Emotional Eating & Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are a group of disorders that involve having an unhealthy relationship with food, and there are multiple types of disorders that may affect individuals. These disorders often begin during the young adult and teen years, and the exact cause of these issues are not fully understood. For people who want to lose weight, emotional eating and other eating disorders often stand in the way, making achieving a healthy weight more difficult. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common disorders, as well as a look at how Kristin Wood of Living Lighter can help you overcome these disorders to achieve a healthier weight.
Emotional eating is a common eating disorder and it involves using food as a way to avoid emotional discomfort, diverting attention away from emotions and offering a way to self-soothe. Emotional eaters often obsess about food, but it’s usually less about the food and more about using food as a coping mechanism for handling difficulties in life. Food becomes the top method of distraction and entertainment. In many cases, emotional eating involves indulging in high-carbohydrate and high-calorie foods, even when the individual is not hungry. Unfortunately, emotional eating can make it difficult for you to stick with a healthy diet and may contribute to obesity.
Binge eating differs from eating too much all the time. People who have a binge eating disorder have regular episodes of bingeing, eating large quantities of foods at one time. Usually individuals with a binge eating disorder feel out of control when these episodes occur, and later they feel ashamed and guilty about their eating. This behavior often turns into a vicious cycle, since feeling distressed about bingeing often leads to more bingeing. This usually results in obesity, since most people with this disorder do not fast, exercise, or purge. Some of the signs of binge eating include hoarding foods, skipping meals, avoiding eating in front of other people, regularly dieting without weight loss.
Stress and the hormones the body unleashes to deal with stress often result in stress eating, which involves eating sugary, high fat comfort foods. In fact, research has linked stress and weight gain. While short term stress often shuts down the appetite, when people deal with chronic stress, cortisol is released, increasing appetite. Many studies also show that not only can stress cause people to eat more, but it affects their food preferences, making people choose foods that are high in sugar, fat, or both. When your body deals with stress, it wants to build up its reserves to help deal with that stress and fuel the body. This often results in excess consumption of unhealthy foods.
Night Eating Syndrome
Another of the common eating disorders is night eating syndrome, an eating disorder that is characterized by overeating at night and a lack of appetite in the mornings, along with insomnia and agitation. This disorder is not just an eating disorder, it’s also a sleep and mood disorder. Some of the symptoms of this syndrome include having little to no appetite in the morning, eating more than half the daily intake after dinner, waking up and having the need to eat before sleeping. It’s important to note that this disorder differs from binge eating, since it involves eating continuously throughout the evening and night. This condition not only interferes with the individual’s nutrition, it often causes weight gain, causes feelings of shame, and may even result in depression.
How Kristin Wood of Living Lighter Can Help
All of these eating disorders, from emotional eating to night eating syndrome, have the potential to cause weight gain and obesity. These disorders all have a psychological aspect to them as well, which can make them difficult to overcome. If you’re dealing with an eating disorder that is making it difficult for you to lose weight, Kirstin Wood of Living Lighter can help you get beyond the disorder to achieve a healthier body.
At Living Lighter, Kristin focuses on offering her clients a six pillar approach to losing weight. This approach can be used by those with eating disorders to overcome the obstacles they are facing. The six pillars include:
- Eating Right – Learning how to make healthy eating choices, focusing on foods that reduce stress and improve the way the body functions.
- Exercise – Exercise not only helps the body burn more calories, aiding in weight loss, it’s a great stress reliever that can help clients overcome eating disorders.
- Healthy Mindset – Sometimes it’s an unhealthy mindset that contributes to an eating disorder. Kristin teaches clients to change their mindset in order to reach their goals.
- Stress Management – Since stress is one of the main contributors to eating disorders, learning how to effectively deal with stress can help clients achieve the weight loss they want
- Sleep and Rest – Getting enough sleep and rest is essential to weight loss and to reducing stress.
- Reduce Toxic Load – Along with combating the triggers of emotional eating and other eating disorders, learning to reduce the toxic load on the body can help individuals enjoy better weight loss results.