Am I Too Worried about Food?

Am I Too Worried about Food?Food is a requirement for life and health. For some people, food is simply a necessary means to sustain life. At the other end are those who use food to fulfill an emotional need. Food, obesity, gluten-free, raw eating and a myriad of other discussions have elevated food in modern society, but this may cause some people to worry too much about food.

How We Think About Food

When it comes to thinking about food, people with eating disorders may fall into one or more the following categories:

  • Emotional eaters. This category includes people who use mood to satisfy an emotional need. When these people are sad, a gallon of ice cream helps, but not an empathetic friend; when happy, they may celebrate with a sleeve of cookies. For each emotion they have, they eat a certain food. Emotional eaters do not think about caloric intake, nutritional value or how often they eat. They are driven by their emotions to meet an unfulfilled need. These eaters often avoid regular exercise or relaxing hobbies. They spend many hours of the days in food-related activities such as shopping, eating, preparing food or planning their meals.
  • Regimented eaters. Regimented eaters are compulsive eaters. They have a set schedule, typically eat the same foods habitually because of their nutritional value and deprive themselves to maintain their schedule. They count calories, weigh food on a scale, prepare food in a bland manner if it is the proper way to do so and they think of food as only something that fuels their bodies. These eaters often exercise compulsively and spend many hours of the day planning their meals, buying the highest quality ingredients and spending a great deal of preparing food.
  • Unsuccessful diet-based eaters. These people often leapfrog from diet to diet. They read about someone who lost 40 pounds on one diet, so they emulate that eating plan. When they cannot maintain the rigid requirements, they cheat, eventually blame it on the diet and hop to another.
  • Successful diet-based eaters. These people are often more at risk for the yoyo affect of dieting: they succeed with extreme diets, lose many pounds and feel pleased about the weight they have lost. Unfortunately, these diet programs often do not incorporate practical living skills and exercise. Therefore, when these eaters discontinue their diets, they regain their weight; sometimes even more than they lost. These people are at great risk for damaging their bodies with the radical fluctuations in weight.

Help for Eating Disorders

The sooner you get help for an eating disorder, the greater the likelihood of recovery. However, people often think there is a stigma associated with eating disorders, so they avoid discussing it. To be assured of confidentiality as well as to get answers to your questions, call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline any time. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle your eating disorder, and we can provide you with options, information about insurance and treatment resources.