Why Not To Obsess With “Healthy Eating” In Recovery


Most people struggling withan eating disorder have the “good” food “bad” food mindset. They believe they can eat X but not Y for various reasons. I made this post to tell you all that you need to let go of that mindset.

It can be hard, especially when you hear so many things persuading you to eat certain things and avoid others, but that is media telling you these things. Media also tells us that the “beautiful perfect figure” is Barbie… Barbie wouldn’t even be able to walk on two legs if she was real because of her disproportions.

Do you feel like all you crave are sweet things such as ice cream, cookies, chips, desserts? Probably things you haven’t allowed yourself to in quite some time, right?

That is completely normal in recovery. But trust me, it wont be like that forever. You won’t go “out of control” and keep eating forever. I know many people that have that fear (I was one of them), but your body will level out and the cravings will subside when you become stabilized.

Did you know that 90% of our nutrient needs are for calories, and only 1% for vitamins!

People often think they need to eat to most vitamins and minerals every day to be “healthy” but your body doesn’t solely need them as much as you think.

I do believe your body needs whole foods too don’t get me wrong. All I am saying is that you don’t need to load yourself up every day worrying about getting enough nutrients. Processed foods are very much allowed and okay for your body to have.

High calorie foods are what matter most in recovery

The World Health Organization states that anything under 2100 calories to be starvation mode. If you don’t increase your intake and choose to recover on a small amount, your overall health won’t improve.

I found an article called “Minnesota Starvation Experiment and Eating Disorders” and I’ll quote what it said:

“After six months the rehabilitation started, Keys divided men into four groups which received 400, 800, 1200, or 1600 more calories than what they had in starvation. He did this to observe the optimum amount of calories for them. But for the men in the lowest calories groups saw almost not improvement, they still felt hungry all the time and had no signs of recovery. Even after providing them with vitamin and protein supplements the didn’t improve, they just needed more calories! He eventually concluded that in order to recover from starvation, a person needs around 4000 calories a day to rebuild their strength.”

Basically when you are in starvation mode, your body’s goal is survival. It stops exerting extra energy for your metabolism, so it slows down. Your body temp goes way down, you freeze at normal room temperatures, along with slowed cell renewal and non -existent hormone production. It does all this to focus on keeping your heart beating, brain functioning, and stores fat whenever it can.If your body didn’t do this, you would die very fast. It’s kind of fascinating how smart our bodies are and will fight to keep us alive.

This is why you need to so desperately need to increase your calorie intake to 3000-4000 calories in recovery. You have done so much damage to your poor body and it doesn’t heal over night.

Don’t Worry So Much About Healthy Eating In Recovery

When you reach your ideal body weight by eating a sufficient amount of energy, then its more ideal to start including more whole foods. You don’t need to be worried about this while you trying to gain to a healthy weight. Right now, your body is looking for lots of energy!

Low calorie, high water, high fiber foods will fill you up way to fast and will keep you too full to eat the amount you need. It also can be very hard on your body to digest. I love apples, but I had to choose things like dried fruits for a while and you wouldn’t believe how good of a choice that was!

Do your body a favor- NOURISH IT! Eat things you haven’t had in so long because the thoughts were holding you back. Don’t let them in! You are fighting for your life back and food is the only medicine. Variety is soo important as well. I can’t eat the same things everyday, imagine how boring that would be!

I really hope this helped you see that obsessing over all the food you eat isn’t necessary. Love yourself, trust yourself and eat whatever the hell you want. As you can see, it’s most important to get out of starvation mode and to repair cell damage.

Kick ass. ❤


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Not limiting our food choices helps both with the physical aspect of recovery as well as the mental side. Thanks for sharing. Very inspiring!


  2. Andrea says:

    Ahh this was so helpful!! Thank you thank you for posting this!! Just this evening I was down on myself for pigging out on tortilla chips after dinner and dessert even…. But I was craving their salty crunch so badly! I had a good, balanced dinner I was proud of, then immediately beat myself up over finishing the chip bag! But you are right, in order to get past this final hurdle (my period!) I just need to go with it I guess and realize I will not be stuffing my face with chips for the rest of my life. I can’t give up again at this stage.! Gotta keep pressing through!! Thanks as always!!!


    1. emmyvaz says:

      It’s always good to honor your cravings! It’s just a normal human thing to do and it’s a lot better than depriving yourself. I’m glad this helped 🙂


  3. I completely agree! It is so important in recovery to face your fears, challenge yourself, and realize that the anxiety isn’t nearly as bad as we anticipated! I often find myself in a state of thrilled, shocked excitement when I complete a challenge and it truly feels so much better than restriction ever did! Thanks for your wise words 🙂


  4. Gianna says:

    I have a question, I am weight restored but still haven’t gotten my period and still get really cold sometimes, should I up my calories more even though I’m weight restored? (I’ve only been doing 1500 to 1600 a day) oh and i hope I’m not being a bother for asking, I’m really sorry if I am.


    1. Emmy says:

      Don’t feel sorry! I’m here for these questions! I would say definitely increase your intake. Anything under 2000 calories is considered starvation mode and it’s definitely not enough for your body to run its optimal best. If anything, you will speed up your metabolism and heat will eventually start regulating again because your metabolism is working more. You also need more calories to wake up your reproductive system. Hope this helped!


      1. Gianna says:

        thank you so much, this really helped


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