Too Extreme?

Since making this blog and becoming addicted to some of your blogs, i’ve noticed that some of you are pretty extreme in what you put into your bodies. Either cutting out things such as dairy/wheat or making sure everything is organic and chemical free. I thought it was a good idea but way too much of a hassle. However, looking through my ‘Healthy’ magazine that i purchased i came across an article all about this growing ‘unofficial’ eating disorder they name ‘Orthorexia’;

It claims that Orthorexia is now becoming a trend in older women in their 20s and 30s becoming obsessed about their ‘pure’ and ‘healthy’ diet as opposed to teenagers ‘bingeing’ and ‘purgeing’.
“They won’t necessarily be restricting calories, but are more concerned with the quality of the food they put in their bodies. They refine and restrict their diet based on what they consider to be ‘pure’ foods – often cutting out food groups such as wheat, dairy or meat.”

Whilst reading this i was thinking, ‘What’s so bad about that? Surely it’s a good thing to only want the best for your body?’ and i’m sure you’re sat there thinking the same thing, but this article goes on to explain all the dangers and even healthy problems it can cause. Mainly, you’re risking your body because of malnourishment by not replacing what you are losing in terms of calcium, iron or essential fats with each food group you cut out. If you are replacing these with supplements you need to be careful about the recommended dose and make sure you get a good quality supplement with everything you are lacking. You also need to make sure if you cut out meat, you are using good substitutes.
Orthorexia isn’t all just about food either, it’s also obsessing over how much exercise you do. Over-exercising can osteoporosis, joint problems, menstrual cycle problems, high blood pressure and fatigue. It states that “To get the most from your workouts you should take a minimum of one full day’s rest between exercise sessions” this is because “..your body gets fitter and stronger when you rest and not while you are actually working out’. It has a section on how to see if you’re at risk;

Are you at risk?

  • Do you avoid eating out with friends for fear of having to explain your food choices or portion size?
  • Do you never let yourself have a ‘bad’ or blow-out meal?
  • Do you spend all your time planning your next meal or reading food labels to check that it’s all additive free?
  • Do you go to the gym or exercise daily without fail?
  • Do you feel emotional or irritable?
  • Do you get frequent headaches, feel fatigued or have trouble sleeping?

I thought i would post this as it’s definitely something worth thinking about, you could be doing more harm than good! What do you think of this growing obsession?


3 thoughts on “Too Extreme?

  1. This is something I think about and it’s really hard to define what is “healthy” and what is “extreme”- I think that they key difference (which is hard to tell) is the underlying reasons for eating a certain way. If your approach to food is having a negative impact on the rest of your life (socially, financially, health-wise) then it is a problem. It’s hard sometimes to not get sucked into blog trends when things are touted as “healthy” because on the surface, they ARE good for you. But I think people need to step back and question whether what they are doing is really the best thing for their overall health and wellbeing, and if it’s something they can see themselves doing for years to come. For me, healthy eating means balance- healthy foods with treats, healthy exercise with guilt-free rest days and an overall sense of wellbeing knowing that I am living life to the fullest.

    • Aww really well said Ellie 🙂 That’s exactly how i feel! Some people do take it too far and thats when it starts to be a negative thing and it can have a negative effect on your appearance more than anything!

  2. I’ve heard of that! It’s definitely super extreme. I can’t tolerate wheat and it makes me bloated and sick to my stomach and it sucks, but just to cut it out to cut it out would be dumb….I miss my sprouted ezekiel bread! I try to eat as holistically as possible, as much organic and possible and that sort of thing, but if I slip up, I slip up. It’s part of life.

    I do refuse to eat anything with artificial flavors, colorings, and that sort of thing though. If that’s orthorexia…then….oh well!


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