With lockdowns happening around the world, many people have been spending more time at home. There may be fewer opportunities to go out and exercise, and this can trigger worries about our health and weight. When it comes to weight loss, many people resort to restricting their diet. However, restricting diets can lead to the development of eating disorders.
In this post, we will discuss the dangers of eating disorders and how to prevent them.
- Causes and Influences of Eating Disorders
- Easy Preventitive Measures We Can Start From Today
- Face Yourself to Overcome Eating Disorders
Causes and Influences of Eating Disorders
An eating disorder, as the word implies, is a condition where there is trouble present in the way a person consumes food. There’s Bulimia, in which a person overeats before forcefully making themselves throw up, and Anorexia, in which a person barely eats and overexercises, and may even throw up the minimal food that they try to consume.
Bulimia: Extreme Stress and Pressure
Many of us feel happy when we eat delicious foods. Studies show that people gain high amounts of happiness from satisfying meals. Futhermore, it is said that the meals we eat have a direct impact on our mental state.
Bulimia is oftentimes triggered by holding onto mental stress. High-demand environments in school or work can cause high amounts of stress that leads to people overeating excessively. A person finds stress relief through eating, then feels guilty afterward and feels more stressed which urges them to eat more again. This is the perpetual negative cycle a bulimic can fall into.
Anorexia: Self-Hate and Extreme Desire for Weight Loss
People who have negative body images are more prone to anorexia. A belief that others would view them positively if they were thinner or an experience where they were made fun of for being fat will push them toward self-hate. This is thought to be the stem root of why people become anorexic.
However, sometimes anorexia is much more complicated than that and is hard to treat. We recommend anyone with possible anorexia to go seek professional help.
Anorexia causes both mental and physical pain. In terms of physical, the lack of nutrients causes insomnia, low body temperature, dizziness, dry skin, loss of hair, and menstrual cycle irregularities. In terms of mental, a person can become short-tempered due to hormone imbalances, experience poor concentration and memory. Anorexics also constantly tire themselves out from the fear of gaining any weight. There is no benefit to anorexia and it should be treated immediately.
Easy Preventitive Measures We Can Start From Today
Eating disorders are hard to overcome once it happens, so the best way to prevent it is by incorporating preventative measures within your daily activities. Bulimia and anorexia both have mental strain as a common trigger, so it’s important that we strive for minimal stress every day to prevent it.
1. Make Exercise Your Hobby
Exercise is an excellent way to prevent eating disorders. It’s a healthy way to control weight and health for anorexics and a great stress reliever for bulimics.
As for the ideal exercise, cardio like walking, running, and swimming are great as you can keep at it at your own pace. If it’s possible to habituate, team exercises like soccer and baseball are wonderful choices as well.
Find an exercise that you can enjoy with moderate strain. The best is if you could find an exercise that becomes your hobby as well.
2. Enjoy Meals with Your Family
There are 2 reasons why family meals can help prevent eating disorders.
First, a person can compare the amount they eat with others around them. People with eating disorders don’t eat enough or overeat. One of the reasons for this is that they have a hard time understanding standard portion sizes. By eating meals with family, they can observe how much other people eat and understand portions. This could prevent them from steering off into unhealthy beliefs and irregular portions.
Secondly, it changes the way they enjoy food. The focus on food causes extreme portions, ultimately leading to eating disorders. There’s no problem in enjoying the food, but if the focus can shift to the enjoyment of the time spent with others, it can take away their focus on food.
３. Talk About Your Struggles to Others
Eating disorders are believed to be triggered by some sort of mental strain they experience. Therefore, it’s important that we are letting go of our stress constantly through talking to others. Whether it’s family, friends, co-workers, or a therapist, sharing our struggles with someone can be very helpful. Just verbalizing the experience can alleviate a lot of the stress, so we recommend that you talk to someone before the stress snowballs into something bigger.
Face Yourself to Overcome Eating Disorders
Eating disorders don’t really have an easy fix to them. It’s difficult to completely cure it once it occurs, so preventative measures are essential. We hope that everyone who reads this chooses to live an authentic and healthy life where they don’t feel the need to judge themselves through the numbers on a scale.
Maekawa, H. (2009). Female Eating Disorders and Attachment to Weight & Body Shape -Individual Differences from Multiple Perspectives. Keio University. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/145731819.pdf
Okamoto, M., & Muto, K. (2011). The factor to give the feeling of satisfaction of the meal of the college women. Nagasaki International University Review, 11, 105–117. https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/120005578664