Orthorexia vs Anorexia: Can You Have Both?

Written by: Maheen Asif – M.Sc (Clinical Psychology)

Last updated date : February 21, 2023

Have you ever got confused about “Orthorexia vs Anorexia”? Ever wonder how your “clean eating” became anorexia? or can you have both anorexia and orthorexia?

It all started with “junk food.” Finally, a sugar that had been cleaned. Next, alcohol was banned, then carbs. It didn’t take long for her to get down to a small number of foods. Any deviation from the plan, like a glass of champagne at a party or a bite of cake at a party, would panic and make her do a lot of exercises and cleanse her body to get rid of the intruders.

Sally was so strict with her diet and exercise that it became an all-consuming obsession. Yet, Sally and her friends and family thought that her way of living was healthy. She was always praised for her ” discipline.”

Are you thinking about ” Orthorexia vs Anorexia ” at the moment?

“Very interesting and relevant” John

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Chapter 1:

So, What Is Orthorexia?

People who have orthorexia are obsessed with eating in a healthy, pure or clean way. This is not a good thing. It’s great to eat healthy food, but you can obsess about it so much that it can upset your overall health if you have orthorexia.

Chapter 2:

What Are the Signs of Orthorexia?

Scared Of Bad Food Quality?

If you have a lot of anxiety about the quality and source of the food you eat, this could make you feel stressed.

You Don’t Dine Out Or Avoid Eating Food Prepared By Others
You avoid eating or eating meals prepared by others because you’re afraid they won’t be good enough.
Fear The Sickness
Is food “clean” or bad for your health? You think about these things.
Physically Malnourished

When you don’t eat many different foods, you may not get all the nutrition you need. As a result, you might lose weight.

Spend Your Time In Food Research

One thing is to spend a few minutes looking at the ingredients on a product label or looking up more information on a product on the internet. But, if you have orthorexia, you may spend hours stressing about food and meal preparation.

Refuse To Eat Alot Of Different Foods

Foods that you don’t like to eat because they taste bad or make you feel bad aren’t bad. But if you have orthorexia, you might decide to cut out whole groups of foods from your food. Among other things, you might stop eating grains, foods that have preservatives, gluten or sugar, or foods that don’t seem healthy.

Fear Of Losing Control

In your mind, it’s a great idea to eat healthily. But you may also be afraid that eating even one meal you didn’t make, such as dinner at a restaurant, can be bad.

Be Too Critical Of What Your Friends Eat

At the same time, you may not be able to come up with a good reason for your own.

You’ve Gotten Yourself Into a Vicious Circle

Self-love and guilt are mixed feelings about yourself when you change your diet or cut back on food. This is because you are always thinking about food.

Chapter 3:

What Is Anorexia Nervosa?

However, whenever someone has Orthorexia or Anorexia, its normal to get into the debate of Orthorexia vs Anorexia. They have many similarities, which makes it tough to distinguish

Anorexia nervosa is a life-threatening eating condition defined by self-starvation and extreme weight loss. A person with this disease weighs at least 15% less than their ideal/normal weight. Extreme weight loss in anorexics can cause serious health issues and even death.

People who have anorexia nervosa are often hungry, but they still don’t eat even though they want to. People with anorexia nervosa are very afraid of becoming fat, even when they are very thin. They also see themselves as fat even when they are very thin.

Chapter 4:

What Are the Signs of Anorexia Nervosa

Here are some signs of anorexia nervosa
  • You loose A lot of weight quickly over several weeks or months.
  • Keep dieting even if you are thin or your weight is very low.
  • A person who has a lot of interest in food and calories and nutrition or cooking
  • Intense fear of getting fat.
  • People who have weird eating habits or routines, like eating in front of people.
  • Feeling fat, even if you are very thin.
  • People who want to be perfect and are very critical of themselves
  • Depression, irritability and anxiety
  • Intense exercise
  • Feeling hopeless or unworthy
  • Social isolation
  • Hiding weight loss in loose clothing
  • In women, menstrual periods can be irregular or even not happen at all.
  • Diet pills or laxatives can be used to make you go to the bathroom more often.
  • A lot of sickness

Chapter 5:

Orthorexia vs Anorexia

Lets get into the details of Orthorexia vs Anorexia.
Quality Vs. Quantity
In orthorexia, there is an Obsession about the quality of your food. Such as, you might think
  • “am I eating healthy?”
  • “This does not seem clean.”
  • “I don’t think they have washed their hands before cooking”

Whereas, in anorexia, there is an obsession with how much food you eat. Such as you might think.

  • “I cant eat more than one meal in a day”


In orthorexia, There is no fear of getting fat. Whereas, in anorexia, there is a strong fear of gaining weight.


The desire to be pure, good, clean, or healthy is the primary motivation for orthorexia Nervosa. Anorexia, on the other hand, is induced by a desire to be thin and a fear of gaining weight.


person who has anorexia doesn’t have a problem being fed products like Ensure or Boost, except for the calories. A person who has orthorexia, on the other hand, doesn’t like the chemicals in those supplements.


People with orthorexia aren’t always underweight or want to be very thin. Anorexia is when people lose a lot of weight or are very thin.


People are usually embarrassed of their anorexia and try to hide it. People with orthorexia, on the other hand, may try to get others to believe in the same health beliefs.

Belief System

People who have orthorexia think a lot about ideal health, physical purity, better fitness, and not getting sick. However, People with anorexia are very aware of their weight and only eat foods that are low in calories.

Skipping Meals

Persons with anorexia nervosa usually skip meals; people with orthorexia hardly do (unless they are “cleaning”).

Chapter 6:

Orthorexia vs Anorexia: Can You Have Both?

Have you ever tried to think about “Orthorexia vs Anorexia” and ended up seeing the symptoms of both? Many believe that people with orthorexia also have anorexia because of similarities like:
  • A desire to be in charge of your life by limiting how much food you eat each day.
  • Trying to seek self-esteem and fulfilment by controlling how much food you eat
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder and other co-occurring disorders
  • Rituals about food that may keep people from getting to know each other.

Anxiety and/or depression cause orthorexia. Because of this, orthorexia is often accompanied by other eating disorders, like anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder (BED). This means that orthorexia can co-occur with another eating disorder as well.

So yes, you can have both orthroxia and anorexia at the same time. For example, You could eat many vegetables and then throw the food away to get rid of the calories.

“Orthorexia vs Anorexia” has confused many of you. This information has hopefully been very helpful. For more information please visit the website. There are several courses on the website that will help you in providing detailed information on the  topic.

"Very interesting and relevant" John

72 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount