Many people are complaining about eating disorders when seeking psychological help. Initially, innocuous eating habits can lead to a serious disorder over time. This includes anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or overeating.
Excess or insufficient weight in the absence of serious pathological problems with the body often signals psychological problems. For many, food is associated with relaxation and recreation. As a result, nutrition loses its main function, which is to obtain the necessary micro- and macroelements for life, and in this situation it is necessary to improve the food behavior.
Usually a simple diet correction is not enough, you need to understand what pushes a person to form unhealthy habits so that maintaining normal weight is not a problem. Sometimes the root of the problem is serious psychological illness or disorders in the body.
- How food behavior is formed
- Types of eating disorders
- How to change eating behavior
- Specialist assistance
How food behavior is formed
Adjustment of eating behavior begins in infancy. It is worth considering all the components of a child’s diet: from the schedule of meals to the conditions for a good appetite. It is important to keep track of any attempt to refuse lunch without reason.
The first stage of establishing habits takes place during breastfeeding. It is important to ensure that your baby eats in a timely manner and does not give up on feeding. The most important features of nutritional behavior are laid at the age of one to three years, when the introduction to “adult” food begins.
Food behaviour is often influenced by taste preferences. For example, it is easier for people with low sensitivity to bitterness to eat vegetables or other useful food. If you love acid, it is easy to diversify your diet with large quantities of fruit and citrus fruits. Regular violence against yourself leads to rejection of food or other consequences, so it is important to correct dishes depending on taste preferences.
Often, eating disorders begin with an unmotivated restriction of the diet due to lack of benefit. For example, maximum rejection of solid foods, preference only for fiber. It is also possible to provoke disorder by unsightly, careless serving of dishes that do not seem to cause appetite.
Types of eating disorders
Externally eating behavior
External nutrition disorder is formed under the influence of almost imperceptible factors. Among them are the availability of certain food, the opinion of others about the chosen food, behavior in the company of people.
Such violations are most common:
- Eating in the company is mandatory – the disorder is manifested by the inability to say no, when you are offered to eat even if you have no appetite, and the table may not have your favorite dishes;
- Overeating at the table – for many, eating at the table is a huge problem, because you need to try all the treats on the festive table;
- Constant attempts to eat “for good” – it is difficult to postpone the time of meals to later, frequent snacks;
- Fear of not having time to eat something tasty – this kind of behavior is often found in families with many children. The child knows that the food left for later will disappear. As a result, the habit is fixed even if you live independently.
Emotional eating behavior
Emotional factors seriously influence the development of food behavior. For example, problems and stress can be “stuck”, in which case the food becomes a cure for sadness, boredom and comfort.
Correction of nutrition is also important when refusing to eat because of strong emotions. Sometimes a person cannot eat for a few days, feels a strong aversion even to their favorite foods. Establishing a normal schedule can take several weeks.
Restrictive eating behavior
A restrictive type of eating disorder concerns the choice of meals and the amount of food. In such a situation, healthy eating habits are very difficult to establish, because awareness often comes after the development of a serious illness.
It is worth highlighting such disorders:
- impossibility to stop – weight gain is easily gained, often the mechanism of saturation is broken in order to adjust the diet to deal with this problem;
- very strict correction of nutrition – a person does not listen to the needs of the body, choosing food based on diets, fashion trends or often misconceptions about healthy food;
- endless diets – weight jumps constantly, there is a metabolic disorder;
- Anorexia and bulimia – refusal to eat or uncontrolled overeating with the subsequent removal of food from the body are two borderline conditions, when it becomes necessary to establish the perception of oneself and serious assistance of a psychiatrist.
How to change eating behavior
In order to establish eating disorders, it is necessary to identify the causes that led to weight gain or loss. A slight correction may be needed – for example, to keep an eye on yourself in the company or to stop the urge to go to the refrigerator when you are in a bad mood.
It is important to find an additional resource in case of violation, which will allow not to depend on food – sports, drawing or any other hobby. It is necessary to ensure adequate food rules. It is better to do it with a doctor, not with the help of diets from the Internet. Strict prohibitions in nutrition provoke violations and do not contribute to health and excellent appearance.
Sometimes it is not enough to develop the right habit to solve your food problems. Especially if it is a serious disorder, such as bulimia or anorexia. In order for treatment to be successful, it is necessary to stop dangerous recruitment or weight loss.