Eating Disorders A Guide to Coping Strategies UW Health


Arabic Logo

Eating Disorders

A Guide to Coping Strategies


Each person comes into this world with a specific destiny–he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally–you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose-Osho behind you. The whole intends to do something through you.


Dear Readers,
I was asked to share a mini guide on coping strategies for  Eating Disorders. I found this brilliant guide by University of Wisconsin Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. I hope you’ll find it as useful as others did.  The information below tells you ways to deal with an eating disorder. These ideas have been written by nurses who work with people who have eating disorders. Using the ideas in this guide can help you control eating disorder symptoms.

We cannot teach people anything;

we can only help them discover it

within themselves.

-Galileo Galilei


To Improve Body Image


The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.

-Lao Tzu

star-bullet-pointPut away your scale.
star-bullet-pointDress to feel comfortable.
star-bullet-pointWalk proud.
star-bullet-pointPut away your skinny clothes.
star-bullet-pointStart the morning with good grooming.
star-bullet-pointRecognize that your thinking about your body may be distorted.
star-bullet-pointRealize you are not being singled out because you think you have gained weight.
star-bullet-pointBe comfortable and familiar with your body.

To Cope with Eating

Banner #2 copy

star-bullet-pointChange the subject when other people talk about food, weight, or body size and shape.
star-bullet-pointSet a routine – eat three well-balanced meals that are satisfying.
star-bullet-pointMake menus for a day ahead of time and post them.
star-bullet-pointEat with people who support healthy eating.
star-bullet-pointMake lunch your main meal.
star-bullet-pointHave a back-up plan for nutrition if you can’t eat a meal.
star-bullet-pointDevelop a support system for times when eating is a problem.
star-bullet-pointPlan things to do at times when other people are snacking.
star-bullet-pointOccupy yourself after a meal.
star-bullet-pointWalk away from the table after meals.
star-bullet-pointPlan healthy snacks.
star-bullet-pointEat healthy foods instead of junk foods.
star-bullet-pointMake meals ahead of time.
star-bullet-pointMake a date to eat with someone.
star-bullet-pointSet your meal times 4 to 5 hours apart.
star-bullet-pointDon’t buy binge foods.
star-bullet-pointMake a shopping list and stick to it.
star-bullet-pointEat before you go to a party. Do not go hungry.
star-bullet-pointSet a time limit for eating.
star-bullet-pointMake sure to enjoy more about your meal than just the food.
star-bullet-pointStay away from bathrooms after meals.
star-bullet-pointStart the day with breakfast.
star-bullet-pointMake decisions about eating and stick to them.
star-bullet-pointIf you have trouble knowing when you are hungry, plan to eat regularly.

To Control Urges to Binge


star-bullet-pointTalk to and pet animals.

star-bullet-pointWork on hobbies and handcrafts.
star-bullet-pointGo for a walk.
star-bullet-pointWatch a movie.
star-bullet-pointTake a risk. Do something different.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
star-bullet-pointDon’t take extra money when you go out.
star-bullet-pointTake a nap.
star-bullet-pointClean (for yourself, not for others).
star-bullet-pointTalk with someone supportive.
star-bullet-pointAvoid the kitchen when you walk in the door.
It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
-Henry David Thoreau
star-bullet-pointListen to music.
star-bullet-pointTake a warm shower or bath.


To Deal with Feelings after a Binge


star-bullet-pointForgive yourself.
star-bullet-pointFind something else to do.
star-bullet-pointGet away from your eating place.
star-bullet-pointTalk with someone else. You may or may not talk about your eating behaviors.
star-bullet-pointNurture yourself even if you don’t feel like it.
star-bullet-pointTry self-talk. Say you do not look any different than you did a few minutes ago.
star-bullet-pointGet yourself back on track with routine eating.

To Improve Your Self-Esteem


Be a lamp unto your self. Be your own confidence.  Hold to the truth within yourself as to the only Truth.
star-bullet-pointStart the morning with self-care, grooming to feel your best.
star-bullet-pointAcknowledge your feelings.
star-bullet-pointBe creative (crafts, music, clothing, etc.).
star-bullet-pointLook back on awards and achievements.
star-bullet-pointDisplay a “brag wall.”
star-bullet-pointKeep a scrapbook or photo album handy to review proud moments.
star-bullet-pointMake a checklist of accomplishments.
star-bullet-pointLearn something new.
star-bullet-pointBecome an expert at something and talk about it.
star-bullet-pointAssert your opinion when you feel confident.
star-bullet-pointTake a self-defense class.
star-bullet-pointAllow yourself to feel angry.
star-bullet-pointAsk for help and support.
star-bullet-pointAllow yourself to be good enough, not perfect.
star-bullet-pointAccept compliments without reservations.
star-bullet-pointTake a self-awareness or assertiveness class.

