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When it comes to food, we are, in essence, following an eating script that has been written into the circuits of our brains.”

― David Kessler

 

Psychological Weight and Eating Issues

 

Emotional Eating

Many people know that they may overeat when they are angry or sad, or even if they want to feel happy more frequently. However, emotions occur both consciously and unconsciously, and neither situation is better or worse than the other. However, if your emotions are unconscious, or if your emotions are unconsciously triggered, you may not know why you eat the way you do.


Moreover, even if you are fully aware that you eat in the presence of a particular emotion, it is possible that you may eat more to "relieve yourself" of the emotion than the emotion itself. This changes the thrust and focus of psychological treatment.

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Disordered Eating

Disordered eating can be considered emotional eating along with the presence of other psychological symptoms, such as low self-esteem, over-valuation of weight and body image, unsatisfactory interpersonal relationships and inability to fully manage emotions such as guilt and shame. When some of these other factors are present in emotional eating in small or moderate intensity, a person may have disordered eating patterns.

Formal Eating Disorder (e.g. Binge Eating Disorder)

A formal eating disorder involves serious factors that are present in disordered eating. However, behaviours may also include blanking out while eating, feeling severe shame around eating or binges, or eating until uncomfortably full. For example, it could also include labeling all or many foods as "bad foods" (e.g. peas, bell-peppers or fruit) even though they have high nutritional value. Eating disorders are hard to detect clinically and even harder to treat psychologically, and require exceptional skill and training from a practitioner.

Moreover, surveys of individuals who seek bariatric surgery show that between 30% to 60% have full Binge Eating Disorders. This is the reason why Shift Weight Management Associates requires individuals with psychological issues with food to undergo a formal psychological assessment.

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Food Addiction

Just like with drugs, alcohol, gambling or even shopping some people experience an addictive impact from certain foods, most commonly:

  1. Highly processed foods 

  2. Foods with added sugars

  3. Flours

  4. Fried food

This can lead to food compulsion and even into a full-blown addiction. Recent studies show our brain response to sugar is similar to cocaine.

Many would describe the compulsion to eat these foods as unstoppable. This sensation is no different than an alcoholic who has the continuous compulsion to drink or a heron attic looking for a fix.

Food addiction and compulsive eating are real problems, and major contributing factors to several chronic health conditions. Like with any other substance-use problem, food addictions need to be taken and treated seriously.

Signs of Food Addiction

  1. Obsessive thoughts or preoccupation with food constantly. 

  2. Compulsive Eating.

  3. Not being able to stop eating once you begin.

  4. Unable to sustain an eating pattern. Going from one diet to the next.

Food Addiction and Binge Eating Disorder can appear to be similar to each other clinically.

But their causes - and treatments - are vastly different to the point where the clinician should not get the two confused. This is another reason why Shift requires a psychological evaluation before treatment begins.

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SHIFT
SHIFT

Assessment

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Psychological
Psychological

Eating Issues

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Assessement
Assessement

Food Addiction

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SHIFT
SHIFT

Assessment

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Assessment

Psychological Weight and Eating Issues

Please fill-in the information below and we will schedule an assessment for you. An assessment is conducted with our Psychologist, and lasts anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.


All assessments are covered under extended healthcare insurance.

Once the assessment is complete, you will talk with the psychologist and shift to create a treatment program that is right for you. It could include individual therapy (schedule to be determined), group therapy, group support or attendance at Shift workshops.

 

I Want Support with my Weight


All assessments are covered under extended healthcare insurance.

Please fill-in the information below and we will schedule an assessment for you. An assessment is conducted with our Psychologist, and lasts anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.

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Preferred Method of Contact

We will return you inquiry within 24 hours of receipt.

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