Nutrition Intervention: How A Dietitian Can Help You Recover From An Eating Disorder

  • General Health
  • eating healthy - general health - obesity
  • July 13, 2023

Nutrition intervention by a registered dietician can help people suffering from an eating disorder adopt and maintain healthier food habits.

Who Needs A Dietitian?

Approximately 9% of people in the US will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in life. Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses involving distorted body image, unhealthy eating habits, and an obsessive focus on food and weight. Eating disorders can have severe physical and psychological consequences. Recovery requires a comprehensive treatment approach addressing the underlying psychological issues and unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns. A registered dietician (RD) specializing in eating disorders can provide guidance for a successful recovery.


When enough is enough

A critical aspect of treatment for eating disorders is nutrition intervention, which involves working with an RD to establish healthy eating habits and restore proper nutrition to the body. Dietitians are trained professionals specializing in the science of food and nutrition and can provide valuable support and guidance to individuals with eating disorders while working with doctors and psychotherapists.

Getting back to normal

The role of nutrition intervention in eating disorder recovery is to help individuals establish a healthy relationship with food. Eating disorder treatment may involve developing healthy eating habits, such as regular meals and a balanced diet, and learning to listen to hunger and fullness cues. Treatment also involves addressing any nutrient deficiencies or imbalances that may have occurred due to the eating disorder.

Creating personalized meal plans

An RD can work with patients to create a meal plan that focuses on maintaining a healthy weight and eating the right foods. Sometimes, dietitians may sit alongside patients during meals and work through emotions. Dietitians may also provide meal-planning strategies, such as having an ingredients list, using premade meals, and eating healthy snacks.

Monitoring weight

Keeping track of weight can ensure a patient is progressing with an eating disorder treatment. While some individuals will work to increase weight, others must focus on dropping pounds. If clients are triggered by seeing the weight on a scale, a dietician may perform a blind weight check, where the patient is facing away from the scale.

Getting nutritional counseling

A registered dietician can work with a patient to establish a set nutritional intake and check for any nutritional deficiencies through blood work. Dietitians work with individuals to create a personalized nutrition plan that meets unique needs and goals. The dietician will also provide education about the importance of proper nutrition for overall health and well-being.

Fostering a supportive environment

In addition to working with individuals, RDs may also provide support and resources to families and caregivers, helping people understand the importance of nutrition in recovery and how to support healthy eating habits. Having a friend or family member in the know can be instrumental to recovery.

A comprehensive treatment plan

Nutrition intervention with a dietician can have a significant impact on an individual’s recovery journey. Working with a dietician can help people with eating disorders learn to nourish the body properly and establish a healthy relationship with food, ultimately leading to improved physical and mental health.

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