Why Extreme Dieting Sometimes Leads To Eating Disorder Treatment

Eating Disorders & Dieting

Claiming to be “on a diet” is a popular excuse given to cover up the presence of an eating disorder. In some cases, an eating disorder may develop as a result of unhealthy dieting. Although the diet started out with healthy motives, it eventually turned into a form of extreme dieting. This may be due to a number of reasons including:

  • State of emotional turmoil/ stresses in life
  • Negative perspective brought on by family and friends
  • Dieting for the wrong reasons
  • Extreme dieting/ testing out many types of diets

When most people think of an eating disorder, they think of the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. There are in fact a wide variety of eating disorders, one other popular type being binge eating disorder. In the case of binge eating disorder, dieting may worsen the condition. When deprived of food our body is used to getting (resulting in lost weight) the brain releases chemicals in an attempt to obtain more food. These chemicals give a person a strong desire to consume certain foods. In many cases metabolism is slowed because the body adapts to maintain energy levels.

Binge eating disorder treatment at an eating disorder residential program may be helpful for those with this serious eating disorder. Bulimia clinics and anorexia treatment centers are available as well at a number of different eating disorder treatment centers.

Dangers of Extreme Dieting

Research indicates that those who diet are nearly 5 times more prone to developing a serious eating disorder. Also, anyone who practices extreme dieting increases their chances of an eating disorder by up to 18 times. Dangers associated with a diet which has developed into an eating disorder include:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Brittle nails
  • Lack of nutrition
  • Cancer
  • Tooth decay
  • Raised cholesterol levels
  • Heart disease
  • Electrolytes of the body are unbalanced
  • Ruptured stomach
  • Anemia
  • Low sex drive
  • Scarring of the hands (due to purging behaviors)
  • Dry, yellow-tinted skin
  • Diabetes
  • Menstrual dysfunction
  • Dehydration
  • Susceptibility to cold
  • Lanugo
  • Low blood pressure
  • Disease of the gallbladder

Differences in Dieting & Eating Disorders

How can you tell the difference between a loved one who is simply dieting, and one who has a serious eating disorder? Besides the obvious rapid weight gain or loss, the following list may help you to better determine differences in the two.

  • Dieting is meant to better one’s life and should not interfere with one’s normal activities. An eating disorder controls one’s life in a negative way.
  • Dieting is focused on healthy weight loss. An eating disorder is an unhealthy way to loose weight.
  • Dieting focuses on changing the outside to fit the personality on the inside. An eating disorder is about changing the inside as the outside changes.
  • Dieting properly should make one’s body stronger. An eating disorder makes the body weaker and can cause numerous health complications.
  • Dieting can be enjoyable and still allows one to live life. An eating disorder is not enjoyable and takes over a person’s life.
  • Dieting requires that you eat varied foods in moderation. An eating disorder often causes a person to eat very large or very small portions of a limited amount of foods.
  • Dieting is about helping yourself become healthier and stronger. An eating disorder focuses on what others think of you and draws attention for the wrong reasons.
  • Dieting affects one’s health and choice of foods. An eating disorder affects every aspect of life.

Exercise is another way to live a healthy lifestyle and may reduce the pressure felt by dieting. In some cases however, eating disorders do develop as a result of compulsive exercising. As long as dieting and exercising are practiced in moderation however, an eating disorder is much more likely to be avoided.

If you or your loved one struggles with an eating disorder, you may want to consider looking into eating disorder treatment at an eating disorder residential center. Bulimia help, anorexia treatment, and binge eating disorder care at these facilities often involves several different therapy types. Recovery of an eating disorder is possible at eating disorder treatment.