Nutritional Programs and Structured Meal Plans
Structured Meal Plans As An Alternative to Destructive Bulimia Eating
When you enter your eating disorder recovery program, one of the most helpful aspects of treatment is the way they break down your negative bulimia eating habits.
Structured meal plans are frequently the quickest road to normal or better nutrition if you’ve had an eating disorder for a while.
During recovery counseling you’re given a thorough nutritional assessment and then to help your bulimia a structured meal plan will give you the nutrition both your body and mind need in order to overcome your addiction.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up Because of Your Bulimia Eating Habits
If you’ve read my bulimia story, you know that, like so many women who are bulimic, I have been a high achiever and a perfectionist all my life. This may describe you, too. A lot of bulimics tend to be type-A’s and we want to push ourselves, often to please others or look good to the outside world.
My bulimia involved binging and purging that took place at certain times of the day and was usually triggered by stress or depression. Sometime if I was bored and snacking and felt I ate too much in one sitting I’d maliciously binge so I could purge. Yet, for the rest of the day – and to anyone who knew me – it seemed as if I was eating healthily. And I felt the same.
I’ve learned a ton about nutrition since I began my recovery and I was surprised how much there is to learn about food and the body’s chemistry.
What Are Structured Eating Plans?
Whatever eating disorder program you choose will most likely start with a plan to get your body’s nutrition back in balance.
Structured eating plans involve pre-planned meals at planned times throughout the day. Many plans recommend:
• Aiming to eat every 3 hours
You’re already thinking this is too much. I know. I did, too. The key is pre-planning your meals the night before or in the morning ahead of time. The less you have to think about food during the day, especially when emotions can run high, the better you’ll start to feel.
The purpose of any eating disorder food plan is to regain the body’s natural, balanced chemistry while supporting your mind’s desire to switch into addictive or emotional eating behaviors. By using structured eating, your body will get a steady stream of nutrition so it does not need to send chemical cravings that cause overeating.
Note: You should consult your doctor, a nutritionist or another medical professional before creating a meal plan.
A few general tips about changing your eating during your recovery:
Eat Regular Meals
The start to any successful recovery is based upon a good eating disorder nutritional plan. This means eating regularly to keep your energy, metabolism and attitude at their best.An eating disorder food plan helps you overcome overeating because you’re actually eating throughout the entire day! Sounds contradictory, but I learned how to re-balance my body by eating three square meals complimented by three snacks a day, which meant I was eating every three hours Structured eating works to keep you from under-eating, over-eating, or emotional eating. My body felt satisfied as it began to get the nutrition it needed. With a sound foundation of nutrition for the body it frees the mind to do the emotional or psychological healing your spirit needs.
KISS – Keep it Simple Silly!
It’s best if you start simple. If you devise your own food plan keep it simple. Obsessively counting calories or weighing and measuring food can cause compulsive food behaviors. This is why I strongly recommend seeing a nutritional counselor to develop a plan for you – one that’s best suited for just for you.
Be Patient With Yourself
The key word here is slowly, which means patience! Bulimia recovery doesn’t happen overnight and you can’t beat yourself up if you take some steps backwards during the process. This is normal. The important thing is to get on a good bulimia eating plan that emphasizes moderation and balance instead of compulsive overeating.
Become an Intuitive Eater
When you have bulimia, nutritional programs and structured meal plans help you cope with real life eating situations. Eat what feels good to you. Becoming more intuitive about eating so that hunger and satisfaction are handled in a balanced way helps you stop obsessing about food so you can simply enjoy a meal!
After you’ve had bulimia, eating like normal people do may feel awkward at first. Planning your meals in advance is strongly recommended. Shopping for nutrient rich foods, making your meals in advance, and avoiding buying or having trigger foods around will go a long way. All of this work is part of your road to recovery. You won’t have to plan all of your meals for the rest of your life, but in the first 6 – 12 months this will be really valuable to you.
Keep a Journal
Creating normal eating habits is the goal of a successful bulimia eating disorder program. Keeping a daily journal can help. While following a structured plan, a journal will help you see where your obstacles are as you monitor your progress.