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Healthy Habit or Obsession: Diet and Exercise Addiction Explained

Everybody suffers with an addiction at some point in their lives. For most people, substance abuse in the form of narcotics, alcohol, and prescription drugs come to mind when they hear the word “addiction.” However, most people neglect to acknowledge the most commonly accepted forms of chemical dependence are caffeine, sugar, and nicotine addictions. Behavioral addictions can manifest itself in a broad range of forms, including gambling, stealing, extreme dieting, and exercise dependence. People really brush the latter two off their shoulders, because society has deemed dieting and exercise as healthy choices; however, the truth remains that any choice done In excess can destroy a person's life.


Addicted to Exercise?

People who insist on waking up early everyday for their morning jog, despite having a bad back or injured ankle, may have developed a psychological dependence on exercise. When people exercise, the body releases endorphins that produces a temporary feeling of “well-being.” For those diagnosed with chronic depression, this may become a nuance when deciding to skip the day and relax. In fact, some people may develop a dependency to the endorphin surge that has been commonly referenced as “runner's high.” A growing number of sports enthusiasts have developed the compulsory need to exercise. This has caused concern for many sports coaches, personal trainers, and psychiatrists who have noticed that this trend continues to grow at the expense of many athlete's performance, especially high-performance runners and body-builders. A large percentage of these athletes may become addiction to the physical sensations they experience while working out. Others may have motivations rooted in their self-image. If an athlete develops a perfectionist attitude towards their workout regimen, they may incur many injuries. In addition, they experience exhaustion and depression, which may result in suicide. Exercise addicts may also develop long-lasting physical ailments, such as adrenal damage, hormonal imbalances, and cardiovascular problems.


People will always pursue the magical dietary regimen that will answer all of their weight questions. Dieting can help people lose the pounds, feel great, and move forward with their aspirations. Extreme dieting, however, can lead to serious problems if left unchecked. Some people have difficulty losing the weight they have packed on over the holidays, and this may cause them to become desperate enough to try out extreme diets. Fad diets have always existed, and most of them may have produced results if the individual remained determined to lose weight. However, when all else fails, some people will do anything to lose the weight in order to gain back their self-confidence. People want to earn the respect of others and remove any emotional turmoil that may have developed due to the negative opinions of others. This makes them vulnerable to trying out outrageous diets that may cause more harm than good. Most people think that eating disorders only come in the form of the usual three suspects: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. The truth remains that cutting calories to an unhealthy level, or eating the wrong kind of food can lead to serious health problems, such as rapid weight loss, heart disease, brittle nails, thinning hair, nutritional deficiencies, tooth decay, increase cholesterol levels, anemia, low libido, diabetes, menstrual dysfunction, yellow skin, ruptured stomach, depleted electrolytes, and even cancer. Balance is key when it comes to dieting, so that it may promote good health.


By Matthew Pearson


Diet Addiction


Exercise Addiction

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