There are many different types of eating disorders, including bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, orthorexia nervosa and pica.
These conditions affect how much food someone eats or whether or not they eat at all. They can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even death.
People experiencing eating problems often share several common traits. For example, they tend to be preoccupied with body image and shape, dieting and exercise, and weight gain or loss.
They may feel ashamed about having eating problems. And they often experience depression, anxiety, loneliness and stress.
We are bombarded by messages every day about our bodies. From ads telling us what we should buy to articles telling us how we should eat and exercise, there is no escaping the pressure to conform to certain standards of beauty.
While some people manage to ignore these messages, others become obsessed with getting the perfect body. They compare themselves unfavourably to celebrities and models, believing that they aren’t good enough unless they are just like them.
There is evidence that even thin women feel dissatisfied with their appearance. In fact, one study found that women who had been dieting reported feeling worse about their looks than those who hadn’t been trying to lose weight.
What does this mean for you? If you are struggling with your weight, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the latest fad diets or go to the gym five times a week; if you feel unhappy about your appearance, you are likely to struggle to achieve long-term success.
Instead, focus on improving your lifestyle habits – such as eating healthily and exercising regularly – rather than obsessively focusing on your physical appearance.
A lack of interest in food could also be due to anxiety. When you are worried about something, you may experience physical symptoms such as sweating, nausea, dry mouth,
Many people experience anxiety about being overweight. They fear becoming obese and developing health problems.
On the contrary, others worry about gaining weight because they want to look good. Whatever the reason, many people find themselves struggling to eat while under pressure.
While it is important to acknowledge that this is not a universal response to anxiety, it is nonetheless true that appetite issues can occur without warning, especially when one is experiencing high levels of stress.
If you are feeling stressed out, it is likely that you will start thinking about not wanting to eat. If you try to eat something whilst feeling anxious chances are you won’t be able to finish your meal.
If you suffer from a generalised anxiety disorder or any anxiety disorders for that matter, regularly skipping meals is not going to help alleviate your symptoms. Eating too little could lead to feelings of hunger pangs and even nausea, making you feel worse.
Not only does starvation affect your mood negatively, but if you continue eating less frequently, it will also interfere with your body’s natural rhythms. This includes your sleep patterns and energy levels.
Eating regularly helps keep your mind focused on something else besides your worries. It gives your brain the fuel it requires to function properly.
So if you are feeling distressed, try to avoid skipping meals. Instead, focus on what you eat, and think about how much better you feel afterwards.
Look For Root Cause
If you want to know whether you are experiencing anxiety caused by a specific event or just generalised anxiety disorder, then consider whether you are aware of the root cause of your worry.
For example, if you have obsessive thoughts all the time not linked to anything specific then you are probably suffering from generalised anxiety disorder.
There are three main reasons why we experience anxiety:
- We are concerned about things happening in our environment. This includes being worried about losing our jobs, getting ill, or having problems with friends or family.
- We are worried about ourselves. This includes thinking about the possibility of making mistakes or doing something embarrassing.
- We are worried about things that happen beyond our control. These include disasters like fires, floods, earthquakes, plane crashes, terrorist attacks, wars and disease outbreaks.
Whatever the source of your anxiety, you must try to understand it. Only once you fully grasp the origin of your worries can you start to deal with it.
If you aren’t ab;le to regain control of the anxiety then see your doctor who may be able to point you in the right direction for help.
Eating regularly, in a mechanical fashion, creates a habit. When you set up a routine, it becomes easier to do things that used to be difficult for you.
For example, if you make sure to eat breakfast everyday, then it gets easy to wake up early in the morning without thinking about food. You don’t even think about what you want to eat, because you know exactly what you will be eating.
This is why creating an eating schedule can help you feel full longer and avoid over or under eating. If you plan out your meals ahead of time, you won’t find yourself reaching for snacks during the day.
By following a regular schedule, you become accustomed to your daily habits. This way, you won’t feel hungry as much, and you’ll start enjoying your meals again.
Consume The Right Things
It’s important to focus on eating the right things when you aren’t eating as much as you should. Protein is essential for building muscle mass, repairing damaged tissue and maintaining bone density.
In addition, it helps reduce hunger and cravings, making it easier to stick to healthy eating habits.
Tea contains caffeine and tannins, both of which boost energy levels. Tannins are antioxidants that protect cells against damage caused by free radicals. They also prevent inflammation and promote cardiovascular health.
If you can, avoid processed foods and sugary drinks. These products contain empty calories that offer no nutritional value.
If you are struggling to find motivation to eat, do not worry. Your body has been evolving to deal with periods of starvation for many generations, and it can survive without food for quite some time.
Take one step at a time and your appetite should be restored.