Five facts about treating eating disorders:
1 – She knows perfectly the workings of eating disorders
First of all, what is an eating disorder (ED)? This disorder is considered a complex disorder that most of the time requires serious help in order to get out of it. There are several health professionals ready to offer their help and get involved in the healing process, including the nutritionist, who plays a key role. Going to seek support from a nutritionist does not mean that we have missed our shot or that we lack willpower, quite the contrary! It simply means that we may lack the tools to achieve our goals. Giving yourself the right to listen to yourself and seek appropriate advice from a qualified person is not a sign of weakness, but rather a real sign of strength!
2 – The nutritionist offers a personalized therapeutic approach
Everyone has their own preconceptions of what a nutritionist does. For some, it may be an energetic person giving advice on healthy eating and weight loss on some TV and radio show. However, as part of her therapeutic duties, a nutritionist with an eating disorder rather establishes a solid relationship of trust based on a collaborative relationship and empathy. She explores with a great deal of compassion and a good dose of curiosity each of the obstacles, challenges and fears of each individual.
3 – It establishes an assessment of nutritional needs
As part of their work, nutritionists often hear “I have to…”, “I eat this or do that…”. At this time, they must help their patient to discover what is the starting point of this deep motivation to want to change an eating habit. Assessing the person’s current diet and listing their basic needs is an essential basis! To identify a nutritional problem, we must first draw up a portrait of the situation. It is therefore essential to know what characterizes the person’s diet in order to then be able to establish a good individualized intervention plan.
The strategies to be deployed can, for example, include the use of a progressive eating plan, the implementation of nutritional objectives, the assimilation of the concepts of intuitive eating and much more!
Other objectives of personal introspection can be applied with the nutritionist such as: flexibility, autonomy and confidence displayed by the person in relation to their diet.
4 – It seeks to reduce the symptoms of eating disorders
Here is a list of the signs and behavioral, physical and psychological changes that most often accompany an eating disorder:
These obsessions negatively affect the health, relationships, and daily lives of people with an ED. Indeed, it often happens that the person is defined by a disorder, because it takes up all the space. It is important to emphasize that the person is NOT an eating disorder, but that it is simply part of their reality. Changing your behavior can be a more than confusing experience!
For the nutritionist, getting someone to disassociate themselves from their TCA is the biggest motivator to do their job. She will seek to promote a healthy management of her client’s emotions, the eating disorder often acting as an intimate means of managing her emotions. Thus, the nutritionist will rather ask the client: “how he is” rather than emphasizing his behaviors. She will then seek to change the negative thoughts related to the disorder in order to help her develop a healthier inner dialogue.
Working by small objectives, one step in front of the other, in close collaboration with the individual and according to his needs, is a guarantee of success towards a future cure!
The professional can also accompany people suffering from a disorder concerning excessive physical exercise in order to reduce the emphasis placed on their compulsion to play sports and possibly work to establish a healthier relationship with the frequency of their training. . She will also make sure that the person is eating properly in order to support their body in the best possible way during their practice.
5 – The nutritionist is very sensitive to dissatisfaction with body image
Quick question for you: who can say with confidence that he or she loves their body as it is today from head to toe? It’s a safe bet that very few people answered a strong and convinced “ME” to this question. Everyone can have several body dissatisfactions such as weight or musculature. With you, the nutritionist will work on the perception of your body image. Together we will explore the relationship between weight, the food used, health, body distortions, everything that influences our models of beauty and finally the impact of all these factors on your eating behaviors.
It’s easy to forget that body image is actually made up of two parts: the body as it is AND the perception we have of our body. The perception of the body is a psychological concept that must be worked on as such. In other words, we do not solve a psychological difficulty by modifying the physical.
Excellent news to learn: it is that the perception we have of our body can improve without having to modify it. But in order to succeed, we must be willing to work on restructuring our destructive thoughts and behaviors.
Do not hesitate to seek the help of a nutritionist!
If diet, sport or body image is a source of stress in your life, if you feel that it takes up too much space in your daily thoughts, do not hesitate to contact us. We, nutritionists, are here for you, eager to answer your questions and support you in your goals with all our compassion, regardless of your situation, and without any judgment.
Danya Beauregard, Nutritionist, Dt.P., RD
Laurence Gauvin, Nutritionist, Dt.P., M.Sc