Rick talks to Eat,Live,Glow about achieving a healthy balance:

When you’re at the top of your game when it comes to your diet and fitness regime, it’s only natural that you’ll feel pretty pleased with yourself and be keen to progress onwards and upwards. But is there such thing as taking health too far? In other words: can being healthy inversely become unhealthy? This is the question posed by nutritional physiologist Rick Hay, who believes that, yes, it is possible to take it too far. He explains that some people can develop certain addictions when it comes to pursuing good health – here are some to watch out for.


What Is It?

Protorexia is a term used to describe a condition with which you become too dependent on eating lots of protein while avoiding carbs to control weight and aid workouts.

What Are The Warning Signs?

So, this one can be a little confusing. While it is encouraged by many nutritionists to eat more protein, some dieters can take eating clean and cutting carbs a little too far – missing some of the crucial nutritional benefits of foods such as brown pasta, oats and grains. Additionally, eating this way can raise concerns for kidney problems and increase cholesterol, as well as causing a hormone imbalance for women (leading to missed periods and chronic fatigue). If you’re feeling a little burnt out and tend to cut out carbs, try incorporating some healthy carbohydrates into your diet – they’re a major food group for a reason.


What Is It?

Orthorexia is defined by the Eating Disorder Association as an obsession with eating foods considered to be healthy. This can result in further health problems from a lack of nutritional balance, and increase anxiety towards food (and thus, disordered eating).

What Are The Warning Signs?

If you’re spending an increasing amount of time thinking about and planning your meals, and cutting out certain foods or food groups from your diet to a debilitating extent, you may well be suffering from orthorexia. Do be careful with becoming too obsessed, as such an uptight approach to nutrition can only lead to further stress and even the development of more serious eating disorders.


What Is It?

We’re not talking about the aftermath of leg day here, but something much more dangerous. Exercising to the point of exhaustion without taking any rest days or not allowing your body sufficient time to repair in between workouts can really harm your body. Hay explains: “People seem to think the more exercise they get, the fitter they will become. Your body needs time to recover and long bouts of exercise without rest days is quite harmful.”

What Are The Warning Signs?

Does a workout leave you physically exhausted (to an unusual extent)? Do you take a long time to recover from illness or injury? Are you experiencing disrupted sleep, despite being physically tired? And finally, do you freak out if you miss a workout? Of course, we are conscious not to miss too many workouts or it can become easy to fall off the wagon. But if you’re becoming obsessive over your workouts and not giving your body time to recover, you could be over-doing it – try to have 1-2 rest days per week.

Social Media Anxiety

What Is It?

Brought into the spotlight by Instagram star Essena O’Neill, who had 600,000 followers and claimed that social media anxiety was ruining her life, this addiction is manifested in a reliance upon likes and followers, as well as comparing yourself to others online. O’Neill described how, due to the need to constantly post photos which would present her fans with a manipulated reality, she wasn’t able to live a normal life. She may have looked beautiful, slim and together, but really, she was depressed.

What Are The Warning Signs?

A study by the University of Missouri-Columbia found that it only takes women a few minutes of looking at images of super thin bodies to feel self-conscious about their own. If you find yourself checking your social media accounts first thing in the morning and last thing at night, becoming dependent upon likes, or feeling negative after logging in, it may be time to restrict your access.

With any of these conditions, though, if you’re worried you may be suffering, it is always best to seek professional advice. Remember, too, to go easy on yourself – just because you’re not meeting the unrealistic goals you’re setting yourself doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it simple means you need to reassess your goals.

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