You know that it's great to be conscientious of your health, specifically the foods you put into your body and the way you work to maintain it. Eating healthy and working out on a regular basis are typically beneficial for you, but there are different levels of intensity when it comes to your affinity for healthy living habits. You could fall anywhere from the low end of the healthy lifestyle spectrum—where you work out and eat healthy only on days when you “feel like it” (which might be never)—to the middle or even the high end, where a major portion of your daily energy is spent thinking about and putting your healthy living routines into effect. If you fall into the latter category, you might be considered a “health nut” by many. Here are 10 signs to look for:
1. You've memorized the nutritional value of every food in your kitchen and can list each nutritional fact off the top of your head.
2. You adamantly turn down fast food or any meal that is not home-cooked because you don't want to take a chance, even once, on ruining your diet.
3. You occasionally pass up your usual Friday night activity with friends because you'd rather lift weights.
4. Your fridge is filled to the brim with eggs, cottage cheese and veggies.
5. You bring your own food with you wherever you go, whether it's the movie theater or even the bar.
6. You abruptly wake in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, because of a nightmare that you cheated on your broccoli with McDonald's.
7. You turn down valuable sleep in the morning because you just have to wake up at 4:30 AM to get in your workout.
8. Your friends, family or coworkers always come to you for health or nutritional advice because you're the “expert.”
You feel extremely guilty if you forget to take one of your supplements, pre-workout
or recovery drinks.
Your shaker cup
is your best friend—after your tub of cottage cheese, of course.
While this list is meant to be humorous, being a health nut can actually be too much of a good thing. If you find yourself working out excessively or unable to stop thinking about your next meal, you may be experiencing symptoms of an exercise addiction or even an eating disorder. Someone who is addicted to exercise loses balance and overvalues exercise compared to all other things in life that provide enjoyment and a sense of purpose, like family, friends, favorite activities, work and more. According to the American Running Association
, you might have an exercise addiction if you pass up emotional connections in favor of more training time, and “when injury, illness and fatigue don't preempt a workout; when all free time is consumed by training.” In addition, if you find yourself eating excessively or not enough, or becoming extremely fixated on what types of food and the amount you are eating, you may have an eating disorder. If you suspect even a little bit that you might have an issue with eating or working out, you should talk to your doctor right away.
Working out and eating healthy are two good habits to have, but it's important that you don't push yourself too far and go overboard. Food and exercise make up only a small part of your life, so make sure you take time for the people and things that matter to you!