Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder isn't the same as occasional overeating. Plenty of people eat too much once in a while. Who hasn’t had a stomachache after a huge Thanksgiving dinner? People with this eating disorder, though, feel compelled to do so on a regular basis -- at least once a week over a period of 3 months or longer.

Feeling Distressed
People who have binge eating disorder feel they can't control how much or even what they're eating. They often eat alone, until they feel sick, or when they’re not hungry. Guilt, shame, disgust, or sadness come after the binge. People may feel so embarrassed about their behavior that they go out of their way to hide it from friends and family.

It's Different From Bulimia
Bulimia and binge eating disorder aren't the same, although they share some symptoms. People with bulimia also regularly overeat, and they may feel the same negative emotions, such as a loss of control, shame, or guilt. The key difference is that people with bulimia "purge" afterward. They might make themselves vomit, use laxatives or diuretics, or exercise too much. Purging is not part of binge eating disorder.

How It Affects Weight
Many people who develop binge eating disorder also struggle with their weight. Among people with the disorder, about two-thirds are obese, and one study found that as many as 30% of people who seek weight-loss treatment may also have it. People who are overweight or obese are also at risk for related health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

It's About Mental Health
Many people with binge eating disorder also have other emotional or mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse. They may also feel stressed, have trouble sleeping, and struggle with low self-esteem or body image shame.

What Causes Binge Eating Disorder?
Experts aren’t sure exactly what causes eating disorders. A mix of factors, including a person's genes, psychology, and background, may be involved. Dieting can lead to binge eating disorder, but we don't know whether that alone can trigger it. Some people may be extra sensitive to food cues, such as smells or images of food. The disorder can also result from stressful or traumatic life events, such as the death of a loved one or being teased about weight.

Recovery Is Possible
If you think you might have binge eating disorder, know that it can be successfully treated. The first step is getting a diagnosis. To do that, a doctor or other health professional will give you a physical exam and ask questions about your eating habits, emotional health, body image, and feelings toward food.

Treatment: Help With Thoughts, Feelings, and Food
Talking with a psychiatrist or other counselor is key in working on emotional issues. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) aims to change the negative thought patterns that can spark binge eating. Interpersonal therapy (IPT) addresses relationship problems that may be involved. It also helps to work with a nutritionist to learn healthy eating habits and keep a food diary as you're recovering.

Losing Weight With Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating can lead to weight gain and make it tough to shed extra pounds and keep them off for good. As part of their treatment, people with binge eating disorder may need help with that. Traditional weight loss programs may help, but some people struggle with strict diets. Ask your doctor whether you could benefit from a specialized weight-loss program for people with eating disorders.

If you're at risk for binge eating disorder, you can take action to avoid getting it. Watch for feelings such as, guilt, shame, or being impulsive around food, or having low self-esteem. If you have these kinds of issues, or if eating disorders run in your family, talk to a doctor or a therapist.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Getting Mentally Ready To Start a Diet

Getting Mentally Ready to Start a Diet

Whether you're doing the DASH diet, attempting Atkins or trying the TLC diet, finding the right mindset is your first step.

Make a commitment to change. Starting a diet on a whim might work, but the most successful people are truly prepared to make a change. It's about incorporating changes into your life to make a lasting difference. People have to have some sort of commitment and plan in mind. There are five stages of change.

Learn from past attempts - If you've failed at diets in the past, don't blame yourself. To get mentally prepared for future success, people should think about and learn from what they've already attempted and whether that's had any real sticking power.

Have an "if-then" plan in place - Being strategic and plotting key decision points makes it easier to avoid willpower pitfalls. Such as When you go to the grocery store, say "I am going to do X, Y, Z," or "At lunchtime, I'm going to do X, Y, Z." "Getting very specific helps make the behavioral choice in the context automatic.

Add, don't subtract - Deprivation can sap motivation. Add healthier food as one of your approaches, rather than take food away. Food plays an enormous emotional role in our lives. Instead of saying, "I will never eat a cookie again," how about when you have a cookie, you also serve yourself some fruit? Adding on instead of eliminating works well for many people. You will be more likely to eat only one cookie instead of a few.

