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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, between 1-4% of the population will be affected by an eating disorder as some point in their lives. But for many, their condition will go un-diagnosed leaving them to struggle on with constant, ineffective “serial dieting”.

Up to 30% of adults seeking weight loss solutions meet the criteria for Binge Eating Disorder, an Eating Disorder that impacts women and men almost equally (60/40), and by far the most common Eating Disorder there is.

For those suffering from the condition, the problem is complex and is not just about food. Indeed, in most instances it can take a long time for sufferers to come to that realisation before finally seeking the right kind of support which is not a diet or weight loss – but is psychological support.

2nd – 8th March is National Eating Disorder Week and gives us the opportunity to openly discuss this often hidden and unspoken about illness and to offer solace to those suffering from it.

So, what is Binge Eating Disorder (BED)?

Binge or emotional eating disorder is a serious but treatable mental and physical illness that can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, body shapes and weights. While no-one knows for sure what causes an eating disorder to manifest itself, there is a general consensus that psychological factors are a major contributor.

Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that affect a person’s emotional and physical health. They are not just a “fad” or a “phase.” They are real and complex conditions that can have serious consequences for health, productivity, and relationships.

What Are the Warning Signs of a Binge Eating Disorder?

BED can be diagnosed at any weight and is not necessarily associated with those labelled as clinically obese. Symptoms or warning signs can be broad and varied depending on the individual and their personal backstory. At a high level however, the following traits may be apparent:

· Appears uncomfortable eating around others

· Are constantly on fad diets – including cutting out entire food groups (for example, no sugar, no carbs, no diary, no protein etc)

· Steals or hoards food in strange places

· Withdraws from social activities

· Shows extreme concern with body weight and shape

· Feels lack of control over ability to stop eating

· Suffers from feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating

· Displays fluctuations in weight

· Experiences feelings of low self-esteem

· May have stomach cramps or other non-specific gastrointestinal complaints (constipation, acid reflux, etc.

Introducing Eating Freely

Eating Freely, developed by Emma Murphy, MIACP (Ret’d), is a time limited structured program designed to separate a client’s food from their feelings and effectively resolve their relationship with both. Eating Freely is suitable for any adult on the Emotional / Binge Eating / Bulimia spectrum.

Before joining Eating Feely, many clients are caught in a cycle of Diet/Crash/Binge/Guilt/Diet – never achieving the permanent result they so desperately want – to feel comfortable in their own skin.

In fact, going on diet after diet with no permanent success can causes more stress and misery in the long run.

The Eating Freely program works under the theme of “when you learn how to TREAT yourself better, you will EAT yourself better – physically, psychologically and emotionally”, and offers clients a structured program available both online and through a team of certified Eating Freely therapists nationwide who work closely with those suffering from BED, helping them break free from Emotional Eating, Binge Eating or Bulimia, FOREVER.

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