Archive for October, 2013

What are the risk of developing an eating disorder?

 

Why is it that some girls are perfectly content with their bodies while others are never satisfied? It’s more than just an imagined sense of self-hatred – there are many influences that determine whether or not you’ll be prone to eating disorders in your life.

The first is gender. Although more women than men suffer from eating disorders, there’s an alarming rise in the number of young males experiencing the same bulimic or anorexic tendencies that their female counterparts do.

Age counts, too. No one is immune to eating disorders – they’ve been known to surface during the middle age years. But for most victims, the disorder gets rooted earlier – in their teens and young twenties.

If you are close to someone who has an eating disorder, like a loved one in your family, your risk increases. You’d think it would influence you in the opposite way, but instead it sometimes makes it socially acceptable.

People suffering from compulsive disorders like OCD sometimes get struck by an eating disorder because it’s one more way they can control their environment. Likewise, women who suffer from depression or anxiety report an increase in eating disorders.

If you’re the type of person who can’t get enough exercise, or someone who competes in athletic competitions, then you might be prone to developing an eating disorder because you falsely believe it will enhance your performance.

And we can’t forget the peer influences that are so critical to the outlook we have about ourselves. When you’re constantly criticized by a parent or sibling who tells you that you need to go on a diet, even in a joking manner, it can take an ugly turn into an eating disorder that wreaks havoc on your body.

If you fit any of these profiles, then you’ll want to take action to prevent yourself from developing or further involving yourself in an eating disorder lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about the issue and find out what a healthy weight and diet would be for your specific body type.

Instead of listening to the destructive voices that influence your concerns, work on building your confidence and socializing with positive people who don’t criticize you on a regular basis.

Avoid getting mired in the fantasy that you ought to look just like the Supermodel on the cover of this month’s Vogue magazine. Even the most beautiful models will tell you how thankful they are for the advance in technology that allows the editors to remove their own imperfections.

 

How Some Women Lose Weight And Keep It Off

How do some women lose weight

and it off?

 

The worst part of going on a diet is the fear that you won’t succeed long-term. Most women can go on a diet for s short amount of time and see positive changes, but most of them yo yo the pounds right back on.

We need to look at those long-term success stories and try to emulate their regimen so that the odds of you having to label yourself a “diet failure” are slim to none.

What’s important isn’t the number of pounds you lose, because even if it’s 1,000 pounds – that won’t matter if the end result is that you continue engaging in bad habits that pile the weight back on.

Instead of celebrating your weight loss, it’s time you started celebrating your commitment to implementing good habits in terms of nutrition and movement. Healthy eating and exercise can’t be something you do for a month or a year – it has to be something you adopt long-term.

Because it’s forever, and you don’t want to live in misery, you need to learn more about moderation and let go of your guilty conscience when it comes to calling certain foods “bad” or deeming yourself a “failure.”

Realistic Timelines

Most women who lose weight and keep it off for good don’t set goals they know they won’t be able to achieve. Saying you need to lose 70 pounds by next month isn’t just unrealistic, but it’s not healthy, either.

Your body wasn’t meant to burn fat that fast. The harder you push it, such as limiting yourself to too small of a calorie count, the more stubborn your body will be in hanging onto the fat stores you have because it feels like it’s in starvation mode.

Your metabolism could also be sluggish at first, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a long period of time. You need to give it time to get revved up so that it’s burning fat for fuel at a faster pace, and that doesn’t happen overnight.

You have to learn to be okay with slower weight loss because that’s the kind that will stay gone for good. The tactics you’d have to employ to whittle away the pounds rapidly are the ones that drive you insane to the point of quitting your diet.

Awareness of Hunger Cues

Women who are able to lose weigh permanently are those who stay aware of their mission. It’s not about obsessing over dieting. Those are the ones who go on a program like Weight Watchers and suddenly their entire identity revolves around that diet plan and nothing more.

Women who are aware of their hunger cues learn how to adopt the great habit of not eating when they’re not hungry. It’s a prevalent problem with women who are overweight – eating out of boredom or for emotional reasons.

If you want to be aware of your hunger cues, create a scale that you can identify with like this:

0 = so miserably stuffed you almost feel sick
1 = full
2 = not hungry
3 = you could eat something
4 = stomach is growling
5 = starving and have gone way too long without food

You want to eat whenever you’re between a 3 and a 4. You want to stop eating when you’re at a 2 – no longer hungry.

Most women don’t even know what hunger feels like anymore because they never truly let their bodies get to that point. They simply eat when it’s time. They also eat whatever portion is served.

