Upskill, learn & support someone with an eating disorder

Anorexia Bulimia Care (ABC) have created a basic “spotting the signs” of various eating disorders guide which has been created for HR professionals but is a great place to start your education if you’re worried about somebody in your gym or class. You can also have a look at BEAT’s basic tips poster on spotting signs for an easy to engage with reference guide.

Another great starting place is BEAT’s “Supporting someone” pages.
We really rate the advice here.

Course for individuals

We have both taken the Anorexia Bulimia Care charity (ABC) CPD course “Understanding Eating Disorders for Fitness Professionals” (CIMPSA-endorsed).

This affordable course is aimed at educating fitness professionals on how to recognise the signs of eating disorders, how to start conversations with clients who are displaying concerning behaviour, and how to sensitively refer clients to professional help if necessary.

First Steps ED also run free or very reasonably prices courses to help upskill professionals on how to support clients with eating disorders. You can find out about their current training courses here: at www.firststepsed.co.uk/skills-for-eating-disorder-support/


Course/live training for health/fitness organisations

ABC charity also offer live training for fitness institutions, and online course multiple-licensing options if you run a gym or organisation, and want your whole team to access training. Information available at the bottom of THIS PAGE.


More resources

The NHS website offers basic help if you are wondering how to start supporting someone in your life with an eating disorder. It’s not written specifically for fitness professionals, but a lot of it is relatable.

This document, produced by The National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) in Australia, offered interesting pointers we felt would help fitness professionals reach our campaign aims.

Somerset & Wessex Eating Disorders Association (SWEDA) run regular training for professionals who want to learn more about supporting clients with disordered eating behaviours. Check back regularly at the TRAINING section of their services page for details of their next training offering.

The First Steps ED organisation run regular training for professionals wishing to up-skill around supporting clients with disordered eating. Their main course is HERE, but check back on their “Training and Workshops” tab regularly for other available, accredited CPD sessions.

This booklet from BEAT is a guide about eating disorders for friends and family. Some content is useful for fitness professionals who are concerned for a client.

TrainBrave is an organisation run by Tom Fairbrother and Renee McGregor. As a former eating disorder sufferer and leading eating disorder specialist dietitian respectively, this duo work work mainly within the high performing athlete and professional sportsperson sector.

In this 30 minute Fit and Fearless podcast episode, presenters Vic and Tally talk about how they realised they had – and overcame – an eating disorder and disordered eating habits. It might be a good way to hear these journeys if you’re wondering how to approach someone in your life facing a similar experience: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05y1tq5


We can come in and talk, too

We (Leah and Carly) also run online (due to COVID-19) workshops for health and fitness based organisations, where we share our experience, research and our professional (external) recommendations for further education. You can find out more HERE.

We are also willing to speak to press about our campaign – we feel the topic is woefully underrepresented and needs more air time in order to break down the stigmas surrounding it. Please contact us with questions or ideas.

Leah speaking at a Bristol Sixth Form (pre-COVID)

Please note that we are not professionally qualified in mental health or dietary nutrition in any way. We are a fitness professional with a CPD qualification in this subject, and a former eating disorders sufferer, who are willing to share our experiences and research, to aid healthy discussion around eating disorders and the fitness industry.

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