Do you feel a loss of control when you’re around food?
Do you skip meals, or do you restrict your food intake?
Are you consumed with thoughts about your body shape or your weight?
Many people are aware of what an eating disorder is, but disordered eating may sound less familiar. Disordered eating is not a diagnosis but a phrase used to describe a range of problematic eating behaviors. The signs and symptoms of disordered eating are similar to those of an eating disorder, although they will vary with frequency and severity.
While disordered eating may not result in the extreme symptoms seen in a diagnosable eating disorder, it has the potential to negatively impact a person’s life. Their obsession with food and exercise may affect their ability to focus or concentrate, impacting their performance at home, work or school.
Disordered eating can also take a mental and physical toll on a person. Negative self-thinking can impact their mental health, and their poor eating habits can affect them physically, as well. Disordered eating also puts the individual at high risk for developing an eating disorder.
If you find yourself struggling with:
- Frequent dieting or obsessive calorie counting
- Food restriction or skipping meals
- Feeling anxiety, guilt or shame about certain foods or food in general
- Obsessive exercising, or exercise to “punish” for overeating
- Binging and/or purging
- Self-worth or self-esteem because of your weight or body shape and weight
- Feeling out of control around food
… then you may be suffering from disordered eating.
What causes people to engage in disordered eating habits can be complex, and vary widely. As a counselor and dietitian specializing in eating concerns of all kinds, I can help you get to the bottom of what drives your food and body issues.