Orthorexia Diet Example - Eating Too Much Healthy?

Written by: Shruthi Chacko – M Sc
(Psychology)

Last updated date : June 28, 2022

Are you someone that loves eating healthy? Maybe you have cut down on your intake of processed food. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But, when you overdo it, that is when it becomes a problem. Are you constantly fixated on eating clean? So, basically, orthorexia is an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy. So what foods do orthorexics eat? What is an Orthorexia diet example? Continue to read this article, to know more.

Chapter 1:
How Does It Feel like to Be Orthorexic?

You’ve probably tried to eat healthy before. Perhaps you’re on one right now. You’ve reduced processed sugar. Learned about the health benefits of kale, and discovered 6 new ways of cooking with quinoa. You made the change and felt good about it. Whether it’s because you put on a few kilos or because you were inspired by a friend’s dietary plan.

That’s great. However, for other people, their enthusiasm for eating healthy becomes an obsession. They can develop orthorexia, an eating disorder. They spend lots of time thinking about and buying healthy foods. What is an Orthorexia diet example? They spend a lot of time cooking healthy food. This mostly happens with people who are trying to change their lifestyle. But, as time goes by these patterns may lead to binge eating. In fact, this results in negative body image and emotional and mental distress. 

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Chapter 2:
Do You Have Orthorexia?

Do you think about all these statements? What foods do orthorexics eat?

I take so much of my time thinking about healthy food. Selecting, and cooking nutritious food. This affects other parts of life such as love, family, creativity, friendship, work, and school. When I eat any unhealthy food, I feel nervous and guilty. I also feel unclean.  Even being near such things irritates me, and I judge people who consume such meals. My moral sense of serenity, pleasure, joy, safety, and self-esteem is overly reliant on the purity of the food that I eat.

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Chapter 3:
What Is an Orthorexia Diet Example Like?

The diet is very healthy. They are ultra-focused on eating healthy all the time. It reaches a point where they feel guilty for not eating well. Let us look at five signs that may show that you have orthorexia.

Preoccupied With Eating Habits

Clean eating becomes an obsession. An obsession that can turn dangerous. What foods do orthorexics eat? They may be obsessed with nutritional food. They constantly compare food labels and ingredients. Meal preparation and meal planning might take hours. Individuals suffering from Orthorexia Nervosa may place themselves on a “nutritional pedestal”. In fact, they look down on everyone who does not follow a healthy diet. 

Labelling The Food “Good” And “Bad”

Those who suffer from this are obsessed with eating healthy. What is an Orthorexia diet example? They see food in two ways. Good and bad. The good group are the foods that are pure and clean. The kind of foods that are nutritious and healthy. On the other hand, the bad group are foods that are bad for your health- cheese, burgers and pizzas and so on. They might even consider these foods toxic. In fact, they even go to the extent of judging others who maybe be consuming foods in the bad group.

They may even feel more superior when they eat clean and look down on others who don’t do that. Additionally, they feel a great deal of guilt when they eat french fries or something unhealthy even occasionally. Hence, there are a lot of feelings of guilt, distress and feeling bad about their health and themselves.

Changes In Mood And Emotions – What is an Orthorexia diet example?

Orthorexia can cause anxiety and irrational fear. These symptoms cause mood swings and sudden emotional changes. Unrealistic expectations of healthy foods that accompany this illness. Also, constant thoughts about food. Which can lead to emotional distress over meal prep, food preparation, and eating.

You may feel all these- feelings of shame

  • Guilt feelings

  • Self-loathing

  • ignoring day-to-day responsibilities

  • Relationships with friends and family are strained.

  • Isolation   

  • Increase in distress levels

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Chapter 4:
How to Manage Your Orthorexia?

But, don’t worry, there are some ways in which you can manage your orthorexia. You do not have to live like this. You can have a healthy relationship with food. Also, you can get rid of that good food and bad food idea that is stuck in your head. what foods do orthorexics eat?

Stop Counting Calories

This is the first step. What is an Orthorexia diet example Stop counting calories? It is not giving you any happiness or joy. In fact, it makes you feel more unhappy and guilty. Instead, try to enjoy the food that you are eating. When you stop seeing food as “good” or “bad”, you start to appreciate food more. It is true, that is good to keep a check on your calories. Don’t burden yourself with calories. Try not to be always thinking about calories when you are eating. It takes away their pleasure in eating.

Just to make it clear, I am also not suggesting that you stop thinking about calories altogether. You need to control it when you have to. But, the idea is not to overthink controlling your diet to the point where it causes you to get stressed and worried. Hence, stop counting calories for a healthy mind and body.

Food is important – What is an Orthorexia diet example?

Try to remember that food is fuel for your body. Food is important and nobody can live without it. You get your energy from food to walk, run and sit or do anything activity. So, don’t worry too much about whether you are eating healthy all the time. It is not a sin to eat cheat meals once in a while. If eating ice cream, makes you happy, then it is okay to have it once in a while. Hence, don’t guilt-trip yourself when you eat that chocolate brown. It is okay to eat it once in a while. But, of course, don’t have it every day. Now, that may not be the best for your health.

Explore New Restaurants and cafes around Your Place

Have some fun with it! Try new places and cook new dishes that you discovered. Maybe you found some interesting recipes while scrolling down Instagram. Go ahead and try it. This may cause people to rethink their own eating habits. Also, you notice strange patterns in a friend. In any case, be aware that eating disorders occur in all types and sizes and are far too common. If you sense something wrong with yourself or somebody else. Don’t hesitate to seek aid or ask how they are doing.

At Espsychonline, there is a self-help course on “Body Image Concerns” and you may also find it interesting and informative to read more on ” Obsession With Healthy Eating And Living With Orthorexia” and ” Never Binge Again- Ways To Keep Up This Resolution” to understand what is an Orthorexia diet example and get insight into what foods do orthorexics eat.