Anorexia/Eating Disorders/digestion


I have asked a couple other professionals this, but the best answer I got was 'genetics'. That seems like a cop-out-maybe you can do better?
I understand the concept of metabolism, and how some people can burn off food fast while on people like me it gets stored as fat. (BTW I have improved mine by cutting out saturatedfat-I must store it quicker than others)
This being XMAS, I always notice in my house, with our guests, that some og my inlaws can eat copious ampunts of food and drink, with no ill effects, while I have to really watch it or I get stuffed on a third of what they eat. For example my on my wifes side they are small , thin folks with huge appetites and no bellies, while my son and I have to start weqaring the stretchy pants after brunch. Do they also have more efficient digestion as well as metabolism?
Thanks for any insights!

Hi Bud,

Frustrating, isn't it? Yes, in part it's genetics, but it's more than that.

Metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself. Metabolism is determined by a number of factors, including age, gender, activity level (how much you exercise), calorie consumption, and genetics. It is also affected by your body composition (how much body fat you have) and calorie restriction/dieting (which slows down your metabolism).

I think you're talking about two separate issues here, though - how your body processes food in the short term and how your body stores fat in the long term. I'd be happy to explain the biology behind all of this if you are interested.

In the meantime, it sounds like what you are describing is more of a short term issue. Basically, you and your son bloat easily after eating certain foods (making you feel stuffed on a relatively smaller amount of food) than do some of your wife's relatives. That is not a metabolism issue, that is a food issue. It sounds to me like you may have difficulty digesting certain foods. As a result, when you eat those foods, your body reacts with bloat, upset stomach, maybe some indigestion? Ever have nausea or irritable bowel issues after eating certain foods? Are there certain foods you only eat at Christmas? If yes, to any of those questions, you and your son may have food intolerance/ sensitivity. If that is the case, let me know. I'd be happy to provide you with some resources and next steps.     

That's probably not the news you wanted to hear on Christmas. I realize that might not help you out today (unless you know what foods upset your digestive system and avoid them), but in the long run, it will help. Anyway, I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

Merry Christmas!

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

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Mary Pritchard


I can answer questions about the psychology of eating, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors such as drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, binge eating, body dysmorphia, dieting, excessive/obsessive exercise, and body dissatisfaction. I can also answer questions about anorexia and bulimia.


I have a PhD in Psychology and teach courses in the Psychology of Health and the Psychology of Eating. I have been conducting research on disordered eating and exercise behaviors for 15 years.

Midwestern psychological association, rocky mountain psychological association

Over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals such as Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders, and Eating and Weight Disorders

PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver

Awards and Honors
30 teaching awards, have received funding to conduct my research from academic institutions and state and local government

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