Overtraining and Eating Disorders


Some athletes suffer from overtraining symptoms related to compulsive exercise (also called overtraining). This is a result from trying to control or to lose weight. They often believe that there is no such thing as exercising too intensely or too long. This can cause injuries such as muscle strains, soreness, and tendinitis. Click the link below to read further on the topic: http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/eatingdisorders1/a/compulsive_ex.htm

You can also watch the video below to learn more about overtraining.

Overtraining can lead to anorexia, an eating disorder that leads to distorted body image and the need to lose weight and not eat. Similarly, it can lead to bulimia, an eating disorder that describes a cycle of binging then purging.

Warning Signs of Overtraining:

  • Severe anxiety over missing a workout
  • Can't relax because you think you aren't burning calories
  • Worry frequently about weight gain
  • Force self to exercise even if you feel bad or are in pain
  • Don't exercise for fun

The Dangers of Overexercising


Anorexia: an eating disorder that includes the refusal to maintain a healthy body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted body image.

Overtraining, stress, depression and numerous other factors can lead to anorexia. Symptoms of anorexia include:

  • Dieting even when thin
  • Obsession with calories, fat, grams, and nutrition
  • Pretending or lying about eating
  • Strange or secretive food rituals
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Fixation on body image

Read more about anorexia here: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anorexia_signs_symptoms_causes_treatment.htm


Bulimia: an eating disorder characterized by frequent episodes of binge eating, followed with efforts to avoid weight gain

Bulimia follows a cycle of binging then purging (see image below). People who suffer from bulimia purge their food to avoid gaining weight, however, this does not actually prevent weight gain. Vomiting after eating food only gets rid of 50%, if not less, of the calories consumed. Laxatives only get rid of 10%. Realizing this can help people to understand how harmful purging food is for their body.

Signs of bulimia include:

  • Lack of control over eating
  • Secrecy surrounding eating
  • Alternating between overeating and fasting
  • Excessive exercise
  • Frequent fluctuations in weight, but not underweight

Read more about bulimia at http://www.helpguide.org/mental/bulimia_signs_symptoms_causes_treatment.htm

The image below comes from this link.

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Get Help!

Follow this link to get support and treatment for overexercising or eating disorders:


They will help you find a healthy balance between exercise and nutrition!

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