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There are 3 words that every patient I treat with any kind of an eating disorder will hear from me over and over again; these words are BALANCE, VARIETY, and MODERATION. There is no question that anyone with an eating disorder, whether it is anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder (BED), or compulsive overeating, needs to learn the basic principles embedded in these 3 important words. Memorize the words BALANCE, VARIETY, and MODERATION, and let them become your mantra.

The words themselves are self-explanatory. BALANCE simply implies eating a well-balanced diet, including foods from all major food groups, and balancing your particular needs and taste for protein, carbohydrates and fats. VARIETY implies eating in a way that is not boring or repetitious, or compulsively “correct,” or “always healthy,” denying pleasure and experimentation with new foods. And MODERATION is self-explanatory; eating everything in moderation will ensure no unnecessary or unwanted weight gain, while at the same time allowing you to eat what you love and love what you eat.

There are two more mantras I preach to all of my patients with any kind of disordered eating: ALL FOODS IN THE WORLD ARE ACCEPTABLE, and EAT WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY, STOP WHEN YOU ARE FULL. By “all foods in the world are acceptable,” I mean there are no GOOD and BAD foods, there are no HEALTHY and UNHEALTHY foods (if you practice balance, variety, and moderation!), and there is no reason not to experiment with new recipes, visit new restaurants, and travel the world enjoying the cuisines that each country has to offer.

EATING WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY AND STOPPING WHEN YOU ARE FULL is also known as “intuitive eating.” If everyone struggling with food, dieting, weight and body image could learn to recognize, recapture and reclaim their true body signals of hunger and fullness, the signals that get ignored through years of on-and-off dieting and/or more extreme eating disorder behaviors such as starving, binging or purging, our eating styles would automatically become more balanced, varied and moderate because we would truly be listening to our bodies.

For more on BALANCE, read this e-book:

For more on VARIETY, see these awesome recipes:

I am Dr. Paula Levine, a psychologist passionate about anxiety and eating disorders, and relationship counseling. For the last 40 years, I have dedicated my life to relieving my patients from the stress and pain associated with these challenges.

If you would like to learn more, please visit my website where you can access a meditation gift, narrated by me.

Thank you!

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