Maintaining a Meal Plan for Recovery During Summer Vacation

Woman with meal plans

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Director of Content and Social Media at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

One of the most important tools in the recovery process is a meal plan. Maintaining consistent nutrition is essential to recovery, whether from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder.

A meal plan also helps provide the much needed structure and guidelines to ensure that you are giving your body and brain what you need to maintain health and wellness. This is especially crucial in the face of urges to engage in eating disorder behaviors.

Challenges That May Come with Summer

For various reasons, the summer season can be a more difficult time to maintain normal structure. For example, a student who is used to the normal routine of a school schedule, the more lax schedule that comes with summer can be triggering for someone in recovery. This may also be true if you have various vacations planned or are traveling more over the summer season. Any abrupt changes in a normal routine can throw off the basic structure of a meal plan.

Learning How to Maintain Your Meal PlanSummer food

The best way to maintain your meal plan for recovery is to plan ahead for consistency. If you know that you will be on summer break, plan ahead and build a schedule that will continue to provide you the structure you need. It is important that even while on vacation from either work or school, that you continue to have a schedule that allows you to eat the food you need. Without structure, it can become easy to begin missing meals or snacks that are an essential part of your meal plan.

Periodically missing meals or snacks can lead to a downward spiral quickly, so the best way to prevent this is maintaining some sort of schedule and plan for structure.

Work closely with your registered dietitian to maintain the support you need for sticking to your meal plan. Accountability can help your efforts as well. If you find that something has been particularly challenging or are unsure how to adhere to your meal plan while traveling, discuss this openly with your dietitian to devise ways that will help you remain successful.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What are some helpful suggestions for maintaining a meal plan during the summer?

Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 5, 2016
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