Is Orthorexia An Eating Disorder Focused On Healthy Eating?

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Orthorexia is a new term for eating disorders. Today, “clean eating” has become a popular lifestyle trend, bringing many people to a new level of health they have never known before. For some people, the obsession with healthy living can become unhealthy. Orthorexia is a condition in which someone becomes deeply obsesses in mind and body with the idea of health. Anxious about consuming toxins, disrupting the purity of the body, and other negative consequences of not eating healthy, someone with orthorexia goes to extremes in their diet.

Orthorexia can also have a focus of obsession on exercise. Exercise can become a form of health-maintenance for people who are also experiencing obsession regarding clean or healthy eating. If someone with orthorexia feels their body has become impure or they might have participated in bingeing behavior, eating foods they believe are “bad” and “unhealthy”, they might turn to exercise or other forms of “detox”. Being “addicted” to detox behaviors is one of the forms of purging orthorexia takes on. Practices like juice cleanses, extreme dietary restrictions, cleansing diets, and emphasizing sweat for purification, are all efforts to detoxify the body of the toxins introduced from bingeing or eating unhealthily.

Exercise addiction is a separate issue. Often, exercise addiction is coupled with disordered eating behaviors like orthorexia, anorexia, and bulimia. As a way to “burn” calories and manage weight, exercise loses its true meaning. Instead of maintaining a focus on holistic health, exercise becomes a tool for controlling weight and calories, as a way to control body image. Of course, control, is the primary source of the problem. Eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors like orthorexia, exercise addiction, and others have an underlying theme of control. Many different events or circumstances in life can cause someone to feel like they lose control and thereby need to do something extreme to take control back. Seeking residential treatment and therapy programs for eating disorders like orthorexia will help someone discover the underlying issues which contributed to their finding solace through their disordered eating. Ongoing, they will be able to recognize their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors as well as ultimately create healthy changes.

Recovery is a lifestyle of balance and holistic wellness. Providing for the mind, body, and spirit, the programs for eating disorder treatment at Avalon By The Sea help clients restore balance and build a lifestyle of wellness. Our proven treatment programs provide trusted results as one of California’s only licensed primary mental health treatment programs. Call us now for a confidential assessment and more information: 888-958-7511.

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