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Eating difficulties

Do you think you might have eating difficulties? Take our quiz.

What can I do to have more balanced eating habits?

  • Don’t have ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods – give yourself permission to eat any kind of food.
  • Use hunger as the cue for eating - not time of day or habit.
  • When you are sad, mad or bored – and you are really not hungry – take a deep breath, find something to do other than eat and if you’re still not hungry
  • Eat until you are feeling just about full but not stuffed.
  • Eat slowly, chew your food and eat without distractions like T.V.
  • Eat a variety of foods. Have fun with it – try new foods and cook new recipes.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water • Notice how your body reacts to certain foods.
  • Question food packaging’s descriptions of “healthy” and “nutritious”

 I think I need help. Who can hook me up with support?

There are people out there who can help you to be happy and healthy, build up your self-esteem and confidence, have balanced eating and exercise habits and cope with stress and overwhelming emotions.

  • A trusted adult, like a teacher, guidance counsellor, parent, family friend
  • Your G.P.
  • Youthline – call 0800 37 66 33 or free text to 234
  • Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand (EDANZ) – call (09) 522 2679
  • Eating Awareness Team (EAT) in Christchurch- call (03) 3667725
  • Central Region Eating Disorder Services (CREDS) in Wellington – call (04) 461 6528
  • 211 Family Services Directory Helpline – call 0800 211 211 and they will help put you in touch with a service that is close to you.

How to help a friend:

Remember that having eating difficulties isn’t just a problem on its own but also how someone has tried to cope with other problems in their life.

  • It definitely isn’t ‘just for attention’ or something they can ‘snap out of’.
  • Talk to them calmly and gently in a private and relaxed setting about the things you have seen or felt that make you feel worried.
  • Try not to get drawn into conversations about appearance, weight, diet and food.
  • Your friend obviously really trusts you! Be careful not to judge and blame them.
  • There is a limit to what you can do to help your friend. Often professional support is required, so speak to someone you trust who is in a position to help.
  • Let your friend know what you intend to do before you do it.