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20 Disordered Eating Habits Deemed Acceptable

20 Disordered Eating Habits Deemed Acceptable

I want to keep this post short and sweet because I'm super passionate about this topic and I don't want my computer to explode due to rapid typing for 6+ hours.

Starving oneself, bingeing, purging, or overly fixating on 'clean' or 'healthy' foods is dangerous and often a sign of an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder, orthorexia, EDNOS/OSFED or ARFID. An eating disorder is a serious illness and treatment is needed in that situation.

But there are so many other eating habits that show disordered eating--many of these actions are actually deemed ACCEPTABLE and GOOD and RIGHT by society. Just because one does not have an eating disorder does not mean that they are "healthy" or a "normal eater." 

Let's take a look at some of the practices that can show disordered eating. Disordered eating can lead to a more serious eating disorder which is why it is so imperative to notice if you or a loved one are exhibiting any of these behaviors. You can make an effort to end these behaviors before they spiral into something that is much harder to come back from.


1. Obsessive calorie counting and fixation on staying at or below an unreasonable calorie goal.

2. Cutting food into tiny pieces; eating very slowly; eating very quickly; moving food around on the plate.

3. Only eating on certain plates or with certain utensils.

4. Using very small utensils to eat. 

5. Inflexible meal times.

6. Only eating at home.

7. Bringing prepared food with you everywhere you go. (EVEN IF you are eating ENOUGH and not restricting--bringing food everywhere is not something that is NORMAL therefore it is categorized as disordered. I'm not saying this is inherently wrong and it's totally fine to occasionally bring food obviously, but if you ALWAYS bring your own food and refuse to eat out or eat anything off of a plan, that's disordered. Period.)

8. Weighing or measuring food. COUNTING MACROS. Yep, that's disordered. Why? Because it's not NORMAL. Again, I'm not saying that you shouldn't count macros but just know that it is a form of disordered eating. Anything other than honoring your hunger and having to DO MATH in order to eat IS DISORDERED. 

9. Frequent weight fluctuations.

10. Yo-yo dieting.

11. Feelings of guilt and/or shame when you can't stick to your food plan (AND IT WILL HAPPEN BECAUSE WE ARE HUMANS THAT ARE NOT MEANT TO BE ON ANY TYPE OF DIET) or exercise habits.

12. Pre-occupation with food and/or body in a way that it negatively affects your life. Be honest here.

13. Using compensatory measures--exercise, restriction, laxatives, diuretics, fasting, purging--to make up for eating food. (Or using coffee, energy drinks, caffeine, or chewing gum to blunt hunger.) 

14. Only eating food with a certain macronutrient--usually protein.

15. NOT eating food with a certain macronutrient--usually carbs or fat. WE NEED CARBS, PEOPLE. Fat, too. But everyone likes to cut carbs because they think it is a quick fix. Nope. Have fun being hangry and fatigued.

16. A sudden interest in cooking/baking when before you had no interest; baking for others and not eating it; hoarding food that you never eat; baking protein treats ALL OF THE TIME (honestly real pancakes are better BYE).

17. Not eating before/after a certain time.

18. Intermittent fasting.

19. Any type of exclusionary diet (I'll let veganism/vegetarianism slide if it's for ethical reasons) such as: paleo, Atkins, low-carb, no-carb, South Beach, Weight Watchers, SlimFast...OR ANY FREAKING SKINNY TEATOX THAT JUST MAKES YOU POOP YOUR BRAINS OUT.

20. Anything other than eating when you're hungry and stopping when you're full (usually--sometimes it's cool to eat so much you want to pop) or living life without obsessively fixating on food/weight/exercise. That goes for bodybuilders and bikini competitors. Am I saying it's wrong to do those things? No. But just know that it's not normal--therefore, it is disordered. Just like it's not wrong to be a plastic surgeon but it IS wrong to go up to women and cut their boobs open and put silicone inside of them. Weird example maybe but hey I'm just proud of myself for not making this post 12 pages long.

These are only 20 of the habits that show disordered eating. This list is not all-encompassing. Doesn't that suck? Our society is disordered. Such a shame. Don't buy into it! Body knows best. What behaviors do you see that are disordered? Let me know down below.

*Dieting is the single most important risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Girls who diet moderately are 5 times more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who don't diet, and those who diet severely are 18 times more likely*

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