While eating disorders impact both men and women, women tend to suffer from them to a much greater degree.\u00a0 This may be largely due to society\u2019s relentless pressure on females to be supermodel thin and cellulite-free.\u00a0 Sadly, it\u2019s the exception not the rule to fit such unrealistic and unhealthy standards, yet many females strive to do just that. Of course, eating disorders may also develop for other reasons, such as a distorted body image or the need to ease stress and self-soothe with excessive amounts of food.\u00a0 Family conflict and the fierce need for control may also play a role. Regardless of the cause, professional help is often necessary.\u00a0 However, managing and overcoming your eating disorder shouldn\u2019t stop there.\u00a0 You can take additional steps to help get your life back on track and enhance your\u00a0 treatment.\u00a0 Not only will these tips help you overcome your disorder; following them will also help you feel more empowered \u2013 which is especially beneficial for anyone dealing with disordered eating. Following are several lifestyle tips that will help you in your recovery journey. Bulimia Nervosa Know your triggers.\u00a0 Individuals with bulimia often binge in response to stressful situations, negative emotions or other specific events.\u00a0 The urge to purge, take laxatives, or exercise excessively may be especially strong if you have a special occasion coming up or are feeling especially down about yourself (and your body).\u00a0 The greater your self-awareness, the better equipped you can be to avoid those triggers or have a game plan in place when they\u2019re unavoidable.\u00a0 Keep exercise in check.\u00a0 Bulimics often use excessive exercise as a way to burn off the calories from a binge-eating episode.\u00a0 A 30-minute jog can easily turn into a six-mile run if you\u2019re not careful. Going to the gym may tap into negative feelings about your body and weight, especially if you compare yourself to women who seem to be thinner or more fit than you.\u00a0 Talk to your treatment providers about your best exercise options, as well as how to keep exercise from becoming excessive.\u00a0 You might also find an exercise partner \u2013 preferably someone who knows about your bulimia and will be supportive but firm when you work out together.\u00a0 Follow your treatment plan.\u00a0 If you want to make progress, it\u2019s crucial that you attend all treatment sessions and not deviate from your meal plans.\u00a0 You won\u2019t always feel like it, and at times you\u2019ll want to give up and throw in the towel.\u00a0 That\u2019s normal \u2013 you\u2019re human, after all.\u00a0 But you\u2019ll make more progress and recover more quickly and fully if you stay on track with all aspects of your treatment. \u00a0You\u2019ll also have a better chance of thwarting or reducing the negative health effects that bulimia can cause. Supplement if necessary.\u00a0 Although you may not have been restricting calories as severely as someone with anorexia, binging and purging can still result in significant nutritional deficits.\u00a0 Supplementing your diet with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients may help facilitate your progress.\u00a0 Talk to your doctor or nutritional counselor to determine if, and what kinds, of supplements would be beneficial.\u00a0 Treat yourself with kindness.\u00a0 Bulimia and low self-worth often go hand in hand.\u00a0 Now more than ever is the time to pamper yourself in healthy ways (i.e. not with a quart of Ben and Jerry\u2019s ice cream!) and treat yourself just as lovingly as you would a close friend.\u00a0 Beating yourself up will only make you more vulnerable to falling back into old, unhealthy habits. Don\u2019t weigh, measure, or check.\u00a0 It\u2019s going to be very tempting, but getting on the scales or scrutinizing your figure\u00a0 in the mirror will be detrimental to your progress \u2013 and may set you back significantly if it triggers a binge-eating episode. Find something to distract yourself whenever you feel the urge to get out the tape measure or hop on the scale. Rid your cupboards and refrigerator of your favorite binge foods.\u00a0 Yes, you can always go to the store to get more.\u00a0 However, if it\u2019s not readily available, you\u2019ll be less tempted to binge. Binge Eating Disorder Seek professional help.\u00a0 It\u2019s easy to underestimate the serious impact of binge eating disorder or fail to regard it as a mental health issue.\u00a0 Instead, it\u2019s often minimized and inappropriately regarded as a mere lack of self-discipline. Don\u2019t let shame, pride, or the fear of appearing foolish get in the way of reaching out for help.\u00a0 Binge eating is a serious problem that often requires professional help in order to overcome it.\u00a0 Once you get into treatment, stick with the plan. Start the day with a healthy breakfast.\u00a0 It\u2019s not uncommon with binge-eating disorder to skip breakfast. Unfortunately, this can make you more vulnerable to binge-eating later in the day.\u00a0 A breakfast high in protein and healthy fat will keep hunger away for several hours. Don\u2019t diet.\u00a0 The feeling of deprivation that accompanies most \u201cdiets\u201d can quickly trigger a binge episode.\u00a0 In fact, it can make it worse than usual.\u00a0 Breaking your \u201cdiet\u201d and binging can feel like a double failure \u2013 and the guilt and self-loathing are worse than ever.