What Are The Early Signs of An Eating Disorder?

Image photo: Anorexia eating disorder

In these modern days, society is getting dissatisfied and having negative thoughts about their body appearances and shapes. This is already getting very common.

They always have this body dissatisfaction perception on their weight which is the most possible cause of eating disorders. Imagine, trying to tackle the intense, anxiety and stress to achieve defined body weight and shape, even though they are actually already are.

Eating disorders can be serious health problems if not treated. Getting to know the early signs of an eating disorder is crucial to prevent them from becoming a health-threatening matter.

What are the early signs of an eating disorder to take notice of?

Let’s find out more.

How Do You Identify An Eating Disorder?

Having an eating disorder illness is considered a very serious health mental issue that may be caused by psychological, biological, or socio-cultural factors.

A person associated with an eating disorder may not notice at first. However, someone around him or she may be able to notice or have concerns about why the person losing lots of weight, eating behavior, and appearance are changing.

Friends are telling them that they may be having some eating disorders issues but the person seems doesn’t believe for now.


This is because a person developing an eating disorder doesn’t really accept the possibility of that. They find it hard to face the possibility of this illness they are having even though it is normal to feel worried, ashamed, or confused.


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What Is Considered As The Most Serious Eating Disorder?

These two types are considered very serious eating disorders and need full attention from the person.

1. Anorexia. This eating disorder illness usually happens with a person has a high intense fear of gaining weight or has a very abnormal underweight body. They are very sensitive toward their body appearance, weight, and shape.

Normally, people associated with anorexia will do everything to make sure they can prevent weight gain or continually lose weight. They can have a very strict diet on the amount of food to eat, over-exercising, or may even be taking laxatives to vomit out the food they had eaten.

In this case, it is super unhealthy and could turn into a life-threatening issue as the person is battling with emotional and mental problems towards their body dissatisfaction.

People with anorexia illness always think their ultra-low bodyweight is much worth it. Thus, it is more about a person’s mental and emotional issues than food.

2. Bulimia. A person with bulimia tends to have an imbalance of chemicals in their body. They have low-self esteem, anxiety, often overthinking, and feeling depressed.

They have the tendencies of purging (avoiding weight gain by misusing laxatives, weight loss supplements, or forcing self vomit after eating), bingeing (having a large amount of high-calorie food without self-control of eating), and excessive exercise which all will become uncontrollable and compulsive at a later stage.

Bulimia eating disorder is also can be a potential health-threatening illness. The person will always feel depressed over their body weight and shape.

Similar to anorexia, they are over-occupied with self-image, judging their body harshly to improve their body appearance to almost perfection as they think that’s the best!

What Are The Early Signs Of An Eating Disorder?

These are the important early signs of an eating disorder that should be taken notice of. It could be of help to someone you know who may be developing this illness.

1. There is a steep increase in focusing on weight and shape. The person tends to be more worried and cautious about how they look, whether too fat or needs to lose weight. They have more focus than usual to lose weight or diet and feel the urge to exercise more than they are capable of.

2. Feeling completely insecure about their bodies. Their inferiority complex deepens with negative thoughts about their shape and weight. Too concerned about fat content or calories in the food.

3. Changing eating habits. People having eating disorders most likely will eat slower than before, try to hide food, separate the food into tiny pieces, eat even when not hungry, feel guilty after a meal, and overeat until feeling discomfort.

4. The affected individual may start to eat alone, and isolate from the rest of the family or friends. Avoid any social events or gathering activities.

5. Take notice of changes in the appearance of the person. He or she may deny having highly unusual low body weight, changes in sleeping pattern, extremely tired than usual, hair loss, or unusually swollen (puffy) cheeks.

Image photo: Restricting food in eating disorder diagnosis

Who Are Most Likely To Have An Eating Disorder?

According to the National Eating Disorders Of America, it is estimated that 20 million women and 10 million men will experience eating disorders during their lifetime.

And, eating disorders are most commonly occur in women than men.


In general, women are more concerned and sensitive about their body appearances and weight. This leads to women having body dissatisfaction more than men resulting in higher rates of eating disorders in women.

Besides, sociocultural pressure factors play a key role in women’s negative feelings about their physical appearance. They are more sensitive and susceptible than men when it comes to this pressure. For example in anorexia, most patients are having negative feelings that their bodies are overweight when they are actually not.

