8 Signs Your Eating is Disordered
Disordered eating is its own diagnosis and is sort of an umbrella term to describe a wide range of irregular eating behaviors that don’t fit the specific and narrow criteria for certain, already established eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. You’re eating habits might be considered disordered if they mirror several but not all of the symptoms of other eating disorders, like anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Here are 8 signs your eating is disordered.
Disordered eating and dieting behavior are the most common indicators of the development of an eating disorder. Eating disorders are severe and life threatening mental illnesses. An eating disorder is not a lifestyle choice.
Signs Your Eating is Disordered #1: You fast or adhere to a very strict diet
Fasting or chronic restrained eating is probably the number one indication of disordered eating. If you are very regimented in how you eat, what you eat, and when you eat, this is an obvious sign that you are experiencing very rigid thoughts about food. For example, you have beliefs about which foods are ‘good’ and which are ‘bad.’ You punish or reward yourself with certain foods or by withholding specific foods.
Signs Your Eating is Disordered #2: You skip meals
If you are constantly skipping meals, this is also a major sign that your eating is disordered. Many people who have unhealthy thoughts and behaviors about food will often intentionally skip meals as a way to cut down on their daily caloric intake.
Signs Your Eating is Disordered #3: You’re binge eating
Disordered eating isn’t just about restricting food. It can also refer to overeating and binge eating. Binge eating is described as such: when a person eats a much larger amount of food in a shorter period of time than they normally would and feels a loss of control.
Signs Your Eating is Disordered #4: You’re using laxatives, diuretics, or enemas
This is a trick people with distorted beliefs about food and their bodies will use to shed weight quickly. This is a very dangerous practice.
Signs Your Eating is Disordered #5: You’re using diet pills
Women with disordered eating with abuse either over-the-counter or even resort to more powerful, and possibly illegal substances, such as amphetamines. This, of course, is also very dangerous. And not to mention, breaking your sobriety.
Signs Your Eating is Disordered #6: You’ve resorted to steroids and creatine
Another sign that your eating is disordered is if you’re using drugs and other supplements that are designed to not only improve physical performance, such as working out at the gym, but are also used to alter physical appearance. Again, using substances in this way, and especially ones like steroids, is considered by many as a relapse.
Signs Your Eating is Disordered #7: Your meals are purposely unbalanced
For example, many people with the more extreme form of the eating disorder anorexia will restrict or completely cut out a major food group such as ‘fatty’ foods or carbohydrates. This is also a sign that your eating is disordered, just perhaps not to the same extent as someone who fits the criteria for anorexia nervosa.
Signs Your Eating is Disordered #8: You make yourself throw up
Especially after binge eating, as is seen in cases of bulimia.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, addiction, or issues related to disordered eating, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.