Françoise Léon, Ph

Psychologist specialized in eating disorders in children, adolescents and adults

 

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Regulation of food intake

Thé madeleines argenterieThe regulation of food intake allows a balance between what is eaten and the nutritional needs of the body to be achieved. It implies recognition of eating sensations: hunger, satiation and satiety.

When the regulation of food intake is good, weight should remain stable. An emotional imbalance, however, can increase food intake, resulting in weight gain. In order to maintain the balance between absorbed energy and released energy, we can on the one hand, modulate eating behaviour that is linked to eating sensations and to emotions, and we can, on the other hand, increase physical activity.

One of the means of improving the regulation of food intake is to awaken our five senses (sight, smell, taste, touch and sometimes hearing). This allows us become aware of the characteristics of the food that is being tasted. This approach can result in people eating foods more slowly, allowing them to perceive the signs of satiation.

Excess weight and obesity

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Obesity, like being overweight, is the result of multiple factors including genetic factors, physiology, individual psychology, individual history, and the relationships with the environment. These different factors are specific to each individual, which is why no two persons with weight problems can be helped in the same way.

Whatever the level of excess weight, one person or another can perceive this as being more or less painful. It can often be associated with eating disorders.

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the main eating disorder resulting in weight gain in adults, teenagers, and sometimes children.

Binge eating episodes are associated with some of the following features: eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry, eating much more rapidly than normal, eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating. Eating until feeling uncomfortably full and feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed or very guilty after overeating.

Binge eating disorder is not associated with regular compensatory behaviour (such as self -induced vomiting or strenuous exercise).

This behaviour and associated problems with weight gain are sources of suffering.

Integrative psychotherapy as I practice it, aims to establish a global balance through the integration of emotions, and offers help for this kind of difficulty.

 

Psychotherapy

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Therapies are focused on the treatment of eating disorders and states associated with them including anxiety, low self-esteem and sometimes depression.

This type of therapy is said to be integrative because it includes different methods. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) considers the patient’s current difficulties and is based on practical exercises involving eating behaviour. Work around emotions is crucial.

Depending on the patient’s needs, psychotherapy can integrate elements coming from other branches of psychology including Sensory Perception, Mindfulness, Psychoanalysis or other fields.

The psychotherapy is tailored to each person.

Cook, Taste, Share…

 

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