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Seven reasons for overeating: a test to identify eating disorders

Elena RutaLife
Seven reasons for overeating: a test to identify eating disorders

Excess weight – an excessive load on the body – not only affects physical health but also spoils our quality of life. High-calorie intake, poor diet, and lack of mobility contribute to the accumulation of extra pounds and eventually lead to serious illnesses.

My name is Olena Ruta, and as a psychologist and transformational coach, I observe that overeating as a phenomenon is becoming an increasingly important topic in modern society, where eating is becoming not only an act of satisfying physiological needs, but also an important component of culture and lifestyle. Overeating attitudes affect our health, emotional state, and social relationships. Researching this phenomenon is important to understand its impact on society and develop strategies for a balanced approach to nutrition.

Being overweight is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. But today I want to talk to you about the psychological barriers that slow down and sometimes even make it impossible for many people to lose weight because of overeating. Negative stereotypes, low self-esteem, and fears can turn weight loss attempts into a tough psychological battle that requires not only changing your eating habits but also revising your outlook.

Before you take the test to determine the causes of your eating behavior, familiarize yourself with the most popular reasons for it and mark the most important ones for yourself.

Most often, psychological barriers are overeating attitudes that appeared in childhood:

1. Lack of parental attention

This problem can significantly affect the physical and mental health of the child, the lack of emotional connection in some cases provokes the desire to gain weight, hoping to stand out among others, to become more visible to parents.

2. Using food as a means of calming down

This habit is sometimes associated with childhood when sweets were used to calm down. In adulthood, a person may continue to choose tasty foods to relieve nervous tension, muffle emotions, and escape from negative experiences.

3. Violence

Physical abuse at an early age affects a woman's emotional state, and she begins to use excess weight as a form of protection. The basic logic is that being overweight makes a woman perceive herself as less attractive, and the desire to avoid repeating the violence is triggered by the desire to gain weight.

4. Suppression of emotional expression

If a child is punished for crying or laughing loudly, over time, he or she learns to suppress his or her feelings. In adulthood, the joy of life is lost, it is difficult to enjoy pleasant moments and notice happiness in simple things. As a result, a person regularly goes beyond the norm in food consumption, looking for at least a little joy in an emotional trap, because it seems "wrong" to show emotions.

5. Lack of care or, on the contrary, overprotection

If a child was left alone or, on the contrary, had a whole team of detectives and relatives watching over his or her life, in adulthood he or she starts to gain weight due to eating disorders. Such people simply do not have time to learn to truly love themselves, and therefore quickly become addicted to food.

6. Lack of choice

If in childhood adults did not allow a child to express their thoughts and make choices in simple situations, then in adulthood, they may avoid defending their rights to avoid the discontent of others. These people are always ready to join others for lunch, cannot refuse an invitation from a friendly friend, and facing any temptations becomes a difficult task for them.

7. Adults cover up "sins" with sweets

The habit of buying off a child, i.e. buying sweets to "calm him down," can be costly in 10-15 years. The fact is that the child may begin to feel psychologically dependent on tasty, but not healthy and high-calorie food. That is why it will be difficult for them to control their weight.

Well, did you recognize yourself in some of the points?

To find out for sure whether you have an eating disorder (and we remember that recognizing the problem is very important, it is the first step to solving the problem), I suggest that you take a small and very reliable test right here and now!

Don't be afraid to learn a little more about yourself today!

TEST "Identification of eating disorders"

Answer the questions quickly, without hesitation, by answering "YES" or "NO" to each question.

  • Do you eat when you are hungry and can stop when you are full? (Yes or no)
  • Do you stop eating when you decide that you've had enough and it's time to stop (not just because you're full)? (Yes or no)
  • Do you choose food based on what tastes good to you? (Yes or no)
  • Do you feel physically unwell (nausea, dizziness, weakness) if you are on a diet or have not eaten enough? (Yes or no)
  • Do you think your diet is a combination of "healthy" and "tasty" foods? (Yes or no)
  • Do you need to eat according to a certain pattern – for example, always three times a day or always at a certain time of the day? (Yes or no)
  • Do you believe that if you eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, you will not gain weight? (Yes or no)
  • Do you feel guilty if you eat until you feel full and uncomfortable? (Yes or no)
  • Are you able to balance the time you spend thinking about weight, diet, nutrition, and the time you spend on other aspects of your life - relationships, work, self-development? (Yes or no)
  • Do you watch what other people eat to decide what you will eat (e.g., in a restaurant)? (Yes or no)
  • Are you able to leave a few cookies (sweets) on your plate because you know you can finish them tomorrow? (Yes or no)
  • Do you choose food based on the number of calories? (Yes or no)

Processing the results:

  1. Add up all of the "NO" answers you gave to the questions that are listed under the odd numbers. Write it down.
  2. Add up all the YES answers you gave to the questions that follow the even numbers. Write this down.
  3. Add both of the numbers you got.

Identifying eating disorders

If your score is between 0 and 3, it indicates a healthy attitude toward food and eating. Great news! This means that you don't need to drastically adjust your eating behavior. All you need to do is learn how to avoid eating problems in the future, and mental therapy can help you with this.

If your score is from 4 to 8, this means that you do not have a harmonious relationship with food, your understanding of hunger and appetite is still confused; there is a great need for skills to understand and manage your emotional state. This is not a sentence, but a reason to work on yourself. Mental holistic therapy can help you with this.

If your score is between 9 and 12, this indicator indicates that you have a serious relationship with food, from binge eating to eating disorders. These disorders can seriously impact your life and health. Professional help is recommended to work with feelings, thoughts, and experiences related to food and body image.

If you find something in yourself, go to my Instagram, where I talk about how to get rid of food addiction.

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