What are eating problems?

Eating problems come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few examples:

Eating problems usually affect your whole life. It’s something you’re confronted with every day, again and again. Much of our social contacts centre around eating and/or drinking and it can feel very lonely. For example, if you tell others you think you are fat and they think this is nonsense, you can get stuck fighting on your own. And maybe you know you’re suffering from too much or too little weight, but can’t shake the feeling that you don’t. It could also be that you’re thinking about food all the time or worry about certain foods being safe.

Where do eating problems come from?

Eating problems have different causes, but often they are a sign of an underlying struggle in your system. There may be a part of you that wants you to feel better and tries to help by making you eat lots of yummy foods and another part that is worried about how you look and fears that you’ll be rejected if you become too fat. If these two parts take turns taking over the wheel, one minute you’ll be binge-eating and the next you’ll be starving; often with a lot of internal criticism as a result.


It can also happen that you’ve lost a sense of control due to certain traumatic events. Controlling your food can give you back a sense of control and thus a sense of calm. Another possibility is that your caregivers or other important people in your life have dealt with food in a certain way and that you’ve integrated it into your own life.

The treatment of eating problems

It’s important to discover what parts of your system play a role in maintaining the eating problems, so that you can understand them better and find another way of collaborating with them. That’s why the treatment at Psychologist Groningen consists of the following steps:


Explanation how and why eating problems have such an impact.


Exploring the underlying causes and meaning of the eating problems.


Getting to know your system step by step and learning how to collaborate with it.


It’s possible to work together with a doctor and/or dietitian to get practical help concerning food.

Making food an enjoyable part of your life again

Even though the consequences of eating problems can be very severe, most people benefit from treatment. It is possible to make food an enjoyable part of your life again. Together we look at how we can do this best for you.


At Psychologist Groningen you can plan regular sessions or plan a package of three sessions with which you can work on a specific question. For example: “How can I develop a different relationship to food?”


And if you already want to get to work on your own, take a look at the following resources.

Do you want to get started on your recovery?

Take a look at the following resources:

Facts/fables about eating problems

A short film about what eating problems are and are not and why it can be so difficult to treat (4:33 min).

The Lifestyle Dietitian

With the help of a dietitian you can learn to deal with food in a healthier way.


Online help with
eating problems

You can find a list of online help services devoted to helping with eating problems here.

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