Eating Disorder Counseling

 Are you or someone you love struggling with food and eating, restrictive food intake, emotional eating, purging, or body image issues? Eating disorders are a serious illness that can affect both your emotional and physical health. If you are not sure if you have an eating disorder or what can be done to make changes, please read on to find out more. Counseling can help you gain freedom from your struggle with food, weight, poor body image and the roller coaster of disordered eating.

Types & Symptoms of Eating Disorder

Anorexia Nervosa

  • ​Inadequate food intake leading to a weight that is clearly too low.
  • Intense fear of weight gain, obsession with weight and persistent behavior to prevent weight gain.
  • Self-esteem overly related to body image.
  • Inability to appreciate the severity of the situation.
  • Binge-Eating/Purging Type involves binge eating and/or purging behaviors during the last three months.
  • Restricting Type does not involve binge eating or purging.

Binge Eating Disorder

  • Frequent episodes of consuming very large amounts of food but without behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting.
  • A feeling of being out of control during the binge eating episodes.
  • Feelings of strong shame or guilt regarding the binge eating.
  • Indications that the binge eating is out of control, such as eating when not hungry, eating to the point of discomfort, or eating alone because of shame about the behavior.

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Frequent episodes of consuming very large amount of food followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting.
  • A feeling of being out of control during the binge-eating episodes.
  • Self-esteem overly related to body image.

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (Arfid )

  • Appearing to be a ‘picky eater’ or being ‘phobic’ of certain foods

  • Not eating enough or skipping meals completely

  • No evidence of being preoccupied with body shape or weight but rather anxiety about the food itself

  • Very sensitive to certain aspects of foods, focusing on texture, smell, temperature or food group

  • Disinterested in food or forgetting to eat

  • Avoiding events where food will be served

  • Needing to take nutritional supplements

  • Anxiety and fear around food

  • Malnutrition


Characterized by individuals who persistently eat non-nutritive substances such as chalk, paper or soap for at least a month. 

Rumination Disorder

An eating disoder in which an individual, usually a child or infant, brings their food back up, re-chew and re-swallw, and it is not caused by a medical condition such as a gastrointestinal condition.  It differs from Bulimia in that the individual does not appear to be brining the food up intentionally, nor do they appear upset or disgusted by it. This condition can lead to malnutrition. 

Compulsive Overeating

  • Binge eating, or eating uncontrollably even when not physically hungry.
  • Eating much more rapidly than normal.
  • Eating alone due to shame and embarrassment.
  • Feelings of guilt due to overeating.
  • Preoccupation with body weight.
  • Awareness that eating patterns are abnormal.
  • History of weight fluctuations.
  • Withdrawal from activities because of embarrassment about weight.
  • Eating little in public, but maintaining a high body weight.
  • Hiding food in strange places (closets, cabinets, suitcases, under the bed).
  • Holding the belief that food is their only friend.

Unlike bulimia nervosa, persons with compulsive overeating disorder do not purge them of excess calories following a binge episode.​​

Complications Associated with Eating Disorder Behaviors

Health Consequences of Anorexia Nervosa
In anorexia nervosa’s cycle of self-starvation, the body is denied the essential nutrients it needs to function normally.  Thus, the body is forced to slow down all of its processes to conserve energy, resulting in serious medical consequences:

  • Abnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure, which mean that the heart muscle is changing.  The risk for heart failure rises as the heart rate and blood pressure levels sink lower and lower.
  • Reduction of bone density (osteoporosis), which results in dry, brittle bones.
  • Muscle loss and weakness.
  • Severe dehydration, which can result in kidney failure.
  • Fainting, fatigue, and overall weakness.
  • Dry hair and skin; hair loss is common.
  • Growth of a downy layer of hair called lanugo all over the body, including the face, in an effort to keep the body warm.

