Nutrition Counselling for Eating Disorders
Looking for an Experienced Dietitian for help with your Disordered or Emotional Eating?
Jessica Begg, Registered Dietitian of Shift Nutrition based in Calgary, treats those that struggle with eating disorders and disordered eating patterns from anorexia and bulimia, to binge eating, over-eating, emotional eating, food addictions and any other struggles with food and weight.
She has worked with both adolescents and adults in various out-patient eating disorder treatment clinics in BC, and now treats her patients in her own practice.
“Having worked with individuals that struggle with eating disorders since 2006, I have seen that people start out with a diet with the best of intentions, but this quickly becomes a barrier to well-being.
Most of my clients have have a vast knowledge of nutrition. But what worked in the past, may not any longer. Or patterns of eating that friends or family find helpful is not for my client. My job is to help my clients escape the cycle of the eating disorder and get back on track so that they can achieve their goals.”
How Eating Disorders Develop
Eating disorders develop to help manage difficult feelings and emotions we face every day. Food can be a source of solace in a time of need, a complement to a social event, and the foundation of our health. It makes sense that people use food both for comfort at times of distress and for cheer in times of celebration. But using food in this way can quickly flip from supporting health to becoming an enemy.
How to Know When Eating is a Problem:
Feel guilt or shame when eating certain foods
Sneak food or eat large amounts at the spur of the moment, at times even when not hungry
Stop going to fun events because you don’t want people to see you or there might be fattening foods
Prefer not to eat in front of other people
Weigh yourself often and feel fat even if you’re smaller than other people
Try not to eat for a while, than then overeat and feel guilty
Often count calories and/or fat grams and feel like all you think about is food
Make yourself vomit, use laxatives or over-exercise
Other online resources
How to Make Meaningful Change
To make lasting changes to the way one eats is very difficult. Making superficial and simplistic solutions rarely addresses the root cause of an eating disorder and thus does not lead to lasting change. Just like saying: “why don’t you eat more?” or starting yet another diet, is not helpful. Trying to ‘will power’ your way through change is very difficult and also does not last long term. Significant change comes from making comfortable, step-wise adjustments that bring actual positive effects to your relationship with eating and food. Being a healthy eater requires more than just changing your patterns of eating, it is redefining your relationship with food.
Multidisciplinary Team Approach for the Treatment of an Eating Disorder
It is important to have a qualified team of health professionals to manage each component of recovery from an eating disorder. A therapist for individual therapy is integral, at times a family therapist is also appropriate, to help manage negative thoughts and emotions. An experienced dietitian explains how and why we need to eat and help minimize eating disorder symptoms. A medical doctor is also important to monitor electrolytes, heart health and other issues related to restricting, bingeing/purging or overeating. Other professionals at times are also involved such such as trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors, and school teachers.
As a dietitian that specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, I ensure that I work very closely with every member of your team to provide cohesive and effective treatment. I can also refer you to any of these other health professionals if you have not filled all positions of your recovery team.