What is an eating disorder?
Eating disorders are psychological conditions with a focus around food. There are several different types (and sub-types) of eating disorders. Most people think you can ‘see’ eating disorders, that people with eating disorders are very underweight, pale and gaunt. The perception is that eating disorders happen only in teenage girls/women. This is infact fundamentally not true. At SS Diets we see people who have eating disorders who are of all different body types, genders and at all ages.
What is the difference between healthy eating and an eating disorder?
It is well reported that most people in Australia are carrying to much weight, don’t eat enough vegetables, fruit and eat too much sugar. That has given rise to a somewhat food obsessed media, and in particular social media. Almost everyone is trying to eat healthier. Eating ‘better’ is not an eating disorder. Rather an eating disorder develops when what starts as healthy eating turns into an obsession. An eating disorder is ‘healthy eating’ with rules, restrictions and anxiety around eating something not ‘healthy’ or ‘clean’ (keeping in mind all food is ‘clean’). When healthy eating impacts on someone’s personal relationships, causes disconnection between people or avoiding situations because the food offered would be ‘inappropriate’ that’s when an eating disorder might have developed.
Why are eating disorders harmful?
Eating disorders can be extremely harmful to all facets of life. They put people at medical risk (unstable blood results, osteoperosis, infertility, erratic heart beats to name a few). They can also impact on someone’s social networks and personal relationships (relationship with family members and friends). Mostly what eating disorders promise are increased self confidence, control and clarity with a change in body size. Actually what they deliver is anxiety, depression, confusion and fatigue.
Why do I need a dietitian?
SS Diets dietitians have a sound understanding of the impact eating disorders have on the overall well being of a person, and particularly the medical risks. SS Diets dietitians are experienced in identifying behaviours around food that seem healthy, however maybe putting your health at risk through nutritional deficiencies. We are qualified to call out food myths and address modern day hysteria around food and draw on the science of nutrition. We are experts in assessing weight and weight and the difference between healthy weight loss and risky weight loss. We are also experienced to emphasise food is not exclusively about calories out and calories in. Food is fundamental in many aspects of our lives and world. Food is about ensuring adequate consumption of all nutrients (protein, calcium, magnesium, fibre to name a few) and the focus of many a social (dinner with family, coffee with a friend) and festive (birthdays, mothers/fathers day, Easter, Christmas) events.
Who can help?
It is (always) important to have a team of expert health professionals around you. That team should at least start with a good GP, dietitian and psychologist. A good team member is someone you trust and feel comfortable with, someone with whom you feel valued and heard and you listen and trust their advice in return. At SS Diets we work with all your team members and can recommend new ones if you are just starting out.
If you’re looking for more in-depth information about this article, please get in contact with SS Diets for a confidential chat.