Many people suffer from what is known as emotional eating or compulsive dieting, both can be symptoms of an underlying health condition or mental disorder.
People who develop eating disorders often use food to feel better about themselves or to try and control their moods. They may also perceive they do not have enough money to buy adequate nutrition so they spend lots of money on cheap foods that contain little nutritional value.
There are many types of eating disorders. Some occur only during certain times of the year (for example, winter months for binge eaters) while others happen all the time. It does not matter if someone is overweight or underweight, there are always treatments available.
In this article we will discuss some of the most common examples of disordered eating patterns.
They try to lose weight quickly
Another common reason for eating disorder behavior is trying to get into or stay in shape. More and more people are aware of the dangers of dieting, but some go one step further by limiting their calorie intake even slightly beyond what your body needs to survive.
This can actually have deadly consequences because you don’t receive enough nutrients and energy to function properly. You could also suffer from nutritional anemia which can cause symptoms similar to those caused by anxiety or depression, like mood swings and irritability.
Some people develop eating disorders after they spend lots of time looking at images and videos of very thin people, or reading about diets that work.
They may also worry about being overweight so they eat less than they need to maintain their current weight. Or maybe they feel guilty when they give up food or drink, so they keep doing it and eventually start avoiding foods completely.
Dietary restrictions often lead to vomiting or diarrhea, both of which waste large amounts of liquid, which usually contains little nutrition. This is called purging.
Many people with binge-purge disorders use exercise as a way to manage their condition. But they must be careful not to overdo it, otherwise they will end up feeling tired and hungry.
They exercise too much
When you develop an eating pattern that feels like a process to reach your goal, it can become increasingly difficult to stop. You may start to feel hungry more frequently or eat more than needed due to the urge to keep up with your habit.
If this sounds familiar, you are probably in early stages of disordered eating. Before you know it, you’ve got yourself into a very harmful situation.
You need to acknowledge your habits before you can work towards changing them. By being aware, you will be able to begin to take action and improve your overall health.
It is important to understand that eating too much is not healthy for your body. It can cause you to gain weight, but also pose other risks such as high blood pressure.
Many people struggle with their body image which can contribute to eating disorder symptoms. People who have dieted often will say they want to stay at a certain size, so they turn to food to satisfy their hunger.
This can lead to over-eating and thinking about ways to prevent weight loss. All of these factors make it hard to recognize when you are enough food for one day.
What should you do if you notice signs of eating disorders?
Visit our article here to learn more tips to help you identify potential eating disorders.
They rely on junk food
Another common behavior pattern is called emotional eating. This happens when you eat because you are emotionally hungry or stressed out, not physically.
Some examples include: feeling tired and hungry after work, being asked to do something that makes you nervous, or having just finished cleaning your house.
Many people who suffer from binge-eating disorder also feel that they can’t control their emotions, so they eat to try to take care of themselves. Others may worry about whether they have enough money for food or fear that if they don’t eat soon, they will starve.
Running away from our feelings could make us more likely to develop eating disorders. Some experts believe that people with this problem get help by learning how to manage their hunger and stress but don’t learn how to deal with other things such as sadness, grief, or regret.– NPD Health & Wellness Team
In fact, research suggests that those with BED often eat more than those without the condition due to worries related to self-image, body image, and weight. On average, these individuals weigh 5% less than someone with obesity, but experience up to 50% higher rates of dieting and/or purging behaviors! – source*
Note: *This article was adapted from Dr. Leah Schmidt, MEd, LMFT, CERD, Director at The Center For Emotional Healing.
They try to use diet pills
Diet pills are not for the average person or professional level eating habits. If you have trouble controlling your food intake, these can be very harmful if used improperly.
Many people turn to diet pills when they feel that normal weight loss methods aren’t working. Diets usually consist of limiting calories, but some individuals find that difficult to follow.
Diet pills do not help with this problem because it is the craving for foods. These drugs may also contribute to dehydration since many feature water as an active ingredient.
There have been reports of heart problems and strokes due to diet pill usage.
They use laxatives
Another common eating disorder pattern is using laxatives to lose weight. Laxatives are substances that help your body get rid of waste products, so they’re sometimes used to empty out the stomach before you eat so you feel full faster.
Many people who suffer from binge eating also use laxatives because it helps them feel in control by making sure there isn’t any left in their system. Because eating too much can make you feel physically uncomfortable and hungry, individuals with this disorder often wait until after they’ve purged to eat what they call “the meal” or “my next meal.”
However, when you stop taking laxatives, your body doesn’t produce enough natural bowel movements, which can cause malnutrition and health problems. This could be serious if you’re not able to gain adequate nutrition.
They use smoking
Another common eating disorder pattern is called bulimia nervosa. This occurs when someone feels hungry, but instead of looking for food that they like and feeding themselves properly, they eat very little food and then frequently (and sometimes compulsively) swallow any leftover food or beverages to avoid getting “sick” by vomiting.
There are several theories about what causes this behavior to occur. One theory is that people with binge-eating disorders feel stressed out and overwhelmed by life events such as job changes, relationship struggles, or health concerns.
Another theory is that individuals who suffer from binging have an underlying fear of not being in control or hunger.
When you add these fears together, it becomes clear why people may develop eating disorders.
People with eating disorders often try to compensate for their unhealthy habits by engaging in exercise or other types of self-care.