Proper diet and nutrition are crucial for recovery from bulimia. Treatment will address the mental and most of the associated health risks through therapy and medication. As the recovery process proceeds, providing the body with the fuel it needs in order to heal and function is essential to improve health.
The Nutritional Requirements of the Body
The body requires varying levels of certain nutrients, vitamins and minerals in order to function. While the exact suggested daily amounts of each nutrient depend on the health need of the individual, a 2000-calorie diet is usually used for discussion purposes.
The recommended daily values of nutrients for an individual on a 2000-calorie diet are:
- Added sugar: Less than 100 calories for women and 150 for men
- Fiber: 22-34 grams
- Cholesterol: Less than 200 milligrams
- Protein: 50-175 grams
- Saturated fat: 16-22 grams
- Sodium: Less than 2300 milligrams
- Total carbohydrates: 225-325 grams
- Total fat: 44-78 grams.
The key vitamins and minerals your body needs include:
- Folic acid (B9)
- Niacin (B3)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Thiamin (B1)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamins B6 and B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
A doctor or nutritionist can determine the recommended daily values for your body, as well as whether you should take vitamins or minerals to make up for any deficiencies resulting from the eating disorder.
The Importance of Nutrition for Recovery
During recovery, a doctor might recommend higher or lower than average amounts of certain nutrients or vitamins. As the body adjusts to normal eating habits, the recommended diet may have to be equally as adaptable. The proper diet will not only restore the body to its regular levels of functioning but also hopefully repair damage done during the eating disorder.
Defining a Healthy Body Weight
During the early stages of treatment, a doctor will help the patient determine a healthy weight range for her body. This range may be slightly higher than the normal recommended weight guidelines for a particular body height. The goal is to create a flexible weight zone in which the patient is comfortable fluctuating, as normal body weights do on a daily basis.
A bulimia diagnosis is the first step in rebuilding the health and wellness of the body and repairing the effects of bulimia.