In my 20 + years of helping people in Eating Disorder recovery and recovery from cyclical dieting, I have run into this question more often than I would like. In the current age of technology, this has only gotten worse. Nutrition advice for every ailment (and some you never even thought of preventing) is available with a quick couple of key strokes. Suddenly everyone is a nutrition expert and ready to offer unsolicited nutrition advice. In fact, I love the new mug that has started popping up on my Facebook feed that says “Don’t confuse your Google search with my Nutrition Degree”.

Often, when you begin on the journey to Eating Disorder recovery or recovery from disordered eating, your therapist will recommend you to see an RD (Registered Dietitian). An RD is likely last person you want to add to your treatment team. First of all, it may seem the RD wants control over your food, weight and body. You already don’t trust your body at all and now you are being asked to trust someone else with the management of it. Secondly, the RD will encourage you to not engage in Eating disorder behaviors and eat more food than you want to. Finally, you may have spent a lot of time researching nutrition and don’t want/need more information. Despite how overwhelming this may be, it is also one of the most important decisions you can make for your Eating Disorder recovery.

RDs KNOW how difficult the prospect of giving up your Eating Disorder is when you come in. We know how scared you are and we call you BRAVE for taking those first steps. We want you to have a full life without your Eating Disorder. RDs can provide you with the “nuts and bolts” of nutrition education by giving you unbiased and factual scientific information.

Since nutrition information is readily available, RD’s can help you evaluate popular diets and nutrition myths. We educate on popular food fads and nutrition trends teaching you how to separate scientific fact from fiction. Furthermore, we provide you and your treatment team with a science based ideal weight range and meal plan that allows your body to function the most efficiently. RDs help you to restore trust in your body as well as helping your body learn to trust you again.

Most of all, we provide you with a safe place to discuss food and your body. You need a place to discuss the physical changes that eating more normally can bring. No matter what weight your body is at, you may feel differently about your body in Eating Disorder recovery. Having an RD to talk to about nutrition and weight will free up your therapist to focus on the underlying issues of your Eating Disorder.

In my practice, I do a lot of hands on food experiences. I have a kitchen table in my office to practice challenging food rituals and fear foods, or eating meals or snacks. Some of our work may be outside my office. We may meet at the grocery store, a restaurant, or your house to practice cooking in your kitchen and eating at your table. All of these things help to normalize your relationship with food and free you from the bondage an Eating Disorder creates. Full Eating Disorder recovery is possible. You deserve a life free of your Eating Disorder.