Eating Disorder: How to Cope With It

Last time we were talking about eating disorder problems. We found out that it’s not a made up story, it’s a serious problem which must be addressed urgently. But let’s study a bit more.

How do I know I have ED?

Let’s clear up what determines you as a person with ED.
Of course, there are lots of symptoms, so I decided to specify the most common ones.

  • You work out to deserve your favorite food or to work off if you don’t follow your meal plan. You may have intensive training for several hours if you’ve eaten too much the day before. Or again, you let yourself consume too much calories by means of pizzas and desserts but it’s ok for you because you know that you’re going to work out hard tomorrow.
  • You are obsessed with counting calories and you can eat something only after careful reading of the product’s tag and its content.
  • You avoid any meetings if you know that you’re going to eat something there. It can be a birthday party, an office party, meeting some friends, anything.
  • You have special rituals concerning food, be it eating alone, food sorting by color, precise cutting of products, etc.
  • In the grocery store you are constantly staring at shopping carts of other people and you may start judging or blaming them for this or that product and for their taste preferences. Moreover, you may consider your food to be healthier/better/cleaner and so on.
  • Food is a reward or punishment for you. Thus, you may starve if you’ve eaten a huge dinner or, on the contrary, you may have a «tummy party» as a kind of reward for achieving some goal.
  • You treat food like something you’ll have no time for in the future. For example, you start eating on your way home after shopping or during a breakdown you eat so much food that it’s difficult for you to breathe but you can’t stop and you continue eating.
  • You weight equals your mood. If you don’t like the number of your weight, you are in a horrible mood.

It’s not the whole list of points showing that you have unhealthy relationships with food. There are lots of others. It’s more to say that if food somehow affects your mood, you need to change your attitude towards it. You need to prevent ED developing. 

What are the most frequent cases of ED?

Eating your feelings

It doesn’t have anything to do with appetite or hunger. But quite often when you have stress, you want to eat/chew/gnaw something. Sometimes people relieve stress with the help of other things like alcohol or cigarettes – anything that you can replace the desire to eat with. But if we talk about eating, in 90% of cases it would be fast food or sweets. Too much stress means too much overeating. So, the less stress in your life, the better.


In most of the cases it’s the result of ED. Billboards, Instagram feed, magazine covers tell us that fat is not good. Fat is not trendy. Looking at your body in the mirror, you start judging yourself and being surrounded by lots of insecurities. Your self-esteem drops, you have more and more problems with food and so on. BUT! We are all different so that the everyone’s concept of beauty is different too. And fat is more of a health thing than a beauty one. It can lead to serious heart problems. So it’s better to get rid of it now than leave for later.

Extreme diets

It may start like something innocent when you just try to control everything you eat. But at some point it goes wrong. You may not be quite good at the topic of nutrition, you follow some blogger’s meal plan without studying any information or anything like that. And the most dangerous thing here is that food problems just accumulate and you’re not able to leave this vicious circle.

Fitness or bodybuilding competitions

If you don’t have enough knowledge and experience to build a proper meal plan and training process and combine it with adequate rest and recovery, ED may develop as well. You start sticking to a very strict diet and you have very intensive training that leads to serious problems.

Tips to prevent ED

  • Review your goals and priorities. Focus on health as it’s the most important thing in your life. It will help you set up your nutrition from the perspective of profit for your health and your body. How can you make it more healthy instead of eating less to lose weight?
  • In my opinion, if you want to lose some weight, calorie cutting is not the best choice when we speak about ED as it can be difficult for you mentally, it can be rather stressful for you body and provoke more food problems. I would advise to get calorie deficit by adding more activity into your daily life or with the help of cardio.
  • Of course, you need to read and study as much information as possible on your own to train your brain and fill it with useful and helpful facts.  
  • If you understand that you have ED, don’t panic. Don’t cut calories, don’t count them. Eat everything you want. Let your brain know that you’re not starving, you have enough food now and you will have it in the future. It’s ok. And after that study useful and proven information and try to get out of this state. If you feel like you can’t solve the problem on your own, don’t torture yourself and go to a doctor.

How to cope with ED?

It’s difficult to mention only one specialist here as solving ED problems requires balance and integrated approach. You may need help in psychology, nutritiology and psychiatry.

If we talk about psychology, the most effective treatment of ED is cognitive behavioral therapy. It will help you to get your head on straight and get through with causes that triggered ED.

If a person has a lack of knowledge of the nutrition, a balanced diet will help him to improve his health and clean up the food questions.

If the problems with ED are very serious and the first two specialists can’t cope with it, a psychiatrist will help you by means of medicated support.

Keep in mind that ED is quite a common thing but it’s not a death sentence. If you tackle the problem in time, you will be able to handle all food habits and live a healthy and happy life.

Listening to yourself and loving yourself is the best advice you can ever get. It’s not about eating as much and as tasty as possible but taking care of yourself. Here and now.

Everything in your hands. Remember whatever you do, you do it for yourself!