When a diet has gone too far

DietPHOENIX, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- "A diet has gone too far when the restrictive calorie level or limited foods on the diet lead to episodes of binge eating; a diet has gone too far when a person purges calories by self-induced vomiting," said Juliet Zuercher, registered dietitian and the director of nutrition services at Remuda Ranch in Phoenix.

"If these binging and purging behaviors increase to multiple times per week, for three months or more, that's considered a full-blown eating disorder." Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating Disorders is an inpatient treatment center for women and girls with anorexia and bulimia.

If dieters experience weight loss and think a little is good, but a lot would be better, they are on a slippery slope, says Zuercher. When weight reaches below 85 percent of what is normal for their body, and they are obsessed with their body image and exercise, and if women miss three menstrual cycles in a row, that's a clear warning sign that an eating disorder is present, according to Zuercher.

However, even lesser combinations of these symptoms can mean an eating disorder, says Zuercher.