It’s believed that up to 30 million people in the U.S. have an eating disorder whether it’s bulimia, anorexia nervosa, or binge eating.
That number may be higher, however, because many people who have an eating disorder may be unaware they have one. They may also be in denial that anything has changed about their eating habits and activities revolving around food and exercise.
If you’ve been asking yourself “Do I have an eating disorder?” check out these five signs that reveal you may just have one.
1. You Avoid Certain Foods
Many eating disorder sufferers begin to view certain foods that they once loved and enjoyed as forbidden. It may be because they contain, in their eyes, too many calories, fat, sugar, or carbs.
The idea of eating these foods also tends to make people with eating disorders nervous or even afraid. If there are specific foods you no longer eat even as a special treat once in a while, this is a sign you may want to seek treatment.
2. You’re Obsessed With Burning Calories
Excessive exercise and physical activity is another telltale sign of an eating disorder. You may be exercising for far too long, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, or exercising every day for longer than usual. Or you may have a habit of jumping on the treadmill and adjusting it to a high setting to burn off something you ate.
Of course, working out in moderation including at home is good for you. But when it’s cutting into your regular day schedule and making you tired and sore instead of energizing you, you may have a problem with an eating disorder. You may also view strenuous physical activity as a way of punishing yourself for eating something you shouldn’t.
3. You Avoid Eating Out
Avoiding going out to eat with friends, parties, and other social gatherings where food will be served could also mean you have an eating disorder. Usually, this is because you’re worried others will judge you for what you’re eating or not eating.
4. You Have Unusual Eating Habits
People with eating disorders often take on unusual eating rituals such as cutting their food into small pieces and eating a limited amount. They may push food around on their plate to give the illusion they’ve eaten. Or they may chew food for a specified amount of time before swallowing it.
5. You Have a Negative Body Image
Viewing your body in a negative matter and thinking about it and yourself poorly usually go hand-in-hand with eating disorders. You may become obsessed about looking at your body in the mirror for any perceived flaws.
Do I Have an Eating Disorder?
Overcoming eating disorders is not impossible, but it does take guidance from a trained professional. These five signs alone don’t always indicate someone needs help, but if you are still asking yourself “Do I have an eating disorder?” it’s a good idea to receive proper testing and assessment. The sooner you can identify that you may have a problem, the sooner you can overcome it.
Dfives provides its audience with the latest news in health, entertainment, technology, and more. If you’d like to learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle including the right amount of food to eat and exercise, check out our latest health-related content.