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Tips for College Students Managing Eating Disorders

Tips for College Students Managing Eating Disorders
Posted By: Brooke Chaplan on December 29, 2020

The transition from high school to college can be pretty difficult. Between the more challenging classes, the new environment, or the general sense of pressure, college students have a lot to deal with. You might find that your eating habits have changed drastically after coming to college. While many freshmen worry about gaining wait, a possibly more dangerous outcome is the development of an eating disorder. These tips are for any college student dealing with eating disorders.

Acknowledge Your Disorder


It’s hard to get treatment for something you won’t acknowledge the existence of. When you have an eating disorder, you might downplay the severity. It could take others intervening for you to admit what’s happening. Don’t wait for others to speak up, as they’re going to be preoccupied with their own responsibilities. If you feel you need help for your eating disorder, get it right away.

Understand Your Triggers


If your eating disorder is a recent development, think about what changes might have influenced it. Being in college is a major change, but there might be other factors at play. Have you been stressed about things in your personal life outside of school? The amount of food available could also lead to an eating disorder.



There’s never going to be a clear answer for every eating disorder, but a bit of introspection is important.

Find Help


Having an eating disorder is nothing to be ashamed of. You won’t be the only person at your school with one, and it doesn’t have to define you. Treatment options for eating disorders are within reach. Look for groups that deal with eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. Some of these might be on campus. If you’re hesitant about the group environment, look for a private counselor. A dual-diagnosis treatment might be needed, as your eating disorder could be indicative of deeper-seated issues with depression or other mental conditions.

Develop a Plan


There’s a way out of an eating disorder. You won’t be able to make a cold turkey declaration that you’ll eat properly from now on. However, you can formulate a plan to set you right. Work with your counselor if you can, and don’t attempt more than you can handle right away. If you’ve been dealing with anorexia, it wouldn’t be realistic to try to eat 3,000 calories a day. Focus on eating healthy foods with regularity. Schedule alarms to remind you to eat, as consistency is an important part of fighting an eating disorder.
Being in college often means setting some high expectations for yourself. While great grades and a packed social schedule are ideal goals, they should never get in the way of your health. If you have an eating disorder, be sure to address it right away, and remember that help is available, on and off-campus.
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