5 Signs Your Diet is Too Healthy

Is there such a thing as a diet that is too healthy? Many natural health enthusiasts might answer with a resounding no. However, professionals who work with eating disorders would have a very different response.

In Chinese Medicine, we support balance and wholeness of both the body and the mind. Eating in extreme ways, even if they are touted as “healthy” can be extremely damaging to your body and your overall quality of life. How do you know if your dietary choices are healthy or problematic? Below are some indications that how you are eating may be too extreme to be truly healthy.

1. How you eat cuts you off from community.

Do you avoid or curtail social interaction because of the type of food served? Do you refuse to participate in meals with friends or family because you can’t control the menu? A healthy diet should not mean such strict control that you miss out on enjoying your friends and loved ones.

2. Your primary focus in life is your food.

Eating is important, but it shouldn’t be the primary focus of your activities. Food is fuel to supply the energy to live your life. Food should not be your life. If the energy you are spending on food choices is draining the time and energy you have to invest in a rich social, spiritual, and professional life, this is a problem. How is it worth it to eat“well” if it does not allow you to actually live well?

3. You regularly skip meals rather than eat something below your standards.

This is a red flag. If you are not able to find meals and food up to your standards in a variety of places and situations, there is a problem. Eating well does not mean eating perfectly. Eating well is choosing the best food options available to you at the time. It does not mean refusing to eat anything because it is not healthy enough. Depriving yourself of nourishment does not support health and balance.

4. You feel guilty for less than perfect food choices.

Again, eating well is not eating perfectly. Sometimes it is ok to enjoy a treat. It is ok to enjoy a meal with friends, even if it is not pristine food, just because you are with friends. Adapting to your situation and eating what suits you at the time should not cause guilt and regret. It also should not cause you to punish yourself by skipping a meal or exercising excessively or punitively.

5. For all humanity there is only one right way to eat: your way.

If you find yourself judging most other people’s food choices as unhealthy or undisciplined, you may want to pause. This can indicate excessive rigidity when it comes to your beliefs about food. The ideal diet for each person varies by their health history, activity level, constitution, and current state of health. The best way to eat is also determined by the season, climate, and location. If you find yourself judging or trying to fix the people around you because they are not eating according to your specific dietary regimen, you may want to examine your motivation and your relationship with food.

Food is a way to facilitate and fuel the rest of your life. Eating healthy is no longer healthy when it undermines the other areas of your life. Not only can eating too strictly undo your overall quality of life, it can also endanger your health. A truly healthy diet is one that allows you to feel energetic, mentally focused, emotionally centered, socially connected, and satisfied. The goal is wholeness and balance, not perfection.

If you are concerned about how your eating habits are affecting your health, please ask for help. If you would like to explore how Chinese Medicine can help, please call my office at 323-475-9282. I am also happy to suggest additional resources if necessary.