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Vegan eating disorder recovery

Get guidance and support from an eating disorder dietitian and feel better again.

vegan nutritionist winnipeg alyssa fontaine

Hi, I’m Alyssa, an eating disorder dietitian

I know it can sometimes feel like you have no control over an eating disorder.   Eating disorder counseling with a dietitian can help you improve your situation and help you feel confident again.

 

I have seen many individuals who are vegan and struggle with orthorexia, binge eating, bulimia and anorexia. Recovery is possible and seeking an eating disorder treatment is a step in the right direction.

A personalized vegan eating disorder treatment

Vegan binge eating recovery

An eating disorder dietitian can help you understand and stop the vicious cycle of restriction and binge.

Vegan bulimia or anorexia recovery

Eating disorder counseling with a dietitian can help you understand your relationship with food and structure your day.

Vegan orthorexia recovery

The obsession of eating healthy can be debilitating, an eating disorder nutritionist will help improve your relationship with food.

Why work with a vegan dietitian who is also knowledgable in eating disorders?

Simplify your road to recovery

Eating disorder recovery can seem overwhelming and frustrating. Avoid endless research and planning, the eating disorder nutritionist will walk you through the steps so you can focus on the exercises that will help you.

Get quality feedback

It is inevitable that we will encounter obstacles on the road to eating disorder recovery. You will get quality feedback from your eating disorder dietitian during your counseling sessions. This will allow you to overcome them faster.

Getting support

You don’t need to feel alone during your eating disorder treatment. Speaking with an eating disorder nutritionist will help you feel less alone and understood. Having support is key to healing and feeling confident again.

10 WAYS A VEGAN DIETITIAN CAN HELP:

A vegan dietitian can help you improve your relationship with food by:

  1. Identifying what beliefs you may have about food that are not true.
  2. Balancing your diet and nourishing your body with everything it needs.
  3. Neutralizing food and no longer categorizing them as good or bad foods.
  4. Getting out of the all-or-nothing mentality with food.
  5. Helping you recognize your hunger and fullness cues.
  6. Showing you how to deal with emotional hunger.
  7. Helping you eat more mindfully and be more satisfied with your food.
  8. Finding a better relationship with physical activity.
  9. Challenging the food police.
  10. Making peace with food through different exercises.

A vegan dietitian can help you deal with anorexia nervosa by:

  1. Create a plan to help start gaining weight if needed.
  2. Make sure to increase your weight slowly and manage your fear of gaining weight.
  3. Help you deal with any digestive issues you may have (bloating, constipation, etc.).
  4. Helping you overcome your fear of “forbidden foods”.
  5. Make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need (iron, calcium, omega 3, etc.).
  6. Reassure you about the size of portions and the variety of foods.
  7. Recognize the eating disorder voice and fight the food rules that keep you from eating.
  8. Help you identify eating habits and habits that may need to be changed.
  9. Be the push you need in the right direction that is difficult on your own.
  10. Most importantly, have someone who mentally understands and supports you.

A vegan dietitian can help you deal with binge eating by:

  1. Breaking the binge-restrict cycle.
  2. Highlighting food myths that negatively impact your relationship with food.
  3. Providing custom vegan or vegetarian portion sizes and recipes.
  4. Establishing a meal structure that best suits your reality.
  5. Making sure you are taking all the necessary vitamins, minerals and supplements.
  6. Providing ongoing support and accountability.
  7. Noticing the food police in your head and reducing guilt.
  8. Showing you how to be more flexible with your food choices.
  9. Making you a more mindful eater and reducing emotional eating.
  10. Finding the perfect balance between a healthy diet and a relationship to food.

A vegan dietitian can help you deal with bulimia by:

  1. Creating a meal structure in your day.
  2. Suggesting vegetarian/vegan portions sizes.
  3. Demystifying nutrition and making it seem less overwhelming.
  4. Showing you different easy recipes and fun ideas.
  5. Helping you shut down the eating disorder voice that makes you feel bad.
  6. Recommending vitamins, minerals and supplements.
  7. Pointing out certain meal time habits or patterns that are not helpful.
  8. Helping you manage the relapse and moving on faster.
  9. Working on your relationship with food and your body.
  10. Have a non judgmental approach while supporting you on your journey.

