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Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

Eating is vital to life. We must eat on a daily basis to keep our bodies functioning efficiently. But sometimes, people find it difficult to eat in ways that are healthy. Emotions, stress and peer pressure can cause a person to alter their eating habits in an unhealthy way. The result can be an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are dysfunctional patterns of eating that can take the form of many different behaviors. From restricting and cutting calories, to over-exercising to compensate for calories, to compulsive overeating, to binge eating and purging. While there are many types of eating disorders, some of the most common ones include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Even though each has its own symptoms.

There are some signs that most eating disorders have in common:

• Excessive dieting or rigid food rules
• Preoccupation with food
• Drastic or sudden changes in eating habits
• Exercising past the point of exhaustion

Depression
• Binge eating
• Consistently negative feelings about body type

Eating disorders can take a serious emotional and physical toll. The body experiences psychological and physiological functions through a system of chemical signals in the brain. Trace amounts of substances like endorphins and adrenaline trigger pleasurable feelings and temporarily relieve stress. However, when people starve themselves, these pain-managing and appetite-stimulating chemicals function like drugs or alcohol.

While there is no single manifestation of an eating disorder, there is one thing they all have in common: control. In most instances, an eating disorder has little to do with a person’s weight or body size or physical appearance. Instead, it’s a way to control whatever they feel is out of control in their life.

Diagnosis And Treatment

Diagnosis

At The Dell Center in Park City, Utah, we focus on the underlying issues of a client’s eating disorder. As every person and every situation is unique, we work together with our clients, in a way that is most comfortable for them, to figure out what specific life experiences have contributed to their symptoms. Once we’ve identified the root cause of their disorder, we tailor an interdisciplinary plan that meets both their physical and psychological needs and can include medical services, psychiatric services, nutrition counseling, and individual and group therapy.

Treatment

In many ways, our approach to treating eating disorders is similar to our approach to treating addictions. The difference is that recovering addicts don’t need drugs to survive, while food is essential to survival. With this in mind, we work with our clients to reestablish a healthy relationship with food. Our overall approach is based on the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating:

Reject the Diet Mentality by throwing out diet books and magazine articles that offer false hope of losing weight quickly, easily and permanently.
Honor Your Hunger by keeping your body fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates.
Make Peace with Food by giving yourself unconditional permission to eat.
Challenge the Food Police by ignoring the unreasonable eating rules that dieting has created.
Respect Your Fullness by listening to body signals that tell you when you are no longer hungry.
Discover the Satisfaction Factor and pleasure that can be found in eating.
Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food by finding alternative ways to comfort, nurture, distract and resolve your personal issues.
Respect Your Body by accepting your genetic blueprint.
Exercise: Feel the Difference by focusing on how it feels to move your body instead of the calorie-burning effect of exercise.
Honor Your Health by making food choices that honor your body and your taste buds while making you feel well.

By teaching our clients how to create a healthy relationship with food and exercise, we ultimately enable them to become the experts of their own bodies.

If you or a loved one is ready to overcome an eating disorder, we’re here and ready to help. Contact us today!

Watch To Learn More About Our Approach To Treating Eating Disorders.

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