4 Helpful Tips For Eating Disorder Survivors

Many people deal with eating disorders, with studies revealing that about 28.8 million Americans will experience this condition at some point in their lives. Recovering from this can be challenging, and it’s essential to know how to maintain a clean slate as a survivor. An eating disorder recovery requires patience, support, and self-compassion to go through the challenges and triumphs. You will also need to adopt healthy habits to maintain progress and prevent a relapse. This article explores tailored tips to help with your recovery journey.

  1. Make nutrition a priority

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Anybody on an eating disorder recovery journey needs to prioritize nutrition. After long periods of your body not benefitting from a nourishing diet, it will be advisable to see food as a source of fuel for your mind and body. This step is especially crucial because it promises quicker recovery and strength-building. As you gradually embrace food, remember to include a variety of nutrient-dense items like fruits, vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains into your diet. Each of these listed food items plays specific roles in your recovery journey, and you will be happy to embrace them.

With nutrition comes mindful eating as you recover. Paying attention to hunger and fullness cues helps you build a healthy attachment to regular, structured meals. The key is to eat at designated times throughout the day in an effort to allow your body to process what you consume. Remember that an eating disorder takes a great toll on your body, and the proven way to recover is to be attentive to it. Doing this can stabilize your blood sugar levels and will be helpful in preventing binge eating triggered by extreme hunger.

  1. Embrace food freedom

Now is the time to experiment with different foods, although you may have dietary guidelines. The objective here is to exercise some flexibility in your budding relationship with food. That is not to say you should throw all caution to the wind. Allow yourself to enjoy all foods but in moderation to avoid triggering guilty feelings or other negative emotions associated with eating disorders. Experts say eating disorder survivors often struggle with these emotions on their recovery journey. Although this is expected, adopting the right attitude to food can help tone down these possible drawbacks.

Start by trying some simple recipes like baking some homemade brownies from scratch, or ask a trusted person to do that for you. The secret to a nutritious and densely-packed homemade brownie is to make it wholesome. Focus on your ingredient choice and portion sizes as you gradually allow yourself to enjoy the joys of food freedom. On the other hand, indulge in a colorful salad that contains all the essential nutrients.

  1. Engage in positive coping mechanisms

Although there are various coping mechanisms, it’s worth noting that these could be negative or positive. A negative coping mechanism on such a recovery journey can be a survivor resorting to illicit substances to feel better. It could also be someone turning to alcohol, at first starting gradually before consuming higher amounts, which can present new health problems. Experts say the stress and anxiety of emotional triggers can compel survivors to turn to negative coping mechanisms.

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom because you can adopt more positive mechanisms like yoga, walking, exercising, and journaling, among other activities. The objective is to avoid turning to destructive habits that end up wasting all the time and effort invested in your recovery. Positive coping mechanisms help you navigate the challenging terrain that eating disorder survivors face.

  1. Learn to have self-compassion

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Try as much as possible not to be hard on yourself as you embark on your eating disorder recovery journey. Doing so can make the process challenging and may increase the risks of a relapse. See your body as a friend and offer empathy and positive emotions as you would to a friend embarking on a recovery journey. Make it a mission to celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and acknowledge that you are still healing from a disorder. Rushing the process may not be ideal, especially as it increases the risk of getting bogged down by self-pity and doubt. By practising self-compassion, you allow yourself to be surrounded by positive things that aid a thorough recovery. It would be best to surround yourself with supportive people who understand the terrain and are willing to guide you through the process. Additionally, you can find other eating disorder survivors to keep you uplifted and encouraged.

Lastly, regular therapy can also help you develop coping skills to manage your triggers.

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