Eating healthy can be a problem. Wow, you didn’t expect such a statement, did you? But the fact is that many people suffer now because of starting following a healthy diet one day. And there is a name to such an eating disorder — orthorexia. Orthorexia happens when you focus an unhealthy amount of attention on healthy eating, becoming a real problem. In other words, your good intentions to have a healthy lifestyle turn into a real disease.
People with such a diagnosis often refuse to eat a variety of foods for not being “pure” enough. They put their own restrictions on the diet, which later leads to rejecting the whole meals since they don’t meet their standards. Some scientists compare orthorexia to bulimia or anorexia nervosa. The people who suffer from orthorexia don’t aim at losing weight — they are just crazy about the quality of the food.
The symptoms of orthorexia:
- anxiety, fear, the feeling of impurity after breaking your own rules regarding some food;
- strong beliefs that your dietary choices can deliver optimal health;
- social problems, solitude, having no desire to communicate due to specific dietary preferences;
- self-satisfaction and confidence can be achieved only when following the self-imposed dietary rules;
- significant weight loss;
- avoiding eating out with friends;
- burying yourself in food quality research;
- refusing a broad spectrum of different foods;
- condemnation of your friends’ eating habits.
How can orthorexia be treated?
- by exposing to the situation and preventing response;
- by changing the behavior and trying to get all the possible negative effects;
- cognitive reframing and restructuring;
- by visiting psychologist therapy sessions;
- by finding a new way to relax: mindfulness meditation, sport, breathing exercises.
The possible negative effects from orthorexia:
- a strong eating disorder and even type I diabetes;
- psychological changes and constant anxiety, disability to finally breathe out;
- losing your friends and getting socially teased;