FOOD PLANNING: RULE OF THREES
Introduction A food plan is a key tool in the treatment of eating disorders (EDs), providing practical guidance to ED patients who need to normalize their food intake. Effective food plans achieve three ends: ensuring nutrient needs are met; providing an organized approach to food consumption; and desensitizing feared, binged, or purged foods. Experts in the field support the use of a food plan for treating EDs, describing it as “the most effective behavioral intervention;” an indispensable “prescription;” and a “medication” which “inoculates” patients against ED behaviors. Because the field lacks an evidenced-based, standardized food plan, plans based on the Diabetic Exchange List System (for exchange lists see Daly et al., 2008), or on MyPlate/ MyPyramid (see United States Department of Agriculture, 2011) are usually used by residential and outpatient practitioners. In this chapter we describe and outline the use of the rule of threes (RO3s; see Box 5.1), the food plan which Herrin developed to treat EDs and which we use in our practices.