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How To Quit Obsessing About Health, Eating & Exercise: Dodging The Silver Bullet Of Orthorexia and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

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Ever heard of “orthorexia”?

It’s is an eating disorder characterized by an extreme or excessive preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy. 

In other words, it’s being absolutely obsessed with eating all things paleo, gluten-free, vegan, raw, non-GMO, organic, and fair-trade, and counting every friggin’ calorie of it.

Or how about “body dysmorphic disorder?”

This one is characterized by an obsessive preoccupation that some aspect of one’s own appearance is severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it.

In other words, you must maintain a nice body, at all costs.

Unfortunately, it’s all-too-common to see eating-obsessed, exercise-obsessed people destroying their bodies and their minds with worrying and an obsessive-compulsive approach to nutrition and fitness.

My guest in today’s podcast, Devin Burke, takes a completely opposite approach to health: a minimalist approach. He preaches that people are often obsessively looking for that “silver bullet” and unfortunately often miss tapping into the potential that is right in front of them – if they are only inspired, educated and disciplined enough to implement these necessary changes they could take them to the “next level”, without an unhealthy obsession.

Devin is a wellness educator, and passionate health coach. He is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and a Certified Personal Trainer by the American College of Sports Medicine. He is the founder of Empowerment Wellness Solutions, a healthy lifestyle coaching business based in South Florida and author of “Healthy Eating in the 21st Century”. And he is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s top online school for becoming a health, lifestyle and nutrition coach (get a huge savings on an IIN certification if you contact them and mention this show).

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-How to completely reset your brain to eliminate an obsession with eating gluten-free, or getting X number of calories, or eating the perfect carb:fat:protein ratios…

-How something called neurolinguistic programming can help you overcome an obsession with food…

Why you need to branch-out and eat a variety of different foods, even if that includes components such as dairy and gluten…

-What to eat when you’re traveling or at a party, and you want to “enjoy” food, but you still want to avoid making yourself sick or unhealthy…

-Why what pop culture tells you is the perfect body completely flies in the face of your natural human ancestry and genetic hardwiring…

-How to create exercise goals that go above and beyond just “getting a better body”…

-How to quit obsessing over WiFi signals, mold, drinking water, personal care products and household cleaning chemicals…

-Why true happiness is not tied to perfect health and how to truly achieve happiness…

-And much more!

This episode is brought to you by:

Kimera Koffee – Visit KimeraKoffee.com and use code ‘ben’ for 10% off!

Resources from this episode:

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (get a huge savings when you mention this show)…

The gut/DNA/blood testing Ben Greenfield uses to customize his diet…

My previous podcast on how to rewire your body and brain with neurolinguistic programming…

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Devin or I? Do you agree or disagree with what we say in this show? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

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18 thoughts on “How To Quit Obsessing About Health, Eating & Exercise: Dodging The Silver Bullet Of Orthorexia and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

  1. Great podcast! I have dealt w/ this and it can still be something I have to make sure doesn’t take over my life. It’s a challenge, for sure, to embrace a healthy lifestyle while not letting it become all consuming. Thanks for putting this out there.

  2. …to add to that, I use Ben’s approach now. When I am home and in my normal work week routine I eat very healthy and get in my workouts. When we go out to dinner (as a treat maybe a few times per month) or are traveling, then my “rules” don’t apply because I want to experience life and not have my mind be worrying about every detail of every food I am eating (or in the case of vacation, I might workout if I can fit it in, but I am not going to make that a priority over having fun).

  3. I appreciate what you tried to address here, however there is some really terrible science in this episode, terrible methodology, bad advice. “The more diverse your diet the better???” That is just silly and an unintelligent thought. Come on. Your approach to this was extremely narrow.

  4. Thank you for putting this out there. I used to be a bodybuilding competitor, wrecked my mind and body, then switched over to a high fat diet and follow a lot of Dave Asprey’s work, and that has turned into quite the obsession. I feel better physically but am mentally draining and stressing my self out about everything. I constantly am over analyzing and thinking about if what I’m doing is only beneficial to me. I have a hard time enjoying the little moments in life because of it. This really helped me clarify a lot of things and I feel I now have a clearer picture of what steps i need to take. Great episode. I appreciate your work.