Health Consequences of Bulimia Nervosa
The recurrent binge-and-purge cycles of bulimia can affect the entire digestive system and can lead to electrolyte and chemical imbalances in the body that affect the heart and other major organ functions.  Some of the health consequences of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Electrolyte imbalances that can lead to irregular heartbeats and possibly heart failure and death.  Electrolyte imbalance is caused by dehydration and loss of potassium, sodium and chloride from the body as a result of purging behaviors.
  • Potential for gastric rupture during periods of bingeing.
  • Inflammation and possible rupture of the esophagus from frequent vomiting.
  • Tooth decay and staining from stomach acids released during frequent vomiting.
  • Chronic irregular bowel movements and constipation as a result of laxative abuse.
  • Peptic ulcers and pancreatitis.

Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder often results in many of the same health risks associated with clinical obesity. Some of the potential health consequences of binge eating disorder include:

  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol levels.
  • Heart disease as a result of elevated triglyceride levels.
  • Type II diabetes mellitus.
  • Gallbladder disease.

If you are uncertain if you have disordered eating, ask yourself the following questions:

  •         Do you binge eat or purge?
  •         Do you severely restrict your calorie intake?
  •         Do you weigh yourself once or twice (or more) a day?
  •         Do you over exercise?
  •         Do you eat when you are upset, sad, anxious, or happy?
  •         Do you overeat more than twice a week?
  •         Do your thoughts about food and gaining weight feel obsessive?
  •         Have you hidden evidence of the foods you have eaten out of shame?
  •         Do you worry that you have no impulse control when with eating?
  •         Have you ever tried self induced vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, fasting, 
  •         amphetamines to lose weight?
  •         Do you feel uncomfortable eating with other people around?

If you answered yes to any of these, you might have an Eating Disorder. An estimated 5-10 million Americans are affected by eating disorders. I have worked with hundreds of people who are struggling with these same issues. In a comfortable, supportive environment, we can work together to help you gain control of your life, your body and your self image.  Treatment is tailored to meet your individual needs.

Nancy often works in conjunction with the licensed dietitians who specialize in working with people who struggle with anorexia, bulimia, food addictions, binge eating disorder, obesity, compulsive exercising and compulsive overeating. Working in a treatment team with a therapist and a dietitian will give you the greatest success in overcoming your eating disorder.

Contact Nancy today to discuss your needs and to see how eating disorder counseling in Houston, Tx can help you. You can also reach us via email nancy@wilsoncounseling .org or by phone @ 713 - 591- 3612. 


What Clients Are Saying:

"For years, I struggled with overeating. I never felt comfortable in my own skin. Nancy helped me understand what I was trying to feed. Now I feel better than I ever have. I can finally say that food no longer controls me."

"I felt really ambivalent about my life until I came to therapy. Now I see the potential to be happy. Coming to see you has changed my life!"

"I spent so much time trying to change my body. So many hours wasted feeling bad about myself and obsessing about what I was eating.  Through counseling, I have learned to love my curves. I just wish I had done this sooner"

Related Blog Posts:

-Stop Emotional Eating

-Tips For Eating Mindfully On Thanksgiving

-Trust Your Body: Emotional Eating As A Friend 

-How To Stop Feeding Your Emotions

 If you are interested in eating disorder counseling in Houston, TX, check out our contact page and get a free 10 minute phone consultation to find out more about how our Wilson Counseling specialists can hep you.   

Quote about body image and eating disorders with photograph of a mountain range with hot air balloons at sunset.

Quote about body image and eating disorders with photograph of a mountain range with hot air balloons at sunset.

How To Eat Mindfully

 You will learn the steps to eat more mindfully. Learning to slow down, enjoy and be present when you eat has so many benefits. Food will taste better, you will enjoy the process more and likely eat less. This is helpful for everyone, but especially if you dealt with disordered eating, emotional eating, binge eating, mindless eating, etc. It is also great if you just want to learn to be mindful in all areas of your life.  

Stop Emotional Eating

 Learn how to stop emotional eating and get your real needs met. Do you eat when you are sad, happy, angry, frustrated? You may be eating emotionally. This kind of eating just serves to distract you temporarily from your feelings, but doesn't offer real solutions. In this video, you will learn to combat emotional eating so you can actually recognize and meet needs such as loneliness and boredom. Check out the Wilson Counseling youtube channel for other great videos like this one.