Sample Meal Plans for Eating Disorders

Sample Eating Disorder Recovery Meal Plans

Anorexic Recovery meal plan

If you are looking for an anorexic recovery meal plan, recovering bulimic meal plan, binge eating recovery meal plan or any other eating disorder recovery meal plans, you have come to the right place!

Eating disorder recovery meal plans should ideally be designed by a Registered Dietitian (RD), which you can incorporate into your treatment plan. The RD should be able to assess your current nutritional situation as well as your lifestyle and preferences and be able to create a customized recovering meal plan for you. Dietitians take into consideration lots of factors such as individual nutritional needs, weight, exercise level, lifestyle, food preferences, etc. when they are designing your meal plan.

Therefore, these Eating Disorder Meal Plans are simply samples of what your meal plan could look like. Your nutritional needs could be very different from these meal plans shown here. You should only begin a meal plan under supervision of your treatment team of medical doctors, alternative medicine practitioners, and/or nutritional counsel such as a Registered Dietician.

These sample eating disorder meal plans are designed for 3 meals and 3 snacks per day, eating every 2.5 to 3 hours. Each sample menu plan incorporates different requirements for each exchange and includes proteins, starches, fruits, vegetables, fats, and dairy (or alternatives). The foods listed in the meal plans could also be substituted for another item in the same group (ex. Starch for another starch, like substituting a ½ cup brown rice for a ½ cup whole wheat noodles). You can read more about Eating Disorder Meal Plans here. If you need help with eating disorder meal plan exchanges click here and help with visualizing portion sizes here.

Here are a few sample food plans that I have followed. You can adjust the times to reflect what would work with your schedule and also substitute in other foods for the exchanges according to your individual preferences.

Sample Eating Disorder Recovery Meal Plan 1

7:30am
Banana
½ cup or 1 serving Cereal
1 cup Milk (dairy, soy, almond, etc)

10:00am
Protein shake or ½ cup cottage cheese w/pineapple

12:30pm
Turkey sandwich with slice of cheese on 2 slices whole wheat bread
Carrots and celery w/low fat ranch dressing

3:00pm
1 serving crackers, pretzels or popcorn

6:00pm
Grilled chicken breast
1 cup broccoli
1 cup noodles w/1 T butter
1 cup milk or soy milk

8:30pm
1 cup yogurt w/1 medium apple

Sample Eating Disorder Recovery Meal Plan 2

7am
1 slice toast
1 scrambled egg with mushrooms
1 medium apple

10am
1 oz cheese with 1 serving wheat crackers

12:30pm
2 slices whole wheat bread with roasted turkey, 1 slice cheese & mustard
1 cup salad with vinegar or 2 T low fat dressing

3pm
¼ cup trail mix (raisins, nuts, dried fruit, etc)

6pm
Baked salmon with 1 cup broccoli, ½ cup pasta, 1 T butter
1 cup low fat milk or soy milk

8:30pm
1 cup yogurt with 2 T peanut butter

Sample Eating Disorder Recovery Meal Plan 3

7-9am
1 cup yogurt
½ cup bran flakes

9:30-11:30am
1 slice whole wheat bread with hard boiled egg and tomato slices

11:30am-1:30pm
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Tossed salad with almonds and 2 T low fat dressing

1:30-3:30pm
½ cup cottage cheese with fruit

5-5:30pm
Veggie burger (make sure has 14 grams protein or more) on whole wheat bun with 1 slice cheese
1 cup steamed broccoli or vegetable
1 cup milk or soy milk

7-8pm
1 serving wheat crackers with 2 T peanut butter

 

Sample Eating Disorder Recovery Meal Plan 4

Click here for another Meal Plans for Eating Disorders Example

Please remember, these are only examples!!

 

Additional Help: Letting Go of Calorie Counting in Eating Disorder Recovery Video

image of eating disorder recovery coach

 

Click here to view Letting Go of Calorie Counting

 

When I was going through my meal plans, I made sure to write out my meal plan the night before (read more awesome tips for meal plans for eating disorders here). This made sure that I had everything I needed in the house and also gave me time to prepare and pack a lunch or snack if I was going to be out of the house the next day.

