Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and the food they eat. People with anorexia nervosa attempt to maintain a weight that’s far below normal for their age and height. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia nervosa may starve themselves, exercise excessively, or purge through vomiting or laxatives.
Anorexia nervosa isn’t really about food. It’s an unhealthy way to try to cope with emotional problems. When you have anorexia nervosa, you often equate thinness with self-worth.
Anorexic food behavior signs and symptoms
Dieting despite being thin – Following a severely restricted diet. Eating only certain low-calorie foods. Banning “bad” foods such as carbohydrates and fats.
Obsession with calories, fat grams, and nutrition – Reading food labels, measuring and weighing portions, keeping a food diary, reading diet books.
Pretending to eat or lying about eating – Hiding, playing with, or throwing away food to avoid eating. Making excuses to get out of meals (“I had a huge lunch” or “My stomach isn’t feeling good.”).
Preoccupation with food – Constantly thinking about food. Cooking for others, collecting recipes, reading food magazines, or making meal plans while eating very little.
Strange or secretive food rituals – Refusing to eat around others or in public places. Eating in rigid, ritualistic ways (e.g. cutting food “just so”, chewing food and spitting it out, using a specific plate).
Anorexic appearance and body image signs and symptoms
Dramatic weight loss – Rapid, drastic weight loss with no medical cause.
Feeling fat, despite being underweight – You may feel overweight in general or just “too fat” in certain places such as the stomach, hips, or thighs.
Fixation on body image – Obsessed with weight, body shape, or clothing size. Frequent weigh-ins and concern over tiny fluctuations in weight.
Harshly critical of appearance – Spending a lot of time in front of the mirror checking for flaws. There’s always something to criticize. You’re never thin enough.
Denial that you’re too thin – You may deny that your low body weight is a problem, while trying to conceal it (drinking a lot of water before being weighed, wearing baggy or oversized clothes).
Purging signs and symptoms
Using diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics – Abusing water pills, herbal appetite suppressants, prescription stimulants, ipecac syrup, and other drugs for weight loss.
Throwing up after eating – Frequently disappearing after meals or going to the bathroom. May run the water to disguise sounds of vomiting or reappear smelling like mouthwash or mints.
Compulsive exercising – Following a punishing exercise regimen aimed at burning calories. Exercising through injuries, illness, and bad weather. Working out extra hard after bingeing or eating something “bad.”
Contact an Anorexia Therapist in Boca Raton
If you or someone you care about are concerned about the possibility of having an eating disorder such anorexia, or if other forms of treatment haven’t been successful, contact Dr Friedman at 561-699-3915. It may be a life changing phone call.