Tag Archives: eating disorders

Your Relationship With Food


While I don’t think there is anything wrong with occasional over eating, after all, many things propel us to gorge ourselves into a food coma. Relationship ending, failing an exam, being let down by others, etc.  However, you cannot ignore there is a problem, when you hide the habit from others, feel ashamed, and tried to stop on your own.

Overeating can have many causes, but they all produce the same result. You gain weight and feel like you’re out of control. While you may  blame yourself for lacking willpower or not trying hard enough, there could be something else at work. The real reasons (besides the mental and psychological aspects) why you eat more than you intend, may surprise you, and some are relatively easy to fix. 

There are many common lifestyle habits that tend to undermine a healthy diet. Take a look at this list to find out which things you’ll want to do differently.

Dealing with Eating Habits That Make You Overindulge:

  1. Be flexible. You may think you’re being virtuous for starting a super-strict diet, but being too rigid can backfire. Allowing yourself a few treats can keep you from feeling so deprived, that you wind up eating an entire pizza.
  2. Shrink your menu. On the other hand, planning your meals and snacks around a limited number of healthy foods can help you eat less. The lack of variety dampens your appetite.
  3. Eat mindfully. A lot of overeating happens when you’re busy with something else. Sit down and pay attention to your food instead of watching TV. Beware of nibbling while you’re preparing meals or lingering at the table after dinner.
  4. Slow down. A leisurely pace gives your brain time to tell your stomach that you’re full. Chew thoroughly and pause between bites.
  5. Listen to cravings. Intense urges are usually trying to tell you something important. Eating light snacks can keep you from getting so hungry that you long for junk food.
  6. Avoid low fat foods. Did you know that low fat foods are usually only about 10% lower in calories? Plus, they’re often higher in sugar and sodium, which can make you want to eat more.
  7. Limit artificial sweeteners. Sweetness is one of the signs your brain uses to try to determine how much to eat based on how many calories a food has. Artificial sweeteners make those calculations difficult. Over time, your brain loses the ability to make correct judgements.

Dealing with Other Lifestyle Habits That Make You Overindulge:

  1. Sleep well. A lack of sleep can make you want to eat more and make it difficult for your body to digest food efficiently. Go to bed early on a consistent basis so you can get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
  2. Socialize wisely. We tend to eat more when we have company. Be especially vigilant when you’re enjoying holiday dinners and office parties. Try to find a lunch mate who eats healthy, so you can support each other.
  3. Exercise more. Physical activity burns calories and helps to fight depression and anxiety, which can lead to overeating. Aim to work out at least 30 minutes a day 3 times a week.
  4. Deal with your feelings. While it’s natural to associate food with celebrations and comfort, it’s important to have other ways of managing your emotions. Call a friend or write in your journal.
  5. Talk with your doctor. A slice of cake rarely does much harm, but sometimes there are deeper issues at work. If you binge frequently or feel guilty and ashamed about your eating, talk with your doctor. Effective treatments are available.

Understanding the reason why you overindulge is the first step in finding solutions that enable you to stick to a balanced diet, and maintain a healthy weight. Use these tips to take control of your eating, so you can stay fit and enjoy your food more.

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Understanding Binge Eating and It’s Treatment


Photo: Yay Images

For several months, Chindeep has looked at the various Anxiety and Mood disorders, as part of the mental health series, the focus now shifts to eating disorders., the most prevalent eating disorder in the USA.

The I don’t know about you, but I gained about 15-20 pounds in the past two years. Pre pandemic, I was out and about in the community, walking between 10-20k steps per day, fit as ever. Sitting at home, dying from boredom, it became impossible to control my cravings. Did I binge eat? Hell Yeah. More than once? You betcha. Disgusted, I looked inward. Binge-eating involves more than simply overeating, it is a mental health related related disorder, associated with inappropriate eating habits and challenging emotions. 

Binge-Eating Defined
Binge-eating is a medical and psychological condition during which a person eats large amounts of food over short periods of time. Regardless of the signals their bodies send that they’re full, those who binge, to continue eat amounts of food that surpass normal portions. Binge-eating involves more than just eating a double portion of a favorite food. Those who binge might eat 2 cheeseburgers, followed by a half gallon of ice cream, and a box of cookies. 

Typical Thinking Patterns
One who binge-eats engages in unhealthy thinking patterns, which drive them to over-eat. They might feel powerless to arrest aggressive eating behaviors. Even though you might believe a person would feel too ashamed to binge-eat, the fact is that shame can actually emotionally fuel a binge-eating episode. 

Experiencing uncomfortable feelings such as self-loathing and shame is a hallmark symptom of someone who’s dealing with binge-eating. Many people who struggle with binging also have distorted body images. They might believe they’re obese when actually they’re within normal weight standards or only mildly overweight. 

