Meal Plans, Exchanges, and Menus (Oh My!)

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In this episode, Alyssa and Karen explore meal planning in eating disorder treatment. We dive into popular meal planning methods in ED treatment, including the exchange system, portions, Plate-by-Plate Approach, and exposure-based meal planning. We share our thoughts on the pros, cons, and ideal clients for each method. We emphasize why it’s important to avoid rigidity in meal planning and why eating disorder clients might become too reliant on a meal plan that’s too structured. We explain why we see meal plans as temporary structures and how to continuously reassess for more flexibility and variety with the ultimate goal for our clients to rely on their bodies’ intuitive needs. We also discuss meal planning at different levels of care, and why eating disorder professionals need to be flexible and adaptable in providing a variety of structures for meal planning and tracking, as one size does not fit all in supporting our clients with meal plans.

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