Binge Eating Disorder Is An Eating Disorder And Its Not Treated With A Diet
Because the word binge has become such a commonly used phrase in our lexicon , and because binge eating is associated with large bodies, many people dont realize that binge eating disorder is in fact an eating disorder, and a life threatening one at that. Its characterized by frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food to the point of extreme physical discomfort, accompanied by a sense of deep shame and feeling out of control. People of all body sizes can struggle with binge eating, and it is NOT treated by dieting or restriction. In fact, restricting food frequently makes binging worse. This is a place where weight inclusive care is especially important.
Ways To Cope With An Eating Disorder
It is important to remember that not all cases of eating disorders are severe. In fact, there are many people who have mild forms of these illnesses.
If you do not need counseling at this time, but would like some tips on coping with an eating disorder, below are a few ways to help you:
- Start by tracking your eating habits. This can help you become more aware of the foods that trigger your eating disorder and allow you to make healthier choices.
- Challenge your negative thoughts about food and yourbody. Replace them with more positive thoughts.
- Join a support group. Hearing other peoples stories can often help you feel less alone.
- Join some type of activity that involves exercise, like running or yoga. This is a great way to take some time out of your day to focus on yourself and enjoy some physical activity without the pressure of weight loss.
The Role Of A Dietitian In Binge Eating Disorder Recovery
Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
Because binge eating disorder is a complex mental illness that affects a person in multiple ways, treatment approaches should be collaborative and involve the effort of multiple eating disorder specialists.
The professionals who typically make up a treatment team may include:
- Registered dietitian
Each of these members is integral to helping an individual with binge eating disorder overcoming the many different issues they may be facing.
A registered dietitian plays an important role in guiding a person with binge eating disorder towards making peace with their food and body. With binge eating disorder, food often becomes the culprit, as individuals struggle with a love-hate relationship with themselves and their bodies.
Individuals with binge eating disorder may also feel a sense of chaos that revolves around food, as foods are often eaten out of proportion to what is actually needed or for sheer emotional reasons.
A person with binge eating disorder may also struggle with their weight or hyper focus on weight loss, which can further perpetuate a cycle of binge eating.
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Who To Look For
All registered dietitian nutritionists must complete a specific curriculum, and pass a national board exam. In some states , dietitians also need to become licensed to practice in the state they work in. Eating disorder dietitians are a special breed. They specialize in medical complications and the dietary needs of those suffering from an eating disorder. Just like you would see an orthopedic surgeon for a broken leg, you would want to find a dietitian that has experience working with eating disorders to help guide you through your recovery with food.
At Integrated Care Clinic we strive to provide specialized care to our clients from providers who are experts in their field. If you are interested in working with one of our eating disorder dietitians or have questions about how to begin your process of recovery and develop a healthy relationship with food and your body, call today!
Plant Based Nutrition Benefits:
- A plant based diet is naturally low in unhealthy saturated fat.
- Good plant based diets are high in fiber which helps regulate blood sugar by slowing digestion.
- Fiber also helps keep you regular and feel full sooner which can prevent overeating.
- Balanced diets high in plants provide lots of nutrients that are easier for the body to absorb than vitamin tablets.
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What Nutrition Therapy Is Not:
Replacement for mental health therapy, i.e. dietitians/nutritionists are not mental health therapists and there are some distinct differences
Time where you dive into the depths and history of your anxiety, depression, trauma history, etc.
A place where you will receive a diagnosis of mental illness
Exploration/challenging/unpacking phobias, addiction, grief/loss, anger management, and/or other mental health diagnosis
Support around relationship problems, bereavement, insomnia, suicidal idiations, nightmares or flashbacks
While there are crossovers between what a mental health therapist does and what a nutrition therapist does, and there are some distinct and important differences. Because the work is most effective when there is a relationship of safety and connection created, a nutritionist will want to understand the connection between other things in your life and your food and eating behaviors and fears.
A nutritionist in a nutrition therapy session and overtime will want to know about the whole of you, not just about how you eat. For example, if you are experiencing anxiety your nutritionist will want to know what happens to food, eating disorder, exercise, and body checking behaviors. Same goes for if you are experiencing a stressful relationship or work situation. Understanding you from a holistic perspective will help them to support you in healing your relationship to food and creating a more peaceful relationship with your body.
The Various Eating Disorders
Having a healthy lifestyle is essential. A dietician for eating disorders can help a person suffering from the condition. Below are the common issues they handle
- Anorexia is the condition where an individual may fear being fat and will refrain from intake of food due to fear of taking a lot of calories. You may find them taking slimming pills and engaging in exercises to limit their weight. Still, they may be thin but will continue refraining from food.
- Bulimia is another common eating disorder that entails a person having periods when they eat lots of food and then go for a duration of no eating. Their objective is to eliminate the calories the body takes after binge eating.
