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Why Should Nutrition Therapy for Eating Disorders Include Protein Shakes?

The diagnosis of an eating disorder can be a tricky thing, and determining a way to treat the illness can be even more complicated. Anyone who finds themselves in this position should consult with a medical professional before deciding on an appropriate course of action, but there are some aspects of eating disorder treatments that are common to most patients.

Regardless of the disorder or goal, protein shakes can make for perfect supplements to any nutrition therapy regimen. ENU Nutrition offers high-quality nutrition shakes made with all-natural ingredients to help you reach your goals. ENU Nutrition invites you to keep reading as we discuss why nutrition therapy for eating disorders should include protein shakes.

Medical Nutrition Therapy for Eating Disorders

Seeking treatment for an eating disorder is essential to overcome the condition. Keep in mind eating disorders can have a significant impact in the body. Without medical assistance, conquering these conditions can be extremely difficult. This is why it is recommended for people suffering from an eating disorder to seek help from a medical professional who understands and knows how to tackle these conditions.

One of the most critical aspects of medical nutrition therapy is the diet. While there are other types of treatments used in combination for treating eating disorders, nutrition is still the most essential. One of the ways people suffering from an eating disorder can achieve proper nutrition is through supplementation. More specifically in the form of meal replacement shakes.

Meal replacement shakes have been gaining momentum in recent years due to their nutritional value. This can be an excellent alternative for people looking to replenish their bodies and feeding them with the right nutrients as part of their nutrition therapy. The type of meal replacement shake, the amount of caloric intake, and the proper protein intake will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. Every condition is evaluated differently and implementing a meal replacement shake into your diet requires careful planning and evaluation from your treating physician or dietitian.

What Are Some of the Most Common Eating Disorders?

An eating disorder is more than just a temporary phase; it is a dangerous, life threatening condition capable of causing severe damage and even death. Some of the most common types of eating disorders include:

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia is a serious condition affecting millions of people throughout the country and the world. This type of condition can develop early during adolescence or early adulthood. People suffering from this condition have a distorted view of themselves. For instance, an anorexic person always sees himself or herself as being overweight despite looking considerably underweight.

Additionally, they have very restricted eating patterns. For instance, an anorexic person restricts their caloric intake to an absolute minimum. Furthermore, they often combine a restricted diet with excessive exercise and other activities such as vomiting and using laxatives. Anorexia can cause severe damage to the body, affecting vital organs such as the heart, the brain, the liver, and other organs. ENU nutrition shakes can be used in nutrition therapy for anorexia.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating is one of the most common eating disorders in the US. This condition, like anorexia, can develop during early adolescence. However, this type of eating disorder can also develop during adulthood. Unlike anorexics, people suffering from binge eating disorders do not restrict the number of calories they consume, nor they use any purging methods such as vomiting or using laxatives. Most of the binge eaters have no control over their eating behavior during a binge eating episode. This is why for so many people suffering from this condition, dealing with their sense of guilt and shame can be extremely difficult. As a result of binge eating, people tend to be overweight and develop severe health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.


Bulimia is a well-known eating disorder affecting millions of people. This type of emotional disorder can develop early in adolescence or adulthood. It is characterized by having a distorted image of the body. Additionally, this condition makes a person feel obsessed with weight loss. Bulimia is known for causing uncontrolled binge-eating for a short period, followed by depression and purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, using diuretics, and using laxatives.

While a meal replacement shake is not a magic cure to these illnesses, it can help patients in nutrition therapy on their way to recovery. Talk to your treating physician or dietitian to see whether you can incorporate a meal replacement shake as part of your therapy regime.

How Meal Replacement Shakes Can Help With Eating Disorders

Nutrition therapy is probably the most important and most widely used tool for combating eating disorders. The process can take many forms, depending on the type of disorder, but objectives shared by almost all treatments include improving a patient’s relationship with food and reaching a healthy weight. This will generally involve talk therapy combined with consultations on nutrition and diet with an eye toward treatment of a specific disorder.

Manage Your Weight

Eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, can lead to serious health complications. A person suffering from either condition could easily become malnourished as their attempts to maintain an unhealthy weight end up depriving their body of key nutrients. Part of the recovery process should involve expanding your diet to increase the number of calories you consume, but calories alone are not sufficient to build strength or combat muscle atrophy.

Protein is a necessary component in any diet aimed at helping someone gain healthy weight, as it promotes lean muscle growth and gives a sense of feeling full without having to snack or overeat. For those looking to combat binge eating habits, ingesting protein can help give the feeling of a full stomach and provide lasting energy.

Each ENU nutrition shake contains 20 grams of grass-fed whey protein isolate, one of the best protein sources because it can be easily digested and absorbed into the body. Additionally, ENU shakes offer a substantial 400 calories, which means that they can actually stand in for a small meal while offering vitamins and minerals to supplement a healthy diet.

Improve Your Mood

The body’s production of neurotransmitters is an important part of maintaining healthy brain chemistry and a stable mood. Like most chemicals that help keep your mind and mood working smoothly, these transmitters are manufactured in your gastrointestinal tract. Consuming protein is an important of this process; a body lacking protein will produce lower levels of neurotransmitters, which will in turn negatively impact thoughts and feelings and make it more difficult to resist cravings.

Combat Effects of Malnutrition on Your Body

One of the consequences that come with being malnourished is that your body has too few resources to heal injuries. The body requires protein to form collagen and close wounds, but a lack of nutrients – especially protein – can delay that process significantly. Additionally, an injury that doesn’t close can lead to a further loss of proteins through fluid production while the wound is open, compounding the problem and seriously jeopardizing a person’s health.

It is commonly understood that the body begins to break itself down when a calorie deficit is imposed. In fact, this is the fundamental mechanism of any diet: eat fewer calories and your body will break down fat stores for energy. The body of a person with an eating disorder, however, often has little to no fat available; in its absence, the body begins to break down muscle instead.

Unfortunately, this process affects more than just the biceps or glutes. Cardiac complications can develop as the body, desperate for fuel, begins to break down any fat or muscle it can find through a process called catabolysis. If the process is not reversed in time, the heart and other organs can be damaged beyond repair.

Providing the body with a healthy source of protein and carbohydrates is an important step in treating the malnutrition associated with most common eating disorders. ENU Nutrition shakes are an excellent provider of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats derived from sunflower and coconut oils, making them the perfect choice for building body mass up to safe levels and warding off the potentially nasty consequences of malnutrition.

Meal Replacement Shakes for Nutrition Therapy

Struggling with an eating disorder can be a daunting task. In a society where food is a constant companion and, often, a constant antagonist, fighting to maintain a healthy relationship with it, and with yourself, is a tall order. However, there are ways you can take control of your nutrition and help fight destructive urges, and ENU Nutrition meal replacement shakes can be a powerful ally to that end. To find out more about what products we offer and how they can benefit you, call ENU at (855) 266-6733 or contact us online today.

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