Monday, 2 February 2015

Binge Eating: How Much to Eat While You’re Getting Better


By Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD

When you’re getting better -- or recovering -- from binge eating disorder, you could have a lot of questions about food. Eating disorder experts Natalie Guarnaschelli, a registered dietitian at Eating Disorder Treatment of New York, and Justine Roth, a registered dietitian at The New York State Psychiatric Institute, share their advice.

How Much Is Too Much Food to Eat?

Guarnaschelli: This is one of the first questions people with binge eating disorder ask, but at first, how much you eat isn’t as much of a concern as is starting to eat balanced meals throughout the day.

Roth: In general, strive to eat balanced meals and snacks that satisfy you. Signs that you might be eating "too much" are if you're starting to feel out of control while eating or like you’re eating to numb emotions.

What Should I Be Eating for a Meal?

Roth: You want a balance of all different food groups -- protein, starches, vegetables, and fats, as well as vitamins and minerals, like calcium. Also, you should always try to include foods that you enjoy in your meals. A balanced meal might look like a piece of baked chicken, a sweet potato, and sautéed spinach.

Guarnaschelli: Make peace with your plate. Think about a peace sign on your plate, dividing it into thirds: One-third should have protein, one-third starch, and one-third fruits or vegetables, and some kind of fat. Fat adds flavor to foods and helps you feel satisfied. An example is oatmeal made with milk and fruit and some nuts stirred in, plus an egg. You get protein and fat from the egg, nuts, and milk, and the oatmeal is a starch. If you’re not used to eating proper meals, this might seem like a lot of food, but this is what your body needs. This is what a meal is.

How Many Calories a Day Are Enough?

Guarnaschelli: That’s a hard question to answer because talking about calories isn’t helpful. It just feeds the eating disorder. Many binge eaters thinking they should be dieting. But with dieting usually comes calorie counting. You don’t want to do this. The important thing to do is structure meals and snacks and get in some protein and fiber and healthy fat.

Roth: You need enough calories to make you feel full, not deprived. First, I look at what someone eats and then make a meal plan based on that with a similar amount of calories. It may be something like 2,000 calories, but that would need to be decided with your dietitian. A professional dietitian can look at the guidelines and recommend a meal plan without having you focus on calorie counting.

source : Binge Eating: How Much to Eat While You’re Getting Better

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