Also, if you wish to have dessert, do so if you are ready and feel comfortable with it. There are many things you can substitute for your snacks or even in place of a starch- such as ½ cup frozen yogurt, small cookie, slice of cake or brownie.  Click here to see a list of meal plan exchanges which includes desserts.  Again, make sure you talk with your dietitian, especially if you have a sugar addiction. You may need to get a sugar free substitute but that is totally up to what you feel most comfortable with. Listen to your body! Personally I enjoy a few squares of dark chocolate or a small cup of frozen yogurt, but you may not feel ready for this if you are just starting out. It’s totally okay! In our eating disorders we tend to label foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ so you may have some negative beliefs about these types of foods. Work on it with your therapist and please only do what you feel most comfortable with. Maybe add them later down the line but you definitely deserve to have what you want within moderation!!

When starting on a new eating disorder meal plan, keep in mind that it might feel like a lot of food at first. I sure did when I looked at my meal plan and wondered if I was going to gain weight if I ate all the food on it! Others may need a recovery meal plan that will help them lose weight. Again, make sure you talk to your dietician to ensure that your meal plan is going to meet all of your nutritional needs. Everyone is different! You may even want to add in nutritional supplements which could enhance your physical wellbeing and recovery experience (You can read more about vitamins, minerals, and supplements in another post).

Overcoming eating disorders starts with a good meal plan.  Then you can learn all of the many facets of how to recover from an eating disorder.  Make sure that when you begin a new meal plan that you TRUST that it is right for your body.  Remember that your body will reset to its ‘correct’ size over time. In the early stages of the re-feeding process, your body might go through some major changes. Again, this is normal. Your digestive system needs time to repair and become accustomed to eating the foods it needs in the correct proportions. Your body might also change. You should definitely be prepared to face your body image issues with your therapist or treatment team at this point, because they will definitely come up and at times can be very intense. Don’t give up! Trust that your body is changing for the better. You are getting healthy again! It also might feel overwhelming to have to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. In the beginning it seemed like a lot for me, because I had been abusing my body with restricting, binge eating, and purging for years that I had no idea what eating ‘normally’ was. Trust the process. Get support from your treatment team. By eating 3 meals and 3 snacks we can escape the dieting mentality and break free from the restricting/binging/purging cycle. It keeps our energy and metabolism up while giving us the nourishment we need.

You can recover from your eating disorder!  Overcoming an eating disorder and learning self care and self love is a process so please take it easy on yourself.

You deserve to be happy, healthy, and free from your eating disorder!

 

If you have any questions, please leave in the comments below!!!

Peace, Love + Freedom,

image of eating disorders help

28 Comments

  1. Hi! I am a recovering anorexic boy. I was hospitalized when I reached about XXXlbs which is not healthy at all! Especially for a teenage boy! My meal plan consisted of different food groups (proteins, starches, dairy etc.) This is an example of a regular day for me:
    Breakfast:
    2 slices of toast (starch)
    2 cups of yogurt (dairy)
    1/2 of fruit (fruit)
    1/4 cup of almonds (fats)
    Snack:
    2 granola bars
    Lunch:
    1/2 cup of fruit
    A ham sandwich (starch/protein)
    Yogurt (dairy)
    Side salad with dressing (vegetables/fat)
    Snack:
    Granola bar(s)
    Dinner:
    Some kind of starch (rice, bread, mashed potatoes, etc.)
    Some kind of meat (protein)
    Yogurt (dairy)
    Fruit
    Side salad with dressing (vegetable/fat)
    Snack:
    1/4 cup of almonds

    At first I thought this was an insane amount of food and it included many fear foods for me but it has been 6 months since I was hospitalized and I have only gained about XX lbs. So if you are a recovering anorexic reading this, please know that it may seem like a lot of food but it really isn’t. I wish any anorexic good luck and I hope you recover from this horrible disease.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Bentley glad to hear you was doing well in 2012,i have just come home on 16’7’2014 after being in treatment for 4 months,things are still strange but would love to know how you are doing

      Post a Reply
  2. Hi Bentley was it hard ? are you fully recovered my name is Hannah and ive battled with anorexia / binge/ purging for four years I just want to get better soooooo badly but im afraid to do it alone :( xx

    Post a Reply
  3. Hi Hannah! I’m so sorry you’ve had these horrible eating disorders. Unfortunately i have not recovered. I actually weigh less now than i did when i was admitted and if i don’t gain weight in a couple of weeks i WILL be sent back to a hospital. I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say it had been easy because its not. Please feel free to ask any questions and i will be happy to answer them. I would be more than happy to help you with recovery

    Post a Reply
  4. I am really hoping someone can help me with knowing how to get my digestive track back to normal. I am really having a lot of gas burping stomach cramps and acid reflux. I know I have damaged my body by having this disease since I was in high school and I am 44 years old. What types of foods are easily digested so I don’t have so much discomfort. I don’t want to live on antacids.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Toni, try a gluten free diet or eating as natural as possible. It will be easier on your stomach.

