Psychology experts are not the type of professionals that people should go to when they have fitness questions, but they cannot help but get involved in the diet of some patients. The reason is that a few mental health illnesses affect or are somehow related to the eating habits of troubled individuals. When you are depressed, for instance, you may allow days to pass without consuming foods as you may be too deep in your head to even entertain hunger. If you have anger management issues, the emotion may cause you to lose your appetite often. Of course, when there is an eating disorder, your relationship with food may be too strained. “The food you eat can have a direct effect on your energy level, physical health, and mood. A “healthy diet” is one that has enough of each essential nutrient, contains many foods from all of the basic food groups, provides the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight, and does not have too much fat, sugar, salt, or alcohol,” as stated by Carol A. Gooch,M.S., LPC, LCDC, LMFT.
One problem that people do not always talk about, though, is an addiction to extreme dieting. It is not as prevalent as substance abuse; you may not even hear folks mention it a lot. However, there may be times when you meet a friend after months of not seeing him or her, and you notice an excessive drop in his or her weight. Every time you see this friend and invites him or her lunch, though, he or she often uses fasting as an excuse for not wanting to eat. Then, you may start to wonder, “Isn’t this person dieting too much?”
The Truth About Extreme Diets
Extreme dieting is a form of diet that is most popular among individuals who are looking for a shortcut to achieve their weight-loss goals. It entails that someone does everything within their power to avoid consuming too many calories every day. This person tends to engage in high-intensity training programs as well or stay in the gym for hours while practically fasting or depriving himself or herself of nutritious foods.
The upside of following an extreme diet is that the weight reduction takes place at an incredible rate. If you keep on working out and only eat a banana, after all, it is inevitable for you to lose weight fast. Despite that, the primary disadvantage of doing extreme dieting is that you are forcing your body to do challenging tasks without topping up its energy reserves. The more you do it, therefore, the more you’ll exhaust your system, to the extent that you may deal with fainting spells one day.
Telltale Signs That You May Be Addicted To Extreme Dieting
Like I’ve said earlier, addiction to extreme dieting is not commonly talked about among families or circles of friends. One person may take note if the other seems to avoid overeating, but people seldom associate the issue with the condition that is as real as addiction.
Considering you are worried that you or a loved one is addicted to extreme dieting, here are some of its telltale signs.
1. Showing Inflexibility When It Comes To Food Choices
The first indication that you may be experiencing addiction towards this form of diet is that you only want to eat the same foods for a while. Say, you think that you can lose weight faster than ever if you consume grilled chicken, carrot sticks, and cup noodles throughout an entire month. Even when someone coaxes you to dine out or offers to cover your share, you decline their invitation and stick to the same options.
Showing such inflexibility is exceptionally unhealthy. For one, the said food choices can only provide certain nutrients, and more varieties can provide more vitamins and minerals. You may develop an addiction to junk foods as well because of the cup noodles, which is junk food.
2. Doing Detox Too Much
Juice cleanses, and water therapy have become popular recently as the liquid diet allows the body to get rid of toxins naturally. The thing is, such methods are merely recommended to be done for several days because they cannot provide all the nutrition that your system needs to function well. In case a month has already passed, and you are still drinking instead of eating your food, you should re-evaluate your choices.
3. Punishing Slipups With Overexercising
When a non-addicted woman who is supposed to be on a low-carb diet ends up finishing half of a big cheesecake, she may say, “Oh, that’s okay. I’m human; I can eat whatever I want once in a while.” She won’t berate herself over or try to get the food out of her system in any way possible.
If someone who is addicted to extreme dieting eats more than what she has set for herself, though, she may feel angry at herself. Instead of purging, this person tends to add an hour or two to her regular gym time to burn off the calories that she has consumed. It may not matter whether her arms and legs are about to give off; what’s important is that she sweats off the extra pounds that the slipup has brought. As what Joe Koelzer stated, “Don’t let over-exercise or any other behavioral addiction keep you off the path of living your purpose. Yes, you have a fire inside of you … so use it to shine.”
Dieting can result in positive things if you do it correctly. According to psychologists Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal Ph.D., and Robert Segal, M.A., “Eating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.” Not only will it allow you to lose weight, but you can also feel your confidence level go up every time you shed a pound. However, if you commit to extreme dieting and get addicted to it, you may start having problems physically and mentally. So, try to look for other ways to lose weight now. Good luck!