Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Recovery Meal Plans

Recovery Meal Plans

An eating disorder recovery meal plan is essential in the beginning stages of your recovery. This food plan is essentially the foundation for your recovery; without it, we would not be able to do the deeper, emotional healing work that sustained recovery requires.
Following a meal plan is an important key in your eating disorder treatment plan so that we can lessen and ultimately abstain from all eating disorder behaviors- binging, purging, restricting, and compulsive overeating. Engaging in eating disorder behaviors is abusing our body by depriving it of healthy food and nutrients in healthy proportions and we have to train ourselves to learn how to eat ‘normally’ again. This is not bad, we developed the eating disorder as a way to cope, we must not blame, but need to take responsibility and understand that we can change for the better. Food and eating does not have to be scary or rule your life, even though when starting an eating disorder meal plan it can feel this way!

The most important thing to remember when establishing an eating disorder meal plan is that your body weight will stabilize to its set point over time! This was the number one thing that I had to remember in the beginning- TRUSTING that my weight would normalize if I followed my recovery food plan. I also threw out the scale and stopped weighing myself. Weight is just a number and doesn’t determine your self-worth!

The best way to develop an anorexic recovery meal plan, recovering bulimic meal plan, binge-eating recovery meal plan or any eating disorder meal plan is to develop a customized food plan with a Registered Dietician, one who preferably has experience working with people with eating disorders. Many health insurance plans include this service so check with your provider on finding a good dietician who can help you plan your meals and keep you accountable.
However, I understand that some people might not have access to a dietitian so here are some good guidelines to follow.

General guidelines to follow when creating a meal plan:

Have a balanced and nutritious meal plan.
Our body needs nutrients to fuel itself and be healthy. We must eat for health! Our bodies need food for energy in order to function properly and our brains require nutrients to think clearly. It is crucial to eat foods that are nourishing and healthy that our body wants.  It should contain lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, dairy (or alternatives), fats, and grains.  A list of each food group and serving sizes for your recovery meal plan exchanges are listed here.  Eating lots of whole, natural, raw and organic foods in your meal plan is ideal and can help enhance your mood.  It should also be high in fiber which is great for your digestive system.  There are different approaches to meal plans as to what ratio you should eat of each food and a dietician can help create an approach that is right for your body type and food preferences.  If you need help though, see our example meal plans for eating disorders here and click here to get help estimating portion sizes.

Rest of the blog entry here