Eating disorders in athletesStop Chasing Skinny Episode #20

Athletes and Eating Disorders – More Common Than You Think with Deb Iovoli

Did you know athletes are highly susceptible to developing an eating disorder? That is just one of the surprising facts I learned during the month of February during this 4-part series in support of National Eating Disorder Awareness Month.

This year’s theme for National Eating Disorder Awareness Month was, “I Just Didn’t Know.” I can’t think of a better theme because our social norm is disordered in itself. Normal does not mean healthy. Having tried every diet under the sun may be “normal” but it is far from healthy. Listen to the entire series to find out why.

Join us for Episode #20 with Deb Iovoli. She is a registered dietician specializing in eating disorders and a triathlete who doesn’t do much cardio… find out how she does it!

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Show Notes

This is what going too far can look like…

This is what going too far looked like for me. For runners it may look like multiple overuse injuries. For other athletes, some people never even see physical signs. The psychological problems associated with going too far may not manifest in physical form at all but that doesn’t mean they are innate. Those “not enough” thoughts could be more damaging and pervasive than we could even imagine.


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2008 Competition apx. 118 pounds

2008 Competition apx. 118 pounds

2011 Competition apx. 147 pounds

2011 Competition apx. 147 pounds











Precision Nutrition Infographic:

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Topic/Question #1:

Athletes and disordered eating and eating disorders… is this a problem? How does it look different from someone who is not an athlete? Or does it?

Could you talk about how overeating and then over training is actually a binge eating problem?

I am totally open book on this and talk about how I would eat a ton but then run mile after mile to try to balance it out but that can have some very harsh effects on the mind and body.

From my experience, I see a lot of women doing excess cardio to deal with anxiety which is a healthier way to manage but that coping mechanism can shift over to damaged metabolisms and overuse injuries which are the worst for someone who only knows how to manage anxiety by doing excessive cardio. Anything you want to talk about on this would be great.

Topic/Question #2:

Can you share some warning signs of an athlete taking their training and nutrition to extremes? (For example, I didn’t realize it was bad that I was not able to sleep and having night sweats when I was going through my adrenal failure stuff.) Maybe some tips on how we can pay closer attention to our bodies…

Topic/Question #3:

Let’s cover what it takes from a training, nutrition, recovery, and mindset perspective to be in peak physical condition

Topic/Question #4:

Are there certain types of athletes who are more susceptible than others? Where do many of these issues originate from? If it is a sport that kids are involved in, how can parents best support children?

Topic/Question #5:

What are some training and nutrition theories out there that can mess us up? You mentioned the fat burning zone being a myth… I know I used to eat extra spicy food but it doesn’t really matter if I was consuming 2,000 calories of the spiciest thai food I could find;-).