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Can Fad Diets Lead to Disordered Eating?

People from all walks of life have thought of wanting to lose weight at some point. The diet and supplement industry has become a multibillion-dollar industry on the backs of its customers’ insecurities and willingness to buy into the hype. Fad diets come into and out of popularity every year, with new people looking for any help they can get. However, are there potential dangers lurking with these too-good-to-be-true diets?

With different fad diets introducing unique “rules” and stipulations to get results, the question quickly becomes — can fad diets lead to disordered eating? We’ll dive into the numbers and facts surrounding these regimens and see how they can lead to someone developing disordered food habits.

The Role of the Fitness and Nutrition Industry on Disordered Eating

In the United States, the dieting industry brings in roughly $60 billion in revenue annually[1]. Fad diets bring more people into their sphere of influence based on the promise that this new program is the missing piece you need. However, a sizable portion of these fads introduces increasingly restrictive dietary practices to meet the person’s end goals.

Specific diets eliminate entire food groups — think no carbohydrates, fats, or meat protein — from the user’s nutritional routine. These restrictions aren’t limited to just the foods people are allowed to eat. Fad diets often include strict limits on the number of calories you can eat in a day.

Counting Calories and Disordered Eating

A major component of these fad diets consists of strictly regulating the number of calories you consume in a day. These popular diets and programs, such as MyFitnessPal, can lead people down a path toward disordered eating.

Worrying too much about how many calories they eat in a day and how often they eat can quickly lead people to take more drastic measures to reach a mythological ideal body type faster.

However, this hyper-focus on the amount of food we eat throughout the day can lead to disordered eating habits designed to reach those goals no matter how it may affect our health.

Signs That a Fad Diet Has Gone Too Far

While not everyone that participates in a fad diet is destined to develop disordered eating habits, there are still signs that you can look out for that can help identify when things are going too far. Identifying these symptoms can help you, or someone you love gets the help and support they need.

You can often tell when fad dieting has gone too far when you notice signs of an eating disorder developing. In the case of anorexia, you may see things like:

  • Excessive exercise
  • Severe food restrictions
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Fatigue

If you or someone you love begins to suffer from bulimia following a fad diet, you can watch out for symptoms like:

  • Eating large amounts of food in a single sitting
  • Episodes of purging through vomiting, laxatives, or diuretics
  • Restricting food consumption between binges

Noticing signs of a binge eating disorder can help you know when it’s time to get the help and support you need. If you find yourself reluctant to eat around others, feeling disgusted after consuming food, hoarding food, or even excessively talking about dieting could be potential signs of someone suffering from a binge eating disorder.

Identifying these symptoms and linking them to fad diets can be a fine line to walk, but knowing what to look for can help you or someone you love receive the help they need from a trusted eating disorder treatment center in Sylvania, OH.

Learn How Toledo Center for Eating Disorders Can Help

Fad diets may promise that anyone who participates can achieve the ideal body they’ve always wanted, but it’s rarely that cut and dry. These dietary plans may ultimately cause more harm than good for some people. In addition, the restrictive nature of these programs can make it easier to fall into the trap of disordered eating habits that can have a range of physical and psychological effects on the person.

If you or someone you love has taken a fad diet too far and has begun suffering from an eating disorder, getting the support you need to start your recovery journey is imperative. For people looking for eating disorder treatment options in Sylvania, OH, Toledo Center for Eating Disorders treatment can help. We have served patients across the area, worked through their issues, and begun their sustainable road to recovery.

If you want to learn more about our personalized treatment options and admissions process, please contact us today at 562-434-6007.                                                                   .








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