Do you have any tips for moving towards intuitive eating? Or should I stick with meal plans for the time being...I don't see my dietitian again until the end of March
Its hard for me to say what you "should do" as it is very individual and also based on your mindset. If you feel that you can trust your body and eat the amount you should while doing it more intuitively, then give it a try. But if you feel like you wont trust or listen to your body and begin eating less then i wouldn't advise intuitive eating... however you wont know until you try either. I would suggest using the meal plan as a base and then maybe start eating snacks more freely i.e maybe you eat a different snack or at a different time, or maybe one day you wake up late and decide to eat breakfast and morning snack together. Or maybe you go out to eat and have a 3 course meal and then not eat a night snack, or eat a smaller night snack (or maybe the usual night snack because you are still hungry... that's intuitive eating. Its not about compensating and thinking - i ate more here, so i will eat less later. Its about listening to your hunger and fullness.)
If you still need to gain weight it can be hard to do that intuitively, because your bodies signals are there to keep you at a normal and healthy weight and to gain weight you often need to push past those feelings. And if you eat intuitively you might not eat enough to gain weight - if that is what you need.
If you do decide to eat more freely, try to stick to the same sort of structure and amount of food but that you maybe vary the food types or feel like you can eat more freely for example if you are with friends or go out to eat or maybe on weekends when your day might be a little different from your weekday structure?
Below are some posts about intuitive eating which might help you :)
When you first get discharged from inpatient and begin day care you get alot more responsibility over your own choices and actions. When you are at home there is no one there to force you or make you eat - of course your parents can try to help, but its not the same as when you are in hospital. So you need to be strong and go against your ED and know that eating is what you need to do, even if you don't want to. And the same goes for resting with exercise.
My best tip is to have some distractions and things you can do at home when you begin to feel anxious or guilty or panicked. Also try to not spend too much time on your own as its easy to over think or end up doing silly things if you are on your own, also if possible eat with others and continue to face fear foods. You have to remember WHY you are recovering, why you need to get better and why you need to keep going even when times feel tough or it feels like recovery is impossible. It does get easier and you do get stronger!!
Below are some posts about at home recovery and tips after inpatient care.
Helpful tips after inpatient care
Struggling with recovery at home treatment centre
Talking to a professional
Recovery outside of hospital - dealing with stress and life
Did treatment/inpatient care help me recover?
Comparison between patients in treatment
Motivation to change comes from the inside
There can be several reasons why you go up and eat during the night such as you haven't eaten enough during the day, your stressed or anxious or it could be genetic. However in recovery your hunger and fullness feelings are a little off and you can feel extreme hunger or you just haven't eaten enough during the day so your body so desperately wants more energy and then you go up and eat during the night. Or maybe you aren't eating enough healthy fats/fat intake, as fats are a part of your hormones as well as can give better fullness feelings and better sleep with adequate fat intake.
Maybe you can try increasing your intake or trying to eat more before you go to bed, or eat a meal with a higher fat intake before bed and see if that helps? Eating during the night can be a mental, physical or a genetic thing but if you are in recovery or need to gain weight it is most likely just that your body needs more food. However if you have a normal weight and eat enough during the day then going to a doctor might be helpful.
I have a post about night eating syndrome HERE