Abel James: Is Eating Healthy an Eating Disorder?


This is the first of six short conversations I’ve had recently with my friend Abel James: The Fat Burning Man!

In this video, Abel and I do some live biohacking by running an electrical current across our brains with an electrical stimulation device, and we discuss whether eating healthy is an eating disorder.  Watch it here:



Anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time on their health knows that it’s work  to figure out what foods to eat to perform best, not to mention also  knowing where to draw the line withwhat foods not to eat at all.

There is a line between eating healthy to avoid kryptonite foods that make you weak or sick, and having a full-blown eating disorder called orthorexia. Orthorexia (from the Greek words “orthos”, meaning correct or straight, and “orexia”, meaning appetite) is an unhealthy obsession with eating only healthy foods. Dr. Steven Bratman coined the term in the mid-1990’s, and many health professionals are recommending that it be added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) alongside eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia nervosa.

Many people, particularly those in the fitness and modeling industries, constantly struggle with issues of body image, starvation, and a fear of food, and it can have a catastrophic impact on their social lives and health, especially if their avoidance of food leads to malnutrition.

It is good to always be mindful of what you are eating and the effect that foods will have on your health, longevity, and performance, but it is also important to have balance and not take things too far. As long as you understand which foods help you perform your best, it makes the most sense to choose those foods. However, there are times when it makes sense to eat food that you know isn’t going to make you feel as good as possible. Sometimes you can hack lower quality food with things like Upgraded Coconut Charcoal to absorb chemicals or toxins you might have eaten, or you can simply add a bunch of healthy fat to a subpar meal. (I usually add butter, brain octane oil, or guacamole to restaurant meals whenever I get a chance)

Remember: the Bulletproof Diet is a spectrum, and I call it a “roadmap” for a reason.  While I recommend that you eat foods in the green zone as much as possible, it’s not the end of the world if something falls in the yellow “suspect foods” zone – or even the red zone from time to time. Knowing that a food is suspect in the spectrum lets you easily correlate how you feel after you eat it.

In fact, I wrote my new book The Bulletproof Diet, available for order now, for this exact reason: to explain which foods make you feel and perform your best, and why. Different people respond to different foods, and there are several ways you can determine which foods are ideal for you.

Connect with Abel James:

Subscribe to Abel’s YouTube Channel for more great video content, including interviews from the popular Fat Burning Man Podcast – https://www.youtube.com/user/fatburningman

  • Blog – http://fatburningman.com/
  • Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fatburningman
  • Twitter – @fatburnman – https://twitter.com/fatburnman
  • Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+AbelJames

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If you want to lose weight, increase your energy, or sharpen your mind, there are shelves of books offering myriad styles of advice. If you want to build up your strength and cardio fitness, there are plenty of gyms and trainers ready to offer you their guidance. What all of these resources have in common is they offer you a bad deal: a lot of effort for a little payoff. Dave Asprey has found a better way.

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