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Learn more about the results we get at Within

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Learn more about the results we get at Within

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Learn about eating disorder treatment

There’s a reason people refer to eating disorder recovery as a journey.

The path to getting well is much more of a process. Recovering from eating disorders typically involves a number of subsequent steps for a person to take. They will likely need to learn how to better manage the various issues that maintain their eating disorder and learn healthier coping skills. To navigate this journey as successfully as possible, many patients will follow an eating disorder treatment plan.

We offer virtual treatment

  • Attend therapy sessions
  • Get a numberless scale
  • Receive meal support

Have questions?

Call 866-293-0041

A multidisciplinary eating disorder treatment team, which often includes a medical doctor, dietitian, and mental health practitioner, will create an individualized treatment plan with input from the patient. These plans help guide someone through the recovery process, generally helping them transition from an inpatient scenario—where they live full-time in a treatment center and are frequently monitored—to a more independent living situation once they’ve learned the skills and feel confident to manage their own decisions.

Last updated on 
January 19, 2023
August 2, 2023
In this article
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The benefits of treating eating disorders

Eating disorders do not go away on their own, but they are treatable.

These conditions are dangerous and, unfortunately, often deadly if left unchecked. Getting treatment of any sort is crucial to giving someone struggling with an eating disorder the best chance possible to live a full, healthy, and happy life.

The structure of a treatment plan can also play a key role in ensuring long-term recovery.

When an eating disorder has progressed to the point where someone needs around-the-clock supervision due to serious medical complications and extreme disordered eating behaviors, an inpatient program is often required. This is a time in some people’s recovery journey when they need the most help overcoming their unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.

Yet, as patients continue to learn, grow, and adapt to healthier strategies, they’re slowly but surely “stepped down” from this level of observation. The process allows patients to practice new skills while protecting them from getting too overwhelmed too quickly and reverting to old, unhealthy habits in response.


The benefits of virtual eating disorder treatment

Virtual eating disorder treatment is increasingly being used in much the same way. While still a relatively new way to experience these programs, this method is expanding the reach of these types of programs to those who might not otherwise be able to seek treatment.

Virtual treatment can be more accessible, for example, to people who live in remote locations where there are no treatment providers. Virtual treatment can also be more convenient and fit into people’s daily schedules more easily. This means even more people can have the chance to get well. Virtual options to treat eating disorders also tends to be more affordable than in-person care, which further serves to expand access.

Our patients benefit from up to 10x more hours of care

This means more support, more education, stronger relationships, and better outcomes.

How we do it

Levels of care for eating disorder treatment

Most eating disorder treatment plans use a tiered structure, with patients starting with the most intensive care and eventually working toward an independent living scenario.

Inpatient care

The first level of care for many patients is some form of inpatient care. That means people are living full-time at a facility where meals are provided, and full-time staff is on watch.

Inpatient hospitalization

In the most extreme cases, a patient will start with inpatient hospitalization. 

This measure is taken for someone who is in need of lifesaving interventions, exhibiting signs of suicidal ideation or intention, or otherwise showing signs of a physical or mental health crisis.

Physicians and healthcare professionals are on-hand, and the patient can access 24/7 medical care. Generally, stays here are short, however, as the main focus is stabilizing the person’s mental and physical health.

Residential treatment

Once someone has recovered sufficiently from a hospitalization stay—or if they were not in need of one to begin with—they can enter residential treatment.

At this stage, patients live at a treatment facility, where they can undergo care throughout the day, but the environment is much homier than a hospital.

Meals are provided—often with nutrition coaches—as well as a regimented schedule that includes different types of therapy and other group activities to address mental health conditions and eating disorder behaviors.

Part of the benefit of these programs is removing a patient from their home environment, which is often full of triggers or other unhealthy dynamics. Stays at residential centers can be fairly long-term, lasting anywhere from several months to up to a year.

Partial hospitalization

When patients have demonstrated sufficient progress in the residential program, they can move on to partial hospitalization (PHP). 

