How to Determine if You Are A Normal Eater

Are you a Normal Eater?

Normal is such an ambiguous word that I often try to avoid using with my patients. I strive to provide each of my patients with a broad definition that can be individualized for each person. This is key because we all have food preferences and different cultural components that play into what we eat on a daily basis.

So What Is Consider Disordered Eating?

Disordered eating is expansive and I could probably come up with 1,000 different bullet points, so I will save you and just hit the high notes.

  • Viewing food as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy
  • Thinking about food other than around meal time
  • Chronic dieting or "watching your weight"
  • Skipping meals
  • Feelings of guilt for not exercising
  • Restricting whole food groups or certain types of food
  • Frequent worry or fear of weight gain
  • Rewarding or punishing yourself with food
  • Feeling guilty after consumption of certain foods
  • Abiding by food rules
  • Making food choices based only on health and not preference
  • Using food for comfort
  • Frequent conversations focused on food, weight, and/or body
  • Frequent worry or fear of health consequences
According to a recent study, over 1/2 the females between the ages of 18-25 would prefer to be run over by a truck then be fat, and 2/3 surveyed would rather be mean or stupid.

The diet and diet related industry is a 50 billion dollar a year enterprise and the most common behavior that will lead to an eating disorder is dieting.

So What Is Considered Normal Eating?

It is hard to find a normal eater, or at least by my definition of a normal eater. There are several socially acceptable forms of disordered eating - healthy vs unhealthy, compensating for what you eat with exercise, etc. I bet its hard to even think of someone in your life that is a normal eater. The following are some components to normal eating...

  • Thoughts about food only occupy a small amount of your time
  • All foods can fit, no foods are considered bad or unhealthy with moderation
  • There is no guilt associated with food selections or exercise
  • Exercise allows you to feel connected to your body
  • Trusting your body to tell you what and how much to eat
  • Recognition that all bodies are beautiful
  • Society does not influence your feelings towards your body or other body types
  • Consumption includes a variety of foods
  • Hunger is honored through out the day despite the time of day or how much previously eaten
  • A person's weight or body does not determine their worth or value
91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. 22% dieted "often" or "always.
A study conducted by Cornell University found that 40% of male football players surveyed engaged in some sort of disordered eating behavior.

If you are interested in freeing yourself from disordered eating and becoming a normal eater please visit my contact page or email me directly at #dallasnutritionalcounseling

How to Determine if you are a normal eater, Registered Dietitian Casey Voorhies of Dallas Nutritional Counseling  

How to Determine if you are a normal eater, Registered Dietitian Casey Voorhies of Dallas Nutritional Counseling