Is My Obsession with Healthy Eating a Sign of an Eating Disorder?

Is My Obsession with Healthy Eating a Sign of an Eating Disorder?Everyone is encouraged to incorporate a healthy balanced diet into their life, but is there such a thing as eating too healthy? When does living a healthy lifestyle turn into an obsession, problem or even an eating disorder? Orthorexia refers to the obsessive-compulsive disorder that involves phobias about eating impure or unhealthy foods. This eating disorder differs from others like anorexia nervosa and bulimia in that the individual is not concerned about gaining weight. Individuals with orthorexia simply fear eating anything polluted, adulterated or impure. The constant concern about food restricts an individual’s diet. Inspecting food labels, avoiding restaurants and passing on meals cooked by others limit a person’s life. Orthorexic individuals are so consumed with what they should or shouldn’t eat that they compromise their health.

Common Symptoms of Orthorexia Eating Disorders

Individuals struggling with orthorexia are not aware that their behavior is atypical. They believe they are living a healthy, pure and clean life. Common symptoms of orthorexia may include the following:

  • Obsessing over the quality of food
  • Judging others’ eating habits as undisciplined or gluttonous
  • Planning the entire day around what, when and where you will eat
  • Excessive worry or stress about eating
  • Social isolation resulting from withdrawing from friends to eat
  • Self-praise for resisting temptation at meals
  • Hours spent at the grocery store reading food labels
  • Taking food with you
  • Weight loss or malnutrition
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

When Is It Time to Get Help for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder?

Getting help sooner is always better than allowing more time to pass, as eating disorder, drug abuse problems and mental health issues only get worse over time. Eating disorders require a lengthy treatment process, because both the physical and psychological damage can be extensive. Individuals struggling with an eating disorder may also be in denial or refuse to seek treatment. Convincing a loved one to seek treatment help can be a drawn out process which is another reason the issue should be addressed as quickly as possible. When family and friends are not sure how they can help a victim of an eating disorder, it is time to get help from a professional. An intervention specializing in eating disorder issues can make sure the intervention process is safe and effective for all involved. Recovery counselors can offer advice for confronting a loved one about his or her disorder and can connect loves one to appropriate treatment resources.

Find Treatment for an Eating Disorder

Our recovery counselors are here to talk with you 24 hours a day. We can address your questions and concerns about eating disorders and treatment, and we will do so for free. Call involve no cost or obligation, and our counselors are a great source of information and advice. Don’t let an eating disorder, addiction or mental health issue grow worse. Please call today.