  5. Great podcast! I am currently enrolled in IIN for a health coach program and am I huge fan of the show. This podcast touched on many things that I know society is struggling with. Thank you Ben and Devin for putting out this great information and for reinforcing my passion to become a health coach. Keep up the great work!

  6. I LOVE THIS PODCAST!!!! I seriously obsess over my body, my food, everything and I know it’s truly unhealthy for me. I really needed this podcast so bad and it came at such a great and renewing time (the New Year). I’m no body builder, but I obsess over muscle, and have tried my best to stop worrying about the food so much – I would jump from diet to diet and actually caused a huge disruption in my gut causing ulcer and H. Pylori upheaval. Now, I also follow my own food plan, eat foods I know truly work well for my internal environment, and reward myself on the weekend (not the whole weekend, not even every weekend, but I live in Brooklyn and so pizza is a must!). No stress anymore, not worth it. I eat until satiety and I know I can eat what I want in moderation.

    I genuinely appreciate your insight and knowledge about something I connect with so much.

    Be well!

  7. I agree with some of the things you said, but I apply it the other way. You said people shouldn’t tie their happiness to the food they eat. I believe you meant like always eating organic food, or tracking macros. But I look at it the other way. Too many people equate happiness and having a good time with eating unhealthy foods. If I go out with friends I am looked at as weird if I’m not downing pints of beer and gorging myself on buffalo wings. But for me happiness doesn’t come from food, food is fuel to make me stronger or healthier, I can be happy just being with friends, laughing, telling stories, listening to music, seeing a movie etc. I don’t think orthorexia, or body dysmorphia is necessarily a bad thing, if it motivates you to be the best version of yourself, and you genuinely enjoy doing it. To each his own I guess. Still enjoy your podcasts though.

  8. Overall some great advice on the right perspective here, but not necessarily the best resource for tactics. For example, I don’t think cheat days or cheat meals are very productive. Maybe for 20 or 30 somethings who are optimizing performance, but as a 48 year old athlete/recreational sport enthusiast, one cheat meal or cheat day can really knock me into the tank and it takes a week to recover with respect to inflammation or other diet induced deficits, just to get to baseline. It’s really not worth it to eat something like bread if bread makes me feel bad and eating more bread to get used to bread is a bit of OCD nonsense when trying not to be OCD. Just don’t eat stuff that makes you feel bad. Easy tactic, doesn’t require further hacking. I get that Ben Greenfield fitness is all about hacking that last percent of potential, but the topic of this podcast was about backing off that a bit, so I think it’s fair to say most of the advice fell into the same traps as other obsessive tactics. Good sentiments here, but a bit light on practical advice compared to the typical high standards of BGF podcasts.

  9. I always love all your posts, so inspiring!! I’m a student athlete and research health and wellness heavily, and I thought I was the only one experiencing this issue! So nice to have someone I trust tell me to chill out and stop obsessing. Thank you so much for this valuable insight!

  10. Agorarexia. : fear that everything surrounding you will negatively affect your body.

    I just listened to the podcast and you thought maybe we could come up with a word.

  11. Very inspiring, especially the part about true happiness found in doing loving things and having balance in one’s life… allowing for ebbs and flows and grey areas. life isn’t black and white. A healthy attitude is understanding and knowing that life is a journey, not a destination. Obsessing over anything is unhealthy. The mind is more powerful than any muscle! Thanks for the insight, Devin and Ben!

  12. Anorexia has the highest fatality rate of any mental disorder. Orthorexia and body dysmorphic disorder are often elements of anorexia. It is not simply a ‘social hypnosis’. Advice to “eat a more diverse diet”, “just relax about your body”, and “choose happiness” will not be enough for individuals suffering from an eating disorder. Please encourage individuals to consider seeking medical/psychiatric treatment if these food and body related obsessions can’t be controlled after trying the recommended suggestions.

  13. This podcast hit very close to home! Gave me opportunity to re think why I am doing what I am doing! I often turn down dinner invitations with loved ones, because of my diet choices! It gets really crazy. Loved this podcast. Gave myself permission to enjoy !!!

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