I know that dieting is not typically listed among the eating disorders along with anorexia and bulimia. But after years of watching some friends, and after talking with another friend, I'm starting to suspect that dieting is a low-grade eating disorder.
What counts as an eating disorder? I think it's anything that does not fit into a sustainable and healthy eating plan. And sometimes elements of self-abuse creep into diets, as people punish themselves for being overweight or withhold their favorite foods from themselves.
The only person I know who successfully lost weight long-term (without resorting to surgery) decided to skip dieting and to think only in terms of the "sustainable and healthy eating plan". He made several small but permanent adjustments to his normal eating plan (diet in the old sense of the word) and his weight slowly adjusted itself for what he was eating.
So there it is, my thoughts on why dieting is a low-grade chronic eating disorder, the socially acceptable eating disorder.
(Why post this on my blog? In case it might help someone ...)