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Eating disorders are about emotional pain, not food

Emotional Problem

Eating disorders are not a choice, but a deeply emotional and psychological problem. Many patients feel empty and numb in their world outlook, and others are dealing with guilt, shame or embarrassment due to their life circumstances and body image.

The feelings that are the root cause of such disorders need to be identified and then a strategy to handle those feelings can be created.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Eating disorders are about emotional pain, not food

Eating disorders are about emotional pain, not food

https://www.popsci.com/story/health/eating-disorder-emotional-pain/

popsci.com

2

Key Ideas

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders, which strike all types of people worldwide, are of three categories:

  • Anorexia: Restrictive and limited eating.
  • Binge eating disorder: Eating too much at once, where a person escapes out of life circumstances to focus on food.
  • Bulimia: Eating followed by self-induced vomiting.

Emotional Problem

Eating disorders are not a choice, but a deeply emotional and psychological problem. Many patients feel empty and numb in their world outlook, and others are dealing with guilt, shame or embarrassment due to their life circumstances and body image.

The feelings that are the root cause of such disorders need to be identified and then a strategy to handle those feelings can be created.

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Why food

Negative emotions may lead to a feeling of emptiness or an emotional void. 

Food is believed to be a way to fill that void and create a false feeling of “

Emotional vs. true hunger

Physical hunger

  • It develops slowly over time.
  • You desire a variety of food groups.
  • You feel the sensation of fullness and take it as a cue to stop eating.
  • You have no negative feelings about eating.

Emotional hunger

  • It comes about suddenly or abruptly.
  • You crave only certain foods.
  • You may binge on food and not feel a sensation of fullness.
  • You feel guilt or shame about eating.

Emotional hunger isn’t easily quelled

While filling up could work in the moment, eating because of negative emotions often leaves people feeling more upset than before.

This cycle typically doesn’t end until a person addresses emotional needs head-on.

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Intuitive eating

Intuitive eating

Rejects the diet mentality, promotes giving yourself permission to eat without labeling some foods "good” and others “bad,” acknowledging when you’re eating your feelings and accepting the body you...

Making peace with food

It doesn’t mean giving in to every craving; it means getting rid of the idea of “giving in” to “bad foods” altogether. Eat that Oreo when you want it, without any negative emotion attached, and you won’t feel like you need to eat the whole bag.

Respect your fullness

Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Intuitive eating is about understanding what foods your body feels best eating, and how to make your own food choices based on your own hunger and fullness

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Fasting

It involves eating no or very little food and caloric beverages for periods ranging from 12 hours to three weeks.

Human studies on fasting are only just beginning to ramp up. And while we ha...

Popular types of fasting

  • Intermittent fasts: eating no food or massively cutting back on calorie intake only intermittently;
  • Time-restricted feeding: involves consuming calories only for a 4- to 6-hour window each day.
  • Periodic fasts, the most extreme, typically last several days or longer. 
  • Fasting-mimicking diet, a plant-based diet that involves eating very few calories for several days each month. 

Religious fasting

Many religious groups incorporate periods of fasting into their rituals, though the focus there tends to be more spiritual than health-oriented: Muslims fast from dawn until dusk during the month of Ramadan, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus who traditionally fast on designated days of the week or calendar year.

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