Common signs of Eating Disorders

If a loved one is starting to develop an eating disorder, there are a number of signs that you may notice. Some of the signs you may notice include:

  • They have started to avoid mealtimes
  • They may often say they are not hungry, have already eaten or will eat later 
  • They don’t seem to enjoy food anymore
  • They have developed certain routines around eating
  • They have started following rigid diets
  • They have started to eat only specific types of foods
  • They have become more preoccupied with food 
  • They have started hiding large amounts of food
  • They seem more secretive about food and eating
  • They have started to go to the bathroom more often after meals
  • They have started exercising more than they did previously 
  • They have started to take diet pills
  • They are more irritable or moodier than usual
  • They are spending a lot of time alone  
  • They have become very focused on doing everything perfectly 
  • They have become less confident or quieter than they were previously
  • They have begun to lose weight
  • They appear physically weaker than they were before 
  • They have started wearing loose clothing or many layers of clothing even in warmer weather
  • They have begun to lose their hair
  • They have started to develop soft, fluffy hair all over their body  
  • They get upset or angry if someone asks them about their eating habits or weight

Sometimes the person you are worried about may also mention some of the difficulties that they are struggling with. These can include:

  • Feeling tired 
  • Feeling dizzy 
  • Feeling cold a lot of the time 
  • Suffering from a range of digestive symptoms (e.g., bloating, pain, or constipation)
  • (If female) having either irregular or no menstrual cycles 
  • Finding it hard to concentrate 
  • Not feeling sociable or not wanting to spend time with family and friends 
  • Them wanting to work towards getting a particular body shape or size
  • Feeling that they are a lot bigger/larger/heavier than they actually are
  • Finding eating uncomfortable  
  • Not feeling hungry or forgetting to eat