What Thoughts A Person With Eating Disorders Might Have?

Individuals especially those younger in their teens, suffering from eating disorders illness have these kinds of thought patterns.

1. Overcontrolled thoughts. Restriction of food to eat gave the person with an eating disorder illness (such as anorexia) the power to control. Of all the other things around them, they claimed that this is the only thing they can take full control of, no other people around them can change their minds.

2. Negative thoughts. The patient claimed that they kept hearing voices inside them that keep telling them they are not perfect or good enough.

This intrusive voice pushed them to begin having very low self-esteem, developing anxiety and stress towards perfecting their bodies, and telling them to restrict eating, purging, or bingeing.

The so-called eating disorder voices seem telling the patient to act or behave in harmful ways to their bodies.

3. Perfectionist tendencies. Individuals obsessed with perfectionism tend to think everything is not good enough no matter how hard they tried, driven by the feeling of failure that pushes them hard to achieve the highest level possible.

They didn’t realize that there is no winning on the journey to achieve their goal and the ending could be catastrophic! These people are unable to accept who they are, and how they would look to others, instead of just trying to be themselves.

4. Punishment. The patient will this illness will associate food eating as punishment for themselves, as the negative thoughts telling them pleasure or enjoyment equals failure!

This negative self-harm or punishment among the younger patients is restricting their food intake as a way to punish themselves, thinking that they don’t deserve to eat.

5. Emotional thoughts. The constant feeling of getting upset, embarrassed, distraught, guilty, depressed, or lonely could contribute to eating disorders illness, particularly bulimia.

They will purge or binge as a way to release their emotional state in them, but could also over-exercising as a result of being unhappy or feeling not the same outside as the people around them.


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At What Age Does Anorexia Normally Begin?

People who are suffering from anorexia will do whatever they can to keep their weight as low as possible to the extent they become very ill and into a self-starvation state. They will restrict their food as much as doing exercise excessively.

It is most common among the mid-teens, young females between the age of 12 – 25 years old, or approximately 90 percent (10 percent are detected in males). This diagnosis has become so common over the past 20 years and is typically found in middle to upper-class families.

Can you have anorexia if you are not underweight?

Anorexia illness is termed as controlling a person’s emotions and life.

In general, a person who is not underweight, obese or healthy can develop an eating disorder such as anorexia. It is not about the weight but more related to mindset – mental health conditions.

The person has no desire to eat if they have put on weight and resorted to not eating to avoid gaining weight. If anorexia is not treated soon or later, it could be fatal.

It is a serious mental illness!

What happens to your brain when you have anorexia?

Anorexia is a mental condition that attacks both body and mind.

Researchers have found that people with anorexia eating disorder would often restrain themselves from enjoying pleasure moments or rewards such as eating food. They don’t respond positively or appreciate food on the table or in the picture with their restrictive behaviors.

Doctors and psychologist are making discoveries on how eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia is affecting our brain neuro system.

One thing for sure is patients affected by anorexia, for example, their brain and nerves of the nervous system will be negatively impacted.

Their brain nervous system may cause:

* slower heart rate which could lead to a lack of oxygen supply to the brain.

* weaker response in the center of the brain activity.

* inability to think normally, or perform usual tasks.

* seizures, numbness, and clarity of thinking reduce.

* neurotransmitter activity will be greatly disrupted.

* Size of the brain including gray and white matter could shrink.

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My Overall Conclusion: What Are The Early Signs of An Eating Disorder

Regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, or socio-cultural status, anyone can be at risk of developing an eating disorder illness.

Patient with an eating disorder often has these very high levels of perfectionism, low self-esteem, anxiety, and stress which all give themselves these unnecessary pressures.

However, not everyone who is dissatisfied with their body weight or shape is going to develop an eating disorder illness, although there are specific risk factors such as dieting, obesity, and exercise.

If any of your family members or friends show the signs of an eating disorder, detecting early warnings will reduce any potential for more serious health consequences later.

Try talking with them and explain the early signs of an eating disorder, although they may always deny that. Encourage them to seek help from your healthcare experts.

The good news is although the eating disorder is considered a serious health issue, it is a treatable mental and physical illness.

As usual, if you have any comments, leave them below and I will speed back within 24 hours.

To your fantastic home exercise success!


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