Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Are We Health-Obsessed?

I recently found an article about an eating disorder I had never heard of:


In a nuthsell, orthorexia is an eating disorder where a person becomes obsessed with eating the most healthy diet possible, to the point of eliminating food groups such as dairy or meat from your diet. The problem here is that, over long periods of time, it can result in malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, and other health problems.

Big business seems to be pointing us into the direction of a society filled with orthorexia. With new diets popping up all the time, many people are being sucked into believing that the only way to stay healthy is to only eat certian foods all the time, or to eliminate certain foods all the time. Diets such as the Paleo diet or Gluten Free (without having celiac disease) eating are just a handful of these elimination type diets.

While, short term, they can be quite harmless and even jump start weight loss, long-term they can cause problems. Some of which could be similar to those experienced by anorexic or bulimic people including hair/tooth loss, fertility problems, and even, in some cases, heart problems - all due to lack of vital nutrients.

What does this mean for the sleever?

Once upon a time, we were the ones that were trying every diet imaginable trying to find that "magic fit" - that one diet that would end our battles with obesity once and for all. To us, trying a new "fad diet" is just as natural as breathing. For some, it's even easier. We have fought so hard to be healthier versions of our former selves, and we will do anything to keep it that way. For those that have reached goal, the fear of gaining again looms over your head. For those of us that have yet to reach goal, the though of never losing those last 30-50 lbs terrifies us. As a result, we will try anything.

These eating plans are NOT necessarily unhealthy for the most part. In fact, some are very healthful in nature. But what is important to remember is that ANYTHING 100% of the time long term can have detrimental effects. Yes, it's good to eat meat and vegetables most nights. But, believe it or not, it's also healthy to have the occasional cookie or potato chip.

We need to move farther away from our food issues. Those are what got us here in the first place. I didn't get to 310 lbs by not having issues with food, let me tell you (but that's another post). But the point is, eat healthy 97.3% of the time. The other 3.7%, allow yourself some leeway. You will be better off for it.