\u00a0 If you\u2019re overweight, talk to a doctor or nutritionist about the safest and best way for you to go about losing the unwanted pounds. Many people find that following a Paleo lifestyle (i.e. eating like our ancestors, avoiding grain, sugar, and often dairy as well) helps them overcome the desire to binge without any feelings of deprivation.\u00a0 By eliminating empty carbs and sweets from their diet, they quickly find that they no longer crave them.\u00a0 Since weight loss is often achieved without counting calories (because carbs are significantly removed by eliminating the above foods), it ends up being a win-win situation \u2013 weight loss without restricting calories, feeling hungry or craving sweets. Get sufficient nutrition. Excess calories don\u2019t automatically mean sufficient nutrients.\u00a0 In fact, it\u2019s often the opposite.\u00a0 Binge foods are often unusually high in empty calories and carbs, sugar or salt, and unhealthy fats.\u00a0 Nutritional supplements may be necessary to ensure your body is getting what it needs.\u00a0 Proper nutrition will also reduce cravings and better enable you to lose any excess weight. Limit the food you have on hand.\u00a0 It\u2019s much harder to binge if your refrigerator and cupboards aren\u2019t full or don\u2019t contain your favorite binge foods.\u00a0 Granted, you can always get in the car and go to the store, but having to do so can be a good deterrent.\u00a0\u00a0 Don\u2019t Isolate.\u00a0 Binge eating is typically a solo event, hidden from others.\u00a0 The more time you spend alone, the more likely you will be to binge eat.\u00a0 Additionally, having supportive people in your life will help you get through treatment and feel better about yourself.\u00a0 Know when you\u2019re most vulnerable. Binge eating episodes are often triggered by other things, including the time of day (usually late evening or night time), stress, boredom, and painful emotions.\u00a0 The more aware you are of when you\u2019re most likely to binge eat, the easier it will be to make necessary lifestyle changes. Anorexia Nervosa Anorexia nervosa is one of the most serious \u2013 and potentially deadly \u2013 psychiatric disorders.\u00a0 This is because it can result in extremely serious and even life-threatening medical problems.\u00a0 It\u2019s critical that you get into treatment as soon as possible in order to reduce the potential damage to your health while overcoming the underlying psychological issues. Follow your treatment plan very closely \u2013 Treatment for anorexia can be especially tedious, lengthy and frustrating.\u00a0 But the more closely you adhere to your treatment regimen, the more progress\u00a0 you\u2019ll make \u2013 and the less time it will take to reach your goals.\u00a0 No matter how much you want to give up, skip a therapy session, or go back to old eating habits, don\u2019t.\u00a0 It will get better! Put away the scale.\u00a0 Better yet, throw it away, donate it to charity or give it to a friend while you\u2019re working on your eating disorder.\u00a0 One of the symptoms of anorexia is an obsession with losing weight \u2013 even to the point of looking emaciated.\u00a0 The slightest increase on the scale can plunge you into despair and trigger another episode of extreme calorie restriction.\u00a0 As tempting as it is to get on the scale, it\u2019s crucial to your progress to avoid it.\u00a0 Leave your weight checks for the nurse at your doctor\u2019s office.\u00a0 On a similar note, resist the urge to measure yourself or check your body in the mirror.\u00a0 The slightest perceived bulge or \u00bc\u201d gain can have the same negative effect as an increase in the number on the scale. Surround yourself with support.\u00a0 The shame and stigma that often accompany a mental health condition \u2013 including eating disorders \u2013 can make you want to withdraw socially.\u00a0 Now more than ever you need to surround yourself with friends and family who love you \u2013 just the way you are.\u00a0 The people who truly care about you want to see you succeed, and won\u2019t judge you based on your weight or body shape.\u00a0 Don\u2019t push them away.\u00a0 If you don\u2019t have much of a support system, consider joining a support group for individuals with eating disorders.\u00a0 A good support system is highly beneficial for anyone trying to recover from any type of health issue. Find something you\u2019re passionate about or really enjoy.\u00a0 When you\u2019re focused on something that taps into your passion or gives you great joy, you\u2019ll be much less likely to think about your weight, your body shape or food. Supplement as needed. \u00a0Anorexia often leads to malnourishment due to the constant severe restriction of calories.\u00a0 Your body won\u2019t heal overnight, and even if you are eating better, you may not be getting all the nutrients your body requires.\u00a0 Proper nutrition will not only help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, it will also help you feel and function better.\u00a0 Talk to your doctor or nutrition counselor about vitamins, minerals and other nutritional supplements that may be beneficial. With proper treatment, increased self-awareness, plenty of support, proper nutrition and lifestyle changes, eating disorders can be overcome.\u00a0 If you\u2019re struggling with an eating disorder or feel that there\u2019s something wrong with your relationship to food, don\u2019t hesitate to reach out for help.