National Eating Disorders Association

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"Don't worry about junk food eating in recovery"... for how long? When does it stop?

My disordered eating started age 7, full blown anorexia at age 15, and i started recovering age 19-20. I'm now 26.
For me, I kind of recovered backwards... my psychological recovery happened first and I rarely if ever struggle with it anymore. However my physical and behavioral recovery I am struggling with.
Ive searched the internet and the only things I can find regarding sugar in recovery are people saying not to worry about it or encouraging it. Saying to eat whatever you crave. And that's what I started off doing but it's been years now and it only seems to be getting worse.
My intuitive eating tells me to eat any hour of the day and it ends up being all over the place. And it tells me to eat pretty much pure sugar. And because of that I never have the chance to think about fruits and vegetables. It makes my body feel so unhealthy and my family is getting concerned but I've been telling them "no, in recovery you have to eat whatever and whenever your body wants you to because you need to take advantage of that appetite and learn to follow your cravings!" But it's been years now and they're starting to say that's wrong. I'm starting to doubt it too but now I'm so addicted to sugar.

Also, I thought eating sugar and junk food would help me put on weight fast?? But Im still very severely underweight! I don't understand. My dad is a fitness instructor and he says I need to eat healthy food to gain weight but this goes against everything I've ever known... don't people always call sugary stuff "fattening"? And they eat healthy to lose weight? So I don't understand?

I'm really tired of eating so unhealthy and it's honestly sapping my energy and ruining my teeth by now. What should I do?


Dear jasmyn, we would like to inform you that we edited your post to remove mentions of specific food items which could be triggering to others. You can review our community guidelines hereAlso please know that the NEDA Helpline is always an option to get support and resources. It can be reached at 800.931.2237 or chat with them online ( M-TH 9-9 EST and F 9-5 EST. Thanks for your understanding and please continue to post! 

I get it

To a point, you’re right. Recovery is about having no fear foods and being able to eat normally. To do that, many encourage eating desserts and other “unhealthy” things. If it breaks ones fear of the food, great!
However, recovery is all about RENOURISHING the body that’s been deprived of nutrients. To do that, one has to make healthy choices. That includes fruits and veggies, carbs, fats, protein, vitamins, etc. This isn’t to say anyone should obsess about it. Maybe if you’re craving something sweet, try talking about this with a nutritionist or your doctor to get ideas. That really helped me.

Me too

I have also struggled with this. I am currently working with a registered dietitian (RD) and have become very frustrated. I have started my recovery from anorexia 3 years ago. I no longer restrict certain foods, but know that my eating habits still come from a place of disordered eating. My RD is VERY good and is encouraging me a lot through this process. She explains that when you have a history of disordered eating (6 years total for me) that it can take time to develop healthy patterns. She explained it as a pendulum swinging back and forth and someday I will return to a healthy middle. I would highly suggest a RD to help you through this process. Even if you don't think it comes from a psychological motivation, sometimes your brain is tricky.

Don't worry about junk food eating in recovery"... for how long?

It's good that you've come to realize that. You can eat in recovery. I didn't think about it before, but when I started to have health problems, I started to take food more seriously. I started eating different types of foods. All this helped me to get my health back to normal.

All food is welcome. There

All food is welcome. There are no good or bad foods. The only bad foods are those you’re allergic to or those that have expired. What you’re saying is harmful and not pro recovery. It is okay to eat what you want and listen to your body. I hope you can find food freedom too. Please don’t hurt others along the way

Hi Kilotron

Hi Kilotron, while it is great you are posting to support others, please keep the community guidelines in mind. We had to edit your post to remove outside links and unsolicited advice tha may be triggering for others. Please review our community guidelines; you can review them here 

Okay, I understand you. My

Okay, I understand you. My apologies. I will definitely check it out.