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Avoid Eating your Feelings by Practicing Mindful Eating

Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the United States according to the National Eating Disorder Association. BED is a disorder in which a person will consume large amounts of food (often shrouded in secrecy). BED involves many distressful feelings like shame, guilt, anger, anxiety, worthlessness, and loss of control. Recovering from BED will often involve a multidisciplinary team including a psychiatrist, therapist, and a nutritionist to help a person cope with feelings without using food. In addition to these professionals, a yoga instructor could also be a great source of support.

A great practice that is often used to treat BED is Mindful eating, also known as intuitive eating, a concept with its roots in Buddhist teachings, aims to get connected with the experience of eating and enjoying the food. This is the process of being conscious of why you are eating. Are you hungry? Are you tired? Are you bored? It is about learning how and why you eat and less about what you eat. Understanding the why, what, when, and how we eat will help increase awareness of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and help an individual work through urges to binge and identify what is really needed to be nourished in the moment, usually a feeling.

BED is a type of Eating Disorder associated with the lack of awareness of physical cues of hunger and fullness sent by our bodies. Mindful eating helps people learn how to reconnect with the body signals and establish a more balanced relationship with food. The good news is that BED can be treated and full recovery is possible. Making changes as a family and learning how food and feelings are connected can also help a family member who struggles with food and their body. It can bring the family together and create a mindful practice that will improve the quality of your relationships.

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