Health and wellness experts, as well as the countless people who lead healthy lives, recommend that you eat healthy food. You can lose weight. Also, You can reduce fat. You can become healthy in all the senses of the word if you eat nutritious food. However, when you become obsessed with eating only healthy food, you might develop an eating disorder. You can protect yourself by looking at possible symptoms and bringing yourself to eating disorder treatment centers if you conclude that you genuinely need help.
The Illness of Healthy Eating
Healthy food helps you to have a great life, but too much focus on eating healthy can be detrimental to you. Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is the pathological obsession to eat healthily. York University researchers scoured past studies to discover what factors make a person more likely to develop ON.
Fixation on “Healthy”
ON is the opposite of anorexia nervosa. Instead of a fixation on calorie intake, a person with ON is overly focused on the quality of his or her food and how it was prepared. The person then becomes fixated on buying and making his or her food in a way that he or she deems “healthy.” As a result, the other areas of his or her life become impaired, and he or she becomes malnourished.
In more specific details, you can detect ON if you obsessively check ingredient lists and nutritional labels. You might be eliminating food groups (carbs, sugar, dairy, etc.) from your diet, or you might be only eating certain kinds of food that you think are “healthy.” You might feel stress when the food that you want is not available. You might also be overly concerned with what others are eating, what food will be served in various events, and the food showed on “healthy lifestyle” resources online or on TV.
Risk Factors of ON
From these symptoms, the York University researchers found that obsessive-compulsive traits, depression, and previous eating illnesses place a person at risk to develop ON. Other factors include an unhealthy fixation on appearance and body image, a stringent eating schedule, and vegetarianism or veganism.
Turn to Treatment for Help
You can check the symptoms enumerated above if you think that you might be suffering from orthorexia nervosa. Otherwise, you can still change your eating habits or get help. Whether you have ON or not, psychotherapy and other treatments can help you.
Take note that orthorexia nervosa is not yet formally recognized as an eating disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, upon which mental health providers base their treatments. Experts today, however, have a growing awareness of the disease and are studying it to help people combat the illness. Rest assured, you will still get help from treatment providers, but only if you ask for it.
Healthy eating gives you a strong mind, a healthy heart, and a fit body. On the other hand, obsession over healthy eating only leaves you malnourished, the opposite of what you want to achieve in eating healthy. Get help and turn your life around.