Contrary to popular belief, bulimia does not only affect young teenage girls. Bulimia also affects adult women and young teenage boys and adult men too. Overcoming this eating disorder may take months or even years depending on the individual. One of the ways that could help a bulimic patient overcome this eating disorder is to identify safe food that they could eat on a regular basis. These foods will be non-guilty food and will also provide all the nutrition that they need.
First, ask the bulimic patient to keep a diary of food they have eaten for at least a week. The diary should be very detailed and includes everything that was consumed and the emotions that they experienced with the different food. They have to write too if they had purged after eating that food. Remind them to write in their journal immediately right after eating or purging.
Then review the diary together with the patient. Work out which food causes negative associations and which food has a positive experience. List all the negative food under a page entitled foods to avoid. Write down all the food that patients purged on that page too. Then list down all the positive emotion food under a list entitled safe food. Work out which food that the patient has ate but did not purge and add it under that list. The safe food list should also contain fruits and vegetables the patients will enjoy.
Next, together with the patient, create a weekly eating plan made of safe food. The plan should include each meal for each day and any snacks. Work out a grocery list with instructions to purchase the right amount of safe food for each meal. Remember to limit the number of days of food that they are allowed to purchase. This will prevent them from going on a bingeing spree. You could also work out recipes that are easy to follow and fast to prepare for the convenience of the patient.
In conclusion, with this food journal, the bulimic patient will now be able to eat healthily without feeling guilty. It is a never ending process but tell them to be patient and never give in to their cravings. Be there for them!