Eating Disorder Treatment, Binge EatingOrange County, California, Eating Disorder Treatment ProgramEating DisorderEating Disorder

When Healthy Eating Turns to Orthorexia

Everywhere you look, you are told to eat healthfully and exercise regularly in order to have a fit lifestyle. But what happens when this is taken to the extreme, when, in addition to counting calories, your life becomes consumed with reading labels, looking for macronutrients, or deciphering how pure a food is? That is what life looks like to someone with orthorexia, and help may be needed at an eating disorder treatment center.

Orthorexia or orthorexia nervosa is an obsession with eating healthfully; literally translated, orthorexia is a fixation on righteous eating. People with orthorexia are consumed by every bite they put in their mouth. It’s more about the quality of the food, than the quantity, although they do take note of that. Knowing where every piece of food came from, how it was made, what is in it, and other nutritional information dictates what they eat, and that begins to invade every aspect of their life.  It can reach the point that having a meal with friends and family becomes a battle for them, prepping for days ahead about how to handle it.

There are many people who, because of health issues like cancer or celiac disease, try to eat “clean” or avoid gluten, and others who just want to make better choices by increasing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but when eating healthfully becomes an obsession, it’s likely not healthy at all. People with orthorexia often isolate themselves from others because they have such a rigid focus on their food.  Friends and family take a back seat to meal planning, and the importance of the quality of the food. Ultimately, this strict meal planning can take a serious toll on their health – the one thing they were trying to protect.

At Rebecca’s House, we know the difference between healthy eating and orthorexia, and we know how to help you or someone you love get on the path to wellness.  Call us today at 1-800-711-2062 to learn more about orthorexia and our treatment for it.


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