Tag Archive: eating disorders

  1. What are the Effects of Eating Disorders on Adolescent Males

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    More attention is being paid to eating disorders in boys and young men than previously done. The pressures placed on young girls are now being similarly placed on young men through pop culture. The problem far extends beyond just a certain demographic as many young men are struggling with eating disorders. Learn more about the effects of eating disorders on adolescent males.


    The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders estimates 10 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia are male but this may be a low figure. A more true figure may hover closer to 30 percent. It is a hidden sub-population which is a serious national health crisis. Even more, boys and men are risking their lives as eating disorders having the highest death rate of any psychological illness. Many in the medical profession still see anorexia as a girl’s disease making it difficult to break the barrier.


    Billboards, trailers and more focus on the perfect abs, glutes and body type that is not ideal for most men or young boys. Many boys start out wanting to achieve perfection and spiral into eating disorders. The hyper-idealized male physique can be underscored when movies come out that demonstrate how an actor spent seven or eight hours a day pushing the body and building up muscle to look good in a certain role. For an individual with anorexia, it is difficult to achieve this goal and it leaves the individual feeling like a failure.

    Weight Issues

    One of the main problems with eating disorders in young men isn’t always based on food consumption it is focused on over exercising to the point of extreme weight loss. It can cause fingernails to turn brittle, sunken eyes and cheeks to appear and baggy clothes are worn to conceal the weight loss. When a man reaches zero body fat, the body cannot stay warm and it becomes a health risk. More notably, personality changes erupt and it becomes difficult to navigate around an individual who is having mood swings.

    Healing the Inner World

    A teen’s inside voice can be the most lethal when it comes to eating disorders. Vulnerable teens lead internal lives that have voices of a cruel dictator living inside. When an individual tries to say no to the eating disorder, the voice grows louder, begging the individual to try and navigate life with this voice saying it is never enough and the young man feels more compelled than ever to keep forging ahead with the eating disorder in spite of losing health, relationships and other things that matter.

    A big part of recovery is learning to silence or ignore the voice. When an eating disorder is beat, it is possible to live a life that is more free of that voice beckoning a young man to do things that are harmful and focuses more on positive, healthy alternatives for the future.


    Sustain Recovery provides support to adolescents who need residential treatment for addiction. Young adults who need short or long term stays are welcome to come and seek support for the journey to recovery.

  2. How to Stop Binge Eating

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    How to Stop Binge EatingThe advertising tag line “ I bet you can’t eat just one” foreshadowed the growing obesity epidemic that is being fueled by binge eating. Binge eaters will numbly go through an entire bag of potato chips or a box of cookies without stopping to think about what they are doing and with no sense of hunger or fulfillment. Eating comforts them, distracts them from the stresses in their lives, and fills an emotional hole that might otherwise leave them feeling depressed, angry, or anxious about negative events in their lives.

    The Dynamics of Binge Eating

    If binge eating is not controlled, it can lead to severe health problems that are associated with obesity, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stomach and renal disorders. A person might be biologically predisposed to binge eating as, for example, if he has a disorder that blocks messages from his brain telling him to stop eating because he is full. In modern society, social, cultural and psychological factors are more likely to lead to binge eating disorders. A young person who is bullied at school or abused at home will turn to binge eating to ease the pain of those events. People use food as a reward for surviving on-the-job stress or difficult conditions in their home lives or relationships. Binge eaters will consume salty or sugary snacks to alleviate symptoms of depression. Any situation that leads a person to consume large quantities of food with no consideration of any accompanying hunger can signal the start of a binge eating disorder.

    Treating a Binge Eating Disorder

    Binge eating is characterized by a complete lack of control over food consumption. Binge eaters will obsess about food. They will eat in secret and try to hide their proclivities from friends and family members. They might feel guilty or disgusted with themselves at the end of an eating binge, or even eat until they are sick, but no amount of guilt, disgust, or illness will convince them to take control, of their food consumption.

    The first step in ending a binge eating problem is for a binge eater to gain a sense of awareness of how much food he or she is consuming. This can be accomplished with the maintenance of a food journal. That journal will become a record of the stresses and events that lead to eating binges, which will allow the binge eater to develop different strategies to handle those stresses and events. Binge eaters can also remove temptations to overeat by keeping foods out of their houses that they have used to satisfy food cravings, and instead to focus on eating no more than three regular meals or five smaller meals every day.

    Binge eaters should also focus on starting an exercise program and incorporating activities into their lives that they can turn to as alternatives to binge eating. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep will also be critical to manage a binge eating problem, as a lack of sleep has been shown to increase cravings for carbohydrate-laden foods. Binge eaters should also strive to focus on feelings other than the urge to eat, and to develop alternative responses to negative feelings. If a binge eater cannot manage these tasks alone, he or she should seek professional help to counteract the urge to binge eat.

    Modern society may have created the conditions that gave rise to binge eating problems, as well as the ready and available products that can satisfy the binge eater’s cravings. Fortunately, binge eaters have countless resources to fall back on that can help them break a binge eating problem.

    If you are concerned over your own binge eating, please call Sustain Recovery Services at (949) 407-9052. We can assess your relationship with food and give you suggestions on how to make that relationship healthier and more fulfilling.

I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

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