Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.
Eating Disorder Therapist
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


Leave a Comment

10 lessons 10 principles of intuitive eating 10 tips 10 ways therapy can help 10 ways 12 days of christmas 20 ways to stop bingeing now 3 steps 5 things to learn 5 tips 5 ways to silence inner critic 5 ways ACEs Bingeing Blog CELEBRITIES AND SELF ESTEEM CELEBRITY BODY IMAGE Childhood adverse experiences Christma Control Covid-19 DEALING WITH PRESSURE ELLEUK ELLE Easter Eating Disorder Eating problem FEELING FAT HAES HOW TO COPE WITH PEOPLE COMMENTING ON YOUR BODY Inside Out Louise Chunn Managing emotions Minnesota starvation study NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS NO DIET New Year Parenting tips Perfect body Perfectionism RECOVERY FROM EATING DISORDER REJECT DIETS SELFISH MOTHER Sleep Spring about counsellors action alcohol all or nothing anorexia nervosa anorexia recovery anorexiarecovery anorexia anti dieting anti diet antidiet anxiety eating anxiety appetite assertiveness assertive awareness of thoughts bbc beach body beautiful people behaviours being authentic being kind to self bikini body plan bikini body bikini competitor binge eating disorder binge eating recovery binge eating bingeeatingdisorder bingeeating bite by bite black and white thinking body acceptance body builder body building body checking body confidence body diversity body dysmorphia body ideal body image tips body image workbook body image body love body neutrality body neutral body positivity book recommendation boost self-esteem boost self-worth boost selfesteem breakthrough buimia bulimia nervosa bulimia recovery bulimiarecovery bulimia buying jeans cake can counselling help caring what others think cbt challenge thoughts challenging negative thoughts change is possible change childhood experiences childhood children and eating disorders children chocolate christmas clean eating cognitive behaviour therapy comfort eating comparing self to others comparing with others comparions comparisons compassion focused therapy compassion complex problems compulsive eating compulsive exercise confidence conflict about body size connection contribution coping corona virus corona counselling directory counselling critical voice criticism dads dbt dealing with emotions deception developing awareness developing healthy relationship with food diet binge cycle diet culture dieting cycle dieting diet disordered eating recovery disordered eating disorderedeating ditch the diet does self help work dolphin don't compare early experiences eating disorder diagnosis eating disorder prevention eating disorder recovery eating disorder treatment eating disorders eating when hungry eatingdisorder eating ednos elizabeth gilbert embracing change emotional eating emotional intelligence emotional regulation emotional trigger emotions envy evening eating exercise addiction exhaustion expectations expressing emotions fearne cotton feelings fitness fitspiration fitspo florence and the machine florence welch food obsession food freddie flintoff freedom with food friendship fulfilment fullness fun geneen roth giveupdieting giving up dieting giving goals guilt habit happiness happy new year harriet frew health at every size healthy eating healthy food healthy weight help for disordered eating helpful help history of body image hope how body image develops how counselling can change your life how low self esteem develops how to stop binge eating how to stop bingeing how to stop emotional eating how to stop overeating hunger identity improve body image improving body image inferior insulin intuitive eating iphone is your weight your worth janet treasure jealousy jellyfish joy judgement kids and eating disorders kind to body labeling exercise on foods labelling foods letting go lies limiting beliefs listen to body listen to your body lockdown loneliness lose control around food lose weight losing control food love body love your body low self-esteem macros male body builder male body image manipulation maudsley method maudsley model media meeting your needs men and eating disorders mental health tips mental health men mind body connection mindful eating mindfulness mindset mirror mood mothering motivational approach motivation mums mum muscle dysmorphia my story negative body image new year diet new year plan new year resolutions ninja warrior no dieting nodiets nodiet nofoodguilt not dieting obesity obsession with food obsessionwitth food obsession on eating orthorexia nervosa orthorexia osfed ostrich over-eating over-exercise overcome binge eating overcome bulimia overcoming eating disorder overcoming fear overeating at Easter overeating overevaluation of shape overexercise parenting people pleasing perfect philippa perry photo shop pixar film pleasure poor body image positive preoccupation with food pressure problem psychodynamic psychological approach psychology of eating disorder psychology psychotherapy reading about eating disorders reading recovery journey recovery relapse relationships resolutions restriction binge cycle restriction rest rhino role model root of problem roots of behaviour roots of problem rules about eating rules around eating sabotage satiety saying no secret eating self awareness self conscious self esteem self help books self worth self-acceptance self-awareness self-awarness self-care self-compassion self-confidence self-criticism self-esteem self-help book self-help self-kindness self-loathing self-love self-worth selfcare selfesteem selfworth shoulds social anxiety social eating social media and body image social media song starvation starve stop binge eating stop bingeing stop comparisons stop dieting stopping dieting stress striving strongisnewskinny success summer support for carers support surviving Christmas susie orbach tablet television therapy thin idealisation things you didn't know thinking about food thinking styles thinking thinner self thin thoughts about food thoughts time tips to boost self-esteem tips to love your body tips tired to my client who is struggling trauma treatment for eating disorder tv and body image ulrike schmidt undereating understanding self understanding your past unkind to self validating emotions values value victoria stockwell vulnerability wants weighing scales weight conflict weight loss weight wellbeing what is counselling what is therapy when food is love when therapy is hard work you can do it
Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.