A vegan dietitian can help you deal with orthorexia by:

 

  1. Helping you recognize what is a healthy relationship with food and what is not.
  2. Making you aware of the cost and impact that orthorexia has on your life (loss of time, social life, etc.).
  3. Showing how to properly balance your vegetarian/vegan diet.
  4. Treating any vitamin and mineral deficiencies you may have.
  5. Helping you get the “fear” foods back into your diet.
  6. Supporting you to be more flexible with your food choices.
  7. Highlighting specific food myths that may not be true or helpful.
  8. Showing you how to listen to your body’s signals that impact your diet.
  9. Making you a more mindful eater.
  10. Bringing you to find the ideal balance between a healthy diet and a healthy relationship to food.

Book a free discovery call with me

What are you waiting for? Get an eating disorder nutritionist on your side and start your eating disorder treatment today!

Book your FREE 20-mintute discovery session with a vegan registered dietitian today!

Frequently Asked Questions - Eating Disorders

Can you be vegan and have an eating disorder?

Yes, you can be vegan and have an eating disorder. For most, veganism is a movement to eliminate animal exploitation and suffering. However, some may turn to veganism as a way to reduce calories and food intake which can lead to an eating disorder. An eating disorder dietitian encourages you to reflect on your motivations for choosing a vegan lifestyle and assess if it is related to any disordered eating patterns or thoughts.

What is Orthorexia?

Orthorexia is an unhealthy focus on eating in a healthy way in which a person with this condition is fixated on the quality, rather than quantity, of their food to an excessive degree. Behaviors may include tracking macros or any kind of manipulation or elimination to achieve the “perfect diet”.  Check out my article Vegan Orthorexia: Everything you need to Know for more information about this topic.

Is veganism a form of orthorexia?

Veganism is not a form of orthorexia as being vegan comes from a place of compassion for animals and personal responsibility toward sustainability. With that said, veganism can be used as a mask for people with orthorexia to utilize the diet as a tool for enabling their disorder to be socially acceptable. Therefore, veganism is not orthorexia alone, however, the diet can be used to further eliminate food.

Recovery is possible if you are struggling with vegan orthorexia, and an eating disorder dietitian will help you improve your relationship with food and support you in your journey.

What is Megarexia?

Megarexia is a less-known eating disorder than anorexia nervosa in which people who suffer from this perceive themselves as healthy and thin meanwhile having an obesity problem. This is accompanied by unhealthy life habits such as lack of exercise and intake of mostly foods with “empty calories” such as candy and sweets causing an alarming lack of vitamins and minerals.

What is bulimia nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa (BN) is a type of potentially life-threatening eating disorder where people secretly binge by eating large amounts of food with a loss of control over the eating. This is proceeded by purging episodes to get rid of the extra calories in an unhealthy way.

What is the root of all eating disorders?

There is not a single cause of eating disorders, and they are yet to be fully understood. However, we do know causes of eating disorders could be biological, psychological, sociocultural, and even genetic components to eating disorders that run in families.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is the most common eating disorder characterized by abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight with a distorted perception of one's weight.

What are three signs that someone may have AN eating disorder?

AN eating disorder signs include dramatic weight loss, refusal to eat certain foods, such as carbs or fats, and avoiding mealtimes or eating in front of others. An eating disorder dietitian can help you identify these signs if you suspect you might have an eating disorder and help you work through them.

What are the risk factors for eating disorders?

Some risk factors for getting an eating disorder include a family history of mental illness or type 1 diabetes, personality traits such as perfectionism and low self-worth, as well as pressure from family and loved ones to be lower in weight.

How do you reverse eating disorders?

Reversing eating disorders will happen with the help of healthcare professionals including eating disorder dietitians, doctors, and therapists, as well as with the support of family/caregivers. This will be a slow process but one that will be extremely rewarding in which you will be able to build your relationship with food, your body and your mind.

Can I be vegan in recovery?

