Sample Meal Plans for Eating Disorders
Sample Eating Disorder Meal Plans
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 Dietician (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. Dieticians 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 Meal Plan 1
½ cup or 1 serving Cereal
1 cup Milk (dairy, soy, almond, etc)
Protein shake or ½ cup cottage cheese w/pineapple
Turkey sandwich with slice of cheese on 2 slices whole wheat bread
Carrots and celery w/low fat ranch dressing
1 serving crackers, pretzels or popcorn
Grilled chicken breast
1 cup broccoli
1 cup noodles w/1 T butter
1 cup milk or soy milk
1 cup yogurt w/1 medium apple
Sample Meal Plan 2
1 slice toast
1 scrambled egg with mushrooms
1 medium apple
1 oz cheese with 1 serving wheat crackers
2 slices whole wheat bread with roasted turkey, 1 slice cheese & mustard
1 cup salad with vinegar or 2 T low fat dressing
¼ cup trail mix (raisins, nuts, dried fruit, etc)
Baked salmon with 1 cup broccoli, ½ cup pasta, 1 T butter
1 cup low fat milk or soy milk
1 cup yogurt with 2 T peanut butter
Sample Meal Plan 3
1 cup yogurt
½ cup bran flakes
1 slice whole wheat bread with hard boiled egg and tomato slices
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Tossed salad with almonds and 2 T low fat dressing
½ cup cottage cheese with fruit
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
1 serving wheat crackers with 2 T peanut butter
Please remember, these are only examples!!
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,