Cravings, especially for sugar and carbohydrates
Loss of hunger cues
Increased risk of developing an eating disorder
Low blood sugar
Regular eating gives structure to eating habits so that eating can start to become a regular part of life again.
Regular eating also maintains a steady metabolism and prevents the body from going into ‘starvation mode’ in which the body stores energy from food.
It helps to combat delayed, infrequent or unstructured eating and reduces binge eating.
Establishing regular eating habits is a fundamental intervention for anyone experiencing disordered eating patterns. Regular eating is the foundation upon which other positive changes in a young person's eating habits will be based.
Support your young person to eat roughly every three hours, taking the form of three meals, breakfast lunch and dinner, and two or three snacks per day. This can be modified as needed later on.
Regular eating gives structure to eating habits so that eating can start to become a regular part of life again. It helps to combat delayed, infrequent or unstructured eating and reduces binge eating. It stabilises blood sugar levels reducing tiredness, dizziness and increased irritability. Regular eating also maintains a steady metabolism and prevents the body going into starvation mode in which the body stores energy from food.
Help the young person to plan their meals and snacks for the day. Meals and snacks should take precedence over other activities.
Encourage the young person to stick to the plan and avoid eating between meals and snacks.
If the young person is tempted to purge or use laxatives after eating, support them to distract them from these difficult thoughts, and help them learn ways to ‘surf the urge’ to engage in these behaviours.
The Hot Cross Bun Model shows how thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and behaviours all interact with each other in one situation. In some cases, a vicious cycle can be formed, with unhelpful behaviours triggering negative thoughts.
Changing one section of the 'Hot Cross Bun' cycle can help to create changes in other areas. Lets think about how to communicate your feelings and emotions and write some ideas in the Hot Cross Bun...
Encourage the young person to speak to someone that they feel most able to talk to, share how they are feeling and what has been difficult for them.
This might be a friend, another parent or carer, or perhaps a professional such as a CAMHS worker or GP. They could be speaking to you because you are their trusted person. You will be able to help them to think about how to get the right support.
Encouraging them to have some quiet time to identify and reflect on their feelings
Finding the right time to communicate
with their trusted person. This could be at a set time each day or each week so they are not distracted or busy whilst talking
Finding ways of communicating that feel comfortable for them e.g. writing
things down or sending text messages
Planning ahead – agreeing on ways they might communicate how they feel when they are overwhelmed
Suggest they send a text message when
distressed to their trusted person
Agree on a particular ‘code word’ or ‘Emoji’ that they will be able to use to express how they are feeling
Think of some ways they might be able to speak about their feelings or difficulties
Who might they speak to?
Where would be best to do this?
Will it make it more comfortable doing this in person or perhaps over the phone?
Do they need to write some notes beforehand to help them?
Emotion-Focussed Family Therapy (EFFT) material used with permission from the International Institute for Emotion-Focussed Family Therapy www.mentalhealthfoundations.ca - Adele Lafrance, Natasha Files, Sheila Paluzzi and Jennifer Danby.
References or Creators Credit