National Eating Disorders Association

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Is Fasting for Autophagy Another Eating Disorder?

My ex-husband is anorexic. His ED changed his personality, his moods, and decreased his ability to think. He has also become mean and abusive. We are divorced as a result of his mental health issues/ED.

I have been approached by a man who is interested in forming a friendship. During a conversation I started asking him about his eating habits, as at this time I am very sensitive on the subject and alert to eating behaviors. He mentioned that he fasts multiple times a week for autophagy (cellular regeneration). He claims it reduces inflammation in the body and is good for brain health.

For those of you with experience with ED, does this sound like a person with an ED? Or, am I being overly sensitive? I seem to somehow attract people with EDs and I am seeing red flags.

Thank you for your thoughts.


is not good, and raises the possibility of turning into an eating disorder. I would suggest not inviting people who are dieting into your life. Just my opinion.

Thank you

Thank you Tryingtoheal. I will take your advice.

You're welcome

I suffered for 30 years. I'm only 38. I cannot watch ads relating to dieting. I can not talk about dieting. And I cannot be around dieters. You're not being too sensitive. All of these things are major triggers for me. Is there any way to cease communication with your ex if you haven't already? My husband has been there for me since day 1, and I've worked really hard on my recovery. I've been in treatment over the past 4 years. May 29th was my last time in recovery .

Fasting and Orthorexia.

Hey Ditto,

When people are involved in eating rituals that seem out of the ordinary, I always think in terms of how anxious the person might become if they were asked to give up their diet rituals for a few weeks, and just eat normally instead.

Orthorexia is an obsession with "clean eating", and while we all may admire those who eat "pure foods" for health purposes, once close adherence to these matters become a potential source of anxiety and obsession, that's when the problems can begin.

So yes, I can see where you might be concerned. The ability to be functionally flexible in our lives is important, and when people are constantly constraining themselves in ways that are obvious, we can wonder what other areas of their lives are constrained as well.

Thank you

It seems once bitten forever shy. I think I will just take the safe path and avoid anyone whose diet seems extreme to me. Fasting 3 days a week plus maintaining low carb/no sugar, and doing heavy exercising every morning just seems headed in a very unhealthy direction no matter how "healthy" it may sound.

If I dated...

I'm still married, and can't bear the thought of breaking up my house, but my fantasy is to date a woman who will go out for a beer and cheeseburger and order a second beer and not worry about nothing except enjoying the evening.

Vlostwait - Real dinner.

As a single person I'm with you on that, even within the general population it seems. It's probably unfair to point the finger at women, but meeting someone who can tolerate eating "just normal food", without there being a long and minutely involved list of restrictions, seems increasingly uncommon these days.

( Insert here the various legitimate reasons for why that might be, but even so… )