Must know about Orthorexia

This condition is extremely serious. But there is one major problem about it: many people who have it don’t even realize it’s an issue.

So what symptoms does one with this disorder have? It all starts with an innocent desire to lose weight. But this innocent desire transforms into an unhealthy and dangerous addiction. Over time, the person lets dieting control their every move:

  • Weighing themselves every day or close to every day
  • Feverishly counting calories, grams, or points
  • Feeling guilty from eating any food, let alone just unhealthy food
  • Putting food in categories of “good”, “bad”, and “forbidden”
  • Sneaking “bad” food when no one is watching and having the mindset that a couple spoonfuls doesn’t “count”
  • Feeling the need to burn off what they just ate
  • Needing to have willpower so that they don’t “slip up” and lose self-control: even if they just want one little piece of chocolate
  • Every day is a chance to eat right, be “good,” and self-punish if temptation wins (usually through stricter eating, fasts, and exercise)
  • Wishing that they could just eat whatever they wanted without worrying about the health quality of the food
  • Find it hard to eat a meal that they didn’t prepare because of the fear that they don’t know what is in it
  • Thinking of food all day long
  • Other areas of their lives are negatively affected from this obsession with food
  • Having the intense fear that if they stop dieting they will gain weight
  • Having the intense fear that if they stop dieting they will not eat any healthy foods
  • Thinking that they need to lose weight without realizing that obsession with dieting is now their primary issue that needs to be solved

This is not something to be taken lightly. Eventually, the obsession with healthy eating can crowd out other activities and interests, impair relationships, and become physically dangerous. These symptoms I listed above are bad enough, but orthorexia very often turns into anorexia or bulimia. However, even if it doesn’t, who wants to live with this obsession forever? Once I realized I had an unhealthy obsession (which took 12 years for me to realize), I did everything I could to end it. And I succeeded.