Exercise is often viewed as a healthy lifestyle behavior that promotes many health benefits. While this is true, for those who are in treatment for an eating disorder, this behavior has to be monitored and assessed for abuse or compulsive behaviors. The DSM-5 defines excessive exercise as when it significantly interferes with important activities, when it occurs at inappropriate times, or when the individual continues to exercise despite injury or other medical complications. Excessive exercise is a predictor of poor therapeutic outcome and an early relapse in eating disorders. The medical risks factors for compulsive exercise should be communicated and understood such as increased anxiety, depression, and stress; increased risks of cardiovascular complications; hypoglycemia; slowing of the metabolism; and decrease in skeletal muscle and bone density just to highlight a few. For these reasons, it is important for exercise to be assessed in eating disorder screenings and treatment. Important questions to explore are why and how one exercises; what does that individual consider to be exercise; what is the nutritional status of the individual; how does one feel before, during and after exercising; what are the exercise values and practices within the home. It is important that all behaviors with food and activity are assessed and treated to aid that individual towards recovery.
Meyer, Blisset, Alberry, & Sykes. (2013). Beliefs about exercise: Relationship to eating psychopathology and core beliefs among young female exercisers. Eating Behaviors, 14, 79-82
Eating disorders are not just about food and eating. A complex constellation of factors is implicated in their development and the recovery process. An eating disorder occurs when the focus of a person’s everyday life revolves obsessively around food and weight. These food thoughts and behaviors are the symptoms of underlying emotional issues that are triggering the behavior.
At Nutritional Guidance, Inc. we believe in full recovery and will work with a multidisciplinary team to move clients towards it. Nutritional repletion and weight restoration are core components of the recovery process. The dietitians will move clients safely through the refeeding process while providing nutrition therapy regarding the physiological consequences of eating disorder behaviors.
1155 Louisiana Ave, Ste 210
Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (407) 629-5504
Fax: (407) 629-5585