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Eating disorders and what they help you hide

Eating disorders have been a prevalent cause of concern among young adolescents and young adults. Due to their changing situations which occur rapidly, it may become tough to cope with hence leading to unhealthy food habits and feelings. Expressing these hidden feelings is key to lead a healthier lifestyle. Encourage mindful eating and feeling along with appropriate ways of expression and healing.
ArchitaTeentalk Expert

As we begin to grow, our bodies and other areas of life also transform drastically. With an abundance of change and uncertainty , things tend to become out of control. In times like these, food may become our best friend and worst enemy. Our relationship with food and exercise is sacred just like any other interpersonal relationship. Its important to reflect on what purpose each portion of food is serving in our lives and what it may be helping us disguise.

Eating disorders are common amongst adolescents and young adults because food helps them feel in control of something in their lives when everything else is beautifully chaotic. Nobody likes to lolse control all at once, do we? Take a brief look at some of the most common feeding and eating concerns and what they might be conveying about how you are feeling

Anorexia Nervosa – People may be unwilling to eat with others, exercise excessively, believe that they are ‘fat’ when they are very thin, and refuse to eat adequate amount of food which is necessary for human functioning.

Bulimia Nervosa – People tend to overeat or eat large portions and then purge their bodies from the food they ate by vomiting, using laxatives or exercising excessively.

Binge Eating – This may include out-of=control episodes of eating which may lead to excessive weight gain due to the increased calorie consumption.

Diet yellow plate with centimeter, fork and basil royalty-free stock photo

What Triggers Your Plate to be full or empty?

Now that you have a fair idea of the basic types of eating disorders, let’s understand why these are not just about eating and feeding. They tend to project something more significant and deep rooted in a person. When we are unable to control something in our lives, we try to find other ways of coping with it. This includes food and drink. Some of the common triggers might include, low self esteem, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, anger, loneliness, the need for perfectionism, lack of love and belonging, trauma and other life related psychological concerns. Food becomes their safety net during such situations.

Triggers may not just be limited to a person’s psychological factors but may also stem from interpersonal concerns. These can be having difficulty expressing emotions and feelings, familial disharmony and strained relationships, sexual/physical abuse, unreasonable and unrealistic expectations about achievements and otherwise form the  individual and likewise. Food can also be used as a way of coping during negative or very stressful situations.

Feed Your Body and Mind Positively

Coping with eating disorders is a process. Here are some handy tips to work through them, focusing not just on the concern of eating, but also the underlying triggers.

Improve body image by putting away the weighing scale, dress for comfort, focus attention of parts of the body you are proud of, groom well in the morning, be aware that your perception of your body might be unhealthy.

Coping with eating habits can include, change the topic when others talk about food, weight, body size or shape, eat three balanced meals a day, create healthy menus for each day, surround yourself with those who support healthy eating, carry healthy snacks, walk away from the dining table after meals, eat before going to a party, start with breakfast.

Coping with feelings after binge eating can be regulated by forgiving yourself, find another activity to do, move away from your eating place, say to yourself that ‘you do not look different from what you did a few minutes ago’, encourage yourself to eat at stipulated times.

Improving your self-esteem is important and can be worked on by start the morning by self-care, acknowledge your feelings, listen to music, look back on achievements, reflect on proud moments, take a self-defence class, remind yourself that you are good enough, not perfect, be assertive, kind and compassionate towards yourself.

Remember, suppressing your emotions and feelings may become unhealthy over time and result in serious concerns. Encourage yourself to become more mindful of what you are eating, drinking and why you are consuming that food. How does this intake make you feel and how do you feel after you have consumed it. Mindful eating is helpful and effectively allow you to gently create a healthier routine for yourself. Allow yourself to feel your truest emotions and seek help if they become unmanageable or even just ‘too much’ on your plate.

 

 

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From fat to fab

Our weight affects our physical and mental health. And when you are a teenager, who are always conscious of looks and physique, body weight becomes even more important. What happens then when a teenager is obese and wants to fight it too?
Gousiya Teentalk Expert

There are various reasons why teenagers become obese. Most common of them are genetics, low physical activity, and unhealthy eating habits or may be combination of these. Few people also become overweight due to certain hormonal problems, though such cases are very rare. Also, one should know that not all children with a family history in obesity are obese and vice versa.

Adolescent obesity also tends to persist through adulthood; therefore obese teenagers often become obese adults. Moreover, habits that are formed during teenage are likely to continue throughout one’s entire life. And everyone knows that there are various harmful consequences of obesity; cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis social isolation and low self-esteem to name a few.

So what to do? Well, to start with, acknowledge that you are obese. Get in touch with your doctor and know your BMI and exactly how much your weight should be. Also, if you have any medical condition, tell your doctor and ask him what approach you need to adapt to reach your goal weight.

Here are a few tips:

  • Have a healthy, balanced diet
  • Avoid junk foods and sweets. Encourage yourself to have healthy snacks, like veggies and nuts, when you feel like munching something
  • Eat together with people whom you trust and tell them to keep a check on your eating habits and warn you when needed
  • Practice a physical activity that you enjoy like zumba, belly dancing etc
  • Exercise as a family and rediscover the benefits of physical activity
  • Ask your family to support you during difficult time
  • Most importantly, your emotional well-being is most crucial

To many teens, adolescence is a synonymous with junk food and chocolates. Although the truth is that it is a period of growth that leads to major changes in the body. Hence, if proper precautions are not taken, adolescence can lead to obesity or other eating disorders.

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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