It is a known fact that in January, most people try to lose weight. It is one of the most popular New Year resolutions. And while most resolutions fizzle out, some can trigger those prone to eating disorders. There’s nothing wrong with aiming to stay healthy and fit, however, this can become an obsession with some people, leading to them eating more or less. If you are prone to eating disorders, here’s what you should know, according to Dr Fabian Almeida, consultant, Mental Health and Behavioral Science, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan.
What you should know if prone to eating disorders
The first step to dealing with an eating disorder effectively is to acknowledge that one is battling it. And rather than obsessing over losing weight, one has to aim to adopt a healthy way of life. The right balance of eating healthy, exercising regularly and avoiding extreme diets can make a huge difference. This may be difficult to achieve without the right professional help.
- Be realistic in your goals
Being moderately realistic, rather than superlatively optimistic is the way to go. Don’t opt for crash diets as they will only trigger extreme behaviour, which will defeat your health goals. Many people want to lose weight in the quickest possible way, and often the quickest way is the unhealthiest. When people start to really restrict their carbohydrate intake they become more depressed, more anxious, more obsessed, and much more body focused. So, it truly is a change in brain chemistry for individuals that are susceptible.
- Take help from experts to stay healthy
Avoid fad diets and approach a dietician and a mental health expert, who can advise you on the right food portions, what to eat and what to avoid. Professional psychiatric advice, counselling and treatment is an added advantage to combat symptoms of stress eating.
- Opt for a monthly health evaluation instead of an annual one
It makes better sense to have a regular self-appraisal of your thoughts, words and actions. Do this on a monthly basis, rather than going overboard annually! It also helps to have a sense of prioritisation of your goals, seeing it in context of your life and lifestyle.
Taking a balanced approach, seeking support and intervention as and when required, reviewing your progress during this journey from basecamp to summit, can make your destination more realistic and worthwhile too!