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Food addiction

Eating & Food Addiction Treatment

Overcome challenging eating disorders with a treatment programme tailored to you.

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"The staff and facilities were brilliant and they helped me through a very difficult time in my life." James Dominiak

Holistic approach to recovery

Personalised programmes

Flexible stays

24-hour care & support

Private luxury accommodation

Eating disorders are often brushed off as something that can be easily controlled if only the person would simply stop being ‘lazy’ or ‘find some motivation’. If you’re anorexic, eat more food and gain weight. If you’re obese from binge eating, simply eat less. But while eating disorders are within your control to some extent, they are far more complex and should be treated with the same respect, attention and care as any other addiction or disorder.

All eating disorders have psychological issues at their root driving behavioural complications and creating all kinds of physical health problems. There are many different types of eating disorders but the three most common are:

Anorexia nervosa
Bulimia nervosa
Binge eating disorder

Each of these has their own set of drivers, complications and health risks.

Thankfully, with the right help and support, eating disorders are treatable and you can build a healthier relationship with food.

Discover our approach to treatment here.

Talk to our team about our person-centred approach to our programmes today. Book a consultation

Anorexia nervosa (anorexia)

Anorexia is characterised by the attempt to keep weight levels as low as possible by not eating. Sometimes, this is accompanied by intensive exercise and/or purging of food through laxatives, diuretics, enemas or self-induced vomiting.

Anorexia is often driven by extreme body dissatisfaction, a delusion of being fat and an obsession with being thinner, even if they are already looking seriously malnourished.

Signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa:

Eating very infrequently or not at all
Looking pale, thin or ill
Purging after eating
Feeling guilty or shameful after eating or purging
Repeating the action regardless of past guilt and shame
Regularly using food as a coping mechanism
Hiding eating from others

Effects of anorexia nervosa:

Of all the eating disorders, anorexia poses the most serious and immediate health concerns, both physical and psychological. According to the National Institute for Health and Care, the mortality rates of people with anorexia is 9.6%, which is about three times higher than any other psychiatric illness. Starvation affects every area of the body, and so physical health risks can be extremely varied. Some of the most common health risks include:
Risk of heart failure
Osteoporosis (the reduction of bone density)
Severe dehydration which can result in kidney failure
Muscle loss and weakness
Fainting, fatigue and overall weakness
Infertility and delayed puberty (among girls)
Light or completely absent periods (among girls)
Worn teeth
Brain shrinkage
Growth of a downy layer of hair, called luango, all over the body, including the face, as the body attempts to keep itself warm

Anorexia is normally accompanied by a number of mental health complications too. This is often referred to as comorbidity, as the mental health problems co-exist with the physical problems of anorexia. However, for many people, the physical and psychological effects may feel intrinsically intertwined, with psychological distress often increasing over time.

Depression is the most common psychological symptom; up to 63% of people with anorexia suffer from depression at some point during their illness
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is believed to affect 35% of people with anorexia.

Anxiety is almost uniform among anorexia sufferers, both before and during the illness. Often anxiety increases over the duration that the person suffers from anorexia.

Bulimia nervosa (bulimia)

Bulimia is an illness that causes a person to binge eat and then purge, most often through self-induced vomiting or taking laxatives or diuretics. Sometimes, the person may not regularly purge, but instead exercise intensively in compensation for the binges.

Binge eating in people with bulimia generally involves large amounts of food consumed rapidly and in secrecy until the individual reaches extreme fullness. The binge may be planned or unplanned, and is often triggered by stress, negative mood or extreme hunger resulting from intensive exercise between binges.

Signs and symptoms of bulimia nervosa:

Personality traits shared across people with bulimia are one key to understanding the disorder. Research suggests that common risk factors and personality traits among people with bulimia include:

High harm avoidance tendencies
Novelty seeking
Childhood obsessive-compulsive traits
Anxiety and stress
Male homosexuality
Low self-esteem
Having an occupation that focuses on weight, such as athletics
Post-traumatic stress disorder

Effects of bulimia nervosa:

Purging by self-induced vomiting can cause a few noticeable effects in the face and mouth, including:

Tooth decay from strong stomach acids may break down the gums and teeth
Puffy cheeks due to swollen salivary glands
Red eyes: Forceful vomiting can burst blood vessels in the eyes
Raspy voice: The stomach acid in vomit may damage the vocal cords
A cough: Ongoing acid irritation to the throat can cause coughing

Bulimia can also cause sores, pain, and swelling in the mouth and throat. Other physical effects include:

low heart rate
low blood pressure
arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythms
difficulty regulating body temperature
Intestinal problems
Electrolyte abnormalities

At its core, bulimia is a mental health condition. The feelings of guilt, shame, lack of control, and distorted body image that many people with bulimia experience seem to fuel the binge-purge cycle. The burden of keeping the condition secret may also cause a person to feel additional stress and anxiety.