Eat mindfully - You don't need to follow the MIND diet to be thoughtful about eating. The premise of mindfulness eating is that you eat with attention and awareness, it's really the opposite of mindless eating. With mindful eating, there are no good or bad foods. Be aware of how much you eat, and eating food with intention. You're tasting it, noticing its flavor and noticing if it's satisfying or not. Over time, excess food starts to fall away, and people who need to lose weight discover they're consuming fewer calories.

Be realistic, not rigid - Weight loss fluctuates, and there are so many variables over which we have little control, [such as] hormone cycles and salt retention.. A behavioral goal, for instance, could be having a daily salad. The jury's still out on whether routinely weighing yourself is helpful, but that can lead to disappointment if scale numbers don't reflect your efforts. Too-rigid food rules can cause people to throw in the towel. Instead, you should think in terms of continuums of success.

Check your emotions - Two kinds of hunger exist. There's physical hunger to satisfy your body's requirement for nourishment. Then there's our emotional hunger that meets our requirement for some sort of emotional soothing. The bottom line is if you're emotionally hungry, food isn't going to satisfy you. Learn to ask yourself: "What are you really hungry for?" "Is it food, a friend or a hug? " The more you're able to pursue that – the friend, the hug, the cry, the shout; whatever it is that you need – you won't lean on the food as a coping mechanism."

Tie food choices to feeling good - What you want is a daily, consistent, health-related choice to be associated with a continued positivity. It could be you feel more energy' or you feel better about yourself when you make this choice.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Eco-Atkins Diet

Eco-Atkins Diet
The aim: Weight loss and heart health.

The claim: You'll drop about 8 pounds per month, and see improvements in your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, a fatty substance that in excess has been linked to heart disease.

The theory: Low carbs can lower the risk of death from heart disease and almost all other medical causes when the diet substitutes high-protein plants for fatty, cholesterol-loaded meat, and piles on fruits and vegetables. Nutritional scientist David Jenkins at Canada's University of Toronto popularized this twist on Atkins a couple of years ago.

How does Eco-Atkins Diet work?
Do: Eat steak and other meats if you like them.
Eco-Atkins calls for 31 percent of daily calories to come from plant proteins, 43 percent from plant fats and 26 percent from carbs. Beyond that there are no strict rules, and you can adapt it to fit your needs; most followers eliminate all animal sources but others incorporate fish, lean white meat and occasional dairy products.

Protein needs focus on beans – white, black, pinto or garbanzo. Other good sources include nuts, high-protein vegetables like Brussels sprouts, and grains like couscous and pearl barley. An ounce of almonds provides 6 grams of protein – more than 10 percent of a 150-pound person's daily protein needs. A small portion of cooked broccoli – half a cup – offers 2 grams.

You will also swap unhealthy for healthy fats. Saturated and trans fats – think butter, whole milk, fatty cuts of beef and hydrogenated vegetable oils – can be harmful. Omega-3 fatty acids, nut butters, seeds, avocados and olives are heart-healthier options. Vegetable oils such as canola oil, flaxseed oil and walnut oil are also beneficial. They can be used for cooking, as salad dressings, or toppings.

Fullness: Nutrition experts emphasize the importance of satiety, the satisfied feeling that you've had enough. Hunger shouldn't be a problem on Eco-Atkins. Beans and other legumes, veggies and whole grains – all emphasized on the diet – are thought to take longer to digest, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. You're also free to choose how many calories you want to eat.

The final step is choosing carbs wisely. You have more leeway than you would on the traditional Atkins diet – 26 percent of calories come from carbs versus as low as 10 percent on Atkins. Starchy options like white bread, rice, potatoes and baked goods top the Eco-Atkins "don't-eat" list, while fruit, vegetables, whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat bread and oats are recommended.

Weight Loss: Regardless of claims made for low-carb diets, it's unclear whether the main reason for weight loss is carb restriction or simply cutting calories.

How easy is it to follow?
Depends on how long you can do without meat and "bad" carbs like white bread, potatoes and baked goods. Diets that severely limit entire food groups for months and years tend to have lower success rates than less-restrictive diets do.

Although it outperformed traditional Atkins, the experts felt Eco-Atkins is too fat-heavy and carb-light. Still, dieters needn't worry about malnourishment or overly rapid weight loss. Its score is middle-of-the-road.

Eco-Atkins is only an eating pattern. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't exercise. Being physically active lowers your risk of heart disease and diabetes, helps keep weight off and increases your energy level. Most experts suggest at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise – such as brisk walking – most or all days of the week.