What Is Disordered Eating?
When a person exhibits abnormal eating behaviors that don’t quite meet an eating disorder diagnosis, these behaviors are generally classified as disordered eating. Because disordered eating does not reach the level of a disorder, it may be overlooked. In fact, some characteristics of disordered eating are unfortunately quite common in today’s fad diet culture.
In the DietQ program, disordered eating can be categorized into the following types:
- Type D: yo-yo dieting
- Cycling between losing weight on diets and gaining it back.
- Type B: binge eating
- Eating an excessive amount of food in a short amount of time.
- Type S: emotional eating
- Using food as a comfort to deal with emotions and stress.
- Type E: eliminating calories
- Purging or obsessively burning calories (self-induced vomiting, laxatives, over-exercising, etc.)
- Type R: restricting food
- Avoiding eating certain foods (or any food) so as not to take on calories.
- Type A: allergic addiction
- Certain foods cause an allergic reaction that creates intense cravings and may lead to a binge.
Disordered Eating vs. Eating Disorders
Although the terms have similar names and overlapping characteristics, disordered eating and eating disorders are distinctly different. An eating disorder is characterized by abnormal eating behaviors and obsessive thoughts that become a person’s primary focus, usually leading to severe deterioration of the person’s health, relationships, career, etc.
Disordered eating, on the other hand, is characterized by less intense behaviors that do not by themselves indicate a disorder. This doesn’t mean that people with disordered eating doesn’t need help because, over the long term, disordered eating can lower self-esteem and quality of life, or lead to an eating disorder.
Common Symptoms of Disordered Eating
The umbrella of disordered eating covers a wide variety of symptoms, many of which overlap with those seen in clinical eating disorders:
- Binging and/or purging
- Restricting, calorie-counting
- Dramatically reduced portions
- Skipping meals
- A never-ending stream of new diets
- Repeating the cycle of weight loss and gain
- Using diet pills, supplements, etc.
- Viewing self-worth as tied to weight and body image
- Anxiety, shame
- Secret eating, secret mixing of foods
- Compulsive eating when sad or upset
- Irregular meal schedule
- Disregard for natural hunger or fullness
- Constantly thinking about food, weight, diets or body image
The Good News: Professional Guidance Is Available
Having an unhealthy relationship with food and body image can cause not only emotional distress and negative physical symptoms, but it can also prevent you from achieving a healthy, maintainable weight. If you struggle with disordered eating, professional guidance can help you break free from the uncontrollable cycle.
DietQ is a unique solution that takes into account a person’s entire personality, emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), eating attitudes, lifestyle, and body mass index (BMI). Designed by a world-renowned expert in disordered eating, food addiction, and eating disorders, the program first determines your unique DietQ Type, then teaches you how to address the issues that keep you from achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
Call us at (315) 636-0477 for more information, or take our online quiz to get started!