Other mental health concerns that commonly affect people with bulimia include:

major mood swings
depressive thoughts or actions
obsessive-compulsive behaviours
general anxiety
acts of self-harm
impulsive behaviours
low self-esteem

Binge eating disorder

Binge eating disorder is characterised by binge eating large amounts of food in short periods of time on a regular basis. People who binge eat might feel a lack of control over their eating, often eating rapidly, alone and until they are uncomfortably full.

They may also feel strong negative emotions in regards to their eating, often feeling depressed, guilty or disgusted with themselves after overeating. This type of eating disorder is often referred to as a ‘food addiction’.

Signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder:

Eating much more than intended
Getting cravings for food despite being full
Eating until you feel excessively stuffed
Feeling guilty or shameful after eating
Repeating the action regardless of past guilt and shame
Repeatedly failing at limiting your eating
Hiding eating from others
Regularly using food as a coping mechanism

Physical effects of binge eating disorder:

Increased risk of heart disease
Increased risk of heart attacks
Digestive issues
Respiratory issues
Increases risk of strokes
Increased risk of type-2 diabetes
Increased risk of sleep apnea

Mental effects of binge eating disorder:

Low self-esteem
Confidence issues
Feelings of guilt and shame

Social impacts include:

Destruction of relationships
Avoiding social situations
Difficulty developing new relationships

Suffering from an eating disorder can also easily lead to substance addiction. Often when people uncontrollably eat or purge after eating, they feel guilt and shame and want to hide away from the world. This can lead them to self medicate to mask these feelings, creating a whole new set of problems to deal with.

Build a healthier relationship with food at Delamere

Eating disorders are often referred to as being psycho-physical, meaning treatment must look at both the mind and body together.

In order to create a programme that meets your specific needs, our doctors will do a complete physical assessment to identify any serious risks or dangers and to understand exactly what is needed from a physical standpoint.

Our therapists will then carry out a personal assessment in order to build a tailored therapy programme to give you the best chance of saying goodbye to these destructive habits once and for all.

We offer personalised residential rehab programmes to help you press the pause button on your life in a comfortable, safe space free from all distractions.

We understand that eating disorders are medical conditions and our team of clinicians, therapists, analysts, psychotherapists and facilitators are dedicated to helping you make a sustainable change in your life.

Rather than adhering to the conventional step-based programmes, we look at the underlying factors that drive your behaviour and adopt a more holistic approach to recovery, with things like somatic healing, one-to-one therapy and creative arts as part of our programmes.

Stop. Start. Grow

Our Stop Start Grow model is a refreshing approach to recovery and is what makes treatment at Delamere different.

We believe life after addiction should be abundant, so our programmes focus on addressing any underlying issues that underpin your addiction, helping you let go of the past and rewrite your future without addiction holding you back.


Settle into your new environment
and remove yourself from
any distractions



Spend time with our therapists to discover what led you to this behaviour in the first place

Delamere treatment model


Set healthy boundaries,
exciting new goals and prepare for
life after Delamere



Practice using the tools
while staying anchored to support.
Bring Recovery Home.

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Our core elements of treatment


Stopping the cycle of addiction or burnout safely and comfortably


Healing whatever
pain is causing
the behaviour


Instilling tools to help facilitate change and encourage continued growth

Why choose Delamere?

Holistic approach to recovery

Discreet location

Luxury ensuite accommodation

Personalised programmes

Flexible stays

24-hour care & support

On-site gym & health studio

Business & family lounges

Free collection service


Outcomes focused

Everything we do here is about outcomes. Focusing on getting you back to yourself again in the short term, but then growing beyond that when you leave Delamere. Helping you create the foundations for long-term recovery and growth.

Individual care

There’s no one-size-fits-all here. We listen, learn and tailor our programmes to meet your personal needs, whatever they may be. Your journey to recovery is yours, so we design our programmes with you in mind.


Creative therapies

Nature and creativity often bring out the best in people, especially after a difficult period in their life. We offer equine and art therapy, fire ceremonies, nature walks and more to help you relax, reflect and see the world in a new way.

“My own journey through addiction was the inspiration for Delamere. We provide exemplary care in first-class facilities, focusing on creating lasting outcomes for our guests and their families. Helping them not just overcome their addiction, but grow beyond it.”

Martin Preston, Founder & CEO at Delamere

Transformational stories

Build a healthier relationship with food at Delamere

Contact our admission team and see how we can help you develop a healthier relationship with food today.

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Know someone suffering from an eating disorder

If someone you know is showing signs of an eating disorder, it’s important they get help.

Our admissions team is on hand 24/7 to help answer any questions about our programmes and make sure your loved one gets the support they need.

Call the team today on 0330 111 2015 to discuss the different options available.

Source of information

Eating Disorder Hope