- Binge eating happens when a person cannot control the amount of food they take. Even though they might be uncomfortably full, they will continue eating. The disorder may bring shame and guilt, but the people suffering from binge eating cannot control themselves.
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Eating Disorder Nutritionists Certification And Licensing
An eating disorder nutritionist will, first and foremost, be either a registered dietitian nutritionist or a licensed nutritionist . They may also be certified by a specialty certification agency, the most common one being the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals . The most common certification for nutritionists is the Registered Dietitian-Certified in Eating Disorders . Requirements to receive this certification are:
- Must have a minimum of a bachelors degree in nutrition and/or dietetics and completion of an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship program
- Must have passed the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam and have earned Registered Dietitian credentials
- Must have 2500 supervised patient care hours directly in the eating disorder field managed by an IAEDP-approved supervisor
- Must have completed the following core courses, available online at iaedp.com:
- Introduction to Eating Disorders
- Treatment Modalities of Eating Disorders
- Medical Aspects of Eating Disorders
- Nutritional Guidelines for Eating Disorders
Okay Whats The Plant Based Part Then
When we talk about a plant based diet, we mean a diet which, ideally, contains a primarily whole plant ingredients. That is minimally processed. Generally speaking, the closer we stick to the natural state of our foodstuffs, the more healthful the food is. A baked potato is healthier than potato chips. Whole grain brown rice is healthier than white rice. Steamed broccoli is healthier than some vaguely broccoli-flavored cheesy casserole that contains a few little bits of green here and there. So a diet based upon healthy, plant based nutrition will have lots of whole vegetables and fruits in it and whole grains, ideally in their natural form. So brown rice or quinoa rather than bread or pasta.
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Diagnosis Of Eating Disorders
Competent psychotherapists have a great deal of experience with these types of conditions. They can help you or your loved one get better as soon as possible.
- The first step is to provide an accurate diagnosis using modern technology.
- The next step is to create a personalized treatment plan that works for each person.
How Can Plant Based Nutrition Help An Eating Disorder Though
Disordered eating comes in many forms. They include anorexia/restrictive eating, bulimia and binge eating. Eating disorders are complex and originate in the mind rather than the body. That said, learning to change your relationship with food, including what you eat, is a critical part of any eating disorder recovery plan. Another part of eating disorder recovery is restoring the body to good health. A diverse plant-based diet can be very helpful there. Finally, we come back to behavior. We are trying to change our relationship with food. Why do we eat? The main reason is nutrition, not pleasure or entertainment. By eating a healthful plant based diet, the focus is on nutrition. Stable blood sugar makes cravings and temptation to binge eat much less likely. Eating a healthy diet makes you feel good physically and mentally. You feel good about eating because you know you are eating the right things, rather than feeling guilty and perhaps even purging.
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Education For Eating Disorder Nutritionists
As mentioned above, an eating disorder nutritionist may be a registered dietitian nutritionist or a licensed nutritionist. This means that you must have at least a bachelors degree in a foods and nutrition related field. Beyond that, however, you should have specialized education in eating disorders, their diagnosis and their treatment. Certification organizations for eating disorder nutritionists each have their own requirements for education and experience, and those will be discussed in more depth in the next section.
Featured Nutritionist Programs
- George Washington University’s Online Master’s in Integrative Medicine with a Concentration in Nutrition specialize in promoting health and wellness through nutrition.
- American Universitys online Master of Science in Nutrition Education will prepare you to become an influential leader in nutrition education and advocacy while promoting nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices in your community and beyond.
- Liberty University’s Master of Science in Human Performance – Nutrition combines two areas that are a natural fit in the field of health and wellness to give you a deep understanding of the role nutrition plays in optimizing athletic performance.
Q Are There Any Courses Available To Learn More About Eating Disorders
A good place to start is the Introduction to Mental Health training offered by the BDA. In addition to this, the BDAs Mental Health Specialist Group has many online resources available and holds an AGM learning event which can be attended by any members of the group. There are also many courses and resources for both health professionals and patients on the Beat website.
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Q What Are The Risk Factors Or Causes Of Developing An Eating Disorder
There is rarely a simple answer to this question, as the development of eating disorders includes a wide range of complex interplaying genetic, social and environmental factors. Within eating disorder assessment, the multi-disciplinary team will conduct a full psychological formulation, of which it is important for dietitians to be a part of. These factors can include genetic vulnerability , perfectionism, traumatic events such as bullying or bereavement, body dissatisfaction, peer pressure, poor nutritional knowledge and negative social media exposure.
