New Year diet resolutions are among some of the most popular kinds of resolutions to make.
Keto, paleo, Whole30, vegan, carnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, there are so many diets out there it can be overwhelming to know where to start. On top of having so many choices, every diet seems to have copious amounts of proof as to why it is the healthiest and most successful diet of them all.
For those struggling with an eating disorder, there are other mental and physical factors at play that can make eating healthy much more complex and challenging.
In this article, we’re going to dive into nutrition as a New Year’s resolution for those recovering from an eating disorder. We’re going to provide you with some practical tips around how you can begin practicing a more nutrition-focused diet throughout recovery.
The importance of proper nutrition
Most people generally know that “eating healthy is important” and maybe even a few remember some specifics from health class or details from health books they picked up over the years.
Not many people have been provided with a balanced, practical guide for understanding nutrition and how to apply it to your life throughout the natural changes of health and the body.
People are different, genetic strengths and weaknesses do exist, and what might be the ultimate diet for one person might not work at all for someone else. Gender, age, genetic dispositions, environment, liestyle, mental health — all of these factors play a role in the type of nutrition that will work best for you.
Poor nutrition can lead to many serious issues, including:
- Hormone imbalances (including infertility)
- Weak bone density
- Muscle atrophy
- Vulnerable immune system
- Increased risk of illness, cancer and other diseases
- Poor mental health
Proper nutrition is essential because it’s necessary for optimal mental and physical health. Nutrition is how we equip our bodies to develop sustainable immune systems, sturdy bones and strong muscles, glowing skin and thick hair, and a mind that is positive, healthy and balanced.
The question at the front of a lot of people’s minds when they first begin researching how to nutrition is how do you figure out what’s right for you? And then, how do you actually start and keep up the practice of eating healthy?
The good thing is, we’re here to help you figure it out.
What’s a proper diet for ED recovery?
When it comes to a proper diet for eating disorder recovery, there’s no one-size-fits-all method.
Someone struggling with bulimia may be seeking a healthy way to lose weight; someone struggling with anorexia may need a safe-but-urgent method to begin gaining weight.
Different health reasons and different eating disorders will require different types and levels of nutrition; where one person may need to increase protein and fat, another person may benefit more from less fat and an increase in fruit and vegetables.
It’s important to understand that while you’ll find an assortment of generally safe and beneficial tips for those in eating disorder recovery, it’s still good to check with a healthcare professional before making any serious dietary or lifestyle changes.
Here are some tips you can begin implementing today:
- Practice mindful eating (eat slow, savor your food, stop when you’re full)
- Prioritize making whole, nutritious meals over processed, packaged meals
- Use general portion control without requiring exact measurements
- Develop an awareness for your emotional and environmental triggers
- Practice patience and compassion with yourself
- Celebrate any and all of your victories (no matter how small)
Whether you’ve formally begun eating disorder recovery or are in the initial stages of desiring recovery and wanting to start, it can be difficult to transition your mind from practicing disordered eating patterns to suddenly regularly eating full servings of food.
For most people, it’s not that simple either. Eating disorders often develop because of multiple factors in the person’s life, and often requires a full-spectrum treatment approach to the mind, body and soul in order to achieve full healing. That’s what we’re here to help you attain.
How to start eating disorder recovery
Depending on how long you’ve been struggling with an eating disorder, the habits may be so deeply ingrained that you require professional help in order to break free of them and replace them with healthy eating habits. There’s no shame here; the mind is a very powerful thing.
The mental challenges that commonly contribute or exacerbate eating disorders are the other reason why seeking professional help is important for finding the proper diet for you. Many people struggling with an eating disorder are also struggling with depression, anxiety, or some other mental health condition that can make nutritional research feel unnecessarily draining.
If you think you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out to us.
Take the first step today
Seeds of Hope helps both adolescents and adults ready to achieve long-term recovery, find healing from an eating disorder. Recognizing that no two people are alike and that people in different stages of life have different needs, we customize every treatment plan to fit you.
Whether you’re struggling with anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder or a different kind of eating disorder, we’re here to support you throughout every phase of recovery. Through partial hospitalization, individual therapy, personalized treatments and weekly meal support groups, you’ll find strength and hope through our comprehensive continuum of care.
To learn more about how we can better help you on the road to recovery, send us a message or give us a call today at 610-644-6464.