In Lyndsey’s words: my struggle to overcome orthorexia


You’ve probably seen some of my recent posts on my daughter’s struggle with Orthorexia, a little known eating disorder that is an obsession with eating too healthy. Yesterday, we appeared on Larry King Now to talk about this new disorder. She’s been working with an amazing team of nutritionists and here, in her own words, is what she’s learned.


by Lyndsey:

My transition from a diet of processed and artificial food to one of wholesomeness and simplicity has taught me far beyond what I could’ve ever anticipated. Magazines and websites insist that certain products, food deprivation, and even diet pills are the absolute key to immediate, effortless results for weight loss. Unfortunately, I fell into their trap and ended up with a little-known eating disorder called Orthorexia.

I’ve spent the past six months working with nutritionists to understand where I went wrong and to set my mind straight about the facts, the proven scientific facts, that constitute a healthy diet.

Here’s what I’ve learned about my new approach to eating:

First and foremost, I’ve learned that a transition to a genuinely healthy diet does not, in fact, have immediate results. To see lasting, truly gratifying results, you have to adopt a wholesome diet as a part of their lifestyle, not simply a three-week adherence to a fad diet that promotes deprivation and restriction. I’ve found that in order to sustain a mental wellbeing and balance, I must become comfortable with moderation as opposed to deprivation. Granted, there are certain foods that your body can certainly function at its best without, but it’s critical to find a diet that makes you feel YOUR happiest and healthiest.

Unfortunately, at the start of my desire to get healthier, I resorted to following several blogs and websites which condemned certain food groups such as all carbohydrates, fats, sugars as “belly-busting” and “diet sabotaging.” However, a majority of these claims are entirely false and lack genuine, scientifically proven sources for their arguments.

Just because something has a high fat content doesn’t necessarily mean that it has the definite ability to expand your waistline to epic proportions. There are numerous kinds of fats, including saturated fats, trans fats, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats. An average avocado has about 25 grams of fat in it, while a Big Mac has about the same amount. However, not all fat is equal (despite weight loss activist claims). Avocados contain an abundance of heart-healthy and skin repairing fats, whereas the majority of fats in a large cheeseburger from a fast food restaurant, if eaten frequently, can contribute to unhealthy buildup of fats in the body.

There is a very distinct difference between these different types of fats and their effects on the body. This also pertains to carbohydrates and sugars. Many people adhere to the false information that counters this and condemns all of these as detrimental to the diet, but it’s because, as consumers, the “immediate fat busting” claims seem the most effortless and effective.

The truth of the matter, which I’ve learned by through my struggle with orthorexia, is that calories aren’t equal, fats aren’t equal, sugars aren’t equal, and the key to a nutritious, wholesome diet is moderation while incorporating healthy fats, sugars, and carbohydrates into your diet and having a lifestyle that makes you feel the best about yourself.

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