By learning how to make healthier and more mindful food choices, you may be able to control compulsive eating, binging, and weight gain. What we eat affects how we feel. Food should make us feel good. It tastes great and nourishes our bodies. If you eat too little or eat too much, however, your health and quality of life could be affected. This can result in negative feelings toward food.
By taking charge of your appetite, you may also gain a feeling of calm, high energy levels, and alertness from the food you eat.
Using food to cope is no way to EAT
Experts believe many factors can influence our feelings about food and our eating behaviors. These factors include; Cultural, Social, Family, Individual, Economic status and Psychological.
Many people use food as a coping mechanism to deal with feelings such as stress, boredom, or anxiety, or even to prolong feelings of joy. While this may help in the short term, eating to soothe and ease your feelings often leads to regret and guilt, and can even increase the negative feelings. You aren’t actually coping with the problem causing the stress. Further, your self-image may suffer as you gain weight.
While we often have the best intentions to eat healthier, this is often a challenging task.
Eating Disorder And Psychology
Although common perceptions regarding eating disorders involve a belief that the afflicted person has a desire to be thin, more often than not, there are other underlying causes behind an eating disorder
According to statistics provided by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), there are at least 24 million people in the United States alone who suffer from eating disorders. This includes people of all ages and both genders and can result in premature death or other serious health problems.
Several conditions usually are associated with eating disorders. These coexisting factors can include mental disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, or depression. Other contributing issues consist of cultural or family input, abuse, PTSD or other high-stress life events. Examples of these factors can be abuse experienced as a child or adult, assault, death of a loved one.
In spite of the fact that professional help typically is required to help someone with an eating disorder, it is estimated that only 10 percent of people with these disorders actually receive treatment. Out of the people who receive treatment, fewer than half will get treated at a facility that specializes in eating disorders.
Although women are more likely to develop an eating disorder, men are less likely to seek help. This is a problem because if an eating disorder is left untreated, it can cause many adverse health issues. These include heart problems, acid reflux, brain damage, issues associated with obesity and, in extreme cases, death.
Once an eating disorder takes hold, it can start a cycle of unhealthy behavior which makes it even more important to seek treatment as soon as possible. With the help and support of trained professionals, or a residential treatment program, the likelihood of successfully treating an eating disorder is significantly increased.
The causes of eating disorders are not completely understood and can vary for each individual. Working to treat core issues is an essential factor in the overall treatment process. An eating disorder can result as a survival mechanism to help a person cope with other experiences or influences and can be extremely difficult to treat without professional help.
Finally, an eating disorder is an illness that is receptive to treatment and should be brought to the attention of a health care professional.
Possible Solutions For Eating Disorders
Cognitive therapy addresses how you think about food. It helps you recognize self-defeating patterns of thinking that can undermine your success at eating healthier and managing your weight/weight loss. It also helps you learn and practice using positive coping self-statements.
Examples of positive coping self-statements include:
- “I realize that I am overeating. I need to think about how I can stop this pattern of behavior.”
- ” Theres need to understand what triggered my overeating, so I can create a plan to cope with it if I encounter the trigger again.”
- “Am I really hungry or is this just a craving? I will wait to see if this feeling passes.”
To lose weight, it’s helpful to change your thinking. Weight management is about making a lifestyle change. It’s not going to happen if you rely on short-term diet after diet to lose weight.
To be successful, be aware of the role that eating plays in your life, and learn how to use positive thinking and behavioral coping strategies to manage your eating and your weight.
Another method aside cognitive thinking is “The diary”. The diary can help you get a better understanding of what you eat and why you eat it. It also can help your doctor, therapist, or dietitian work with you. This will then help to make the necessary changes for successful weight management.