Asheville Eating Disorder Treatment Services
Recovering from an eating disorder almost always requires treatment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, treatment plans for eating disorders must be highly individualized, based on each person’s unique needs and issues. They should be holistic, involving a variety of therapies to address a wide range of underlying problems and the negative effects of the disorder on health, wellbeing, relationships, and quality of life.
Psychotherapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy help individuals address a variety of issues behind an eating disorder, such as trauma, low self-esteem, and rigid thinking. Medications can help manage some symptoms of binge eating disorders and bulimia, and they can help address symptoms of anxiety or depression, which commonly co-occur with eating disorders. Nutrition therapy and nutrition education are central to helping people with an eating disorder normalize eating patterns.
How Nutrition Education Helps
Eating disorders like bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder can take a major toll on your health and wellbeing. People with an eating disorder may lose touch with their body’s natural signals concerning fullness and hunger. Their metabolism may be affected, and they may lose the ability to regulate their eating habits or enjoy food. A registered dietitian provides nutrition education and nutrition therapy to help people with an eating disorder change their relationship with food and restore healthy, intuitive eating patterns.
Understanding how good nutrition promotes physical and mental health and a healthy bodyweight helps people in recovery make better food and eating choices. Nutrition education provides information on overall good nutrition and helps clients address beliefs about food and nutrition that are inaccurate, misleading, or even dangerous.
What Nutrition Therapy Does
Nutrition therapy goes beyond education and helps individuals identify their personal beliefs about food and bodyweight that may be contributing to their disordered eating. During nutrition therapy, a dietitian will assess your eating patterns, typical food intake, weight and exercise history, body image issues, supplement use, and gastrointestinal symptoms. The dietitian will offer skills and strategies to help reduce unhealthy thoughts and behaviors surrounding food.
Nutrition therapy helps people in recovery:
- Understand internal and external cues related to hunger and fullness
- Address fear surrounding eating certain foods and make peace will all foods
- Learn to feel comfortable eating in a variety of social settings
- Develop a healthy relationship with food, mind, and body
- Differentiate between emotional and physical hunger
- Decrease the time spent thinking about food
- Decrease negative or distorted thoughts about food
- Learn how to eat in a moderate and balanced way
- Set healthy eating and exercise goals
The dietitian will recommend supplements if a nutritional deficiency is present. Together, the dietitian and the client will create a structured meal plan to promote good nutrition and healthy eating habits and ensure the body’s daily nutritional needs are met.