Eating Disorder and Nutrition


At the beginning of the re‐feeding process you may experience some bloating which can be uncomfortable, but it is natural.

•  NEVER  force a sufferer to eat

•  Small frequent meals/snacks

•  Limit gas producing & high‐fat foods 

•  Begin re‐feeding with foods that are  easy to digest

• Once the body readjusts to food, solids can be introduced, but make sure they are introduced slowly

•  Base meals around individual preferences

•  Establish a  structured eating plan ‐  it may be useful to know what you are eating in advance

•  Distract yourself after eating with an activity you enjoy



Anorexia Nervosa and Nutrition

Easily digestible foods should be consumed to start the re‐feeding process.  Good examples include mashed potato, oatmeal, and macaroni & cheese.  Eventually solid foods can be introduced. High fibre foods should be regularly consumed to help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation.  Good examples are cereals, oats, whole‐grains, lentils, fruit and vegetables.  

Gas producing foods include fizzy drinks, sweetened drinks, sweets and cabbage.  They can leave bloated feelings and therefore should be limited.

Low‐sodium (salt) foods control fluid retention and constipation.  Consume fresh foods, and fresh poultry, fish & lean meat, rather than canned, smoked or processed.

Energy is needed for the body to function properly and for muscular work.  Good sources of energy include: bananas, oats, jacket potato, fruit and vegetables.

Protein is essential for body growth and repair, and also supplies iron, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium which help strengthen the immune system.  High protein sources include meat, fish, poultry, milk, beans, pulses and eggs.


Bulimia Nervosa and Nutrition

Breaking the Cycle

To help break the cycle and achieve nutritional goals change should be introduced gradually.

Meals should be based around individual food preferences.

Initially an individual may experience bloating which can be uncomfortable, however this is natural and as the body adjusts, the symptoms will reduce.  This is only temporary!

Start off by eating little and often.

High fibre or low sodium (salt) foods help control fluid retention and constipation.

Limit gas producing and high fat foods.

Begin the re‐feeding process with foods that are easier to digest.

A structured eating plan may be useful so you know what you are eating in advance.

The GOALS of NUTRITIONAL THERAPY for eating disorders are:

•  Identify food fears 

•  Correct food misinformation 

•  Re‐establish healthy eating patterns (this may take time to achieve)

•  Restore nutritional status

•  Maintain a safe weight

•  Plan meals

•  Do not skip meals

Binge Eating and Nutrition

Breaking the Cycle

Take each day at a time and make targets small and achievable thus not setting yourself up to fail.

It may help to plan your meals and structure your eating plan in advance.

Establish a pattern of regular eating which involves restricting your meals to 3 planned meal day, plus 2/3 planned snacks.

A regular eating pattern displaces binges, with the result that the frequency of binges decrease.

Leave no more than 3‐4 hours between planned meals/snacks.

Do not skip meals/snacks, as skipping a scheduled meal/snack will make you vulnerable to binges.

Consume pre‐planned food amounts.

If binges occur, resist temptation to avoid your next planned meal/snack, this will only increase     problems.

Concentrate when eating.  Being aware of what you are doing will help ensure that meals/snacks do not turn into binges.

When cooking avoid tasting, as this can trigger a binge.

Plan food shopping or shop with a friend/relative, and limit the amount of money you carry.


 Taken from:

 SEED Eating Disorders Support Services Charity No 1108405. Produced in partnership with Emma Drayson.


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