Our understanding of what a ‘normal’ portion is can get skewed when we’re living with an eating disorder. It can be incredibly anxiety-provoking navigating that alone and having to portion a meal for yourself that supports recovery.
Zuzanna, our Dietetic Assistant, has set up a Portion Clinic for our clients at Orri to offer non-judgemental guidance and support around this process. Learn more about our approach to portions below.
First of all, what exactly is a ‘portion’?
As mentioned in a previous blog, a portion is the amount of a food that you eat at one time: for example how much food you put on your plate at a meal or how much is in an individual packet.
How can an eating disorder skew our understanding of portions?
Assessing hunger levels or knowing a “normal” portion size is often skewed when eating disorder thoughts take over. We may struggle to assess our hunger levels, or trust that we deserve to eat a certain amount of food.
Some may feel that their sense of self-worth is directly tied to their body shape, size or weight, and this can impact our ability to make a decision with food that supports recovery.
The eating disorder may rear its head when plating food but keep in mind that this is merely an opportunity for victory over an illness that’s already taken far too much away from you.
How do we approach portioning at Orri?
The key to eating a balanced diet is to eat a wide variety of foods in appropriate amounts.
Working alongside people with eating disorders, we spend time thinking about getting the portions right as individual ideas about portion sizes may have become distorted and the needs of someone recovering from an eating disorder may be different.
It is important to remember that every person is different and the recommended number of portions for each food and sizes of portions will vary according to age, sex, size, health, and other factors such as health, occupation and activity.
Our tip? Get support so you don’t have to figure it out on your own
Take a moment to consider the best way to ensure your portions are right for you and your recovery.
Perhaps a loved one can help you, or you could receive guidance in advance from your therapist and/or Dietitian.
Remember that portion guides which appear on packets are aimed at the general population and are not specifically designed for those in recovery. Seek assistance to make sure you are getting it right.