Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.
RETHINK YOUR BODY
Overcome disordered eating and find peace with food
When your hunger signals are out of sync
by Harriet Frew on January 7th, 2020

If you have been ignoring your hunger through persistent dieting or engaging in disordered eating behaviours, understandably, your body will be confused!

  • You won’t know when you’re hungry.
  • You won’t know when you’re craving.
  • You won’t trust your appetite.
  • You won’t know when you’re full.

How we learn to under-eat or starve

1.Being exposed to chronic stress impacts appetite.
2.Not having enough food available means that hunger becomes a norm.
3.Exercising as an alternative distraction from eating, hence why compulsive exercising can become dominant in anorexia nervosa.


How we learn to overeat or binge eat

1. If you are undernourished, your body will crave the nutrients it’s missing.
2. When stomach contents are drained after eating (often through purging).
3. Eating at unpredictable and irregular times; some routine and structure is helpful.
4. Eating food that is highly palatable and easy to overeat on.

If you are exposed to these triggers for overeating/bingeing, you may likely still repeat these behaviours (at least initially), even when normal eating patterns are restored.

This is a normal part of recovery. It can be tricky to hang-in there, when you are negotiating this difficult phase. You have probably lived in fear of losing control of your eating; it might feel that these worst fears are being manifested. This is in the short term. You will come through the other side. The only way out is through!

How to re-set a disturbed appetite control system


1.Eat regularly; this means no long periods without eating. This allows your blood sugar to stabilise.

2.Try to eat slowly and mindfully, so you register the food you are eating. It gives a chance for your body to respond appropriately and acknowledge your eating.

3.Work (with support if possible) on reducing vomiting or chewing and spitting; this will allow body satiation mechanisms to be restored.

4.Aim to get your weight within a healthy range.  When you are underweight, the biological drive to eat will be really strong. You will be extremely sensitive to the sight, smell and flavour of food. This will leave you vulnerable to out of control eating.

5. Develop other non-food self-care and pleasurable activities, as part of daily life.

 Choose activities that activate the left side of the brain that has the soothing system.

Eg: Touch – massage, aromatherapy, reflexology.
Smell – have a warm bath with your favourite fragrance.
Sound – listen to music that you enjoy.
Vision – make your room a pleasant environment with colours, pictures and soft fabrics.

It takes patience, time and commitment to re-set your hunger signals. Be kind and compassionate with yourself in this process.  Your body will begin to respond, as you treat it with love and respect.



Posted in Dieting, Emotional eating, Hunger    Tagged with hunger, antidiet, giveupdieting, eating disorder recovery


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Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.