TikTok Star Keith Lee Opened Up About His Eating Disorder (& What Got Him Through It) - Exclusive

This article contains discussion of disordered eating.

TikTok food reviewer Keith Lee has gained millions of followers on the social media platform by highlighting small and family-owned eateries in the Las Vegas area where he lives. His down-to-earth nature and candid videos of him trying everything from pizza to Korean-style glass noodles leave you feeling like you just got the inside scoop from a trusted friend about where you should be eating. But even though he has a healthy relationship with food today, that wasn't always the case.

Lee told us in an exclusive interview that while he was growing up in Detroit, he struggled with an eating disorder that started when he was on the wrestling team in middle school. In order to weigh in at a certain number, he felt like he had to drastically cut his calories.

"I would literally not eat anything all day, and I would look at food as the enemy," he revealed. "Even though I was extremely skinny already, I would only eat a jar of apple sauce for an entire week, and I wouldn't eat any food. Then when I was able to eat food, I would eat anything. I would binge eat like crazy until it was time for me to make weight again."

How he started having a more positive association with food

Keith Lee explained that restricting his food intake became so second nature for him that he didn't realize how much it was impacting him. "It started becoming a thing where I didn't understand that it was only for wrestling," he said. "I started doing it in my day-to-day. I wouldn't eat all day, or I would be a little bit bigger than I'm used to being, and it would completely throw off my mood. It was a full thing."

The TikTok star disclosed that because of this, he learned how to create his own meals by watching cooking tutorials and shows with his brother, which led to him discovering better eating habits. "I started to cook to figure out how can I eat foods that I want to eat and still look the way I want to look — and still enjoy my performance and have the best performance in the gym while eating," he explained. "This is the first time in [my] life that I've ever actually been able to eat what I want and enjoy myself."

To see Keith Lee's food reviews, check out his TikTok.

If you need help with an eating disorder, or know someone who does, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).