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7 Ways to Manage an Eating Disorder During the Holidays

December 2, 2021
Everyday Health
Regional Clinical Director Kim Anderson shares tips for coping with an eating disorder during the holidays.

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‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? Although the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for many, they can be tough for someone with an eating disorder who is trying to stay on track with their recovery.

For starters, the season tends to be full of food-focused events, which can cause people with eating disorders intense anxiety. Stress can arise from encountering certain types or quantities of food, gaining weight, or worrying about how to handle comments about how they look or what they’re eating, says Kim Anderson, PhD, the clinical director of the Eating Recovery Center of the East Region in Maryland.

“During the holiday season, it can feel like there is no escaping all of these fear cues,” Dr. Anderson says. This can make it difficult not to fall back on old, disordered eating patterns, like restricting or bingeing, to relieve anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions.
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