The Role of Nutrition Therapy in Eating Disorder Recovery | Blog

The Role of Nutrition Therapy in Eating Disorder Recovery

You may have learned that nutrition therapy often plays a key role in eating disorder recovery. We know that you may have some uncertainty about what to expect during a nutrition session. In this article, we will walk you through the key components of nutrition therapy and why it is essential to healing your relationship with food.

What Is Nutrition Therapy?

Nutrition therapy is the process of learning how to care for your unique body with food. You will meet with a registered dietitian to discuss a plan to make sure that you are eating adequately, talk through your relationship with food, and learn the factors that may influence your eating patterns.

What To Expect During Nutrition Therapy

You may be wondering what to expect during nutrition therapy. Your first session is an opportunity to get to know your dietitian and for them to get to know you.

They will do an initial assessment to learn more about your medical history, challenges in your relationship with food, and current eating patterns. We encourage you to be honest about your eating so that they can truly meet you where you’re at.

This first appointment is also a good time to bring up any questions you have about appointments and any fears that you have about recovery.

Your dietitian will likely give you a customized meal plan to make sure that your body is getting what it needs to function at its best. During treatment, you will be given plenty of support and structure to help you stick to your plan.

Follow-up nutrition therapy sessions often include:

  • Celebration of your “wins” for the week
  • Strategies to help you through the most difficult parts of your meal plan
  • Exploration of your food beliefs and how they impact different parts of your life
  • Nutrition education
  • Guidance to minimize stress during grocery shopping
  • Strategies for challenging food situations, such as restaurants, holiday meals, or eating on vacation

Ultimately, what you talk about during your appointments will be based on your individual needs. These sessions can be really empowering and insightful as you begin taking some practical steps to reclaim your life back from your eating disorder.

Nutrition Therapy Essentials

If you’re going to put in the work to meet with a registered dietitian, you want to have the key components to make it a helpful experience. Below are three ways that you can make the most of your time with your dietitian:

  • Be Open. Be willing to listen to ideas about food that may challenge your beliefs and your eating disorder thoughts. Share your successes, and share your challenges. Your team is able to support you best when they know where you’re at.
  • Do Your Homework. Your dietitian may recommend some “homework” between sessions, such as written activities or trying certain foods. These activities are often designed to help you learn about your eating patterns and break through disordered behaviors.
  • Be Flexible. Your team may make nutrition recommendations that clash with what your family, friends, or the internet have to say about what is “healthy.” The truth is, there isn’t a right way to eat. Learning how to live in the gray area when it comes to food and nutrition is an essential part of eating disorder recovery.

We know that this isn’t a small ask; challenging food beliefs and behaviors can feel really scary. But you don’t have to go through it alone. At Aster Springs, we provide a compassionate, individualized approach to nutrition and offer different levels of care to support you on your journey. To get started, find the location nearest you.

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