In today’s society, more and more people are aware of the importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet in order to, in this way, follow a much healthier lifestyle based on their own diet.
Although no one doubts the importance of following a healthy diet, the proliferation of the idea of consuming certain products and avoiding consuming many others has led to the appearance, in a large number of people, of an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy which has been called by the name of orthorexia , an eating disorder that has its origin in a continuous concern to consume products that, in principle, are beneficial for health.
Symptoms of orthorexia
Although orthorexia has not yet been included as an official disorder due to its recent appearance, many experts have begun to define it, so the symptoms that to date have been included among the possible indicators of be suffering from orthorexia are:
- Having a constant obsession with where the food you eat comes from to the point of worrying about eating only familiar products.
- Strict planning of your own diet , following inflexible parameters and forcing yourself to consume only those products that are considered healthy.
- Stop attending meals and social events where the diet that you have proposed to follow can be altered even if it is only something exceptional.
- Always carry some healthy food with you , to consume it in case something unforeseen arises and the individual cannot return home to follow their diet. In this way, the person seeks to avoid being forced to consume a product that they consider to be of dubious origin or that is simply not on their list of allowed foods.
- A constant criticism towards those people who do not take care of their diet or who do not consume foods as healthy as the individual himself, coming to consider himself superior for following what he considers a much healthier diet.
- Appearance of a great feeling of guilt and obsession with self-punishment if the diet that has been proposed to follow is violated .
Steps to know how to detect orthorexia through its symptoms
Although it is possible that some symptoms can occur without actually having an orthorexic disorder, it is important to identify some behaviors based on the above symptoms to know if a person may be suffering from it.
First, the person must estimate how much time a day he spends thinking about food and planning his diet, since the orthorexic obsession with health and well-being leads to much of the day being dedicated only to thinking about issues related to food.
It should also be taken into account whether you really enjoy your meals or not . An obsession of this type leads to the consumption of food for the mere fact of being healthy, instead of making recipes combining healthy foods and enjoying a good meal.
In addition, as mentioned in the list of symptoms, the feeling of guilt for not following the indicated routine is something to consider, since an orthorexic behavior combines the feeling of superiority to other individuals who do not care so much about their diet with such guilt if his own diet is altered.
Understand orthorexia and how to treat it
Orthorexia is linked to technology. Social networks are a tool of constant bombardment of information of questionable veracity and the user can generate an obsession by continually reading articles and comments on networks that, in reality, are only telling him what he wants to hear .
Although it may seem paradoxical, this obsession with eating healthy can have a direct negative effect on health , since aspects of diet are often neglected and lead to the appearance of nutritional deficiencies.
Generally, the patient eliminates foods from their diet without worrying about obtaining the nutrients from them in another way , which can lead to the appearance of anemia and vitamin deficiencies. Therefore, to treat this obsession, psychological assistance will be combined with the inclusion of supplements in the diet that allow the body to acquire again some of the essential nutrients that it had stopped receiving.
Regarding psychological care, it must be based on the reintroduction of habits that had been lost over time, so that the patient returns to a more flexible diet and knows how to consume all kinds of foods when their body needs it. .
In short, although it is highly recommended to follow a healthy and balanced diet, it is necessary to avoid becoming obsessed with it , since any obsession can be counterproductive and lead to the appearance of disorders such as orthorexia . Since the human being is not a machine, one should not acquire inflexible and robotic habits that can significantly affect the physical and mental health of the individual.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.