Check the following signs that your healthy habits may be swerving into unhealthy territory

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You weigh yourself multiple times a day:

If you’re stepping on the scale before and after meals, or if you adjust the way you stand on the scale to tweak the numbers, this is a compulsive behavior that will only get worse over time. Unless you have a physician-prescribed reason to get on a scale, weighing yourself once a week is enough. A 2012 study from the University of Minnesota found that frequent self-weighing was linked to more weight-control behaviors (both healthy and unhealthy), more depressive symptoms and lower self-esteem in people.

You count every calorie:

Journaling meals and snacks is a good way to avoid mindless munching, but at the same time it discourages intuitive eating, so you begin choosing foods based solely on their caloric value, ignoring important vitamins and nutrients and your own sense of satisfaction. There’s a fine line between calorie counting and the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors associated with an eating disorder.

You feel yourself up:

You might absentmindedly feel for a hip bone or collar bone, check for lumps in your thighs or stomach or just assess your jawline or cheekbones in every reflection. Body checking is a common sign of preoccupation with weight and body shape.

You believe thinness will solve your problems:

There might be a voice inside your head promising that life will be wonderful when you reach some magical weight, or when your thighs stop touching, or when your abs are completely flat. It’s believing there’s something external we can change that will make us feel good about ourselves internally—that if we can just be thin enough or beautiful enough, everything else will fall into place. But dropping 5 or even 10 pounds will not help you land a job or improve your relationships, and this kind of unrealistic thinking sets you up for failure in other areas of your life and can prevent you from proactively working on real issues.

You see food in black and white:

Broccoli good; potatoes bad. The more we use this phraseology, the more susceptible we are to judging ourselves by what we eat.Try to think of foods as fuel for a healthy body. That means hitting all the micronutrients, like the potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C in potatoes, as well as the vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 in broccoli.

You’re adding more and more foods to your forbidden list:

Our bodies are designed to run on a variety of nutrients, and this includes carbohydrates and fats as well as protein and fiber. You may believe that swearing off sugar or gluten will improve your health, but it’s really just a way to restrict calories—and it’s easy for this pattern to get out of hand. Often restriction begets restrictions, with diets becoming more and more limited over time.Having “forbidden foods” sets you up for disordered eating and can even trigger binges, as you start to crave the nutrients your body lacks.

You’re skipping social functions:

When you close yourself off, you become victim to only your own self-deprecating thoughts and messages. You’re not getting any feedback that would challenge those unhealthy beliefs or assumptions. You can also feel like you’re alone, which often spirals into depression and eating disorders.

You have to cut your food into bite-sized pieces:

Having food rituals crosses the line when it’s no longer a way to eat healthfully but a way to exert control.If the ritual can’t be completed, bad feelings usually follow. Every meal needing to be tightly controlled with food ritual behaviors is a strong indicator of an eating disorder.

Your workout is always your top priority:

Every doctor will tell you that regular exercise is essential for just about every aspect of your physical and mental wellbeing. But it really can go too far. People can develop a compulsive or addictive relationship with exercise in which they struggle to maintain a rigid routine. They’ll land in a sea of negative emotions when they’re unable to work out. Compulsive exercisers will squeeze in a sweat session no matter what—even if they have to miss family or work obligations or ignore an injury or illness. They routinely push themselves too hard and suffer overuse injuries, burnout, and exhaustion. If you’re putting exercise ahead of everything else, especially sleep, and if the thought of missing a workout makes you sweat, signs point to obsession.

You’re always up on the newest diet craze:

Whether it’s veganismPaleo, or Bulletproof, you’re constantly researching the latest food fad. If nothing else, it’s probably crazy-making  because of all the conflicting advice out there. What’s worse, if that’s what you’re spending your hours doing, it keeps your weight, your diet, and your appearance at the forefront of your mind. Limiting your pursuit of other interests and ultimately creating a feedback loop where that’s all you can think about. If you find yourself clicking on every new diet or exercise headline promising pounds lost or inches off, limit the number of articles you can read per day, or set a 5- to 10-minute ceiling on the time you can spend reading about weight loss.

You check everybody out:

You might also silently criticize people for their choices, like ordering pasta or drinking soda. I encourage people to seek out other qualities to value, such as sense of humor, a warm smile, or trustworthiness. You’ll not only deepen the social experience, but over time, you’ll feel less insecure about your own body weight or shape.

You’re a slave to Fitbit:

Getting feedback on your food and activity can help keep you honest—if you’ve taken only 1,200 steps today, you didn’t move enough (experts recommend about 10,000). Trouble comes from tracking too religiously or in multiple ways.Using devices to track workouts, steps, and calories can contribute to developing a disordered, un-intuitive relationship with exercise.n fact, a 2016 Duke University study to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that Fitbits and other tracking gizmos, in quantifying your every move, can actually suck the joy out of the activity. Instead find a activity that you like doing for its own sake, so you can leave the trackers at home and just move for the love of the activity.

You beat yourself up for bad behavior:

Do you feel like a bad person because you slept through boot camp or because you ate the entire big cake?Negative self-talk is more detrimental in terms of disordered eating than even depression or anxiety.Repetition and reinforcement are very strong influences on our belief system. The more continuously we diet and fail, the more we engage in negative self-talk, which is very punishing. But it’s the diet that’s failed us, not the other way around.

You love your selfie more than yourself:

Social media, with people snapping selfies all day long, has fanned the flames of disordered eating. A lot of patients judge what they look like based on how many likes they’re getting on a picture or whether people comment on how slim they look. And time offers an opportunity for unhealthy comparison.If a picture has been up for six months or a year, one might go back and say, ‘when I posted that photo, people said I looked so slim and great, but that’s not happening with this new photo—does that mean people think I look fat?'” It’s okay to post pictures and relish compliments, as long as you don’t let your 1,240 friends dictate how you should feel about yourself.

You’ve lost your other passions:

If thinness is your life’s goal, you’re going to end up pretty one-dimensional.They have nothing meaningful in their lives except the scale.Which is also why they feel so much pressure to stay thin, even if it means disordered eating.



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