Thursday, September 17, 2015

Do you have orthorexia nervoso?

Calm down--it's just docspeak for a diet that is overly restricted according to what people think is "healthy."

It's not in the official disorder list--but a psychologist at Rutgers says it is coming up more and more.

She is Charlotte Markey, author of Smart People Don't Diet: How the Latest Science Can Help you Lost weight Permanently. (I have                                                         not read it.)

Orthorexia, she says, is maladaptive eating that begins with good intentions. People begin by eliminating "bad" foods--sweets, carbs--and before they know it, more things are eliminated--salt, wheat, diary... This goes beyond being a vegan.

Carbs, she says, have a function--they give us energy. Low energy can put us at risk for depression as we drag around.

Orthorexics usually are obsessed with good--what to eat, what not to eat, guilt, shame.

The quest for a healthy diet takes over their lives. They avoid social occasions involving food.

If you think you have slipped into this mode, what can you do?

Markey says first have a dietitian go over your intake and see if you are being deprived of nutrients.   That person can also help you devise a healthier regimen.

You may also want to consult an eating disorders specialist--this disorder can be related to OCD, which means it can be treated with medication or talk therapy.

Food is fun, food is life--don't turn it into a horrible chore and an endurance contest of deprivation.

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