Do you know some people who are so focused on eating healthy, to the extent to be obsessed with it? Maybe some of your closes friends or family members have this problem. Or maybe you have troubles to make a balance in your diet?
Orthorexia nervosa is not an official eating disorder yet, but many health experts believe it should be categorized as one.
People who face orthorexia are motivated by health, but they also have some underlying motivations, which can include safety from poor health, compulsion for complete control, escape from fears, wanting to be thin, improving self-esteem, searching for spirituality through food, and using food to create an identity.
How to recognize someone who has orthorexia nervosa?
- These people are obsessed with finding and following the perfect diet, rather than to achieve the ideal weight. They are focused on eating foods that give them a feeling of being pure and healthy.
- They avoid numerous foods, including those made with: artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, pesticides or genetic modification, fat, sugar or salt and animal or dairy products.
- They are obsessively concert over the relationship between food choices and health concerns such as asthma, digestive problems, low mood, anxiety or allergies.
- They avoid food because of food allergies, without medical advice.
- Orthorexic people take many supplements, herbal remedies or probiotics.
- They are really concern over food preparation techniques, especially washing of food or sterilization of utensils.
- These people are feeling guilty when deviating from strict diet guidelines.
- Orthorexic people spend lot of time thinking about food.
- They have critical thoughts about others who do not adhere to rigorous diets.
- Many of them avoid to eat food bought or prepared by others.
- They struggle with depression, mood swings or anxiety.
Is it unhealthy to follow a healthy diet?
There is nothing wrong in following a healthy diet and eating healthy. But, if your diet starts to control your life and takes big amount of your time and attention and you face feelings of guilt and self-loathing, than that might be a problem.
When you cut out groups of foods and ingredients, it limits the diet to only a small number of foods. This can lead to nutritional deficiency.
Is there a treatment for orthorexia nervosa?
- First of all, if you are struggling with it, you must admit there is a problem. Identify what caused your obsession.
- You must become more flexible and less dogmatic about eating.
- Work on your underlying emotional issues. That will make the transition to normal eating easier.
So, if you are facing this healthy food obsession, please don’t ignore this post. You know that in our lives we need to have balance for everything.
Because your recovery from orthorexia can require a professional help, find someone who has experience in eating disorders and start your treatment.
We wish you a quick recovery and good health!