1. Avoid commenting on their physical appearance.
2. Remember they won’t have rational feelings towards food.
Renee McGregor, nutrition lead at Anorexia & Bulimia Care (ABC), explained to BuzzFeed News:
"Individuals with eating disorders work really hard at maintaining their disorder as it feels safe; help them to understand that some of the rules and rituals they have put in place to keep their eating disorder active are not helping. Remind them of what they will gain if they can start to let go of the ED and how actually the ED is holding them back."
3. Help them realise they are more than their disorder.
4. Give them space.
5. Remember you're a friend, not a therapist.
6. They won't get better overnight.
7. Recovery isn't a straightforward journey.
8. Don't give them ultimatums.
9. Talk about feelings, not food.
10. Talk to a third party.
11. Look after yourself.
Recovery is a long, hard journey but with time and support, it is possible. ABC, the Anorexia and Bulimia Care charity, offers befriending support to sufferers as well as being the only national ED charity that has support helplines open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, for carers and sufferers, helping them through the recovery process.