      Post a Reply
    • Hi Toni

      I have had the same stomach problems. I have found that if I move around after I eat it makes a big difference. I only mean to get up and clear your dishes or some other small task. Even just 10 minutes, as long as I am not just sitting.

      Post a Reply
    • Hi Toni,
      I can relate to your digestion issues. Try probiotic pills from a health food store. Also try digestive enzymes. These help restore natural stomach flora and help break down the food naturally. I also know that drinking lemon juice with water in the mornings helps reset the natural acidity in the stomach. Try to quit the antacids.

      I’m 37 and have struggled on / off w bulimia for 20 years. At my worst I could binge / purge upwards of 25 times a day. Though I have also had periods of months of sanity.

      I now have 10 days without bingeing and purging and I have decided I am 100% done. I’m using a 12 step program and it’s working. Would love to chat anytime!

      ~ Sophie

      Post a Reply
      • Hi, Sophie. Would you be willing to send me your email address? I am struggling with bulimia after 10 years, and I have been using a 12 step program, too. I’d love to hear more of your experience, strength, and hope.
        Thanks,
        Lina

        Post a Reply
      • Hi what is the 12 step program and how does it work?

        Post a Reply
  5. Hey Bently, I too, like Hannah am a teenage girl who will pretty much be sent to hospital soon… I am the health food freak and am afraid that they will serve unhealthy fried foods to overcome this fear… What kind of dishes do they serve at the hospital? Thank you so much and I hope we all get well and get through this

    Post a Reply
  6. I am also starting my recovery…I have been anorexic for almost three years and bulemic for two years. .. trying to get a specific meal plan to keep myself from binging… I’m really struggling though. . don’t know what to do…I can’t even allow myself to hold in a salad because I’m so used to either starving myself or just throwing up any food I take in… I’m XXX and weigh only XXX pounds. .. need help! Any tips on coping with eating normally again?? tired of this taking over my life. .I want to enjoy myself again!

    Post a Reply
  7. Dear Hannah,
    You are so right! The truth is that what an eating disorder is all about is trying to fix things or do things or THINK things, alone, by yourself. I really hope you will reach out and find someone to be with you in this process. You can do it together! All the best, Dr. K

    Post a Reply
  8. Dear Toni,
    I know you wrote this a few months ago, so I really hope you have seen an MD for your symptoms by now. These are not typical only to an eating disorder, and it is REALLY important to have them checked out. Wishing you the best, Dr. K

    Post a Reply
    • Hi everyone, I agree with Dr. Alitta Kullman – I have been living with bulimia for about 3 years now and only recently have stopped trying (and failing) to fix it myself. I am now seeing a psychologist, dietitian and regular GP who work together in a triangle type thingy to help me get well. Its not easy, and every day seems like a ‘two steps forward one step back’ type thing but at least I am going forward!

      The thing I’ve noticed about me is I will always have a REASON for my binges; hunger is a big one (from starving myself due to a previous binge, or from eating stupid small meal sizes), also boredom, sadness, etc. A very important thing to do is to take the time BEFORE eating to see why it is you want to eat, and then you can act sensibly. For example, if I am bored I go on a walk or call and friend, if I am hungry I eat only until I am full and only foods which are nutritionally useful (rather than eat the entire cupboard), if I am sad I will deal with it rather than just eat to numb it, etc.

      It takes so much self discipline I know, and I often run out of motivation to keep trying – thats when you need to see someone! Get it out, talk about it, refuel. Its so easy to slip into old patterns and I have found that the only way to keep on track is to talk to people – my best friend, my doctors, etc. There are people who care for you and want to help, and seriously I know its hard to share but you have to because like Dr. Kullman said the whole idea of an eating disorder is that YOU try to control things, and you lose sight of what a sensible eating pattern is. You know, weird rules about whats ok to eat and when and how much, and how much exerciseyou have to do and how often, etc. Professional people help you to get back in touch with what’s a healthy way to eat.

