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When healthy eating and exercise become an obsession

When healthy eating and exercise become an obsession

When healthy eating and exercise become an obsession

A healthy diet and exercise provide many benefits, but when thoughts about healthier foods become obsessive and eventually take over one's entire existence, it can be harmful. It's called orthorexia and for some it can be a gateway to other eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

Orthorexia nervosa and orthorexia athletica

The term orthorexia was first defined in 1997 and comes from the Greek words orthos meaning pure, correct or correct and orexis meaning appetite. It is similar to an eating disorder but is not yet classified as a medical diagnosis for an eating disorder, however it is increasingly recognized in scientific studies. Orthorexia nervosa does not involve exercising, losing weight, or striving to achieve a certain ideal body, but refers to clean living and is punctuated by a strong preoccupation with healthy eating that often follows very strict rules. Deviations from these rules can create strong feelings of discomfort, guilt, shame and anxiety. Many orthorexia sufferers also become exercise-focused. Exercising becomes just as important as eating right. Often there is a connection between orthorexia and excessive training, the so-called orthorexia. Orthorexia as a concept was coined by Swedes Yvonne Lien and Anatoly Grigorenko and has been described as “unhealthy “Fixation on healthy foods combined with compulsive physical activity and exercise”. So a combination of healthy eating and exercise. The goal of having a fit and healthy body can turn into a fear of becoming fat and untrained or a fear of being perceived as undisciplined and lethargic. What dominates often varies from person to person.

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Positive feedback becomes a trigger

Many people with orthorexia initially want to live a healthier life, but it later develops into an obsession. It is often common to have a fundamentally negative self-image and feel dissatisfied with your body. Often times, a person now receives compliments and compliments for eating healthy and exercising more often, which can become an incentive and motivation to push him further. For those who exercise, even results can be improved at first. The person may often train extra sessions and appear fitter, generating encouragement from those around him. On the surface, it appears that the person is very concerned about his health, eating and exercising. So it may be difficult to detect that a person has orthorexia. It is easy to explain the symptoms by saying that he lives healthy and exercises regularly.

Social life is affected

For many, orthorexia is associated with obsessions and anxiety as well as feelings of anxiety, guilt and shame. A lot of time and focus is devoted to choosing, thinking about, and preparing healthy food. She chooses more and more foods and turns to a strict list of products that can be eaten but is also strict in how she exercises. An obsession that extends beyond the individual's social life. Many people start training harder and push themselves several times harder during training. Missing a workout or eating something that is not “right” can lead to anxiety, stress, and feelings of uselessness which should be punished with fasting or more exercise. The emphasis on diet and exercise often becomes stricter over time, often limiting a person's privacy. They begin to avoid social situations that involve food because they feel anxious or guilty when faced with food choices that do not meet their strict dietary restrictions. Everyday things are replaced with exercise, planning, or preparing your next meal.

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Health risks with orthotics

There are some similarities to orthorexia and, for example, anorexia nervosa, but unlike anorexics, the goal of orthorexia is not to lose weight but to be fundamentally healthy and it is more common than anorexia in men. Among other things, orthorexia can lead to nutritional deficiencies, lack of energy, weight loss, overtraining, muscle pain, fatigue, concentration difficulties, skin problems, hair loss, insomnia, poor memory and absence of menstruation.