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What Is Disordered Eating?

A relationship with food can feel like dating. Sometimes the relationship is healthy, and sometimes it’s not. Like any relationship, personal and outside influences can affect how you think about food. Likewise, your connection with food affects your mental and physical health.

What Is a Food Relationship?

Your culture and society form the way you feel or think about food. Many cultures’ traditions revolve around food. For instance, cultures can have specific foods for particular holidays. During the holidays, the family comes together to eat, share stories, and enjoy each other’s company. Food, in these cases, is a central part of family traditions and is appreciated. However, not everyone has a positive relationship with food.

Athletes and those mindful of their physical well-being think of foods from the five food groups as healthy ways to fuel and nourish their bodies. If you went through mental health or substance addiction treatment, you learned how important proper nutrition is for your mental and physical health.

However, the need to be thin or reach a specific idealized view of beauty can drive some people to have a poor relationship with food. Some unhealthy food relationships include eating disorders and disordered eating.

Does Society Affect Food Relationships?

Your relationship with food is affected by your family, friends, and society. What you see, hear, or read shapes how you feel about your body. For instance, social media influencers who use filters to make themselves look better aren’t setting realistic examples of the male or female body. Maybe you grew up hearing that your thighs were fat or your arms were flabby. What people say about you does affect your self-esteem. You may think of food as a way to control how your body looks.

What Is an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders are persistent eating habits that can cause harm to your health. The most well-known eating disordersinclude anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. However, there are several other types of eating disorders. If you’re diagnosed with any of these disorders, you must meet specific criteria.

What Is Disordered Eating?

The term disordered eating describes any number of irregular eating habits. An essential difference between an eating disorder and disordered eating is that an eating disorder is a diagnosis while disordered eating is not. Disordered eating is a complex relationship with food that includes unhealthy eating habits.

Despite not meeting the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder, disordered eating poses a threat to your well-being. Why? Because if you don’t seek help for your disordered eating, you may develop problematic health issues and eating disorders.

How Do I Know if I Have Disordered Eating?

Disordered eating is often minimized or hard to detect because you may not have the traditional signs of an eating disorder. However, a few signs of disordered eating include:

  • Continuous weight changes
  • Rigid food and exercise routines
  • Compulsive eating patterns or feeling a loss of control when around food
  • Persistent dieting, skipping meals, or anxieties connected to certain foods

Disordered eating is a potentially destructive relationship with food. Whether you use food to control your mental or physical well-being, the impact of erratic eating takes its toll. Mental health disorders symptoms can also increase if you have an unhealthy view of food. However, you can seek help for disordered eating before experiencing grave consequences. The Guest House understands the complex relationship many people have with food. We want to guide you through the causes of your food issues while instilling healthy eating habits. Our historic estate provides the comfort and care you deserve. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.