Zayn Malik Developed Eating Disorder During Final Months With One Direction, He Says

Zayn Malik doesn’t shy away from talking about his final months with One Direction, but still, the “Pillowtalk” singer has kept a few things private.

But in the year-and-a-half since leaving his former 1D band mates, Malik has slowly begun to reveal more about his final months with the boy band super group. For example, in his new book, Zayn, Malik revealed that he developed an eating disorder during his final months with the British band. Excerpts from the book were published in an article on BBC on Tuesday.

“It wasn’t as though I had any concerns about my weight or anything like that. I’d just go for days—sometimes two or three days straight—without eating anything at all. It got quite serious, although at the time I didn’t recognize it for what it was.”

During an interview with the Associated Press, Malik acknowledged that he was never actually diagnosed with an eating disorder, and he never sought treatment for the condition.

Still, Zayn said that when he looks back on photos from 2014 and 2015, he “can see how ill” he was. During the AP interview, Malik said that he sometimes opted not to eat because food was something he had control over.

“I didn’t feel like I had control over anything else in my life, but food was something I could control, so I did.”

Malik went on to describe what his final months with One Direction were like: a hectic schedule, time on the road, and normal teenage partying.

“I had lost so much weight I had become ill. The workload and the pace of life on the road put together with the pressures and strains of everything going on within the band had badly affected my eating habits,” Malik told the AP.

“I realized that I wasn’t eating as much just down to the amount of work that we were doing…our schedule was kind of crazy so we were all over the place,” Malik told the AP. “It was just more down to losing track of, you know, actually eating and being super busy and getting caught up with other things that 17 or 18-year-olds do, which normally entails them going out, drinking or partying, so it was a mixture of everything.”

The hectic lifestyle, coupled with Zayn’s well-documented struggles with anxiety, eventually led the British crooner to quit the band in March of 2015. A year later, Malik released his first solo album, Mind of Mine, to rave reviews.

As a solo artist, Zayn said, he has more control over his schedule, his lifestyle and yes, his eating habits. As a result, the 23-year-old feels a lot better these days, he said.

“That machine was already going, it was at 100 miles per hour and it was harder to get off that machine. I’m controlling this one.”

Though he still struggles with anxiety from time to time, Malik appears to be healthier and happier in his career as a solo artist. In addition to launching his solo career, Malik also has begun dating model Gigi Hadid since his split from One Direction.

What do you think of the revelation that Zayn Malik struggled with an eating disorder during his final months with One Direction? Do you think Zayn looked unhealthy at the time? Does he look better now? Share your thoughts.

[Featured Image by John Salangsang/Invision/AP]