The answer is it depends. It is important to reflect deeply on why you have chosen to be on a vegan diet. If you are doing so exclusively for the animals and the environment, then you can fully recover from your eating disorder on a vegan diet. On the other hand, if you are vegan for reasons such as to lose weight, eat fewer calories or change your appearance, then an eating disorder nutritionist would suggest putting veganism on the back burner during your recovery.

What is the difference between eating disorders and disordered eating?

There are a few key differences between disordered eating and eating disorders with the primary difference involving the severity and degree of the symptoms. An eating disorder is a complex condition characterized by abnormal eating habits that impair health and an individual’s ability to function. On the other hand, Disordered eating is used to describe a range of irregular eating behaviors that do not necessarily meet the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder.

What are 3 examples of disordered eating behaviors?

Some examples of disordered eating behaviors include but are not limited to:

  • Frequent dieting, and anxiety associated with specific foods
  • Feelings of guilt and shame associated with eating
  • Using exercise, food, restriction, fasting, or purging to “make up for eating junk foods” that were consumed

Breaking disordered eating habits before they lead to an eating disorder is important and can be accomplished by working with a nutritionist for eating disorders.

Does an eating disorder just go away?

Unfortunately, in most cases, an eating disorder does not go away by itself. Eating disorders can cause severe functional impairment, meaning that the condition can quickly spiral out of control, harming both your physical and mental health. However, getting help from professional healthcare providers and the appropriate treatment from a nutritionist for eating disorders can help you live a healthy, and fulfilling life.

What treatment can I get for an eating disorder?

Eating disorder treatment generally begins with an assessment. If you are unsure about starting treatment the National Eating Disorders Association has a self-screening tool that can help you determine if you could benefit from an intervention.

Furthermore, a professional assessment is needed for accurate diagnosis by your healthcare provider in a treatment facility. Once the diagnosis is given, treatment may include partial, or full hospitalization, inpatient stay, or therapy depending on your case. It is important to know that everyone’s case is different, and the treatment will differ based on that.

Proper treatment for eating disorders also includes nutritional education. An eating disorder dietitian will assist an individual through the process of normalizing a relationship with food and assisting them with their nutritional needs.

If you feel like you could benefit from some extra support in making this lifestyle change, reach out for your FREE 15-minute discovery session with a vegetarian dietitian today.

What is a vegan binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort), making the individual feel a loss of control during the binge, and experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards.

Check out my article, Vegan Binge Eating Disorders: Causes & Strategies for Prevention for more info.

Can veganism cause binge eating?

Veganism cannot cause binge eating. Eating disorders and binge eating disorders are complex mental health issues and there are many factors involved. Those factors include a person’s relationship with food, personality, genetic and biological factors, and social environment. The causes differ from person to person. A binge-eating dietitian can help you find the root of your binge eating and help you regain your relationship with food.

How do you not overeat on a plant-based diet?

Some tips to prevent overeating on a plant-based diet include but are not limited to:

  • Eat regularly and don't skip meals:

Eating regularly throughout the day will help you gain more control over your eating because it keeps your blood sugar regulated and minimizes urges to binge.

  • Ditch the diet mentality

Stop labeling food as “good” or bad” as it puts too much pressure on you. This mindset can increase the feeling of guilt, setting you up for a binging episode.

  • Eat enough food

Calorie restriction drives hunger and overeating. If you eat lots of whole foods as a vegan, keep up with your caloric needs!

  • Tackle food anxiety

If some foods cause you to overeat more easily, make a list of anxiety-causing foods. Decide if you want to gradually expose these foods to your diet and ask your family and friends to support you through this journey!

A binge-eating dietitian can collaborate to make a plan that works for you and help you fight your binge eating habits.

Can being vegan cause gut issues?

A  vegan diet can benefit your gut health as it is high in fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, buts, seeds, and legumes. However, the high fiber content can also cause bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. It is recommended to consult a vegan dietitian if you are having these symptoms to find the root cause of it.

How do you know if you should stop being vegan?

If your veganism comes with some desire to lose weight, change your appearance, and exude control over your life causing you mental and physical distress, it is recommended to put a pause on veganism at least until you are fully recovered. An eating disorder dietitian can help you if you are struggling with this.

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