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4 More Tips on Dealing with Eating Disorders and the Holidays

eating disorders, holidays

1. If you are struggling with one of the eating disorders then set up extra support options during the season. This will allow you to call or visit someone when you are tempted to give in or you are struggling to cope with negative thoughts or emotions. Reach for the phone instead of the food and give your support person a call.

2. Ask someone that you trust to act as a reality check for you during the holidays when it comes to food. This individual can help prepare a plate for you, recommend whether your portion sizes are correct, and even help you determine when you have had enough or if your food intake is not sufficient.

3. People who struggle with eating disorders need to place a focus on time spent together. Plan an event where the food items offered are less important than the activities and events scheduled. Invite others to an evening of holiday games and cheer, with non alcoholic beverages and healthy nibbles for them to snack on.

4. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of down time during the holidays. This time of year can mean many invitations and events to attend, leaving you short on time that you need to relax and unwind. Learn to say no and politely decline invitations that are not a priority for you. When you are tired or stressed you are more likely to give in to unhealthy eating patterns so avoid these factors at all costs.

5 Tips on Eating Disorders and the Holidays

eating disorders, holidays

1. Dealing with eating disorders during this season can be hard, but it will be easier if you eat regularly and plan ahead when you will be attending social events. It is a mistake to skip meals or to eat in a pattern that is not reasonable because you may have indulged before.

2. Carefully choose the events that you attend during the holidays. Before you go eat something so that you do not arrive famished. This will help you stick to the plan and the foods that are acceptable and help you avoid overeating or being tempted in other ways. It is okay to turn down invitations if you feel the events pose a risk to your recovery and well being.

3. Talk about any questions or anxieties that you have concerning eating disorders with your treatment team and your support group ahead of time. These individuals may be able to help you get through the season without any additional problems, and keep you on track with your treatment plan.

4. Before you go anywhere for the holidays know what to expect and make sure that there are no unpleasant surprises. If you have a binge eating disorder then going to a cookie swap party may be a bad idea and it may be better to decline this invitation so that you are not tempted to give in.

5. Focus on fun instead of food. Spending time with family and friends can help you enjoy the season without the focus always being on what is served and what you eat. Bring along a few healthy snacks to nibble on during the event. If anyone asks simply tell them you are currently following a special diet that your doctor recommended.

Can You Recognize the Signs of Compulsive Overeating?

signs of compulsive overeating, eating disorders

signs of compulsive overeating, eating disorders

Someone who displays the signs of compulsive eating may be suffering from one of the eating disorders and not even realize it. This condition is often called a food addiction, and it may be caused by some of the same factors that lead to substance abuse in others. The need to overeat may be due to an emotional state or a traumatic event earlier in life. Would you recognize the signs of compulsive overeating if you experienced or saw them? For many people the answer is no.

Some of the common signs of compulsive eating may be similar to those of certain other eating disorders. Binge eating occurs when large amounts of food are consumed in a single sitting, and you continue eating long after your hunger has been satiated. Other possible signs of compulsive overeating can include:

  • Eating food faster than usual

  • Being preoccupied with your weight

  • Feeling guilty when you eat too much

  • Being ashamed of your eating habits

  • Eating in private when no one else is around

  • Hiding food, or hiding evidence of the amount of food that you have consumed

  • Weight that fluctuates frequently

  • Constantly dieting yet failing to lose weight

  • Being overweight from eating large amounts of junk food

  • Obesity related medical and health conditions

  • Depression

  • Mood swings

  • Losing interest in the usual activities because you are concerned about yoru weight or how you look

  • Using food as a source of comfort or a friend


Recovery Tips for Binge Eating Disorder

binge eating disorder, eating disorders

Obesity is becoming a big problem in North America, and many people suffer from binge eating disorder without realizing that they need help and that this disorder can be effectively treated. Binge eating disorder occurs for many of the same reasons that other eating disorders and compulsive behaviors do. You may eat because you are emotionally upset, or food may be your comfort when you are under a lot of stress or life is going poorly. Usually binge eating disorder causes you to gain weight, but dieting is not the answer to your dilemma because the binge eating pattern will continue without the right treatment program and methods. Eating disorders can be very difficult to treat in some cases, because many treatment programs do not offer individual counseling to help the person with the disorder work through all of the causes.

Some recovery tips for binge eating disorder and other eating disorder types include:

  • Take your recovery one day at a time, and realize that there may be relapses along your journey to wellness.

  • A strong support network will help you get through the rough times without sliding backwards.

  • If you do relapse don’t look back, move forward instead. Accept that you slipped but don’t obsess over the relapse.

  • Avoid temptation whenever possible. Stock your home with healthy foods, that way if you do binge you are not consuming thousands of calories in one sitting.

  • Understand what your specific triggers are, whether this is stress, negative emotional states, or other triggers.   

Signs of Bulimia Nervosa to Watch For

 bulimia nervosa, eating disorders

Bulimia Nervosa is one of the eating disorders that can be extremely dangerous if left untreated, and there are many signs of this disorder that should not be ignored. This eating disorder involves binging, and the person with this disorder will consume large quantities of food in a short period of time. This is followed by the purge phase, and vomiting, extreme laxative use, and extensive and obsessive exercise may follow the binge period. The person may seem to be at a normal weight, but the binge and purge cycle will damage the health of the individual. In spite of their normal weight someone with Bulimia Nervosa will see themselves as overweight, and they may actually be disgusted or ashamed of their body image.

The most common signs of Bulimia Nervosa include:

  • Not eating meals with others, eating smaller than usual portions, or pushing food around on the plate without actually eating any

  • Exercising all the time, to an excessive degree

  • Dieting constantly even though a normal weight is maintained

  • Frequently complaining about being fat even though the individual is not overweight

  • Episodes of binge eating, large quantities of food suddenly disappearing, and the sudden appearance of many food wrappers and containers in the trash

  • Purging, frequent vomiting, or frequent laxative use

  • A tendency to go to the bathroom immediately after meals

  • Scarring on knuckles caused by induced vomiting

  • Wearing baggy clothing all the time

Do you or someone you know show any of the warning signs of Bulimia Nervosa? If so then treatment is available.