Whenever a loved one or friend is struggling with conditions such as an eating disorder, it’s often difficult to watch without attempting to proffer solutions that can help them overcome such conditions.
When it comes to helping people with an eating disorder, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. You can’t suddenly wave a magic wand and make that person feel better. The best thing you can do is offer support, but not all types of support are equally helpful.
Here are seven tips that can help you to guide and take care of someone battling an eating disorder:
1. Be Honest
Endeavor to frankly express your concern with such individuals you feel are having an eating disorder. It would do the person no good when you keep avoiding having such a discussion and seeking a solution to it.
However, it’s essential to discuss such topics in a respectful manner that won’t make the individuals feel uncomfortable or bad about themselves.
Thankfully, you can recommend such persons with eating disorders to an app for mindful weight loss like https://lasta.app/, which offers health trackers and several integrated tools that can help them create a healthy eating lifestyle.
2. Respect the Person’s Eating Habits
The best way to help someone battling an eating disorder is to respect their feelings and choices. You cannot force a person to change, but you can offer support and compassion while they explore their inner motivations. It may not be easy, but it is important: your loved one needs you on their side more than ever, so don’t make them feel guilty about what they are doing or ashamed of themselves.
3. Talk About the Positives of Food
There are many things to be said about food and eating disorders, but it’s important to focus on the positives. Food can make people feel better, celebrate good things that happen in their lives, or even help them get through a rough day. If you are struggling with eating disorders, try looking at food differently and see if it enables you to develop healthier attitudes towards it.
4. Remember, It’s Not About You
Although it may feel like your friend or family member’s eating disorder is all about you, and what they’re doing to you, the fact is that it’s not.
It’s important to keep in mind that an eating disorder is a person’s mental illness. Therefore, it has nothing to do with you.
You can’t make it go away or get rid of it by being angry or frustrated at them—that won’t help anyone involved. What will help? Listening and understanding, letting them know how much you care about them and that there are people who want to support them in their recovery efforts.
5. Educate Yourself About Eating Disorders
You can’t fight something that you don’t understand. To be a good advocate for yourself and others, it’s important to know what eating disorders are, how they affect people’s lives and what types of help are available.
One of the main characteristics of Anorexia nervosa is a fierce concern about accumulating extra body weight or getting fat, even when underweight. People suffering from eating disorders often see themselves as overweight when they’re not. They may obsessively weigh themselves or view their bodies in mirrors for long periods.
Bulimia nervosa: It is characterized by binge eating followed by purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or using laxatives/diuretics (water pills) to get rid of the food consumed during a binge episode; fasting; excessive exercise; etc.
6. Exercise Patience
Eating disorder recovery is a process that takes time, and everyone’s path through recovery is different. People with an eating disorder may need to see a therapist to learn how to cope with their illness and get back into their normal routine. They may also need to change their diet, exercise more, or adopt healthier attitudes towards food. The key is being patient when helping someone with an eating disorder. They might not be ready for full-on recovery, but they will eventually get there!
7. Always Be Supportive
If you’re worried that a friend or a family member has an eating disorder, you can best be patient and supportive.
Be patient with them as they eat. Don’t push them to eat more than they are comfortable with, and don’t try to force them into doing anything that will make them feel uncomfortable. Don’t try to be their therapist; listen if they want to share what’s going on in their life or ask questions about how you deal with certain emotions by eating certain foods (like chocolate).
Thanks for reading and learning about how to help a loved one fight an eating disorder. We hope this article has given you some helpful tips on being a good friend or family member to your loved one. It’s never easy to deal with someone suffering from an illness. Still, we hope these tips will make it easier if you ever find yourself in this situation.