orthorexia

Orthorexia: a negative perspective on a good idea

There are various ways and plans to lose weight and be healthy to increase the quality of life. Most plans require strict adherence to a regimen while others require a more loose approach that might include a plan with a reward or points.

The most common effective way to lose weight and/or be healthy is to practice healthy eating. Healthy eating might include a vegan diet, no meat, or a diet that selective in the types of foods to eat. Americans opt for a healthy eating plan with some restrictions, for instance, eliminating bread, sugar, fried foods, or a reduced calorie diet in order to lose weight.

Healthy eating might include a vegan diet, no meat, or a diet that selective in the types of foods to eat. Americans opt for a healthy eating plan with some restrictions, for instance, eliminating bread, sugar, fried foods, or a reduced calorie diet in order to lose weight.

A healthy eating plan may place emphasis on consuming vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat or no dairy products. It may also include eating fish, poultry and limiting sodium, sugars and trans and saturated fats.

There is no problem associated with healthy eating until it’s taken too far. By that, if healthy eating becomes a forefront objective in one’s life it is an obsession. Obsession with what is healthy and what is not, what to eat, planning a menu, or often planning someone else’s menu. This is what is called orthorexia.

Orthorexia Nervosa, or orthorexia, is an obsession and preoccupation with eating healthy foods. Being excessive with eating healthy to the point that you feel powerful over the foods you choose and how they interact upon consumption is a problem. There is an obsessive compulsion to this type of healthy eating.

According to WebMD here are some of the symptoms of orthorexia

  • Spending more than three hours a day thinking about healthy foods.
  • Planning tomorrow’s menu today.
  • The virtue one feels about what to eat more than the pleasure of eating.
  • Decreased quality of life due to the increase of quality of the diet.
  • Becoming stricter with oneself.
  • Increased self-esteem from eating healthy and looking down on others who don’t eat healthily.
  • Finding it difficult to eat anywhere but home.
  • Feeling guilty when you don’t eat healthily.

Orthorexia is an eating disorder. As with all eating disorders, orthorexia can be treated. “Treatment involves “loosening the grip . . . agree that the diet is important, but also saying, “isn’t it also important in life to have some spontaneity, some enjoyment?” www.webmd.com That initial step is a process for recovery.

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