Around 9% of Americans will have to deal with an eating disorder at least once in their lifetime. That’s roughly 28.8 million people in the United States. So if you are suffering from an eating disorder, you are not alone. Many people struggle with these disorders every day. Working on your eating disorder can be difficult, but it is not impossible.
Here are a few super helpful tips for working on your eating disorder.
#1 Work with a Professional
Working with a therapist or eating disorder specialist is the best thing you can do for yourself. Getting professional help is the first step in this difficult journey to recovery, and it could save your life.
Working with a professional can be incredibly helpful but also very intimidating. You may feel like they will judge you or try to change who you are, but they won’t. They have been trained to understand what it’s like to have an eating disorder, and they know how much strength it takes to start therapy.
Professionals use special behavioral health software to keep track of your progress. That’s because dealing with an eating disorder is not a one-time thing. It’s a continuous process that requires multiple visits and therapy sessions.
That’s why professionals keep track of your progress and conditions using special EHR software, making things more efficient. At the same time, it allows them to work with multiple patients simultaneously.
#2 Keep Your Eating Routine Consistent
Eating regular meals and snacks can help you manage your emotions and cravings. Eating at the same times every day, especially breakfast, helps you get into a routine that you can count on to help keep yourself feeling good physically and mentally.
In general, try to eat 3 meals per day with 2-3 healthy snacks in between. The types of food in each meal should be balanced so that they include proteins, complex carbohydrates, fats or oils, fruits or vegetables, and dairy products if desired.
Snacks should also be made up of protein or complex carbohydrates. However, they should not be eaten too close together because they can fill up the stomach when it’s already full from eating one meal earlier in the day.
#3 Avoid Weighing Yourself
Weighing yourself is an excellent way to track your progress and see how your eating-disordered behavior is affecting your body. However, weighing yourself can trigger you if you have a history of body dysmorphia or obsessive thoughts about your weight.
The problem is especially common among teens and young adults. Once the thought of having a flawed appearance hits, it’s difficult to get it out of your head, irrespective of your age.
Weighing yourself also isn’t always accurate because muscle weighs more than fat. Thus, even if you are losing weight on the scale, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are losing fat tissue. This can be very discouraging if this happens after months or years of hard work in recovery because it creates the impression that nothing will change no matter what you do.
#4 Don’t Restrict Yourself from Eating Certain Foods
It is important to avoid restricting yourself from eating certain foods or cutting out entire food groups. You should remember that eating the foods you enjoy is okay, but make sure you eat healthy meals balanced with protein, carbs, and fats throughout the day. Avoiding entire food groups will result in a lack of nutrients, leading to other medical problems.
It is also important not to starve yourself by skipping meals or eating only one type of food for extended periods. Skipping meals can lead to binging later on. At the same time, not eating enough will make it harder for your body to function properly.
#5 Eat Enough Calories for Your Needs
Eat a healthy and balanced diet of foods that are good for you. Don’t cut out certain food groups or eat too little, as this will make your body go into starvation mode, which can trigger your eating disorder even further.
Calculate how many calories you need to eat each day to support your daily activities. Eat more when exercising or being more active during the day, and eat less on days when you’re inactive or sedentary, like when at work.
#6 Get Plenty of Sleep and Exercise
Sleep is just as important to your mental health as it is to your physical health. It’s even more important when you have an eating disorder because it can help you stay calm and collected while also helping with the other elements of self-care.
Sleep is essential for healthy energy levels and brain function. When we sleep, our body produces hormones that help us feel rested and alert during the day. Without enough sleep, we become irritable and prone to mood swings, both signs that our bodies aren’t functioning properly.
A Harvard report claims that the U.S. has to bear a cost of over $64 billion every year because of eating disorders. That’s a lot to pay for a health problem that is easily avoidable and treatable. The way to put an end to this problem starts with you, meaning you have to be the one to take the first step in dealing with it.
Eating disorders have a strong biological component and often require professional treatment to overcome them. However, by maintaining a certain lifestyle, you can help yourself with this problem and overcome it quickly.
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