How to spot common eating disorders

diet, gain weight, Mental health, weight loss -

How to spot common eating disorders

Your diet is the most important thing you can do to your body. The food you eat and how much you eat can dictate many things like general health and the way you look. From a fitness point of view your diet is just as important as training as with a bad diet you won’t be able to easily reach your goals and make progress. Although dieting may seem easy there are a few conditions that that can make sticking to a diet hard, and these can be eating disorders. Eating disorders can decrease your quality of life and make you unhealthy and we are going to be sharing how you can spot someone with an eating disorder and how it can affect them.


What is an eating disorder?

Awareness for conditions like eating disorders have become more popular and its now easier to get help if you do have one. You have probably heard the words “eating disorder” but are unsure of what it means. Well, this term refers to a mental illness that can effect anyone and it controls your diet and how you may view your body. For example, of someone who has the eating disorder anorexia they may always see themselves as being fat and will dangerously decrease the amount of food they eat.

An eating disorder is classed as a mental disorder as it is mainly affected by how you feel about yourself and food. As we are going to be explaining eating disorders can be very dangerous and if you have or know of someone with an eating disorder then you should seek help and advice from professionals. If gone unseen to an eating disorder can lead to serious things like malnutrition and death.   



One of the most popular eating disorders that we see a lot in the media is anorexia. This is so popular as many actors and models have suffered from anorexia in an attempt to look as good and skinny as possible. Anorexia is an eating disorder that causes you to lose weight rapidly and you will become skinny. Many people with anorexia are not happy with how they look and resort to eating little to no food to prevent themselves from getting fat. This eating disorder is more common among women and if they become too skinny then this can be bad for there menstrual health.

Anorexia is when you don’t eat enough food, so your body doesn’t have the calories to gain weight. People with anorexia also have a tendency to make themselves throw up or take laxatives after a meal to “purge” the food away and prevent themselves from gaining weight. As well as losing weight to an unhealthy point you will also experience many other effects of anorexia, and these can include a weakened immune system and a constant feeling or tiredness. The tiredness is due to your body not having enough nutrients to produce energy and also your fitness is going to suffer as you won’t have enough calories to burn or gain muscle.



Bulimia is another popular eating disorder. Unlike anorexia this eating disorder involves a person eating large amounts of food at one time (binge eating) and then doing things like over exercising or vomiting to compensate. Like we have said before when the person makes themselves throw up or takes laxatives to compensate for the large food intake this is called purging.  A person may feel like they need to purge if they are not happy with how they look in the mirror and suffer from body shaming issues. Its also possible that bulimia can develop from other eating disorders and symptoms can change as they overlap between eating disorders.

You can identify this eating disorder with many different symptoms. One way of spotting someone with bulimia is seeing them consuming a vast quantity of food in a short space of time. They will also suffer from sudden mood changes, and they may also have trouble sleeping. As well as all these symptoms its likely the person will be very critical about their own size and wants to look smaller. If you notice these symptoms on anyone then you should seek medical help. You may also be able to tell by the way someone looks as they will have brittle nails and hair.


Binge eating disorder

Binge eating is another very common eating disorder. This involves a person eating a large amount of food in a short amount of time. Unlike other eating disorders this one doesn’t involve purging so the person will not make efforts to try and get rid of some of the food and calories they have consumed. Instead, the person is often disgusted by there binging behaviour and tries to stop but cant. As a result of eating this large amount of food the person will gain weight and this can also cause other issues like diabetes and high blood pressure.

As you gain weight there are also many other health risks you can suffer from, and your quality of life is decreased. With long term binging behaviour things like heart disease becomes a higher risk and this is the reason you should seek help if you think you may have this disorder. The person suffering from this eating disorder feels no control during a binge and finds it hard to stop.  One way of helping is by forcing yourself set meals. Here you will have no choice but to eat a certain amount of food and will have to try your hardest not to get any more.  There are also many other ways you could help when it comes to recovering from this eating disorder.



This is a common eating disorder and is suffered mostly by young infants and pregnant women. This disorder involves a person eating things that aren’t food and have not nutritious value.  Things they enjoy to eat are things that are not food like dirt, clothing and other objects. The main effect of this eating disorder is that these objects you are digesting are not nutritious and this can lead to malnutrition if you are prioritise eating these objects over actual food. Also, the things you are eating may be toxic or cause damage to your digestive system. The objects may not be able to be digested by your body and can cause damage to your organs as it asses though your body.

When it comes to what can cause this eating disorder there is not one straight answer. This condition can occur when you have another mental health disorder and may be a symptom of an underlying issue.  It can also occur with general inexperience and no knowledge of food. For example, infants and babies may not know the difference between food and what is not food. If you know someone with pica or are showing symptoms, then they should seek medical help and consult a professional on how to get rid of this eating disorder.


Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder

Restrictive food intake disorder is when a person has no desire to eat food and as a result just will not eat.  The person tends only to avoid certain foods with specific characteristics. For example, the person may not like foods that are wet and therefore will avoid things like soup and foods with a sauce. The main effect of this eating disorder is extreme weight loss and malnutrition as you are heavily restricting the food intake you are consuming.  There is also a chance that if you are a child with this disorder then you can stunt your growth and this issue may turn into a more serious mental disorder.

This eating disorder can be caused by many different things. There is a chance that this eating disorder is linked to other mental health issues or can be linked to other phobias.  You can spot someone with this eating disorder as they can be a picky eater and avoid eating similar or certain foods. They will also find it hard to put on weight and will also lose weight quickly. This eating disorder can be very unhealthy, so it’s recommended that if you know someone who is suffering or have symptoms yourself then you are seeking medical help and advice.


In conclusion if you are looking for help with a eating disorder or know someone who has an eating disorder then you should seek medical advice. It can be difficult to break these unhealthy habits and they may also have other underlying issues which is why its important to consult a doctor. Eating disorders are no joke and in serious cases can cause death. Also, food is one of the most important things for your body which is why you need to be eating healthy and a heathy amount this is the main reason that it can be detrimental to your health.