When does eating or lack thereof become a disorder? Drawing the line between how much food is too little, or excess is often tricky. Being overweight or extremely slender could be as a result of other factors, you may be overweight but not have bulimia or be slim and not be anorexic. However, there are some tendencies that develop due to eating disorders, these tend to include:
Obsessive Food Thoughts
Of course it is reasonable to have a plan for what you will prepare weekly or even daily, especially if you are trying to look after the pennies, but if you can’t stop thinking about the next time you are going to eat, that could be a sign of something that needs to be addressed . Thinking about food all the time can disrupt your day to day life, especially if eating is at the forefront of all your priorities. On the other hand, obsessing over healthy eating can also be a problem. You can become anxious about food that can be seen as high in calories and actively count all the calories you consume in a day. This type of behavior can be mentally exhausting and can be detrimental to your wellbeing. If this behaviour is something that you recognise in either yourself or a loved one, it might be time to think about talking to someone about it.
Consuming Excessive Liquids
Filling up on drinks can give you a feeling of fullness, which can prevent you from eating too much. But when this becomes a regular habit and is something that is done purposefully to try to avoid eating, it could be a sign that there is something more worrying than simply trying to cut down is happening.
Obsessing over Body Image
It is totally healthy to check the scales from time to time, especially if you are trying to gain a few pounds if you are underweight or lose some if you are overweight. However, when you are popping on the scales to weigh yourself after, say eating a meal or coming in from a run, that is something you should think about. It is okay to want a change in your body, but you need to make sure you’re doing it in a healthy way.
You Can't Stop Eating
It can be pretty common for us all to eat more than your stomach can handle from time to time, especially around Christmas. We will all recognise that feeling of eating too much and feeling uncomfortable. However, if this is something that you recognise doing on a regular basis, it may be time to address it, especially if you notice that you are ‘binging’ on comfort foods when you are triggered by stress for example.
Eating disorders can often creep on you without you even realising it. But if you suspect that there is a problem, take time, and examine your habits and do not hesitate to seek advice from a medical professional, who can help you on the path with your or a loved one's eating disorder recovery.