Part of being aware of your hunger cues is about knowing when to stop eating what’s on your plate. You’ve probably heard that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to become aware of how full you are, so eat slowly or you’ll go over without knowing it for awhile.

It’s harder when you’re eating out at a restaurant to quit eating because after all, you’ve just paid for that meal and it’s more special than something you make at home (to some). Just get a to go box or be okay with the fact that you can have this food again some other time.

Moderation, Not Abstinence

The last sentence above is what this is all about. When many women go on a diet, they have an all or nothing mindset. Once you’re on that diet wagon, it means any “cheating” is a diet failure.

What kind of language is that – this is life! There are many foods in the world and none of them should be banned if it’s what you enjoy.

The key to losing weight long term is to take the moderation approach. Have cake and ice cream when you want it – but stick to your hunger cues. And with guilt out of the picture, you won’t tend to binge on things you feel like you have to give up another day.

Listening to your hunger cues and making all foods okay gives you the freedom to lose weight over time without feeling deprived, without panicking and being upset when you “cheat,” and without neglecting one of our favorite pastimes – eating.

Yes, many people will tell you that food should be for nourishment alone. That’s all well and good – but we can’t deny that we’ve grown up accustomed to making meals a part of our traditions.

We have special holiday meals, potluck dinners with friends, and comfort foods that we enjoy cooking for our own loved ones that are passed down in a family recipe book. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

The minute you vow to give up your favorite foods for good is the minute you sign a death warrant for your diet success. You’ll be concentrating on what you’re giving up, not what you’re gaining through better health habits.

Non Food Rewards

Women who lose weight and keep it off know how to reward themselves for all their hard work. They don’t lose 5 pounds and then plan a trip to their favorite restaurant to celebrate!

That’s a recipe for disaster because it enables you to binge during the meal instead of continue making progress with your positive habits.

Instead of meal rewards, find ways to appreciate your efforts that don’t involve food. Sometimes it can cost money, but it doesn’t always have to. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

· Manicure/pedicure (or even a new polish at the store if funds are tight)
· New outfit (to match the pounds shed – or one new item if you’re budgeting)
· New technology gadget (can be small or big)
· Day of rest and no work (no cleaning, cooking, etc.)
· New book (and a day spent browsing the shelves at Barnes and Noble)
· Go see a movie (new blockbuster or $1 movie if funds are tight)
· New fitness toy (Kinect fitness game, for example)
· Something for a hobby (knitting, pottery, or maybe even a class for something)
Your rewards need to be a symbol of your own interests. Don’t go see a movie your spouse wants to see (but you can’t stand) if it’s supposed to be your reward. Wait until you can see one that will be a pat on the back for all your hard work.

Ability to Ignore Influence

Sometimes, the ones we love most can be some of our biggest obstacles when it comes to losing weight. Friends and family mean well (you assume) – and most do! But not everybody goes about I the right way or has the best intentions at heart.

Reasons for the sabotage of your diet plans can be varied. Here are some of the most common ones:

· The loved one doesn’t want to be left behind. They don’t want to be overweight while you’re continually losing.

· They feel they know better than you do. Your sensible plan of moderation and hunger cues isn’t going to sit well with most family and friends who have been brainwashed into thinking hardcore deprivation is the only way to go.

· Think their harping is helping. The more they nag, in their minds, the better off you’ll be and the less likely you’ll be to “fall off the wagon.”

Most of the time, they don’t know they’re sabotaging you. They offer you fat-laden candy and meals in a joking manner, not realizing it’s hurtful to you that someone you care about would try to make you fail.

Just as you don’t want others pressuring you to diet their way, don’t do the reverse and turn into someone who does nothing but talk about how much weight she’s losing. Don’t lose the rest of your identity to become “the dieter.”

There’s more to you than what the scale says – and if you notice you’ve become obsessed with losing weight and can’t find anything else to talk about, it’s time to step back and find yourself again.

Don’t harp on other people to begin the diet plan you’re on. If they ask, feel free to share your success tips with them! But forcing it on someone is just as bad as those who sabotage you and try to get you to quit your diet.

Movement, Not Exercise

One of the worst parts about embarking on a weight loss plan (aside from making nutritional changes where we can’t eat nothing but junk food) is that we have to start moving our bodies.

The key to long term weight loss success you experience will work better if you enjoy adding movement throughout your day. It shouldn’t be something you dread and want to find excuses for.

