Here at Willow Place for Women, we incorporate nutrition education into our eating disorder treatment program. Why? Because we know that treatment isn’t only about undoing the damage from the past, but also it is about building a strong foundation for the future. The goal is to make our clients well versed when it comes to healthy eating and taking care of your body.
Nutrition Education is a Unique Experience for Each Person
When it comes to nutrition education, we understand that it isn’t one-size-fits-all. When you arrive at treatment, you will be thoroughly medically evaluated so that the severity of your condition can be determined. You have been undernourished for the entire duration of your eating disorder, so it is important to know exactly where your body is to establish a baseline. From there, we can create a personal game plan for nourishing your body back to good health.
Depending on the severity of your eating disorder, you may or may not have visible side effects from being malnourished. Malnourishment can cause severe health risks including kidney failure, the shutting down of other vital organs, heart attack, respiratory infections, and even coma and death. People with side eating disorders also experience dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, low blood pressure and hypotension, and dry hair, skin, nails, and even hair loss.
Depending on your situation, we will outline a plan for you. It will start day one with getting the right nutrients back into your body. We take care not to cause refeeding syndrome, which happens when you get too much back in your system all at once. Getting your body back into balance has to happen slowly, strategically, and uniquely depending on your specific set of needs.
What to Expect of Nutrition Education
At the beginning of your treatment, we will administer proper vitamins and minerals while getting you on a diet that was created specifically for you. We will work together with you to identify your likes and dislikes and create a healthy diet you can reasonably sustain. The goal is to make sure that you are eating enough and that what you are eating is healthy enough to keep you in good shape.
The diet you are on at the beginning at the program may differ from the one you are discharged with, since in the beginning it will be all about rebuilding your health. As you progress, vitamins and minerals may be cut down as your body comes back to normal. Just like everything in life, it is an ever changing process that will adjust to your body’s needs.
Nutrition education ensures that you know why you are taking the vitamins and minerals that you are. You’ll be taught about different diets and foods and supplements. This way, once you are back out in the real world you will know what to look for and what to avoid. We want to set the foundation for a strong and swift recovery, and we’ll be explaining everything along the way. We find that by the time many of our clients have completed our program, they leave with a newfound interest in healthy living and properly nourishing their body.
It is important to remember that strong and healthy is what is beautiful and will make you feel the best. Depriving yourself of essential nourishment will only make you feel weak, tired, and can cause a lot of physical damage even leading up to death. The goal of nutrition education is to get you thinking this way and to co-create a program that will work best for you!