fix the problem. Food and weight are not the problem, they are more of a symptom of what might be going on in your life or something else you have not dealt with.

"Whatever your problem is you won’t find the answer in your refrigerator."

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