Eating too healthy , is that possible? Yes, and it is in danger of becoming a growing problem in our modern, health-focused society. The more people who are intensively involved with nutrition and health, the more people also break the line with total obsession – and that is where problems arise.
Are you afraid that you are eating too healthily, or do you think that someone in your immediate area is too fanatic about their health? We tell you everything about this problem in this article, and give 7 signals that are definitely a red flag!
7 signals that you are eating too Healthy!
Recently there have been so many cases of people eating too well that the phenomenon has even been given an official name: orthorexia nervosa, related to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Anyone who suffers from orthorexia is so obsessed with healthy food that he or she is being fed by food.
Social contacts, work and recreation are all subordinated to health, all food that can be unhealthy is scrapped. In the long term, such an obsessive attitude can lead to serious deficiencies, and in serious cases, even to death. But when is healthy eating still a choice, and when does it become an obsession? We have listed seven important signals.
1. You spend more and more time planning meals
There is nothing wrong with planning meals in advance: that saves time and money, and is often also healthier. However, when you spend hours and hours refining your meals and purchasing your food, that is a sign that you are becoming obsessed – especially if you can only talk about that food to others.
2. You feel stressed if you have to deviate from your meal plan
Do you want to eat out spontaneously once you have been to town with friends? Working an evening overtime so that you have to eat in the canteen? That should be possible! If you notice that you are severely stressed by such abnormalities, or even refuse to eat anything other than what is in your plan, you have largely exceeded the healthy limit.
3. 80/20? You do 100/0
The 80/20 rule is a particularly useful rule of thumb when it comes to food: as long as you eat 80% healthy, you can easily ‘sin’ for 20% without getting in the way of yourself. However, those who eat too healthily will also scrap those 20% completely. Every bite must be 100% healthy! In the long term, however, this leads to physical and mental problems.
4. You completely ignore your physical needs
Do you feel like pasta ? Then you can eat a plate of whole-wheat pasta with a delicious sauce in a healthy diet . However, if you eat too healthy, you completely ignore those physical needs: you do not eat pasta, because pasta belongs to the 0% group of unhealthy foods. That too is a sign of too strong an obsession.
5. You completely exclude certain food groups
One of the characteristics of eating too healthy is that certain food groups are completely excluded. Carbohydrates ? They raise your blood sugar level and are therefore deleted. Fats ? They can make you fat and are therefore immediately deleted. Proteins ? Your liver is burdened by that … Ultimately, this type of logic naturally leads to enormous shortages: nobody can live on pure vegetables and mineral water.
6. You try to use all information from every source
Of course it is wise to read well when you try to eat healthily, but it is important that you are able to take some information with a pinch of salt . People with orthorexia nervosa are often unable to do so. They have to use everything, and thus address themselves to the most exotic intolerances, allergies and diseases.
7. You look down on people who eat ‘unhealthy’ food
Do you see someone at the supermarket paying for a pack of whole milk and do you feel sorry for the fool who stuffs himself with fats and lactose for which he is certainly intolerant? Then it’s time to put a stop to yourself. Even if you start to ‘preach’ to others in your area about the importance of healthy eating, that is a clear sign that you are getting carried away.
What do you do if you eat too healthy?
If you recognize yourself in the above signals, or know someone who meets that description, it is important to take action as quickly as possible. Contact a qualified dietitian or expert who can guide you in choosing a truly responsible diet, in which not the obsessive scrapping of food groups plays the main role, but the search for a good balance.
Do not think that it will all be too bad: orthorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder , which can even have fatal consequences. So don’t put yourself in unnecessary danger!