Signs of Anorexia in Adults

Signs of Anorexia in Adults

Illustration of an adult counting calories.

Books, television, and movies have conditioned us to think of anorexia as something only young women experience. But, of course, while this stereotype is somewhat based in reality, it is not 100% true.

Most—but not all—people develop anorexia in adolescence. And most—but not all—people who suffer from anorexia are female. That still leaves plenty of men and women who begin to show signs of anorexia well into adulthood. And there are many others who develop anorexia as teenagers but go undiagnosed and untreated for years. (1)

All of this to say: if you’re an adult wondering about your own eating habits and the lack of calories you take in on a regular basis, it’s also to wonder if you might have anorexia. Today we’ll try to help you answer the question.

5 Key Signs of Anorexia in Adults

There are a few things you can consider when wondering if you or someone you love might suffer from anorexia. To make things simple, we’ll look at some of the specific categories posed by healthline.com. (1)

Weight Obsession

 A person with anorexia will likely think about, research, and discuss all things related to weight, including food types, calories, and dieting options. You may find yourself taking notes about everything you consume, adding up calories, and stressing over the totals.

As a result, you might try abstaining from entire food groups in order to achieve the body type you most desire. For a person suffering from anorexia, these thoughts will likely be intrusive and regular, not just present at mealtimes.

Mood Issues

Failing to meet nutritional needs eventually leads to other problems inside the body, which include mental health issues. And, of course, body dissatisfaction itself creates a host of issues.

Because of these reasons, you may suffer from depression and anxiety. You may also find yourself trending unhealthfully toward perfectionism, impulsivity, and a desire for complete control in all areas of your life–most of all, your body.

 Harsh Body Image

 Regardless of what other people see, a person suffering from anorexia feels sadness, despair or even disgust when they look in the mirror. Maybe you’re always thinking about your body size or wishing you could change and looking for ways to make that change happen.

A person suffering from anorexia will often judge themselves so harshly that if they were to voice their opinions of themselves to others, they would be met with confusion and sincere, positive comments.

Decreased Eating and Weight Loss

With anorexia, a person doesn’t eat as much as they used to, and they do not eat as much as they need to. For most people, this is a physical struggle, and they choose not to eat by denying hunger. For others, something in the brain may trigger a signal that tells the body they aren’t so hungry after all, and they simply refuse to eat.

Regardless of whether you find yourself eating less as a result of denial or refusal, eating less than the calories needed to sustain your body day after day will likely result in severe weight loss. Both of these are the most clear and obvious signs of anorexia.

Think you or a loved one might be suffering from anorexia? We can help. Give us a call today at 562-434-6007



  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anorexia-signs-symptoms