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How to establish good eating habits when recovering from anorexia


Recovering from anorexia is an ongoing process - one that is dependent largely on the ability to establish healthy eating habits.

Simply having a meal plan and willpower often isn't enough, however, so consider the following strategies that can be helpful in establishing long-term success:

Seek nutritional counseling or education.

Part of recovery from anorexia that may be powerfully transformative is developing an understanding of how your body utilizes nutrients in order to sustain life and health. Getting more education about nutrition can be incredibly useful during recovery, especially since it can shed light on the biological and physiological mechanisms that are affected during periods of extreme hunger or malnutrition.

Working with a nutritionist can be a valuable way to ensure you're getting the proper nutrients while "re-learning" how to eat in a way and at a pace that is comfortable for you.

Doing this on your own can be a difficult task, so it's recommended to find a nutrition expert who is qualified in treating people with eating disorders.

Work on your relationship with hunger.

Many people with anorexia claim they become addicted to the feeling of being hungry. It becomes a powerful sensation rooted in a sense of control. The key to establishing good eating habits during recovery, then, is based in learning how to change your relationship with hunger. Hunger cues must be seen as a sign that it's time to eat - not as an indication of self-control or success.

This process will take time, but it involves simply getting curious about your hunger sensations first. Over time, you will learn how to pay more attention to your body's subtle cues. Instead of ignoring what they're trying to tell you, you'll become more adept at nurturing yourself and giving your body what it needs.

Join a support group.

It is said that eating disorders are rarely about the food, but more so about the underlying psychological or emotional mechanisms at work.

So even if you know what, how much and when to be eating, this doesn't mean you'll automatically develop healthy habits.

This is where having a support system in place can be useful. Support groups can provide the feedback and inspiration often needed to navigate recovery honestly and bravely.

There is no better place to get advice or collect helpful tips than from other recovering anorexics who have been successful in staying in remission from the disease.

Source:, Psychology Today