Eating disorders may be common, but the behaviour aspects that trigger such disorders are more intricate than it may seem.
Newly identified eating disorders exist today, such as body dysmorphia or extreme self-consciousness of one's body image; anorexia athletica, also known as hypergymnasia, an eating disorder characterized by excessive exercise; or orthorexia, the obsessive pursuit of a healthy and clean diet.
There are many contributing factors that could lead to an eating disorder that may seem harmless or go unnoticed. Here are some of the signs to watch out for as compiled by Reader's Digest.
A path to obsession
According to some experts, leading a healthy lifestyle could lead to obsessive qualities. "Often what starts as an innocent attempt to diet or eat healthy can kick-start an eating disorder, as the individual quickly finds that their new behaviour 'solves other problems,' such as increasing peer acceptance, soothing anxiety, or getting attention in a new way," said Bonnie Brennan, the senior clinical director of Adult Services at the Eating Recovery Center in Denver, Colorado, United States.
Denial of a pivotal event
Avoiding something big happening in one's life could be the reason to turn to food for comfort.
Being inflexible with food choices
Only eating the cleanest and healthiest foods out there can be considered as an unhealthy behaviour, as our body requires a balance of nutrients and fats.
Obsession with the scale
It does not matter if you reach your ideal body weight, as your body is made up of more fat cells than muscles. Checking the scale all the time is considered to be a bad habit, as many people overuse it when tracking their weight.
Feelings of guilt after skipping a workout
Intense regret of missed workouts could lead to an unhealthy attachment to one's fitness regimen.