Orthorexia: When healthy eating becomes too far

In an age where ‘paleo’ ‘raw’ and ‘gluten free’ diets are on the rise, and Instagramming each of your #clean meals is increasingly common, Orthorexia has become the new eating disorder few people know about.

What is Orthorexia?

Orthorexia is a term coined by Dr. Steven Bratman in 1997, defined as an obsession with healthy food. It does not involve a loss of appetite or the desire to purge, but rather focuses on restricting foods that are insufficiently clean, healthy or wholesome.

How does it start?

Orthorexia often starts from a place of good intentions—an innocent attempt to eat more healthy, and rapidly escalate to a fixation on food quality. Many people who have this eating disorder begin by turning to juice or vegan cleanses in order to reduce bloating and other uncomfortable feelings triggered by solid foods. Orthorexics become consumed with this rigid eating style and see every day as a new chance to eat right. As the eating disorder develops, food choices become more restrictive in variety and calories, eventually taking over other activities, interests and relationships.

There is nothing wrong with eating local or being a vegetarian or vegan

On a daily basis we see a fixation on the virtues of food, whether it is one of Instagram’s endless kale smoothies or a spokesperson endorsing a 10-day cleanse. There is nothing wrong with following a balanced healthy lifestyle as long it is that—a balance. Did you eat too much on the office outing? Don’t be too hard on yourself; do not restrict yourself from food, but rather choose a healthy alternative for your next meal. You do not have to go through a dreading juice cleanse to avoid bloating, instead research which foods are gentle to your stomach. At PMS Bites, we believe a healthy lifestyle starts with being at peace with yourself and enjoying the pleasure of eating.

 

This post was written by Tania Green, CEO and Founder of PMS Bites.


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