Everything cannot come in a hermetically sealed package.”
“Orthorexia and anorexia both are not about food, weight, or health,” she added. “They are about trying to manage a thought problem with a behavior solution, similar to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. So if you eliminate some food and feel good about it, great. But if you eliminate one food and either compulsively crave it or immediately move on to the next food to eliminate, identify that something is not right about this process and get an appointment with an eating disorder dietitian.”
Judith Matz, a licensed clinical social worker and co-author of “The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care,” said in an email that there is a certain way of eating that can help people avoid obsessive eating behaviors. It involves really listening to your body.
“Rather than focus on ‘healthy’ foods, the goal for everyone should be to have a healthy relationship with food,” Matz said. “This means that you eat when you are physically hungry, eat what you are hungry for - choosing from a wide variety of foods - and stop when you feel satisfied. This style of eating is known as attuned or intuitive eating. People find that when they listen to their bodies, they want all types of foods, including healthful foods.”
“When you have orthorexia nervosa, your eating is rigid, giving you a sense of being in control,” she added. “At the other end of the continuum are people with Binge Eating Disorder, whose eating is out of control. The healthy, balanced way to eat is attuned eating, which allows for flexibility, the inclusion of nourishing foods, and pleasure from eating. Attuned eating lets people feel in charge of their eating, rather than needing to control their food and constrict their lives.”
How do you keep balanced while eating healthy foods? Have you ever struggled with orthorexia? Share your stories in the comments section.
Cottrill, Carol. Email interview. March 13, 2012.
Nussinow, Jill. Email interview. March 13, 2012.
Setnick, Jessica. Email interview. March 13, 2012.
Matz, Judith. Email interview. March 13, 2012.
Reviewed March 14, 2012