To Tell Yourself You’re Okay


star-bullet-pointSet short term goals one day at a time.
star-bullet-pointLook at the positives of being away from your symptoms.
star-bullet-pointAnticipate good times and how you might handle bad times.
star-bullet-pointForgive yourself.
star-bullet-pointKeep a diary and write your good and bad feelings.
star-bullet-pointEncourage yourself with self-pep talks.
star-bullet-pointTell yourself that you are normal.
star-bullet-pointTell yourself you need to eat to keep your energy level up.
star-bullet-pointReview your strengths.
star-bullet-pointMark a calendar every day you keep symptoms in control and look back at your own improvement.
star-bullet-pointAllow yourself quiet time.
star-bullet-pointGet satisfaction from relationships rather than from food.
star-bullet-pointTell yourself your number one priority is your health.
star-bullet-pointRemember the positives of not getting involved with symptoms.

To Nurture and Reward Yourself


star-bullet-pointShop for yourself.
star-bullet-pointTake a bath.
star-bullet-pointSet money aside for a goal.
star-bullet-pointWear clothes that have special meaning for you.
star-bullet-pointWear perfume.
star-bullet-pointAsk someone else to give you a foot or back massage.
star-bullet-pointGet your hair or nails done.
star-bullet-pointListen to music you like.
star-bullet-pointHave lunch with a friend; make the food secondary.
star-bullet-pointWindow shop.
star-bullet-pointBuy yourself flowers.
star-bullet-pointCall a friend.
star-bullet-pointRead a novel.
star-bullet-pointGo to a movie.
star-bullet-pointPat yourself on the back.
star-bullet-pointTell yourself you have done well.
star-bullet-pointBuy new makeup.
star-bullet-pointSteal time for yourself even if you are busy.

To Deal with Feeling Isolated


star-bullet-pointBe a volunteer.
star-bullet-pointGo someplace where you can be with people even if you do not want to talk.
star-bullet-pointCall a supportive person.
star-bullet-pointJoin in a group game.
star-bullet-pointJoin an exercise class.
star-bullet-pointMake eye contact with people around you; smile and be open to others approaching you.
star-bullet-pointPlan activities with friends or family.
star-bullet-pointRead to someone else.
star-bullet-pointDevelop a hobby and go to specialty meetings.


To Deal with Tension


star-bullet-pointAccept your feelings as they are.
star-bullet-pointCry, scream, let it all out.
star-bullet-pointShout into a pillow.
star-bullet-pointDesignate a pillow as someone you are mad at and talk to it.
star-bullet-pointBe assertive about your rights.
star-bullet-pointAvoid small upsets that accumulate to a big blow up.
star-bullet-pointExercise but remember that exercise can’t replace saying what is bothering you.
star-bullet-pointUse humor.
star-bullet-pointLearn to relax with deep breathing or mediation.
star-bullet-pointPractice saying your feelings to a mirror or tape recorder.
star-bullet-pointKeep a journal.
star-bullet-pointChange the subject.

To Hold Your Own Assertively


There is nothing permanent except change.


star-bullet-pointExpect and extend courtesy to and from everyone – even your family.
star-bullet-pointAcknowledge the other person’s rights.
star-bullet-pointSay what you want, but be willing to negotiate.
star-bullet-pointSay what you need and insist on your rights.
star-bullet-pointAssume you are on equal standing with everyone.
star-bullet-pointAllow yourself time outs to feel mentally stronger.
star-bullet-pointKeep good eye contact but do not stare.
star-bullet-pointKeep yourself open to other people by looking around.
star-bullet-pointUse your support system and ask for positive feedback.
star-bullet-pointWhen things are not going well, do not assume it is all your fault.
star-bullet-pointClarify what is going on; ask other people.
star-bullet-pointAccept your own feelings, choose if you want to act on them.
star-bullet-pointUnderstand that you may not have a choice. You may have to disagree but go
along. Let people know you disagree and then get on with it
Download 100 Quotes to Inspire you and Motivate you. Keep Inspiring Me: Inspirational Quotes



About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.


  1. The most important thing about your guides and tutorials is that they are actually useful . There are many guides all over the internet but few of them help you .. Thank you !!

Leave A Reply