Eating behaviours are at the heart of the symptoms relating to eating disorders (ED). As a rule, the thought of changing these behaviours generates a lot of fear, fear and anxiety. The nutritionist specializing in EDs take into account the extent of these emotions and adapts to the pace of each individual.
Be aware of your erroneous beliefs
A nutritionist can help people identify their cognitive distortions relating to food and weight and thus facilitate the integration of healthier attitudes. She possesses the necessary help relationship skills to develop a therapeutic relationship of trust with the person, which is critical in the nutritional work.
Decrease the severity of symptoms
The nutritionist will work with you to reduce the following eating behaviours:
- Food restriction, fasting, etc.
- Episodes of bulimia or eating compulsions
- Induced vomiting
- Taking laxatives or diuretics
- Excessive exercising
Aspects of nutritional monitoring
Each of these steps will help you to overcome your problems.
- Psychoeducation (ex. working on false beliefs about food)
- Food guidelines (ex. make meal plan or offer support around meals, desensitization exercises with forbidden foods)
- Integration of psychological and social dimensions to the act of eating (ex. create links between eating behaviour and emotions)
- Coaching in weight management (weighing)
- Coaching in the management of physical activity
- Exploration of issues related to body image
What does ‘normal eating’ mean?
The text below is an excellent and concrete description of normal eating. As regards certain sections of this excerpt, please take note that we are not trying to normalize food restriction and compulsion, but rather to focus on the fact that eating requires a certain degree of flexibility.
“Normal eating means being hungry when we sit down at the table and eating until we are full. It means being able to choose the food that we like and satisfying our appetite instead of simply stopping our food intake because we think that we should.
Normal eating means being able to think about our selection of food to ensure proper nutrition, without however imposing restrictions that prevent us from enjoying food that we like.
Normal eating means to give ourselves permission to eat, sometimes because we’re happy, sometimes because we’re sad or annoyed, or simply because it feels good!
Normal eating means eating three times per day, or four or five, or it can mean snacking throughout the day. It means leaving a few cookies on the plate because we know that we can eat more tomorrow, or eating more today because they’re delicious.
Normal eating requires time and attention, but it should concern only one important sphere of life. In summary, normal eating means being able to show flexibility. It varies according to hunger, time, proximity of food and emotions.”
(From Winning the war within, by Ellyn Satter 1998)
BACA is here to support and help you
Eating Disorders Clinic
Come and meet us
2121 Crescent street, suite 200
Montreal (Quebec) H3G 2C1
Phone: (514) 544-2323
Fax: (514) 759-3084