How to Help People with Eating Disorders

More than 28 million people in the US will be diagnosed with an eating disorder in their lifetime. It’s a widespread problem found in almost every sector of the population.

Do you want to learn how to help people with eating disorders? Here are some great tips to get you started.

Be Prepared to Listen

If you want to help people with an eating disorder, one of the best things you can do is be supportive. Remain silent as they tell you how they’re managing and what they are eating. It can take a lot of patience to listen to someone without judgment, but it’s one thing that can make the most impact.

Don’t jump in with suggestions or comments, even if you think you have a great solution. Avoid situations where you end up in a power struggle over food.

Encourage Them to Seek Help

Your body requires proper nutrition to maintain health. An undiagnosed eating disorder can become harder to treat over time. It’s not good for your body to continue living with the condition.

A visit to a doctor for a physical is a great first step. The doctor can run tests to determine if any other conditions might need treatment. That could include depression or anxiety.

Avoid Simple Solutions

Overcoming an eating disorder may seem simple to someone who isn’t suffering from the problem. You might want to provide solutions that would work for you. The underlying causes of the disease can be complex.

If you tell them to start eating more, they may feel disrespected and will certainly feel you haven’t been listening to them. They may become more withdrawn and isolated.

Don’t Be an Enabler

You’re enabling them if you engage in activities that help them hide their eating disorder. If you behave in a way that accommodates their illness, change what you are doing. Don’t change your eating habits or avoid eating healthy meals in front of them.

Avoid covering up the negative consequences of their behavior. That includes cleaning up after them or preparing special food. You can care for someone without giving in to their demands.

Educate Yourself

Understand that you aren’t to blame for the eating disorders, and neither is your loved one. Learning more about how people with eating disorders function will improve your communication skills. You can reach out personally to a professional if you need help.

Discover the risk factors that can lead to an eating disorder, such as mental illness or gastrointestinal illnesses in childhood. Early traumas or teasing because of weight can cause someone to become obsessed with body image. Low self-esteem is another common factor to consider.

Learn How to Help People Manage

If you want to know how to help people in your life that have an eating disorder, start by learning about nutrition in a supportive environment. Our team of experts offers a wide variety of services, including counseling and medical nutrition therapy.

Contact the experts at Mainline Nutrition for everything you need to change your relationship with food.

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