Eating Disorders
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders include many types of disordered eating patterns. Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder are three types of eating disorders:

What is Anorexia?

People with Anorexia Nervosa either consistently restrict food or restrict and then binge and purge. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight
  • Disturbance in the way that one perceives his or her body ie. Claiming to feel fat even when emaciated (distorted body image)
  • Weight loss to less than 85% of normal body weight
  • Refusal to maintain body weight over a minimal normal weight for age and height
  • Denial of the seriousness of the current weight loss
  • Absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles

What is Bulimia?

People with bulimia Nervosa may purge by self induced vomiting, by misusing laxatives, diuretics, or enemas (purging type), or by using other inappropriate compensatory mechanisms to prevent weight gain, such as fasting or exercising excessively (non-purging type). Signs and symptoms include: • Recurrent episodes of binge eating characterized by: eating an unusually large amount of food in a discreet period of time, and feeling out of control during an eating episode and unable to stop eating or control what and how much is eaten • Compensating for the food binge to prevent weight gain, such as induction of vomiting, misusing laxatives, enemas, or other medications and /or fasting or exercising excessively • Binge eating and purging, on average, at least twice a week for three months • Evaluating self-worth according to body shape and weight

Binge Eating Disorder

People with Binge Eating Disorder experience frequent episodes of out-of-control eating, with the same binge symptoms as those with Bulimia. The main difference is that individuals with Binge Eating Disorder do not purge their bodies of excess calories through purging. Therefore, many with the disorder are overweight. The Binge Eating episodes are associated with three of the following: • Eating much more rapidly than normal • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry • Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or guilty after overeating

What Do I Do?

If you are experiencing problems with food and/or are experiencing any of the above symptoms, or you suspect that a friend or loved one is experiencing the same symptoms, do not wait until medical problems arise. Anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders can be life-threatening conditions that should not be overlooked. It is extremely important to help your loved one and seek emotional support as well as medical support. It is important to express your concern carefully, being careful not to mention weight or eating habits. In the instance that someone approaches you about an eating disorder, it is important to listen, be supportive and offer sympathy. Also, offer a list of professional resources. As a friend or acquaintance, you cannot cure a serious disorder without the appropriate medical expertise. This is why, as a friend, you can help this person seek medical help and guidance. Finding a Therapist and Registered Dietitian that specializes in eating disorders, is one way to offer a wonderful resource. Here is a list of local resources to consider:

Calgary Eating Disorder Program: Phone: (403) 943-7700 www.crha-health.ab.ca/eatingdis/

Calgary Counselling Centre: Phone: (403) 265-4980

Lois Sapsford – Juno Counselling and Consulting Private Practice Eating Disorder Therapist Phone: (403) 209-0997

Andrea Holwegner – Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. Registered Dietitian Phone: (403) 262-3466 www.healthstandnutrition.com

Dr. Colleen Cannon Clinical Psychologist Phone: (403) 571-8680 www.colleencannon.com

Looking for further information? Body Image & Eating Disorder Websites:

About Face www.about-face.org

Academy for Eating Disorders www.aedweb.org

Alberta Mental Health Board www.amhb.ab.ca (Follow links from Community Services, to Children’s Mental Health. Information on the Body Image Resource Collection can be accessed here).

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (American site) www.anad.org

Body Positive www.bodypositive.com

Gurze Books www.gurze.com (Eating disorders publications).

Mirror Mirror  www.mirror-mirror.org

National Eating Disorder Information Centre www.nedic.ca

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As seen in


Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This