The best books about recovery from eating disorders

The Books I Picked & Why

Sick Enough: A Guide to the Medical Complications of Eating Disorders

By Jennifer L. Gaudiani

Sick Enough: A Guide to the Medical Complications of Eating Disorders

Why this book?

Eating disorders can be obviously dangerous to your health, but also deceptively dangerous. Understanding the physical warning signs is important when you work with eating disorders or if you have an eating disorder. Many clients who have eating disorders do not realize the damage that can be done even when they don’t notice symptoms.


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8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder: Effective Strategies from Therapeutic Practice and Personal Experience

By Carolyn Costin, Gwen Schubert Grabb

8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder: Effective Strategies from Therapeutic Practice and Personal Experience

Why this book?

This book gives the perspective of a therapist and a former client who is now a therapist herself. 

This book can create realistic hope and includes self-disclosures of the author’s own experiences. The authors recognize that eating disorders serve a purpose and it’s not about food. They also emphasize the importance of reaching out to people which is a key factor for recovery.


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The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia: Using DBT to Break the Cycle and Regain Control of Your Life

By Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher, Michael Maslar

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia: Using DBT to Break the Cycle and Regain Control of Your Life

Why this book?

Eating disorder behaviors often reflect a coping skills deficit and this workbook focuses on skills to manage emotions and address the issue of a need to be in control. This workbook offers new ways to overcome distress and negative body image beliefs that keep you stuck in a destructive cycle. This workbook uses multiple exercises to help you learn and practice skills rather than just understanding skills, which makes a difference. 


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Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food

By Jan Chozen Bays

Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food

Why this book?

Our survival and health depends on the food we eat, yet so many have a conflicted relationship with food. In Mindful Eating, the author helps the reader regain joy in eating through eating mindfully. She discusses the nine types of hunger as well as six guidelines for mindful eating. A Zen teacher, her writing is clear and easy to understand. 


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Decoding Anorexia: How Breakthroughs in Science Offer Hope for Eating Disorders

By Carrie Arnold

Decoding Anorexia: How Breakthroughs in Science Offer Hope for Eating Disorders

Why this book?

In Decoding Anorexia, a past sufferer of anorexia and a scientist, discusses the neuroscience and biology that underlies the disorder. She notes the reasons for the call to starvation and the characteristics of the people who are at risk for this disorder. She demystifies the disorder by offering a clear science-based explanation that includes the biological and environmental factors that can lead to the disorder. Understanding biology can be helpful in understanding the ups and downs of recovery and why it’s a difficult journey.


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