The process of recovering from an eating disorder can be challenging. In the course of attempting to overcome an eating disorder, you may discover that other physical and emotional issues can arise, which is perfectly normal and understandable.
Eating disorders can cause serious physical harm as well as long-term health issues. You have a better chance of reversing or lessening these effects if you start changing harmful behaviors sooner.
Begin the process of recovery from an eating disorder by reaching out for help from a professional. Build a healthy relationship with food and be sure to stick to a regular eating schedule.
Overcoming an eating disorder is not a race and remember to keep yourself hydrated and mindful.
Are you ready to begin the process on how to overcome an eating disorder? Tips like these can help you get back on the road to recovery and reclaim your sense of self-worth.
12 Tips To Overcome An Eating Disorder
Disturbed eating behaviors, along with distressing thoughts and emotions, are the hallmark of eating disorders.
Conditions affecting physical, psychological, and social well-being. These include anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, avoidant restrictive eating, other specified feeding and eating disorders, pica, and rumination disorder.
Adolescents and young adults are most susceptible to eating disorders. It is estimated that between 12% to 35% of the population suffers from eating disorders. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorders are the three main types.
Admitting that you have an eating disorder is the first step toward recovery. This is a difficult admission to make, especially if you still believe even if it’s in the back of your mind that losing weight is the key to happiness, confidence, and success.
Even when you realize this isn’t the case, it’s difficult to break old habits.
The good news is that you can unlearn the behaviors you’ve acquired. Anyone can develop an eating disorder, and anyone can recover from it.
However, overcoming an eating disorder entails more than just quitting bad habits. It’s also about rediscovering who you are beyond your eating habits, weight, and body image and learning new ways to cope with emotional pain.
Below are some tips on how to overcome your eating disorder.
1. Reach out for support
Opening up about the problem once you’ve decided to make a change is a crucial step on the road to recovery.
Because seeking help for an eating disorder can be frightening or embarrassing, it’s critical to find someone who will be supportive and truly listens to you without judging or rejecting you.
This could be a trusted friend or family member, as well as a youth leader, teacher, or counselor. Alternatively, you may prefer to confide in a therapist or doctor.
2. Getting treatment for an eating disorder
While there are numerous treatment options for those suffering from eating disorders, it is critical to find the treatment, or combination of treatments, that is most effective for you.
More than just your symptoms and bad eating habits should be addressed in effective treatment.
It should also address the problem’s root causes, such as the emotional triggers that lead to disordered eating and your inability to cope with stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, or other unpleasant emotions.
Since eating disorders can have serious emotional, medical, and nutritional consequences, having a group of experts who can address all aspects of your problem is critical.
3. Deal with emotional pain more healthily.
Eating disorders may be all about food, your dieting, and weight-loss rules that have taken over your life. However, food isn’t the real issue. Stress or other unpleasant emotions can lead to disordered eating as a coping mechanism.
For example, you could refuse food to feel in control, binge for comfort, or purge to punish yourself. However, whatever need your eating disorder satisfies in your life, you can learn healthier ways to deal with negativity and life’s hurdles.
The first step is to figure out what’s going on on the inside. You can choose a positive alternative to starving or stuffing yourself once you’ve identified the emotion you’re experiencing.
4. Develop a healthy relationship with food.
Even though food isn’t the problem, improving your relationship with it is critical to your recovery. When it comes to food, most people with eating disorders struggle with issues of control, often oscillating between strict rules and chaos. The goal is to achieve equilibrium.
• Allow Yourself To Relax And Let Go Of Rigid Eating Rules
Eating disorders are fueled by strict rules about food and eating, so it’s critical to replace them with healthier ones. Here are a few things on how to develop a healthy relationship with food.
• Don’t Go On A Diet
The more food restrictions you impose, the more likely you are to become preoccupied, if not obsessed, with it. Rather than focusing on what you “shouldn’t” eat, concentrate on eating nutritious foods that will energize you and strengthen your body.
Consider food to be fuel for your body. Listen to your body when it tells you the tank is low. Eat only when you’re truly hungry, and then stop eating when you’re satisfied.
