Over-eating & Orthorexia 2020-01-31T19:49:26+00:00

Over-eating & Orthorexia


Food addiction is an uncontrollable condition whereby a person tends to eat compulsively, i.e., binge eating. Binge eating refers to consuming unhealthy amounts of food combined with a feeling of lack of control. Binge eaters often feel agitated, and eat a sizeable number of calories before they relax. This binging usually results in emotions of guilt and depression which can lead them to inactivity because they feel overweight. Binge eating can lead to a buildup of excess fat and body sugar, and this can result in different kinds of health challenges.

Compulsive eaters do not try to balance their eating with purging behaviors such as vomiting, fasting, or using laxatives like victims of bulimia nervosa. When an addicted eater develops feelings of guilt through their binging behaviors, then that is a case of binge eating disorder.
Apart from binge eating, compulsive overeaters also exhibit grazing behavior, in which they eat nonstop for the whole day. Even though the amount of food consumed at a go might be small, this practice usually builds up the calories in the body.

Compulsive overeaters can consume between 5000 to 15000 calories during binges, an excessive and unhealthy amount, and they experience some momentary addictive high similar to that of drug abuse, making them lose touch temporarily with any psychological problem. Due to the effects of heavy consumption of highly processed foods, brain scans of compulsive overeaters reveal changes similar to that of drug abusers.

When a compulsive eater ingests food, the process activates the secretion of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain, and this leads us to believe that neurobiological factors also affect the process of addiction. On the other hand, compulsive eaters exhibit withdrawal symptoms when they quit their abnormal eating behaviors. The decreased secretion of serotonin, a feel-good chemical, can lead to increased levels of anxiety and depression in the person.

The mind of compulsive eaters is always preoccupied with food; it is the cornerstone of their existence. If they can’t access food, they begin to develop the behaviors seen in drug addicts, such as trying to get food at all cost, and they may even resort to lying and stealing to get food. The world is grappling with an increasing number of obese people, and Ireland is planning a sugar tax to discourage the consumption of unhealthy food items.


Orthorexia Nervosa is not found in the DSM as a clinical diagnosis at present, but the symptoms of this term can be seen in many people.
Orthorexia, which means “fixation on righteous eating,” refers to an unhealthy obsession with eating habits that are typically considered healthy. Orthorexia starts with people being particular about eating healthy but eventually becomes an uncontrollable obsession with the purity and quality of their food. They spend much time on what to eat and how much to eat, and they plan extensively on how to maintain their eating regimen. This strict eating habit needs immense discipline to maintain, and every day presents a new chance of eating right, being good and being a master of diet. Whenever they have slip ups and break their eating habits, they punish themselves by adopting stricter dietary measures such as fasting and exercises. People with orthorexia often attach their self-esteem to the quality of their diets and might feel they are superior to others when it comes to the quality of their diet. All these obsession with healthy eating eventually leads them to narrow down the choice of acceptable foods, and this results in a nutritional deficit with health implications. In the end, the purpose of their troubles is defeated in their quest to achieve qualitative health through eating as it brings about health issues, lack of interest in other activities, damaged relationships, and bodily harm.

Why do people develop Orthorexia?

Orthorexia is commonly due to health concerns, but can also be due to other factors such as an obsession for total control, the desire for a thin frame, increased self-esteem, trying to achieve spirituality through food, freedom from fears, and using food to build an identity.

Treatment Costs

Our treatment costs vary according to the requirements of each client, but typically, the cost of our treatment programs range from 15,000-45000 Euros per month for the best care and support available in Greece. We do not work with insurance companies. All Payments are made directly by the client because
US health insurance companies do not provide cover for the services of Hellenic Practice abroad, although we can estimate quotations when it is required for your insurance company evaluation. For our Greece-based clients, they already have a mandatory health insurance, and their payments can be serviced by their health insurance in line with the provisions of the Law on Health Insurance.
The fee charges  include the following: A comprehensive medical examination from any of our affiliates clinics and/or hospitals, initial detoxification program at one of our affiliated medical clinics including accommodation, medications if needed, affiliated doctors and nurses, local transportation, food and beverage (alcohol prohibited). Educational rehabilitation programs including exclusive residential accommodation (see our website) and field trips, educational rehabilitation programs on the following subjects: Nutrition, Physical activity and field trips.  Additional payment is required for extended medical care and medicine or rehabilitation educational programs. Note that the fees do not include your airfare.

Contact Hellenic Practice to begin your journey today


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