500 Words on Orthorexia
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

500 Words on Orthorexia

It may not have formal diagnostic criteria just yet, but yes, it exists.

500 Words on Orthorexia

Since joining the foodie community this past summer, I am in awe at the creativity and awe-inspiring content I see on my feed each and every day. However, while the good definitely outweighs the bad, there are a few red flags I've seen on many accounts. There's a strong difference between healthy eating habits and obsessive eating habits.

When you think of eating disorders, you likely think of the big ones, like anorexia and bulimia. There are others that are less discussed, but can lead to destructive behaviors and more mental and physical issues down the road. One of these is orthorexia nervosa.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, orthorexia nervosa is defined as an obsession with proper or "healthful" eating. It's categorized as an obsessive-compulsive disorder, or an anxiety disorder. People with orthorexia become so consumed by so-called "healthy eating" that they are actually doing damage to their own well-being. It is not yet recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual, but let me tell you, it is out there.

Some warning signs and symptoms of orthorexia, again referencing the National Eating Disorders Association, include obsessively checking ingredient lists and nutritional labels, cutting out an increasing number of food groups, spending hours of each day thinking about what food will be served at upcoming events, body image concerns, and showing high levels of distress when "safe" or "unhealthy" foods aren't available. The results of this thinking in excess can lead to malnutrition, which can wreak havoc on your body and mind.

The truth is, eating in this manner can really affect your enjoyment of life. I've spoken to a few foodie friends who often say, "I don't eat this", or "I can't go to that restaurant because there's nothing there I can eat". Telling yourself things like this can negatively impact your relationship with yourself and others, your social activities, and so much more. What if instead of posing statements such as the previous ones, your mind shifted to "I can eat this burger, and I'll be okay" or, "It's okay to try something at this restaurant, even if it costs me more calories than I usually consume". I mean, imagine being at your dad's 50th birthday dinner at a steakhouse, and watching your family enjoy a meal together because nothing on the menu was "healthy enough" for you.

I'm by no way saying that eating healthy is a bad thing. It's a wonderful thing; those are the foods your body truly needs and craves to function at its best. However, there is a mighty difference between restrictive eating habits and healthy eating habits. It must be understood that eating your "fear foods" won't take away from your overall health. Everyone deserves a greasy, delicious pizza or a big bowl of ice cream every so often. It's okay to order a big, juicy steak instead of your usual salad.

The bottom line is, once you allow yourself food freedom, your relationship with not only food, but with your body, will undoubtedly improve. It takes a lifetime to perfect your relationship with food. I myself am still learning, each and every day.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments