Nutrition & Eating Disorders: An Individualized Bulimia, Overeating, or Anorexia Treatment Program
Our experience has shown us that at the time they enter the program many individuals are already out of control with food. Decision making in regards to obtaining food, portion control, calories, exercise, weight and body image is often distorted. Even though the relationship with food is dysfunctional, the compulsive behavior provides the individual with predictability and comfort at a time when they feel their life is out of control. In essence the eating patterns become a survival mechanism, a way to cope. Many individuals are locked into a fearful cycle with food. For these reasons, we work with individuals in an effort to gain their trust which will enable them to begin turning their food and weight control over to the care of the program. We understand that this may be frightening, but we commit to each individual that we will not allow her or his weight to swing to either extreme. We encourage open discussion of feelings about these matters with the staff and peers. The Registered Dietitian and counselors sit in on, and eat, meals with the clients to help facilitate the healing process. The staff’s responsibility is not to police food intake or to force individuals to do something that they do not wish to do. Instead we ask individuals to be willing to trust our staff and to share with us when they are having difficulty.
Your Bulimia, Overeating, or Anorexia Treatment Program: An Individualized Nutrition Plan
Upon admission to the program, individuals participate in a one on one assessment with the nutrition therapist, a registered dietitian, to develop their individual food plan. Each meal plan is balanced and nutritious. The plan consists of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, milk products, fats, and grains. The food plan is also high in fiber. Since each client’s food plan is truly individualized, we are able to work with vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, kosher and other specific food plans. Our cooks are excellent. They understand the necessity of offering a wide variety of foods and only use the freshest ingredients for each meal. At least once a week, individuals participate in a supervised meal preparation and cooking activity. This enables individuals to have hands on experience in addressing a potentially stressful situation in a supportive environment. Grocery store educations, restaurant type experiences, and portion classes are also incorporated into the program, which allows individuals the opportunity to experience and learn about these difficult situations.
Nutritional therapy with the registered dietitian is not limited to the initial assessment and meal planning. The registered dietitian becomes intricately involved in all clinical aspects of the individual’s program. The registered dietitian and the individual develop a collaborative and supportive relationship in which the nutritional issues can be safely addressed. Multiple weekly nutritional groups, facilitated by the registered dietitian, are conducted where all participants have the opportunity to explore their relationship with food. In addition, education classes provide the knowledge and skills necessary for individuals to begin nourishing, instead of abusing, their bodies with food.
We understand that eating disorders such as Anorexia, Bulimia or Compulsive Overeating do not develop overnight, so we do not expect behaviors and feelings about food to disappear overnight either. We know that changing nutritional habits may be difficult, but our staff is committed to help individuals work through the changes. We strongly encourage the expression of feelings regarding the food plan. We also invite individuals to ask all the questions necessary to help facilitate their recovery.