Read one of my favorite eating disorders books:
There are so many myths about eating and weight. It can help a great deal to read one of my favorite eating disorders books.
How to stop emotional eating
Emotional eating is when you reach for food as a way to soothe painful feelings. You aren’t hungry but it’s hard to stop overeating. The shame that follows is devastating and leads to even more eating. You may end up gaining weight. Don’t forget: You are helping yourself in the best way you know how.
The solution to emotional eating is to learn how to cope with painful feelings and use them productively to make changes in your life and relationships. I highly recommend this book as a way to get started: Lasagna for Lunch: Declaring Peace with Emotional Eating by Mary Anne Cohen.
How to stop binge eating
Binge Eating Disorder is when you eat a large amount of food at one time, way beyond the point of being full. In fact, whether you are hungry or full is not even on your mind. All you know is that you want food now and lots of it. During the binge, you feel nothing, numb, “checked out.” It feels impossible to stop bingeing. Afterwards, you may feel intense shame and disgust.
Remind yourself that the binge is a way to get rid of your feelings. It works temporarily, no matter how bad you feel afterwards. The binge is your clue to yourself that something is going very wrong in your life and you need help with it. Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from Your Eating Disorder by Joanna Poppink, is a compassionate, well-loved book that will help you on your road to recovery. It is a good first step in your binge eating treatment plan.
Food addiction help
Food addiction is not really an addiction, because you can’t become addicted to food. You need food to survive. However, you feel addicted, and that is what counts. That feeling can lead to intense cravings for food, overeating and bingeing.
Karen Koenig, in her book Starting Monday: Seven Keys to a Permanent, Positive Relationship with Food, addresses food addiction by asking “Why can’t I just say no to food?” Is it the food itself, or is there something in the way of achieving your health and fitness goals? The author provides hope and concrete actions to developing a permanent, positive relationship with food.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is a determined effort to focus on your hunger, the food you are eating, and your sensation of fullness. It is a key part of binge eating treatment.
The idea is to enjoy your food rather than eating so fast you don’t get any satisfaction. Eating in a mindful fashion helps you to feel more control over food and makes it easier to stop before you find yourself bingeing or overeating. Mindful eating is the opposite of mindless food addiction. My favorite book about mindful eating is Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating: A Mindful Eating Program for Healing Your Relationship with Food and Your Body by Michelle May, MD.
What is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating is an expression that became widely known in a book by that name, written by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in 1995 and now in its 3rd edition (2012). According to the authors: “While Intuitive Eating includes the principles of mindful eating, it also encompasses a broader philosophy, addressing the issues of cognitive distortions and emotional eating. It includes seeing satisfaction as a focal point in eating, physical activity/movement for the sake of feeling good, rejecting the dieting mentality, using nutrition information without judgment, and respecting your body, regardless of how you feel about its shape.” Stop overeating by practicing intuitive eating.
What can we learn from science about losing weight?
There is a tremendous amount of pressure in our society to be thin. Some of it comes from health care professionals. This pressure may contribute to an endless cycle of dieting, followed by overeating. After you lose weight, you find yourself rebounding toward your old weight or even higher. Binge eating treatment must be based on scientific research, not popular myths about weight loss.
You may be surprised by what you read in Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Leave Out, Get Wrong, or Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight, by Linda Bacon, PhD, & Lucy Aphramor, PhD, RD.
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