Why are people with anorexia so obsessed with protein?

Why are people with anorexia so obsessed with protein?

If you’re anything like I was, you believe protein is the most important macronutrient.

You fear eating anything high in fat or carbs (especially sugar), and are unable to bake anything unless protein powder is involved.

As I write in my memoir Rainbow Girl, I had an entire section of the pantry dedicated to giant tubs of protein powder and every flavor of protein bar imaginable.

Above is a photo from 2016 – my "health" drawer.

To quote Rainbow Girl:

All of the restriction – the dessert-flavored protein bars, the airy protein fluff, waiting to eat the majority of my calories until later in the day – were all ways in which I was building a “buffer” around my intake.

Diet culture taught me that protein was the most satisfying of the macronutrients, which my literal mind translated into protein being the most important.

Whereas I feared eating a real cookie would just leave me wanting more, a cookie-dough-flavored protein bar would guarantee physical satisfaction.

Whereas I feared eating an ice cream cone would have me at the mercy of mental hunger until the entire pint was gone, two massive bowls of protein fluff would guarantee physical fullness.

Protorexia – protein meets anorexia

Because our society loves to label anything and everything, this obsession with protein has recently been termed “protorexia” – i.e. protein + anorexia/orthorexia.

Based on my historic protein obsession, the addiction model would have you think being fully recovered means completely abstaining from protein.

The thing is, that unlike alcoholism or drug addiction, addictions regarding food are a bit more complex.

My current relationship with protein powder

Protein is an essential macronutrient, not to mention one that increases the satisfactory component of meals and snacks.

It’s crucial to consume protein, but as with all behaviors, the intention is the most important.

I still use protein powder on a daily basis. More specifically, Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is my go-to! Not only is it 100% plant-based, silky smooth, and easy to digest, but it makes my oat bowls and mug cakes thick + fluffy ☁️

Many of the recipes in my cookbook contain protein powder, and it’s something I recommend to many of my friends and clients.

Protein powder/bars and “healthified” recipes can be an incredible addition to anyone’s diet – but remember that’s all they are: an addition.

Protein powder is not a replacement for the variety of foods your body and mind require.

You cannot supplement your way out of malnutrition.

You can, however, incorporate whatever you need to support your unique version of health. To help you do that, use my code to get 20% off Nuzest protein!

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