How to become anorexic

When thoughts only revolve around food and dominate your whole life, it’s time to take countermeasures. People who strictly control their food until they are rattling thin or those who eat uncontrollably in order to get rid of everything afterwards have a problem that should not be taken lightly. But where does the widespread dieting turn into an eating disorder?? When does the ideal of slimness turn into morbid anorexia? Read more about the characteristics of an eating disorder. Learn what friends and loved ones can do and where to find help.

Eating disorders also affect boys and adults

Eating disorders are among the most common chronic illnesses among children and adolescents. Nearly 30% of 11- to 17-year-old girls show first signs of an eating disorder. But boys are also affected: About 15% of this age group show first symptoms. The risk of developing an eating disorder is highest during adolescence. Anorexia sometimes occurs as early as twelve years of age. Binge eating disorder (bulimia) and binge eating disorder, however, often occur in adults as well.


Anorexics control their food extremely strictly because they are afraid of getting fat. Even with clear underweight they find themselves still too fat. They experience control over their body as power and strength. Anorexia is defined as having a body weight that is at least 15% below the minimum normal weight. 5 – 6 % of those affected even die from anorexia nervosa.

Binge eating disorder (bulimia)

People with bulimia also want to be slim. But at least twice a week, they experience bouts of ravenous hunger and unrestrainedly stuff large quantities of food into themselves. They are then plagued by guilt and they try to get rid of the extra calories by deliberately inducing vomiting, excessive exercise, fasting, dieting or laxatives.

Binge-eating disorder

Binge-eating disorders are also characterized by unrestrained binge eating. Here, too, food is secretly hoarded and eaten in large quantities. However, people with binge-eating disorder do not try to compensate for the extra calorie intake, which makes them significantly overweight.

Causes: beauty ideals and psychological problems

Eating disorders are addictive physical illnesses that are usually caused by psychological problems. The common beauty ideal of a slim, flawless body plays a role here. But in the end, constant weight control and the compulsion to lose weight are only an external way to solve inner problems. The real cause is usually family difficulties, lack of self-esteem or other personal problems.

How to recognize an eating disorder?

The transitions from widespread "slimming mania" to slightly disturbed eating behavior to severe eating disorders are fluid. First signs of an eating disorder can be found in the info box. It is high time to act when the preoccupation with food and calories takes on obsessive forms, when the fear of gaining weight takes on a life of its own and there is no longer any sense of ordinary food portions, of hunger and satiety.

In general, it is advisable to take countermeasures as early as possible. In addition to the eating behavior, the underlying psychological problems must also be addressed. Caution: It is typical for eating disorders sufferers to stubbornly deny their illness. Concerned relatives and friends should then seek professional help.

What to do? First aid and therapies

The following steps can help with mild eating disorders:

  • Eat regularly, consciously and with pleasure
  • Pay attention to body signals such as hunger and satiety
  • Do not diet, use appetite suppressants or laxatives
  • Exercise frequently, but with fun
  • Learning to accept one’s own body
  • solve personal problems, possibly. Seek help
  • Find pleasure and joy in life

Tip: Whether you have normal weight, shows our BMI calculator. The most important thing, however, is that you feel comfortable in your skin.

Caution: Manifest eating disorders are serious medical conditions. Relatives and friends cannot help here alone. Don’t be afraid to seek help, for example from specialists, nutritionists, special counseling centers or self-help groups.

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