Dieting vs. Anorexia: How to Tell the Difference

Anorexia and a strict diet have far different effects, some which remain unnoticeable. However, having an eating disorder, or knowing a friend who suffers from one, becomes obvious over time. Your body will eventually negatively react or completely shut down as a result of complete food deprivation. Dieting will generally cause your body to adapt to a different nutritional consumption.

Anorexia and Dieting

Unlike dieting, anorexics do not consume any type of food or calorie source for extended periods of time. This self starvation tactic causes tremendous amounts of weight loss, but in a very unhealthy manner.

Your body needs food and nutrients in order for it to rid itself of fat deposits in a healthy fashion. We also need food to keep our cells alive and functioning. Without proper or required balances of nutrients, simple processes that normally take place within our bodies cease to exist. A continual deprivation of calories and food, which occurs in anorexia, will shut your body down and can result in health complications.

Telling the Difference

When someone appears to look beyond skinny, she does not automatically fall into the category of anorexic. In fact, most people who have had a skinny appearance from the time that you met them simply have a certain, normal body type.

However, if you know someone who has a larger, more developed body type that suddenly looks like a skeletal figure, she could suffer from some sort of nutritional imbalance. Some cases do not involve anorexia or eating disorders. Some illnesses cause large amounts of weight loss in short periods of time.

The key for spotting out nutritionally sound people from anorexic individuals involves following their eating habits or their responses toward food offerings. People who follow a planned diet usually will let you know. However, people who suffer from anorexia generally respond to food offerings or questions by stating a lack of hunger.

Proper Diet

No proper diet completely restricts food calories for extended periods of time. Anorexia drives many people to the point of starvation; dieting should never leave you feeling hungry or even close to the point of starvation.

Every person has a diet. A diet includes all of the calories from solids and liquids that you consume daily. Developing a proper diet will help you achieve your weight loss or any other type of physical goal. But, eating disorders like anorexia will rid you of a diet completely. No food consumption results in no health benefits or maintenance.

Anorexia and Dieting Risks

Some extreme diets have the ability to cause serious health risks. Anorexia, however, will undoubtedly cause more risks than any diet possible. Even though you might feel starved from some form of strict dietary practice, anorexia literally involves completely self induced deprivation from food.

Both strict dietary practices and anorexia have the ability to cause stroke, stomach and intestinal complications, heart attack and esophageal damage. Following a proper diet developed by you and a professional dietitian will help avoid any complications.


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