Here are a few ideas to get you off the couch and into the world, burning calories while having fun:

· Kinect Video Games

· Ice or Roller Skating or Roller Blading

· Dancing

· Biking

· Sports (basketball, softball, boxing, running)

· Laser Tag

· Trampoline jumping

· Swimming

You can find combinations of these fun movements, too. For instance, Dance Central on Kinect has you dancing to your old favorites and new hits in the comfort of your living room – so inclement weather won’t even affect you!

You want to prevent boredom whenever you add an exercise regimen to your weight loss efforts. Not many people enjoy the thought of hopping on a treadmill day after day, watching the same scenery.

It’s much more fun (and better for your body) if you switch things up and change your routine so that it’s anything but routine in your life.

Swim when it’s warm and sunny, stay inside and dance when it’s raining, hop on the trampoline with your kids sometimes or take them to laser tag and run around the fields or complex all day.

Losing weight for the long haul means it can’t be something you don’t enjoy. It’s important that you be allowed to eat foods you love, that you’re not chained to an exercise bike week after week, and that you celebrate your efforts and have fun so that you never even consider going back to your old ways.

The Never Give Up Dieting Mindset

The never give up dieting mindset.

 

Being a quitter never feels good. But when we quit on our diet it’s more than just a decision not to do a task in life. It’s a sign that we’re not valuing ourselves as much as we should be.

Most people diet for one of two reasons. Either they don’t like the way they look being overweight, or they want to prevent or treat health problems that occur from obesity.

It’s okay to have vanity as the reason why you want to lose weight. Even wanting to look good is a sign of self care. When you quit on yourself, it can cause you to go into a frumpy state when you stop getting fixed up and taking pride in your appearance.

It’s as if you don’t feel worthy of getting fixed up because the pounds didn’t come off. This can cause a great deal of depression because your self esteem is taking a hit.

Allow Yourself Freedom to Enjoy Food

Quitting a diet is often caused by deprivation. You’re suddenly eating healthful foods that you didn’t eat before. A diet of fried chicken, marbled steaks and mashed potatoes is replaced with vegetables and lean meats grilled to perfection.

You don’t want to suffer from food boredom. You need to keep things interesting and never make a off limits or you’ll end up gorging on it. All foods should be acceptable, with mindful eating and proportions in place.

Try to learn various new cooking styles. For example, maybe you’ve never owned a pressure cooker. You can cook lean meats where the juice is packed in and the end result is tender and tasty using a pressure cooker.

You can also drop in a mess of peas with a bag of okra and pressure cook the ingredients for a healthy side item that’s not filled with fat or butter, clogging your arteries.

You can try out a variety of cooking styles using new kitchen appliances and cookware. Look up recipes online or get advice from a YouTube cooking channel as to how to properly use it for healthy cooking.

If you already have a favorite dish, find out new ways to make the meal healthier. For example, let’s say you absolutely loved lasagna. You might miss the decadent meal while dieting because your usual version is a rich combination of pasta and cheese with meat and sauce.

Look up a way to make it healthier online. For example, you can substitute vegetarian crumbles for the meat. Or make your own healthy sauce that has less sugar and salt in it. You can use a fat-free or low calorie cheese.

You might even find recipes that are similar, but that don’t even require you to make substitutions. For example, you can find a vegetable lasagna where you cut thin strips of squash and eggplant and other vegetables and layer that instead of pasta.

Try new ethnic foods, too. You might have an All-American diet with fried chicken and steak, but you can expand your repertoire to include foods like:

* Sushi
* Mediterranean Greek meals
* Vietnamese foods that focus on flavor
* Japanese meals like Miso soup
* Spicy Indian food that helps burn calories

You can also try cooking classes to help you prevent diet boredom, and ultimately, quitting. Cooking classes can be done in groups or one on one with a chef.

Make sure you sign up for a class that teaches healthy cooking. Much of this will be centered around herbs and flavoring, not the actual selection of the meal. You might have an entire new world of flavors opened up to you when you rely on a professional to show you the ropes.

Even for those foods that you know you already like and aren’t willing to give them up, make concessions for them to exist. Once you get past the guilt of allowing them to be on your menu, it will be easier for you to use them in moderation.

Sometimes, you might want to have an entire piece of cake. You’re hungry enough, you crave it enough – and it’s okay to allow that to happen. But the key is to be aware when you eat.

You want to eat slowly so that you’re not full before you can even have time to notice it. You want to put the fork down between bites to give your brain time to get the signal from your stomach that you’re no longer hungry.

Notice we didn’t say full. We said not hungry. That’s because this is when you want to stop eating. Just satiate your hunger and wait until the next meal to eat. This might mean that half of your cake is left on the plate.

