10 Signs Your Clean Eating Obsession Is Getting Out Of Hand

You eat healthy foods and never have a cheat day. Although it’s good to keep an eye on your diet, if you’re too extreme with how healthy you are, you risk sliding over to the unhealthy side of the spectrum. Here are 10 signs it’s already happening to you.

  1. You spend a long time in the food aisles at the supermarket. When you go shopping for food, you spend a lot of time analyzing the ingredients on food packaging. You don’t want a sliver of anything unhealthy to get into your food, and you might obsess over ingredients like sugar a little more than is healthy.
  2. You plan dinner dates way ahead of time. You like to check out the restaurant where you’ll be going to make sure that they have great organic, clean meals. Although this planning can be good, it makes you a bit inflexible. Is it really the end of the world if there’s no wild Atlantic salmon on the menu?
  3. You don’t do carbs. ever. You’ve swiped them out of your eating plan completely, to the point where you’d rather starve than eat a slice of toast.
  4. All the Instagram accounts you follow are about clean eating. You get lots of diet inspiration from social media, which is great, but if you’re always thinking about clean eating, even in your spare time, it can become a little too obsessive. Did you know, for instance, that orthorexia is an eating disorder that’s focused on an obsession with eating healthy foods?
  5. You panic when you eat a cheat food. It happens that you went out for dinner with a gorgeous, interesting woman who was insistent on ordering the chocolate mousse for dessert and then sharing it with you. You ended up having a few bites but then felt so guilty afterward that you stressed the whole night about it or went to the gym really early the next morning to zap those calories.
  6. You hate dinner parties. When your friends invite you over to their house for dinner, you usually have an excuse up your sleeve so you don’t have to attend. The reason isn’t that you’re not a social person but because you’re worried about how they’re going to prepare the food you eat. You want control over food and that’s impossible to gain if you’re not there cooking in your friend’s kitchen.
  7. You only feel good about yourself when you eat healthy food. Your confidence is boosted by healthy eating. You have greater energy and a better self-image when you don’t stray from your strict diet, sure. but where’s the fun in that? You’re basing your self-worth on your diet, which is troubling because it’s a greater priority than finding pleasure in life. Although you feel good when you eat clean, deep down you’re probably more stressed and anxious than happy.
  8. You take a moral approach to food. Foods aren’t just potatoes or avocados, spinach or pasta, they’re categorized according to how “good” or “bad” they are. By setting these rules for food groups, such as “bad” sugar or “bad” fats, you take an extreme approach and actually end up compromising your health instead of enhancing it. Remember, there are good fats and healthy sugars!
  9. Your buddies have called you crazy for this behavior. When your friends have witnessed your food anxiety, they’ve told you to lighten up or not act crazy. Although you might’ve eye-rolled their comments, you have to wonder if there was some good advice in their words. By controlling your food and diet in such an extreme way, are you trying to make up for a lack of control in the rest of your life? That’s worth exploring. Often, our obsession with food is a symptom of a deeper underlying problem, not to get all psychologist-speak on you…
  10. You cut out more food as you go along. Maybe this obsession with eating clean started by cutting out all processed foods. Then it progressed to you becoming vegan and then cutting out all carbs and sugars. See how it’s snowballing? If you’re not careful, soon some healthy foods will be tossed out with the unhealthy ones, leaving you with less to eat and less nutrition to be gained from your eating plan. Not really as healthy as it seemed at first, right?