Alternatives to Behaviors

Having an eating disorder is not easy. Resisting the urge to purge, restrict food, over-exercise, and emotionally eat, can be very difficult. Sometimes it is helpful to have a list of alternatives on hand, just in case. It does not mean that you always will be able to choose an alternative listed below instead of a behavior, but having a plan/list on hand can help. The following suggestions might be helpful for you:


  1. Call or text a friend/family member on the phone
  2. Go to a friend’s house
  3. Write in a journal
  4. Take a walk
  5. Go run an errand,  to the mall, or your favorite store
  6. Read a magazine or book
  7. E-mail a friend
  8. Write all of the positive things you can think of
  9. Wash your car
  10. Make a collage
  11. Watch a good video
  12. Hit a pillow
  13. Crochet or knit
  14. Chew gum
  15. Search the Web
  16. Draw or color with crayons
  17. Have a cup of coffee or tea 
  18. Take a drive in the country
  19. Buy something under $5.00 for yourself
  20. Paint
  21. Color in a coloring book or use crayons
  22. Go to a healthy eating disorder website like “Something Fishy.”


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