5 Reasons Eating Healthy Has Become a Disruptive Obsession
Wanting to eat healthy is a good thing. Obsessing about it endlessly? Not so much. There is a fine line between adopting a healthy lifestyle with eating right and exercising and venturing off into the land of orthorexia.
Orthorexia quite literally is defined as having a fixation on eating right. While that might sound a bit harmless, it is really much more fanatical than that. Those with orthorexia truly believe that eating anything but healthy is impure and their diets become more and more rigid to avoid eating anything that is not considered clean.
So how do you know when your healthy lifestyle has taken a nosedive into a disruptive obsession? Here are a few red flags to watch out for.
1. Constantly obsessing over food
With orthorexia, you are not dreaming of a chocolate cake. You are completely focused on eating healthy to the point of absolute obsession. You would not dream of even enjoying a slice of pizza from your favorite pizzeria on your cheat day if you had orthorexia. You would not even have a cheat day.
2. Your Instagram feed consists of photos of kale and fitspo
Getting some fitspiration (or fitspo as it is come to be known) in your daily Instagram feed or even some healthy food ideas is not a problem. But when it dominates everything else in your life, it has become a disruptive obsession.
3. You phase more and more foods out of your diet
It starts with a desire to eat right but then that desire takes a sharp turn into compulsion, where you begin to equate eating healthy with being good yourself. It is fine to cut out foods with hormones or chemicals in them. However, going overboard by cutting out things to the extreme (such as never eating canned food, even tuna) is the difference here.
4. It becomes a moral issue
With other eating disorders, they revolve around the urgent need to be thin. Orthorexia is more of a battle of morals. The compulsion gets driven to the extreme. So maybe you start cutting out sugar and salt from your diet.
Then it becomes nothing that ever came into contact with cows and so on. This moral obligation becomes an extreme fixation that interferes with your life. Forget going out to eat with friends. You will not even be happy with a simple salad at any restaurant.
5. You lose your ability to feed your intuitions
When you have orthorexia, thanks to your overly-uptight diet, you will not notice your cues for hunger or thirst. You will not know when you are full or how to tell how much food you need. By overly obsessing about what you eat, you are disrupting your life in a very dangerous way.
Remember, too much of a good thing is no good either. Eating healthy should not be something that overruns your entire life. It can lead to hormonal imbalances, hair loss, menstrual issues, and many other health problems.
If you think your healthy diet is taking over your life to this extreme, contact your doctor for an evaluation and get the help you need so that you can eat right without punishing yourself.