Eating healthy and feeling healthy has taken on an entirely new meaning in today’s generation. But for some it’s more like a compulsive disorder. Looking and feeling good is much more than just outwardly presentation of our body, how we feel from within is equally important. In a quest to achieve the perfect body, we see people resorting to fad diets and succumbing to the so called healthy food which is probably damaging us more than healing us.
‘Orthorexia’ is the term we use for people who are obsessed with such healthy diet fads. Orthorexia in short is nothing but compulsive or obsessive disorder for healthy eating.
Listed below are some of the symptoms of a person suffering from Orthorexia:-
- They are obsessed with maintaining a perfect healthy diet and ideal body weight.
- They avoid any food which can be labeled unhealthy due to presence of fat, sugar, salts, preservatives, diary, poultry, meat etc.
- Continuous urge to check labels of food items and calculate nutrients before food consumption.
- Feeling stressed with maintaining diet and anxious all times.
Strengths of Compulsive Healthy Eating:
Healthy eating when done in a right way under right guidance of a dietitian in right amounts can help in improving overall nutritional status of individual. It shouldn’t be compulsive, rather one should feel it from within to choose healthy eating for overall health improvement under right guidance and right knowledge. If healthy eating is a part of knowledge rather than compulsion it works better.
There are many other innumerable benefits of healthy rating.
Drawbacks of Compulsive Healthy Eating:
- Orthorexia has drawbacks much more than its strengths. An obsession of such a kind is deemed more harmful than beneficial for health due to the unhealthy and dangerous pursuit of health food and fad diets.
- Orthorexia leads to eating disorders and give rise to Anorexia or Bulimia.
- It also leads a person to retreat in a shell and disassociate with any social life or friends due to their eating preference. They become more withdrawn and lonely.
- Due to malnutrition or excessive weight loss, complications such as cardiac arrest or death in extreme cases may arise.
- Consuming lesser calories than required, forces the muscles in the body to break down to generate energy, which increases pressure on the heart and gives rise to ailments related to it.
- Calorie deficit diet and lack of variety of food ingredients consumed leads to disturbance in our regular digestion process and causes bloating, nausea, vomiting, swelling in the body and nutrient deficiencies.
- Due to inconsistencies in diet and selective omission of food items like diary, poultry, meat etc the muscles of the intestine tend to become weak and adequate nutritional demand of the body also isn’t met leading to vomiting and constipation and more prone to infections.
- Disorder of the brain, being delusional, sleeplessness, brittle hair and nail, skin problems etc is some common symptoms associated with Orthorexia
- Orthorexia is untreated can lead to psychological as well as physical problems. Proper counseling and guidance is required to overcome this disorder. The patient needs to be shifted to a proper nutritious and wholesome diet plan.
All I will like to add is, healthy eating should never be compulsive. Think positive. Simply Eat intuitively and mindfully. Diet simply means eating nutritious and thus do not complicate it by taking extreme measures that will harm one-self more than it will do good. Simply eat healthy and exercise for best of results and do not over complicate with compulsive healthy eating.