Eating disorders encompass a number of chronic and progressive diseases, comprised of a very complex range of symptoms which go beyond behaviour around food, such as a change or distortion of body image, a fear of weight gain and acquiring a series of values which are manifested through body image. They are illnesses that require a multifactorial analysis (individual-family-society). Those that are seen most frequently include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. At Fundación Recal we offer evidence-based alternatives for individuals classed as compulsive eaters (using the diagnostic criteria from the Yale Scale of Food Addiction). These strategies use methods such as systemic cognitive behavioural therapy within the 12 Step programme.

Excess weight and obesity have become a worldwide epidemic, affecting over a billion adults. In this context, people commonly restrict their calorie intake to face the problem (either under specialist guidance or under their own initiative), which usually involves giving up their favourite foods. It must be emphasised that many normal weight individuals also use this method to maintain or avoid weight gain.

It has been proven that over time, resisting temptation is increasingly difficult, as numerous stimuli can make us think of these foods, together with the desire to eat them. This intense desire and anxiety around food has been associated with failure to comply with diets and maintain any dietary restrictions. Trying not to think of such foods and to suppress the desire to eat them is one of the most widely used alternatives, but it has been proven that this could contribute to such thoughts and desires occurring with greater force. The passing of time and the lack of other resources that allow an adequate management of the desire to eat are contributing factors to people who become lax around food, giving into temptations which they should be avoiding. To deal with these thoughts around food and the intense desires they produce it is necessary to accept them and not blame or embarrass oneself for experiencing them. At Fundación Recal we offer evidence based alternatives for self control of food cravings along with education about healthy eating habits and behaviours through educational talks, group and individual therapies and individual meal plans designed for the patient all within the 12 Step programme.

Behavioural addictions are treated in the same way as substance addictions. Behaviours which can lead to addiction include:

  • Gambling
  • Sex
  • New technologies (internet, mobile phones, social media, videogames)
  • Shopping
  • Work
  • Co-dependency