• Maintain A Consistent Eating Schedule
You may be accustomed to skipping meals or fasting for extended periods. When you go hungry, however, food is all you can think about. Eat every three hours to avoid this preoccupation. Plan ahead of time for meals and snacks, and don’t forget to eat them!
• Learn To Pay Attention To Your Body’s Signals
You’ve learned to ignore your body’s hunger and fullness signals if you have an eating disorder. Possibly you won’t recognize them any longer. The goal is to re-establish contact with these internal cues so that you can eat based on physiological rather than emotional needs.
5. Love yourself
You’re ignoring all the other qualities, accomplishments, and abilities that make you beautiful if you base your self-worth solely on your physical appearance. Consider your circle of friends and family. Do they adore you because of your appearance or because of who you are?
Your appearance is probably not high on the list of things they like about you, and you probably feel the same way about them. So, why is it on your list? Putting too much emphasis on your appearance can lead to low self-esteem and insecurity.
6. Stay away from relapse
After you’ve adopted healthier habits, the work of eating disorder recovery doesn’t end. It’s critical to take steps to keep your progress going and avoid relapse.
Create A Strong Support System
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and want to see you succeed. Avoid spending time with people who drain your energy, encourage disordered eating, or make you feel bad about yourself.
Recognize Your “Triggers.”
During the holidays, exam week, or gatherings, are you more likely to revert to your old, destructive behaviors? Or are you more likely to develop disordered eating habits as a result of problems at work or in your relationship?
Know your early warning signs and have a plan in place to address them, such as going to therapy more frequently or enlisting the help of family and friends.
7. Don’t lose hope
Eating disorders can be life-threatening. But they can be treated, and full recovery can be achieved. When you begin to lose faith in yourself, you may find that your worst fears come true. Stay positive and seek help from a therapist if you’re having emotional difficulties.
8. Don’t blame your family
This is a common misconception, but new research shows that there are many different causes of anorexia, including genetic and environmental factors. Every family has its flaws. Family members may not know how to be supportive if your family has been unsupportive.
If you’re having trouble moving on from your past relationships, discuss the subject with your therapist. Family sessions are often encouraged, and teletherapy or online counseling may be used to include members who live far away.
9. Don’t rush your recovery
For many people, full recovery can take years, and it isn’t always an easy process. Slips and relapses are common problems for many people. If you aren’t seeing the results you had hoped for, have faith in the healing process and speak with your treatment team.
10. Take the advice of your medical team
The professionals on your treatment team should have extensive training and experience in the treatment of eating disorders. Pay attention to what they say even if it scares you, because they may have good advice.
Changes to your treatment plan, such as adding medication, adopting a meal plan, or considering a higher level of care, are important and necessary.
11. Practice mindfulness
As a form of meditation, mindfulness involves paying attention to how you feel in the here and now. To avoid eating disorders, this method teaches people to recognize their limitations.
A review of 14 studies found that practicing mindfulness meditation reduced the frequency of binge eating and emotional eating.
Listen to your body’s cues to see if you can tell when you’ve had enough food. Eating slowly and enjoying your food can also help you develop healthy eating habits. It is possible to improve your eating habits and reduce binge eating by engaging in regular mindfulness practices.
12. Staying hydrated is important.
Drinking a lot of water all day can help you control your appetite or stop overeating. Furthermore, studies have found a connection between a decreased desire for food and an increase in fluid intake.
Drinking 13 to 17 ounces of water 30 minutes before a meal significantly reduced hunger and calorie intake while increasing feelings of fullness throughout the day in older adults.
More water consumption has been linked to increased metabolism and weight loss, according to other studies.
There are a variety of factors that influence how much water an individual should consume each day. Because of this, it is best to drink when you are thirsty to ensure that you are well-hydrated.
Overcoming an eating disorder can be a difficult journey, with many setbacks. It makes no difference how many times you revert to your eating disorder. What matters is that you don’t linger too long after each step back.
Pick yourself up and pick up where you left off as best you can. You will move forward, even if it is a slow and frustrating process because that is what will get you there in the end.
It is important to seek professional help if you or someone you love has an eating disorder. A qualified treatment team cannot be replaced by books or other resources, no matter how useful they may be.