Research has not been able to identify one causal or dominant risk factor. In recent twin studies, non-shared environmental risk factors combined with genetic factors positively predicted risk of developing eating disordered behaviour rather than either factor independently, and no individual risk factor was seen to be a sole cause of developing an eating disorder . It is therefore vital that each person with disordered eating is considered as an individual, and personalised treatment plans are established to address the underlying multiple factors leading to the current problem.
Things To Consider When Looking For A Eating Disorder Counselor
If you are looking for an eating disorder counselor, there are a few key things you should keep in mind.
First, it is important that the counselor has experience treating eating disorders. Not all counselors have the same level of training and experience when it comes to these complex illnesses. Furthermore, not all counselors are comfortable working with clients with eating disorders.
Second, you should ask the counselor about their treatment approach. Different counselors use different approaches when it comes to treating eating disorders. Some counselors use a cognitive-behavioral approach, while others use a more holistic approach that includes elements like nutrition and fitness counseling. It is important to find a counselor who uses an approach that you feel comfortable with.
Last, you should ask the counselor about their rates. Counselors typically charge by the hour, and rates can vary significantly. It is important to find a counselor who is affordable for you.
If you are looking for an eating disorder counselor, keep these things in mind! Eating disorders can be very difficult to cope with, but with the right help, you can overcome your disorder and live the life that you deserve.
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Myths About Eating Disorders
Various myths exist about eating disorders. People consider that a person suffering from the condition is usually underweight. On the contrary, cases happen to people of different sizes. Another common myth is that the disorders occur in teenage girls and young adults. However, eating disorders are common for both sexes and exist in people across the age-sets.
Still, most individuals consider the disorder a minor issue that is easy to overcome. Unlike the stereotypical view, the condition can lead to severe health complications. A person with it needs help to overcome the situation. Let us now look at the common types of eating disorders and what it entails.
Eating Disorder Nutrition Evaluation And Counseling
At Washington Nutrition and Counseling Group we offer an eating disorder nutrition evaluation with our licensed dietitian nutritionists specializing in eating disorders for adolescents, teens and adults.
Eating disorders are driven by conditions that are becoming more prevalent than ever causing those suffering from them to have difficulty seeing themselves clearly, and drive them to take on unhealthy and in some cases deadly habits to control their eating. Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to treat, but successful methods have been developed, and there is hope.
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Understanding Your Loved Ones Eating Disorder
Eating disorders involve extreme disturbances in eating behaviorsfollowing rigid diets, bingeing on food in secret, throwing up after meals, obsessively counting calories. Its not easy to watch someone you care about damage their healthespecially when the solution appears, at least on the outside, to be simple. But eating disorders are more complicated than just unhealthy dietary habits. At their core, theyre attempts to deal with emotional issues and involve distorted, self-critical attitudes about weight, food, and body image. Its these negative thoughts and feelings that fuel the damaging behaviors.
People with eating disorders use food to deal with uncomfortable or painful emotions. Restricting food is used to feel in control. Overeating temporarily soothes sadness, anger, or loneliness. Purging is used to combat feelings of helplessness and self-loathing. Over time, people with an eating disorder lose the ability to see themselves objectively and obsessions over food and weight come to dominate everything else in their lives. Their road to recovery begins by identifying the underlying issues that drive their eating disorder and finding healthier ways to cope with emotional pain.
While you cant force a person with an eating disorder to change, you can offer your support and encourage treatment. And that can make a huge difference to your loved ones recovery.
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People With Eating Disorders May Have Other Chronic Illnesses
This may seem obvious, but is often forgotten – people who are struggling with an eating disorder almost always have other co-occurring conditions, whether its a mental health diagnosis like depression or anxiety, or another medical condition like IBS or diabetes. If you have multiple diagnoses, this can feel complicated, like you have to be doing different treatment protocols. One thing I run into with clients is this idea that food can cure their condition. They follow a restrictive diet in hopes of healing, but all its doing is making the disordered eating worse – and in most cases, the co-occurring condition too.
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How Can A Nutrition Professional Help
The primary focus of a nutrition professional working with eating disorders is to help you restore a healthy relationship with food. Remember that getting back to a normal, healthy eating behaviour will take time. It will not be easy, but once you have taken the first step, a nutrition professional can work with you to devise a future plan. Once the body receives optimal nutrition, it is able to perform and is better equipped to deal with the challenges that life can throw our way.
A nutrition professional can be on hand to offer the support you might need during and after recovery. They will work with you, listen to you and be the supportive hand you may need when facing these new challenges.
The nutritional recovery process is not just about your weight. Weight isnt always the primary goal every small step towards a rounded and balanced outlook of nutrition is an excellent step in the right direction. It is a slow process where food – a vital part of life – is reintroduced to promote health and well-being.
The help and support of a nutrition professional can make the dietary changes more attainable by providing education and constant feedback. They will help you create meal plans that focus on goals to directly improve your health and work at your own pace.