On the other hand, a person who binge-eats could also weigh considerably more than the weight charts recommend for her height and age.  Although the condition does occur in males, it occurs more often in females. Recognize that people who binge can discover optimism and confidence to live successful lives in recovery.

Effective Treatments for Binge-Eating at a glance

  1. Self-help groups. As an example, Overeaters Anonymous can provide wonderful, understanding emotional support for people who struggle.
  2. Individual cognitive therapy. For those who require more professional help, attending individual therapy sessions can make a huge difference. Cognitive therapy is conducted by a trained therapist who works to confront the individual’s distorted body image, unhealthy thinking patterns, and feelings of shame.  Encouraging the person who binge-eats to surround herself with understanding, supportive family and friends is another way a therapist motivates someone in recovery.
  1. Family therapy. If the person who’s dealing with binging is a teen, family therapy in addition to individual therapy can be a life-saver. Difficult family relationships can be confronted and addressed. Everyone learns to relate in healthier ways, which can serve to reduce binging behavior.
  1. Intensive day treatment. In the event you require more intensive treatment than individual, family therapy, and self-help group attendance, intensive day treatment may be an option. These programs provide 2 to 6 hours of professional treatment for binge-eating 3 or more days a week, at an eating disorder treatment center. 
  1. Inpatient treatment stay. This milieu therapy provides a 100% supportive physical and emotional environment around the clock to ensure binge-eating behaviors subside and healthy eating habits increase. Outpatient follow-up treatment to provide much-needed support will be necessary as you transition back into your home environment.

Binge-eating is a medical/psychological condition that involves eating large amounts of food and experiencing emotional turmoil. People can and do overcome the challenging behaviors and feelings associated with binge-eating to embrace healthy, fulfilling lives. 

The key to recovery is recognizing when there is a problem, receiving effective treatment, while gaining caring support of friends and family members, to live a well-deserved, rewarding life. 

To Your Success,
Juan

Spot Hidden Signs of Depression In The Ones You Love.


Depression isn’t always easy to spot in loved ones, especially if they are hiding it on purpose. Last month, when I began this mental health series, I mentioned the importance of checking in on your loved ones, the strong types, who often need support, but don’t ask for it. Pillars of strength,  at the first sign of trouble, they are the ones we seek out first. Sometimes, in our own self serving world, it’s easy to miss what’s being hidden. 

Useful strategies to help you discover if your loved one is suffering from depression:

  1. Why people hide their depression. It’s easier to hide the issues than face them head on People hide their depression because they’re scared and don’t want others to know what is happening to them. They are worried about losing their jobs or kids. Embarrassment is another reason. Depression still comes with a stigma, and they don’t want it attached to them. 
  1. They may overcompensate. To hide their depression, they overcompensate by being more outgoing than usual. Studies show they force themselves to be more outgoing and give fake smiles. It’s important to them that others think all is well.
  1. They have eating disorders. Issues with food are common among those with depression, including changes in appetite. They may eat too much or too little. Their diets may be out of control. If you notice these changes,  consider why they’re happening. Food can serve as an emotional trigger, often used to make themselves feel better or worse. 
  1. They have angry outbursts. These outbursts can become more frequent as the depression gets worse. An occasional angry outburst over a terrible situation is normal for everyone. However, if you notice frequent and strange angry outbursts, then consider this as a possible cry for help. 
  1. Their sleep patterns change. Unhealthy sleep patterns are an issue for those with depression. Sleep patterns that change for no reason may be a sign of a deeper issue. They may sleep too much or too little, and may complain about not getting enough sleep, yet refuse to go to bed. 
  • It’s important to look deeper into sleep issues. Why are they having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Or, why are they staying in bed for so long? Insomnia is frequently linked to depression. 
  1. They turn to addiction. Addiction and depression are often linked together. Addiction can come in many forms; food, drugs, alcohol, gambling or other behaviors. Risky behavior is an issue for people who suffer from depression.  It’s important not to ignore their cry for help. 
  1. They hide their feelings by keeping insanely busy schedules. Work, family, and volunteer activities can fill up the day and stop them from addressing their depression.This keeps them busy, provides a distraction from thinking, and helps to keeps us from questioning them.
  1. They have trouble thinking clearly. People who suffer from depression can often make bad decisions, refuse to reach any decision, and have trouble with their thoughts. They may also show difficulty in focusing on easy things. 

? I hope these tips helps you spot hidden depression in your loved ones. If are concerned a loved one is hiding Depression, dont wait for them to approach you and initiate a discussion, it might never happen. How you approach the conversation is crucial. Don’t pretend to be a know it all. Don’t start off by telling them “ I think you might be Depressed”. Start with love, let that lead you. Think how you might want to be approached, if a loved one tried to talk to you about Depression.

To Your Success,
Juan