Disordered eating is a set of behaviour characterized by an unhealthy relationship with food. For example, being constantly on restrictive diets, not eating a particular food type , eating to cope with stress, eating to cope with emotions, etc. Disordered eating when taken overboard may result in Eating Disorders like Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. Anorexia Nervosa leads to extremely low weight that can be fatal. Bulimia Nervosa is a life threatening behaviour where the individual binge eats and then vomits to purge the food.
Here are some typical signs of Disordered Eating
1. Feeling guilty for eating dessert or for sipping an extra glass of wine
2. Overexercising to compensate for some extra food eaten
3. Totally removing a whole food category because its the new rage. Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo, etc.
4. Bingeing on biscuits or ice-cream after a tough day or a fight
5. Unable to stop oneself while eating dessert, drinking alcohol or any loved food item
In case of above or similar symptoms of disordered eating, do the following:
1. Consult a nutritionist to practice mindful eating and to remove the fear of food
2. Consult a psychotherapist or a counsellor to understand the underlying psychological cause of the disordered eating.
Note: Earlier in India, visiting a psychotherapist or a counsellor was seen very negatively. However, these days men and women are boldly taking steps to reclaim their lives with dignity.