This step is also referred to as a “day program,” as a patient will be able to return home from the facility during the evenings. Still, PHP usually requires anywhere from 5-6 days a week of in-person treatment.

At this stage, patients continue to receive regular care but can start bringing their healthier skills and routines home and begin practicing them in their own environment.

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Outpatient care

If someone demonstrates the ability to make consistently healthy decisions in the transitionary period of PHP, they can progress to outpatient care.

The initial stage of outpatient care is generally called intensive outpatient (IOP) and will still require someone to receive treatment for several hours a day, several days a week. But the schedule is generally more flexible. It can allow the person to go to work, continue with school, or start participating more regularly in outside social situations.

Finally, after this monitoring period, a person will reach outpatient status.

At this point, someone may continue going to therapy sessions led by a mental health professional or seeing doctors to regularly assess or tweak any prescriptions they may be taking, but they have essentially fully resumed their role at home and in society—armed with the strategies that can help them cope with life’s stressors in a healthier way.

Nutritional counseling

Many patients also find it helpful to follow up their treatment—or do it concurrently—with nutritional counseling, which includes general education and individual help to ensure adequate nutrition in the individual. 

Nutritional therapists can analyze a patient’s individual nutritional needs and give them specific strategies to create an eating plan that best meets their individual body’s needs, as well as give them a broader education on how different types of foods benefit the body.

A nutritional counselor can also offer another line of help in cases where a patient may feel unstable or in the throes of a crisis. 

The Within Treatment Program

At Within, we offer yet another option for people seeking help.

Our unique brand of virtual eating disorder treatment can help bridge the gap between PHP and IOP, giving patients a knowledgeable and reliable shoulder to lean on and expanding opportunities to continue healing.

The Within difference

Our caring and dedicated team can help formulate individual treatment plans based on your personal needs, health, condition, and previous treatments. We can provide everything you need, from meal plans to medical equipment. Our team of experts can even help straighten things out with insurance to ensure you’re able to participate in the program in the fullest confidence.


of those who complete our treatment program report reduced eating disorder symptoms

The Within results

Blind weigh-ins

One thing we do that may differ from other treatment programs is blind weigh-ins. Weigh-ins are often required in eating disorder treatment to ensure those who are being treated are stable and progressing in their recovery. 

But being weighed can be very stressful and triggering for someone who is recovering, or has recovered, from an eating disorder. Seeing a number on the scale can provoke intense anxiety in someone who is afraid of gaining weight and has previously engaged in extreme measures of controlling their weight. This can trigger them to resort to disordered eating behaviors. 

So, instead of open weigh-ins, where an individual sees or is told the number on the scale and which can be harmful to those recovering from eating disorders, Within incorporates blind weigh-ins in its treatment plans when weigh-ins are medically necessary. Blind weigh-ins do not require individuals to see or hear their weight and can prevent them from becoming stressed or being triggered.

Regardless of where you are on your recovery journey, the most important thing is to never give up. The path can sometimes feel more like an endless loop than a through-line to wellness. But each step forward will make you stronger and get you one step farther toward your goal—and toward a healthier and happier future.

Disclaimer about "overeating": Within Health hesitatingly uses the word "overeating" because it is the term currently associated with this condition in society, however, we believe it inherently overlooks the various psychological aspects of this condition which are often interconnected with internalized diet culture, and a restrictive mindset about food. For the remainder of this piece, we will therefore be putting "overeating" in quotations to recognize that the diagnosis itself pathologizes behavior that is potentially hardwired and adaptive to a restrictive mindset.

Disclaimer about weight loss drugs: Within does not endorse the use of any weight loss drug or behavior and seeks to provide education on the insidious nature of diet culture. We understand the complex nature of disordered eating and eating disorders and strongly encourage anyone engaging in these behaviors to reach out for help as soon as possible. No statement should be taken as healthcare advice. All healthcare decisions should be made with your individual healthcare provider.



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