The Difference In Weight Gain And Eating Disorders

While many people think of extreme weight loss when they consider eating disorders, there are also eating disorder that can result in overall weight gain, even obesity and morbid obesity.

Food Addiction

Two eating disorders that will result in weight gain include food addiction as well as binge eating disorder. Food addiction occurs when the consumption of specific types of foods, typically those that are high in sugar, salt and processed carbohydrates, cause chemical changes in the brain that are similar to the changes seen when an individual is using drugs or alcohol. This is more than a craving for a specific type of food; it is an all-consuming desire not to just sample the food, but to consume it continually or in high amounts.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder occurs when an individual feels compelled to eat very large amounts of foods in a short period of time. This is not due to physical hunger, but rather to a triggering event, often a negative experience or emotions, where food is used in the same way as alcohol or drugs as a self-medicating treatment.

Unlike bulimia, the individual does not purge after binging, often consuming thousands of calories in just an hour two. During this time, these individuals feel out of control and, while initially they have the release of the "feel good" chemicals in the brain, this is soon replaced by feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment that will build over time to trigger another cycle.

These are two different types of eating disorders that can be diagnosed as a mental health condition and also lead to weight gain. They do not occur because of lack of willpower or the inability of the individual to simply control his or her diet and lifestyle. They are also not one-time events; they are behaviours and thoughts about food and self that occur over months or years and pose the risk of serious physical and mental health issues for those with the conditions.

Weight Gain

Weight gain can occur in anyone at any stage in life. Weight is a complex issue that is based on genetics, caloric intake, metabolism, age, overall health and physical fitness levels as well as exercise and lifestyle choices.

Understanding if there is an eating disorder or if the weight gain is due to the factors mentioned immediately above starts with taking an honest look at yourself and how you see and interact with food.

To get started, consider the following questions:

  1. Does my weight change dramatically from week to week or month to month?
  2. Do I hide my eating?
  3. Do I crave specific foods to the point of inability to focus on other things?
  4. Do I consume large amounts of food to the point of discomfort?
  5. Do I try "crash" diets and lose weight, only to immediately go off the diet and back to prior eating patterns?
  6. Do I feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed about my eating and about my weight?
  7. Do I feel out of control and unable to stop specific behaviours around food consumption even though I understand they are unhealthy and dangerous?

If the answers to these questions are yes, or even if the answer to a few of the questions are yes, talk to a therapist. There may be underlying issues to your weight gain that are not just a result of poor diet and lifestyle choices. By getting to the root of these issues, you can learn how to balance your lifestyle, your food intake and maintain a healthy weight and a happier life. 


Philippe Jacquet & Associates

Knowing yourself and understanding the options that you have to create happiness, success, fulfilment and growth within your world and on your own terms is at the heart of virtually all types of personal change. The focus of psychotherapy, counselling, coaching, hypnotherapy and art therapy centres around this principle. Through psychotherapy you will embark on a deeply personal and unique journey to a greater understanding. This journey will allow you to reach your maximum potential and find your own place of harmony and happiness.

This pathway or journey is not easy to traverse and navigate. Working with a professional that is trained in providing the support, education and insight to help you discover yourself is essential along your journey. Your own goals and desires for change will be instrumental in determining which support options from psychotherapy to coaching will best suit your unique, individual needs.

To help you along your journey of self-discovery finding the right professional is central to achieving your goals. Psychotherapy, counselling or coaching all require a strong relationship between the mental health professional and the client, a relationship that is truly personal, founded on trust, and one which the client is respected and valued as an individual.

With years of experience as a psychotherapist Philippe Jacquet is able to provide a personalised, confidential and highly effective treatment plans for all clients. With international experience in providing services including individual and group therapy, Mr. Jacquet has the ability to fully customise treatment and therapy programmes to meet the needs of each client. While many offices only offer traditional types of talk therapy, Philippe Jacquet & Associates is able to offer art therapy, hypnotherapy and a range of treatment options to best suit the needs of each individual client.

Mr. Jacquet uses best practice options in working with each client. This may include employing a range of different psychotherapy methods based on the individuals goals and desired outcomes for the sessions. Sessions will be client centred and focus in on creating positive change that will maximize the opportunities for personal growth and increased personal understanding. With years of experience in working with patients Mr. Jacquet is able to place the patient with the right therapists, coach or counsellor to make an excellent match.

Unlike some psychotherapists, Mr. Jacquet and the staff at his office are voluntarily accredited by several governing bodies. These include the BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists), HPC (Health Professionals Council) and the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy). With these accreditations Mr. Jacquet is committed to following best practices, staying abreast of current research and ensuring compliance with all professional ethical standards set forth by these internationally recognised organisations.

At Philippe Jacquet & Associates client confidentiality is paramount in everything that we do. We can provide services for adults, adolescents and children through a range of different issues and diagnoses. Our professional, experienced and established counsellors, therapists and coaches can help address issues with relationships, anger management, eating disorders, trauma, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, anxiety, addition and personal growth.

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