As a holistic health coach it makes my heart smile to see that healthy habits and lifestyle is now trendy, and something socially desirable. But this very trend also brings the danger of a not so commonly known eating disorder that is related to eating “too healthy”.

I’m sure you heard about Anorexia, and maybe even about binge eating, but today we talk about a third big group, which is called orthorexia.

Well, let me state here that there is no such thing as eating too healthy, but it is clearly possible to develop too strong feelings related to eating and it’s never a good thing.

As with all eating disorders, orthorexia also affects its victims through emotions and by having individuals develop an “unhealthy” relationship with food and eating itself. Yet it’s not as visible as Anorexia or obesity, it can have you and your surroundings suffer and make life unnecessarily complex and hard.

The name, orthorexia nervosa (ON) comes from the Greek ortho, meaning correct, and orexi, meaning appetite

“Still doesn’t sound very demonic to me” you could say. Well, let me list all the possible feelings that a person with orthorexia can feel and how a usual day would look like to someone affected by ON (orthorexia nervosa).

As you could see at many points, orthorexia can severely affect your social life – you skip social events, you only talk about food, you bring your own lunch box while your friend spent hours in the kitchen preparing food for the guests, and let’s be honest, you can be a pain in the ass sometimes judging others about their choices while you pose as the perfect saint. 

Another thing to note is that as you can see, none of the listed negative points were related to ON’s health disadvantages. What’s more, someone with orthorexia nervosa can be especially healthy and in good shape – but if you ask me, only for so long. No one can escape the detrimental effects of a problematic mental health even with the best diets in the world. Your mental health will catch up on your physical health and through the social disadvantages, you can feel alienated and lonely, which can further worsen your situation.

You might wonder if you have orthorexia because you eat healthy and you barely ever slip. Orthorexia is NOT ABOUT EATING HEALTHY, but about feeling excess emotions related to eating. Here’s a good mind test to put yourself through: how would you feel if you have a phone call now from your best friends to go out tonight to your favorite pastry shop and eat a delicious chocolate croissant while talking and having fun. I know you eat healthy and you might have worked out today and you’re also in a calorie deficit at the moment. Do you think you have orthorexia, just because you explain this to your friend and offer a salad bar instead? NO. Making smart choices that align with your sport goals doesn’t make you orthorexic. But if you would’ve stressed out, get pissed at your friend and completely cancel the night OR you showed up at the pastry with your big lunch box of salad while others were enjoying their delicacies and you judge them up and down for it…. you might need to get it checked out.

I’d also like to address another commonly discussed question. You might wonder what are the main differences between anorexia nervosa and orthorexia nervosa. Let me list a few simple points to help them distinguish:

And why do I think it’s important to know about this eating disorder even though it’s not necessarily dangerous or detrimental and it’s still the “best one” out of all? Because I always promote balance and a healthy relationship with eating for a sustainable, healthy lifestyle and orthorexia is not the way to health! I honestly believe there is no physical health without a mental one and vica versa!

I want you to be aware of your emotions relating to eating and to look out for your loved ones, because they might not even realize they have an eating disorder and they might need you to show them a better way or help them seek help. 

Thank you so much for reading my blog today and I hope you learnt something new and exciting! I realised I love writing and you can expect many many more blogs coming on my website soon! Stay tuned and stay healthy!

If you need help on your health or weight journey – book a consulting with me!

Egy válasz

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