Anorexia Diet Tips Sound Just Like Mainstream Diet Tips

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anorexia diet tipsThe web is full of diet tips, some healthy and sensible, and others just downright crazy. I thought we would play a little game of guess which diet tips are from an anorexia diet site (pro-ana) versus a mainstream diet site. I think you’ll be surprised.

Guess if the following diet tips are from a pro-ana site or a mainstream diet site. Answers below.

  1. Don’t eat anything white.
  2. Do not, under any circumstances, eat after 6:00.
  3. Cut each bite into x amount of pieces, chew x amount of times
  4. Drink a full glass of water before you eat
  5. Take out only the amount of food you plan to eat and don’t allow seconds.
  6. Think before you eat. Don’t eat while distracted (TV, etc). Stop and consider if you really want to eat that then consciously give yourself permission
  7. Never eat anything bigger than about a cup, your stomach will expand and you’ll get hungry more. If you need to, eat more frequently, not bigger amounts.
  8. Drink up to a shot of apple cider vinegar before eating, it’s supposed to minimize fat absorption. Also speeds metabolism and can help curb cravings.
  9. Eat higher-calorie items earlier in the day so you have more time to burn them off
  10. Write down everything you eat and its calories. This will make you think before eating and also make you more aware of how much food and calories you are actually consuming. You can also write down other things such as how you’re feeling, who you’re with, place, time, and why you chose to eat it, this will help you track patterns in your eating behavior.



  1. Pro-ana
  2. Pro-ana
  3. Pro-ana
  4. Pro-ana
  5. Pro-ana
  6. Pro-ana
  7. Pro-ana
  8. Pro-ana
  9. Pro-ana
  10. Pro-ana

That’s right! All 10 of those “diet tips” are from a website that promotes anorexia. To be fair, a couple of them are also the same diet tips that a lot of mainstream sites promote. What they have in common is that they promote a dysfunctional relationship with food. They teach you to fear food, that you have to trick yourself,and that you cannot trust yourself around food. Pardon my language, but this is all bullshit.

Now, some of these tips can be helpful. Drinking water with your meal is a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, a lot of people confuse thirst for hunger. Second, there are also a lot of people who just simply don’t drink enough water. And finally, replacing soft drinks with water is always a good idea.

Counting calories can be helpful too if you’ve created a pattern where you are simply unaware of what a normal portion size is. And let’s face it… with the portion sizes we get in most restaurants, it’s easy to be confused.

When reading diet tips, make sure to take them with a grain of salt. Think critically about them, and if they promote a healthy relationship with food, or a fearful one. Is the diet tip meant to be used long term, or as a temporary learning tool?

There is a really good book by Matt Stone that talks about recovering from all the crazy diet tips we subject ourselves to, check it out: Diet Recovery by Matt Stone


Tell me, what’s the craziest diet tip you’ve ever heard of?

Photo by: Benjamin Watson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Pamela Bruesehoff

Hi! I'm Pamela and I run Gym Free Fitness. Your one stop for real information. No bro science and no faux science. Just real healthy information.

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  1. says

    It sounds like what you’re saying that a lot of the same information (helpful or not) gets passed around by well-meaning health gurus or ill-intentioned anorexics. The same can be said about exercise, and there’s been a lot of discussion about “motivational” photos lately, too. I think it’s all a matter of establishing a healthy mindset first. Whether people are overweight or anorexic, or somewhere in between, our mental health has an effect on how we relate to food (back to your point), and how we see ourselves. Maybe there are “jolly fat people” or extremely thin people who just can’t keep up with their metabolisms, but the rest of us need a combination of this helpful info to steer us away from the mega-size meals and inactive lifestyle. Just watch where you’re going to stay on the road to good health, and away from the edge of the cliff. :-)

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