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Weight Control or Disordered Eating? 10 Questions to Ask

Yesterday I blogged about a new way to think about “moments of weakness” and noted that giving into temptation isn’t really about a lack of willpower. In my experience, discovering new ways to transform your relationship with food is the true foundation of long-term success – as long as that relationship is self-nurturing and healthy.


Sometimes the desire to lose weight can morph into an unhealthy pattern of disordered eating. Throughout my years as a nutritionist, I’ve met many, many people who didn’t even realize they’d become caught up in a dysfunctional and potentially dangerous pattern. These 10 questions CANNOT diagnose you with an eating disorder, but answering yes to any of them may raise a red flag:


1) Do you spend more than three hours a day thinking about your diet?


2) Do you feel that eating is no longer a pleasurable experience?


3) Does your diet distance you from your family and friends?


4) Do you experience binge eating episodes that feel out of control?


5) Do you ever make up for eating by starving yourself, exercising excessively, purging or taking laxatives?


6) Do you ever not eat when you feel physically hungry?


7) Have you ever chewed food and spit it out instead of swallowing? 


8) Is your self esteem tied to your diet?


9) Are you secretive about your diet?


10) Do you feel obsessed with your diet &/or fitness program?


Even when you’re trying to lose weight, eating should feel like a safe, self-nurturing way of taking care of yourself, physically and emotionally. Healthy eating should feel great, from the inside out. I always tell my clients that at the end of a meal, I want them to feel full but not overly full, satisfied, energized, and ready to move on with their day.


If you finish meals feeling hungry or stuffed, deprived or guilty, lethargic or uncomfortable, and if you have a hard time shutting off thoughts of food and/or weight loss, consider reaching out to a professional who can help.


For more information and resources in your area, check out these links:



National Eating Disorders Association



American Psychological Association



American Dietetic Association  (click on Find a Registered Dietitian on the right side of the green bar and under Filter by Specialty check Eating Disorders)







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