Difference Between Rigid Eating and Anorexia

Written by: Harmandeep Kaur Grewal – MA (Psychology)

Last updated date : October 31, 2022

If you are concerned about your health then you will eat food that you believe is healthy for you. But, in this process, you will miss out on the necessary nutrients that are needed by the body. People who suffer from anorexia eat very less as they have body image issues and get a deficit in many vitamins. Moreover, you will have many health-related complications if you are a rigid eater or an anorexic. But there is a difference between rigid eating and anorexia. Also, you see that there are rigid eating patterns in people. And, as such, you will notice rigid eaters avoid food that they think can make them sick. For instance, you are a rigid eater and avoid eating meat. Then you will feel sick when you go neat a meat shop.

Additionally, when you are not eating healthy and diverse meals then your body will become weak and lose immunity. Moreover, you will be prone to infections and diseases. So, do not start a diet without consulting your doctor. Furthermore, you should talk to a therapist if have little doubt that you have an eating disorder. Likewise, share your thoughts with a loved one and take their opinion on it. Therefore, you should take action otherwise you will end up in hospital.


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Chapter 1:

Rigid Eating and Anorexia

You can know the difference between rigid eating and anorexia. Also, you will see rigid eating patterns in people who have anxiety about certain foods.

It is always a good thing to eat healthily. But when you see it is becoming an obsession then you need professional help. For instance, you avoid any oily food so much so that you eat carbs all the time. Hence, you have high sugar levels but lack energy. You should consult a nutritionist before deciding on your own about eating different food items. In contrast, anorexia is an eating disorder. You will have low weight and energy and could need to be hospitalized. Moreover, you do not realize that you have an issue.

Similarly, obsession with eating healthy and not eating at all are different. You are eating but selected items. On the other hand, in anorexia, you are not eating at all. For instance, you are a rigid eater. So, you pick out vegetables from your food leading to health issues. In contrast, if you are an anorexic then you will void all food. And your body will be underweight and you would deny having any problems.

Your eating disorder can become life-threatening when you do not eat at all and get hospitalized. In many cases, an anorexic will be forcefully fed. Also, you will be kept under constant observation for better results. But a rigid eater may not need immediate attention though health complications can develop over some time. For instance, if you did not eat diverse and healthy meals for years then you will have many problems like infertility, indigestion, gallstones, and so on. SO, do not decide between eating by reading online but look at the wider perspective.

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Chapter 2:

Strict Eating Patterns

You can know the difference between rigid eating and anorexia. Also, you will see rigid eating patterns in people who have anxiety about certain foods.

Rigid food pairing- You are obsessed with combining certain types of food items. For instance, you will not eat fish with milk or any other food pairing. And you will not eat unless you have the desired food with you. Moreover, you believe in fasting better than eating undesirable food.

Symmetry angle and plate direction- You become mad when you see that food is not positioned in the way that you want it to be so you adjust it again before eating. And you spend hours on making your food as per to your liking and less time eating.

Arrangement and order are very important to you. If you find food that is not arranged as you want it then you would feel anxiety.

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Chapter 3:

Signs and Symptoms

Signs of anorexia

You can know the difference between rigid eating and anorexia. Furthermore, you will see rigid eating patterns in people who have anxiety about certain foods.

  • You have extreme weight loss. But you are not ready to accept the fact that you are underweight.
  • Also, you suffer from insomnia. Accordingly, you stay awake.
  • You have fatigue and tiredness because you lack energy. Because you did not consume the required calories needed.
  • Moreover, if you are not drinking enough water then you will be dehydrated.
  • Furthermore, you will have thin hair and nail. Also, your nails would break off easily. Similarly, hair will be brittle and thin.
  • Your blood pressure will be low. And you will have irregular heartbeats.
  • Also, there could be the absence of menstruation in women.
  • YOu would not be able to bear cold as you have no fat in your body.
  • You can have swelling of arms and legs.

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Chapter 4:

Signs of Inflexible Eating

You can know the difference between rigid eating and anorexia. Moreover, you will see rigid eating patterns in people who have anxiety about certain foods.

  • First of all your behavior is such that you are dieting all the time to stay fit which leads to malnutrition. You have particular food rituals and you religiously follow them, even if you get sick.
  • Secondly, you have cut some specific foods. For instance, all sugar or carbs. Therefore you are obsessed with eating some food and avoiding others.
  • You will not eat food that you think is not healthy or clean or pure.
  • Your self-esteem gets attached to body image
  • Also, you have weak muscles. And your wounds do not heal easily.
  • You have difficulty concentrating on anything.
  • Moreover, you experience too much anxiety or worry when you do not follow your schedule.

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Chapter 5:

Managing Eating Disorders

You can know the difference between rigid eating and anorexia. Also, you will see rigid eating patterns in people who have anxiety about certain foods.

  • First of all, talk to someone about your issues. Also if your family suggests it then try to believe in them.
  • Secondly, be patient with the therapy. Your treatment may take time. And never lose hope in yourself or your therapist otherwise you will skip the procedure and not get well.
  • You need to be truthful to your doctor about your issues. Do not hide any behavior.
  • You should follow your doctor’s advice. And, it can help you with your eating problems and nutrition deficits if any.
  • Also, calm down when you feel anxiety. You can learn relaxing methods which will calm your nerves when you are in any kind of tension or stress. And, you can reduce your anxiety for the time being. But you should be ready to accept your issues.

For more information, please click “Courses” on the navigation bar and check out our self-paced online courses. The course titled “Binge Eating Disorder” provides more information on the current topic. 


"Very interesting and relevant" John

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