Whether the issue is restricting or bingeing and purging, learning how to eat without fear and dread is the key to recovery. Dieting doesn’t work, restricting can lead to death and binging and purging does not control weight and may also cause serious medical complications, some of which are irreversible.
What works is a lifestyle that combines the appropriate physical activity with good nutrition. Assuming that the client is medically stable, weight-bearing and aerobic exercise 3 to 4 times per week that burns approximately 1000 calories is essential to good health. When regular exercise is combined with eating foods that have a low to moderate glycemic load, a healthy relationship with food and eating can be established.
1. Food Intake Analysis – Food phobias are usually based upon misperceptions and/or mistaken beliefs about fat and carbohydrates. A critical component of treatment is debunking the myths and fears about foods and desensitizing the individual to the ingestion of healthy foods. When the client is ready, analyzing her current food intake is the first step towards managing this component of the eating disorder.
2. Shopping and Cooking – Coaching Another critical component is helping the individual learn to purchase and prepare delicious food that is also nourishing. In other words we want to nourish the body and the soul.
3. Supplementation Information – Many individuals suffering from eating disorders have damaged their organs, skin, teeth, hair etc. and therefore have some catching up to do. To that end, a complete physical is needed that identifies potential problems such as calcium deficits that can result in osteopedia (the precursor to osteoporosis) high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, esophageal tears, and upper or lower GI problems resulting from laxative abuse.