July 20, 2017 – Loss of Control Eating

Facilitator: Kathi Williams, LMFT-T

Kathi started with an exercise that helped show us how much we associate food with relationships. Some of those associations are good, and some are bad, but they frequently involve family and a lot are about comforting ourselves with food. Then she did another exercise where we did some “self-soothing” and talked about how good that felt. She pointed out that frequently, our self-talk is negative – especially when we eat something we shouldn’t, or get off track for a meal. We often give up for the rest of the day because we made a mistake and there’s no point in following the guidelines now. We need to learn to be more compassionate with ourselves – not so hard on ourselves – and replace that negative self-talk with something you would be more inclined to say to a friend who had made a mistake. You would be more supportive and forgiving and help them to get back on track. We need to do the same with ourselves.

Many patients who are overweight eat for emotional reasons or because of unresolved psychological issues. Having the surgery helps with the eating portion, but doesn’t resolve the psychological issues that remain. To be successful, addressing those psychological issues can help with weight loss and maintaining that loss by eliminating the reasons we overeat.

Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the U.S. today, and after bariatric surgery it is known as “loss of control eating.” It is consistently eating more than we should because we are unable to resist something, or once we start eating something we are unable to stop. This frequently has a psychological component that needs to be addressed. Kathi passed out a screening tool so folks could see if they might be at risk for Binge Eating Disorder. The screening tool can be found below.

If you check any of the shaded boxes, you may be at risk for loss of control eating, and making an appointment with a psychologist or therapist could help to prevent or address any loss-of-control eating.  Dr. Ravi Sabapathy and Dr. Michelle Coker, staff Psychologists with The Bariatric Center of Kansas City, are available to help with loss-of-control eating issues.  Feel free to call 913.677.6319  to schedule an appointment for their assistance.

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