How To Help People With An Eating Disorder This Festive Season

How To Help People With An Eating Disorder This Festive Season

Don’t push others to eat

For someone with anorexia, who might be trying hard to add extra food into their daily routine, having well-meaning family and co-workers urging them to eat can be really difficult.  It can often lead to the person’s eating disorder ‘voice’ getting louder in order to control the situation.

For people with bulimia or binge eating disorder, eating a trigger food can lead to them to feel out of control very quickly. When a friend tries to push them to eat their homemade cakes or cookies, the temptation can be so strong that they indulge, lose control, then self-loathe.


Quit the ‘diet’ and ‘weight’ talk

Talking about body size, reducing food intake, or counting calories around those who have eating disorders can trigger relapses and send people into spirals of self-loathing.

Also….it’s really, really boring!


Please don’t comment about what others eat

“Are you really going to eat all that?”

“Is that all you’re having?”

“A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.”

This brings negative attention to a person’s eating behaviour and makes them feel like they have to defend themselves.

Also…’s actually none of your business!


Take the focus off food

It’s important to try and make the focus about the quality of time that people spend together rather than the day being all about food.


Please DO offer someone the opportunity to talk

You might say ……

“It looked like you were struggling at dinner time, I’m here if you’d like to talk about it.”


Would you add anything to these steps? I’d love to hear from you.

Here at ACFED we provide comprehensive, experiential training suitable for anyone who is likely to encounter eating disorders in their work.

Our 5-Day course provides a solid foundation to enable you to successfully recognise and treat a range of eating disorders. This course is in line with the latest thinking from a range of psychological approaches and you will learn practical and effective skills that will enable you to engage with clients and offer them constructive help to recover from their eating disorder.