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"Health Nut? or Disordered Eating? "Warning Signs of Orthorexia-

We live in a society that praises business and productivity. In the health world this looks like the people we refer to as "health nuts" or "endurance junkies"... but what happens when our affinity for health is fueled by a self-deprecating mentality?

Orthorexia, although not formally recognized by the DSM-5... is on the rise. This illness is often overlooked and without diagnostic criteria or formal recognition it can be pretty difficult to treat recovery or even get true statistics on those struggling.

Orthorexia is an obsession with "proper, pure or clean eating". While being concerned with your nutrition CAN be healthy, those who suffer from Orthorexia take it to the point where it is actually harmful to their well-being. Many studies show that Orthorexia often comes along with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and high functioning anxiety.

The consequences of Orthorexia or obsessive health habits:

Orthorexia if left untreated can have overwhelming and long term consequences. It can also be a gateway to other eating disorders such as Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia, Anorexia Nervosa or Other specified feeding or eating disorders.

  • Increased Injury

  • Decline in performance

  • Decreased Bone Mineral Density

  • Dehydration

  • Malnutrition

  • Anemia

  • Cardiac issues

  • GI distress

  • Increased pain

  • Anxiety

  • Lack of social life

  • Extreme weight loss

  • Poor body image

  • Poor relationship to food

Here are some quick warning signs that health concerns might be heading into dangerous territory and bordering on obsession:

  1. Compulsive checking of labels and ingredient lists

  2. Obsessive logging in MyFitnessPal or other diet tracker

  3. Cutting out certain foods/groups (i.e carbs or fats)

  4. High levels of distress when "safe (healthy)" foods aren't available

  5. Labeling of foods good vs. bad, or forbidden

  6. Over-exercising

  7. Exercising through pain, injury or extreme cold/heat

  8. Strained body image

  9. Pre-occupation with food- (blogs, websites, what others are doing, what they "should" be doing

  10. Chronic Calorie Restriction

  11. Chronic Dieting

  12. Extreme Fatigue and poor workout recovery

  13. Multiple workouts per day

  14. Obsession with clean eating

Does this sound like you or someone you love?

Book a free discovery call with a Coach and learn more about your health habits today!

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