      Wow, that was long… but I feel so passionately about this – I’m sick of being sick! I want to enjoy life again. And I want that for everyone – I don’t know if you can realise how hard it is to be your own worst enemy until you’ve been ill with something like an eating disorder. Stay strong guys, and stay talking about it!

      xx
      Zoe

      Post a Reply
  9. I think this exchange thingy has helped me a lot in trying to stop with the calories ! But yeah My meal plan for this is
    Breakfast : 3 starch, 2 protein, 1 fruit, 1 dairy, 2 fat
    Snack: 2 starch, 1 fruit, 1 dairy, 1 fat
    Lunch: 3 starch, 3 protein, 1 fruit, 1 dairy, 2 fat
    Snack: 1 starch, 1 fruit, 1 fat
    Dinner: 3 starch, 3 protein, 1 dairy, 2 fat
    Snack: 1 starch, 1 fat

    It’s crazy, my favorite eating disorder food were vegetables.. They didn’t even add it into my meal plan in the treatment center I’m in u.u

    Post a Reply
  10. Is there a certain number of calories we must get? I haven’t had my period in 2 years and have been at a healthy weight for 1 month nowo

    Post a Reply
  11. Hi Lauren,
    I was just wondering about your turkey sandwich for lunch and how much turkey you used… ex. 1 oz or 3oz? Also, how much cheese in the sandwich?

    Thank you!

    C :)

    Post a Reply
  12. I visited a dietician and she gave me a meal plan and so far its kinda for me because I always give in after work in the vending machines that are full of my triggers:(

    Post a Reply
  13. I am a anorexic/ bulimic been so 16 years. Iam trying to eat a little and keep in but moved back home while tRying this. I have a dietIan but I’m finding so hard to do this and meal plans ideas Foods things to do or have that are safe when I want to go on a binge and purge please help ideas tips resources …..

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Kate, I hope you get to read this soon. If you are running out of ideas, perhaps try seeing a therapist. I am now, and its helping me so much, talking about it all. Also, try having a food and thoughts diary. So in one diary you write how you are feeling in moments of stress, anxiety, etc and then in the other you write down your food intake of each day to then show your dietician. they can go through it with you and try adapt it for you to recover. Hope this has helped!

      Post a Reply
  14. I’m a 23 male anorexic for 7 years :( I have forgotten entirely what to eat and have no ideas with meal plans, dietitan is to expensive for me

    Post a Reply
    • Hi David, first what helps is going through each category or food group and list what items you like or able to each.. then simply pair … main focus being protein source.. start setting times at which to eact something small.. like 7:30 am then a snack 10:30 lunch at 12 a snack around 2 -3 then dinner at 6 then if you want a fruit or something around 8-9 start small and don’t overwhelm yourself hope I could help!!

      Post a Reply
    • Hey david! My recovery meal plan was very helpful, this is an example of a regular day for me was:

      breakfast 8:00 am :
      1 muffin
      1 tbsp peanut butter
      1 cup of rice crispies
      1 package of 2% yogurt
      handful of berries

      snack 10:30 am:
      smoothie
      granola bar

      lunch 12:30 pm:
      tuna salad wrap
      carrots and ranch dip
      pear
      glass of 2% milk

      snack 2:30 pm
      2 2% yogurts
      apple

      dinner 5:30 pm
      salmon
      2 cups of brown rice
      side salad
      cherries

      snack 8:30 pm
      2 packages digestive cookies
      2% yogurt

      My diet was pretty big because I have a very quick metabolism and it was difficult to gain anything at all for me. Good luck on recovery I hope this helps:) xx

      Post a Reply
  15. I have been suffering from anorexia since im 16 and im bulimic since im 20 . Im 24 now , i just cant get help from any sources and im always anxiety towards food and people . I always start a plan and always failed . Im very lost .. ))’:

    Post a Reply
  16. Hello,
    My name is Tey. I am a fully recovered anorexic. I am trying to start an anorexia support group at my college. I wanted to know what were/are some of the things that you guys find most helpful when trying to recover? I know what were some of the things that I found helpful during my recovery but I want to learn what other people find helpful so that my group will be able to help more people. Thanks.

    Post a Reply
    • SORRY but i feel so disponted i want so much to beat this but finding it so hard have you got any hints

      Post a Reply
  17. Hi there,
    I am really struggling at the moment with the physical consequences of my bulimia; I feel very tight chested, am long over-due on my period and am not pooing (lol). Due to my binges, which are now happening a lot more frequent, I have put on weight and this is making me 10 times more anxious and self-loathing and I really cant see things getting better, I really feel as if there is nothing positive for life to present to me. I really need a diet plan, or anything, because my life is becoming destroyed and I don’t want to go with it.

    thanks, Jo (the constipated one)

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply