Recovery from an eating disorder can take anywhere from several months to years. Certain lifestyle changes can help you during and after your recovery.

These may include the following:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and body image
  • Maintain a rational approach to dieting, food, and exercise
  • Know and avoid triggers
  • Receive treatment, as necessary
  • Work on building a meaningful, fulfilling, and satisfying life
  • Develop effective coping skills
  • Take medicines as prescribed
  • Maintain a Rational Approach to Dieting, Food, and Exercise

    Do not diet, even if you need to lose weight. Rather, you need a meal plan that gives you adequate nutrition for health and normal growth. You can work toward a healthy weight by limiting your intake of high fat foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. You should also eat whole grains , fruits, vegetables , and protein . If you need help planning your diet, a registered dietitian or nutritionist can help.

    Also, make sure you get regular, but not excessive, exercise. This can help you maintain a healthy weight. 30-60 minutes of exercise 3-5 days a week is sufficient.

    Take Medicines as Prescribed

    Most people with eating disorders will have medicines prescribed. These medicines are not a cure, but they can be important in helping you avoid disordered eating behaviors. Many people with eating disorders also have associated psychiatric problems, including depression , anxiety , and substance abuse . Medicines may also help reduce symptoms of these disorders and, as a result, eliminate triggers that lead to disordered eating. Learning to take medicine each day is often itself a major lifestyle change.