Eating healthy foods does not make you sick. However, eating healthy foods unhealthily will definitely put you down on your sick bed.
A man in San Francisco started to eat healthy, to have a sensible diet. He felt the positive effects of the healthy diet. It was good for him, he thought. However, after quite some time, he became obsessed with eating healthy.
He only ate vegetables, and even made sure that he chewed his food more than 50 times per spoonful. Then it struck him. He experienced a disorder called orthorexia nervosa — it basically translates to an unhealthy obsession towards eating healthy. It’s kind of ironic, to be honest.
The symptoms that people display when they haveorthorexia nervosa are similar to the ones that people have with anorexia nervosa. They tend to focus more on maintaining and having the perfect diet instead of having a healthy body. They will avoid any food that they think is “bad” for their health. And food purists, like vegetarians, are definitely prone to this.
Some of the foods or ingredients that they commonly avoid eating are:
- Salt and/or sugar
- Preservatives and/or artificial flavoring
- Artificial food coloring
- Dairy products
- Animal carcasses
On the other hand, the most noticeable signs that one is suffering from orthorexia nervosa are:
- Reducing the number of types or categories of foods that they eat
- Irrational concern over the relationship of foods and certain medical conditions, diseases, and allergies
- Intense usage and intake of herbal supplements and other holistic solutions
- Unreasonable obsession with food preparation
- Exaggerated opinions on how diets affect everything
Aside from these symptoms, people with orthorexia nervosa will have their lives affected by their own food obsessions. The strict rules they follow will even affect them socially. They can become obsessive with their beliefs,which can isolate them from other people. And ultimately, it can make them develop a more serious eating disorder, which might involve the following:
- Spending too much time thinking about food
- Feeling guilty when they deviate from their diet
- Having critical thoughts about others who do not conform to their diets
- Avoiding food cooked and given by other people
- Experiencing anxiety and depression
Always be self-aware. Even though it is good that you have started thinking about your diet and weight, you must make sure that you do not go overboard. It is key that you keep your attitude in check. One sign that you are going down the wrong path is when you keep thinking about food and weight the whole day.
Also, always check with a doctor and dietician if you are planning on starting a diet. Avoid fad diet and stick to programs that works — like the ones listed here:
In addition, never instantly believe people who say they are experts. If they do not have a license or even a diploma for a medical course, shove them away.
Another pitfall that you should avoid is to identify yourself with purists. If you want to be friends with a vegetarian or fruitarian, it does not mean that you should eat like them. Know that you can still coexist with people even if you are not similar in terms of diet and food preferences. If they will not connect with you because you eat differently, then you should think twice about forming a relationship with them.
However, it does not mean that being a vegetarian or fruitarian is bad. You just need to moderate your fascination with your diet and stand up to people who do not accept who or what you are. If they do not even respect your habits (like these ones over here), then there is no point in forming a connection with them. It is not worth fussing over and changing yourself because you want to be with those people.
And be sure to always remember that eating is not some sport that you should master or perfect. Eating is one of the simple pleasures of life. Taking out the pleasure from eating will only make you miserable. You will be basically missing out on a lot in life.