Choosing what to eat

Sometimes it feels like it would be easier if someone could give you a list of what to eat... but part of recovery is learning to know what your body needs. You may need a meal plan at first, but ultimately you should try to work out what your body really needs to consume. Fortunately, it's likely that your body is craving the nutrients it needs for survival, which come in healthy foods.

It will probably take a while to work out what you need to be eating. Try to focus on what your body's needs. What type of food are you hungry for? What would make you feel satisfied? Keep the basic food groups in mind. You should ideally eat some protein, carbohydrates and veggies everyday. Have you missed out any of these groups? Your body might be craving one of these essentials if you have.

Remember that it's fine to eat junk food occasionally. It's normal and healthy to eat crisps, sweets, pizza, burgers or ice-cream, so long as you don't go over-board.

Not knowing how much to eat is another common problem. Although it's probably best to start with smaller meals and work your way up to eating normally, don't get stuck into a deprivation routine. Make sure you're being sensible and not trying to restrict your calorie intake excessively. If you're not sure of what's a normal amount, chat to a dietitian.

On the whole, dietitians recommend that you have three reasonable sized meals and two snacks a day, or else eat five small meals. Eating regularly actually helps to maintain your metabolism. If you starve all day and eat all your food in the evening, your body can't deal with it properly. It's more sensible to eat throughout the day, so you have enough energy for the whole day. Your body will function better this way, and your metabolism will keep working at a steady rate.

Please note that the guidelines described here are not an ultimate solution that will suit everybody. If you are having trouble knowing what to eat, speak to your psychologist, or consult with an experienced dietitian or doctor.