Intermittent fasting and eating disorders


First we need to dispense with the notion of disordered eating. There is no such thing. The main problem with modern society is that we eat too much and we eat too much of the wrong thing. Humans are animals like any other and if we didn’t have access to modern society we would have to be hunting or gathering our food. It is highly unlikely that humans, in the wild, would wake up and have a big breakfast, followed by a lunch a few hours later, and a dinner a few hours after that. Instead we would be busy all day trying to secure food. Some days we would be more successful than others and I suspect would be lucky to eat a big meal once per day.

If you have an eating disorder, and my definition is an eating pattern that either causes you to lose or gain too much weight where it affects your health negatively, then it is largely a psychological problem rather than a physical problem. We’ve all been trained by government and the media that we need to eat this or eat that so many times per day. That’s the cycle we need to break.

Eat when you’re hungry. Put protein sources first and supplement the rest with fat and carbs.

The line where something moves from a diet that’s not pathological into the realm of a mental health problem is if it’s causing the person significant distress, they feel like their behavior is out of control, or if it’s starting to become impairing, like if they can’t socialize anymore,” says Tiffany Brown, a researcher at the Eating Disorders Center at the University of California, San Diego.

Is “Orthorexia” real? And if it is, does it matter?


So you’re obsessed with “clean eating”. Is this a problem? What exactly is clean eating anyway? According to a paper written by Cristina Hanganu-Bresch, an associate professor at the University of the Sciences, at it’s extreme, “adherents shun all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat and animal products, gluten, starch, pesticides, herbicides — anything that isn’t natural, organic or “clean.””

As long as you’re eating and healthy why does it matter if you have this type of obsession? Obsessions are never a desirable thing but I can think of worse problems in the world than wanting to eat only so-called “clean” foods. Personally, I wouldn’t want to adhere to that lifestyle because I like to get my occasional dose of deep dish pizza and a hot dog every now and again.

A flurry of new studies and reviews is breathing new life into so-called orthorexia nervosa, loosely defined as a pathological fixation on eating “pure” foods. At its extreme, adherents shun all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat and animal products, gluten, starch, pesticides, herbicides — anything that isn’t natural, organic or “clean.”
According to one new paper, orthorexia is a “cyberpathy,” a digitally transmitted condition of privilege. Whether it’s a “real” mental disease or an imaginary one, the behaviours and consequences are certainly real, according to the author.

National Post

Here’s a link to the paper:

Signs you might be harming yourself through intermittent fasting

Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay

I highly doubt that eating one meal per day or limiting yourself to a window of time per day for eating will harm anyone. I think we all eat too much already. But, like anything else, too much of a good thing can always turn into something bad. As long as you’re not going to extremes you’ll probably be okay.

But, like any diet, intermittent fasting can give rise to extreme eating habits. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who subscribes to a fasting routine, eats a single meal on weeknights followed by a weekend-long deficit — what some nutrition experts consider a sign of an eating disorder.
In some cases, the negative side effects of fasting could outweigh any potential benefit.

Business Insider