Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Food Decision Fatigue in ED Recovery

An eating disorder is the ultimate way to avoid decisions (and decision fatigue). Always choose the lowest calorie option; always say no; always avoid sugar; and so on and so forth. It’s a list of commands, with no room for second-guessing. 

With an eating disorder, you don't have to decide what to eat and when, because you eat the same thing, every day, at the same times. You don't have to decide where you want to go out for lunch because you DON’T go out for lunch. (And, if you do, you go for the same salad every time. No decision needed.) 
    And let’s be honest: this is the easy way out. 

    Recovery is a different story. Suddenly, you need to decide what to eat and when. Is this enough, and should I do X, Y or Z? Am I doing this right or could I be doing more? It’s quite the change (particularly as there is no fool-proof perfect way to go through the recovery process)!

    So here are my three quick-fire best tips to take the pressure off of the ‘what to eat’ dilemma:
    1. Have a plan. If spontaneous choices make you anxious, decide beforehand or follow a meal plan or guide! (PS. my meal support guide is currently available at 60% off! Get it here while it lasts!)
    2. Open up to variety, for example by putting different options in a hat and picking at random
    3. Eat enough. Restriction depletes your ability to do things differently, so take in enough energy to increase your brain- and will-power. This will also reduce the likelihood of 'bingeing' or reactively eating later on in the day.

    Besides eating enough, something I talk about in a lot more depth here and here (you'll want to check out both! :-)), the precise foods you go for does not matter quite as much. As long as you do not avoid food groups, as long as you face your foods, and as long as you aim for variety, you're on the right track. There is no 100% perfect or fool-proof way to go about recovery, so don't worry yourself with aiming for 'perfection.' 

    This is a challenging truth to swallow, but also an incredibly liberating one. Everyone is on a different journey, so start yours today!


    1. Hello.(:
      That one first paragraph is true now that I think about.. not so long ago, when I did actively engage in restrictive eating, certain food groups(Usually low cal and all about eating 'pure' food) were almost the only, if not always, the things I would have. Therefore, there isn't any decision fatigue; it's already decided.

      Thank you for the tips.(: I am currently following a meal plan and that in a way has made a difference for myself during recovery.

      1. Glad to hear the meal plan is making a difference and that this post was helpful to you! :) x


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