As an eating disorder dietitian who previously worked in a Diabetes clinic the philosophy of treatment is rather similar. When I treat individuals with binge eating we focus on treatment being like a teeter-totter. You won’t always be perfectly situated on the board but we are continually striving for balance.
Fuel up to Stay Fueled
Within my role as the dietitian, the first thing I look to guide clients on is how often to fuel their body knowing that the body prefers consistent fueling. Research has demonstrated that this helps control release of hunger hormones as well as not overwhelming the pancreas to produce insulin.
The next part of balance is the fuel within each meal. Macronutrients serve a vital role in health. When an individual either intentionally restricts or doesn’t plan for balance the body can become deplete in valuable nutrients generally resulting in cravings for that nutrient. Example, if one if trying to eat low carbohydrate but finds themselves with intense cravings by dinner time this is the body’s way of responding to what it needs. However, this unbalanced intake can lead to the potential of a binge secondary to the physiological demand. On the other side of the teeter-totter is overwhelming the body of fuel it is not needing at that moment. This can lead to changes in the neuroendocrine response and the body may try to unfavorably respond to accommodate leading to inflammation, & weight changes.
Striving for Balance
The last part that I see as the most critical part (pivot point) is the balance in life. We all too well know that many times the previous two behaviors result due to an imbalance in our day to day life. This imbalance leads to confusing bodily messages as to what our body needs and wants. Over time some might feel an eventual disconnection. Self-care musts require a balance in: nourishment, exercise/movement, sleep and stress management. Without these you might find your teeter-totter on the ground.