That’s perfectly okay. Over time, you’ll learn what portions your new hunger needs. Until then, just wrap it up and put it in the refrigerator until the next time you want to eat the leftovers.

You can make a chart for yourself that showcases your hunger cues from starving all the way to stuffed, You want to be somewhere in the upper middle when you quit eat, which is around the point of “no longer hungry, but I could eat more.”

It takes awhile for you to get past your old habits. You won’t feel comfortable listening to your hunger cues, but this is what you did as a baby. Eventually, it will feel natural to you, just as eating two bites of cake will make you feel content.

When a typically “off limit” food is suddenly okay again, don’t worry if you initially binge on it. Keep making it available and when you consciously understand that it’s okay to eat and it’s not going anywhere, you will find yourself less attracted to it – because it’s not a situation of, “I’d better scarf that whole cake down because tomorrow I go on a diet!”

Lose “Fail” From Your Vocabulary

Guilt foods no longer exist. You still might have other issues that you’re struggling with when it comes to dieting, like the exercise part. It can seem too difficult to go to the gym when so many people there are already fit and perfect (to you).

But you don’t want to be a quitter. If you’re tired of dieting, then the very last thing you want to do is quit. That’s because you know that eventually, you’ll have to go through this entire rollercoaster all over again.

You’ll have to feel the guilt and humiliation of being fat. You’ll have to hit your rock bottom again – something that motivates you to make a decision to diet. You’ll have to go through the process of researching the best diet, buying everything you need for it, and announcing to everyone that this is when it’s going to happen for you.

All of it is setting you up for failure. It’s a routine. You already know how it’s going to end – and this is because you’re not approaching weight loss with common sense, long-term solutions.

You have to stop living like a dieter. Instead, become someone who is a healthy person. You eat well, you get up and move – and you treat your body right for the most part.

Don’t see this as a timed event. Saying things like, “I’m going to diet for 6 months” means this isn’t a lifestyle change for you – it’s a punishment. You need a lifetime modification.

When you get on a stringent diet, it prevents you from living a normal life. Suddenly, you’re chained down to calorie counters, kitchen scales and bathroom scales, too!

The tips you implement should not become a burden. They should allow you to approach weight loss effortlessly. Sometimes the burden they put on you isn’t time at all – it’s money.

Diets can cost you an arm and a leg. If you’re used to living on cheap past and suddenly you’re facing an $11 bag of apples, it can cause sticker shock at the checkout stand.

Find ways to cut costs and eat healthier without it putting a strain on your pocketbook because that can present as a reason why you should be allowed to quit.

When you diet, have you ever noticed that you just feel sluggish and tired? You may have been confused, because it seems like eating healthier should make you feel energetic.

But if you slashed calories too much, you’ll feel the fatigue – and your metabolism will also grind to a halt. That means everything you do eat will go straight to your fat stores because your body is worried about you.

Set Small Goals to Prevent Overwhelm

Don’t just see the big picture. If you do, you’ll want to quit because it will seem unachievable. Instead, set small, doable goals. Let’s go through some examples of these.

* Stop adding extra sugar to foods that already contain it.
* Eat one new vegetable per week.
* Drink 8 glasses of water each day.
* Lower your cholesterol by 10 points.
* Complete 10 minutes of exercise each day. (Build up to 60)
* Lose 1 pound per week.
* Lose one inch every 2 weeks.
* Learn one new healthy recipe every week,

Make sure you reward yourself when you meet these goals, but not with a cookie. Do it with a non food reward, like a mani/pedi or a new iTunes gift card so you’ll have new workout music.

Enlist the Help of Professionals

You don’t have to go it alone, even if it might seem that way when you’re staring down a plate of desserts and you’re trying really hard to ignore it. There are many professionals who can help you to the finish line.

Counselors are there for you. You might be eating for emotional reasons, or suffering from food guilt. A counselor who specializes in weight loss can stop you from becoming a quitter.

Nutritionists are very helpful. They work with you to balance your diet so that you’re not hungry, you’re getting the proper nutrition, and you gain the maximum health from your efforts.

Courses are great! They may or may not give you access to the trained professional, but they can be inspiring as you read along with someone else’s triumphant story.

Trainers at your local gym will motivate you to push through any plateaus. They know better than you what your body is capable of, so when you say, “I can’t!” they’ll say, “Yes you can!”

Doctors are a great source of support during your weight loss journey. They know the specific health issues you’re setting up for yourself, and they want you to win the battle of the bulge.

With a team of professionals by your side, there’s no way you shouldn’t be able to overcome your negative, quitter’s mindset. You just have to trust the slower process and change your lifestyle habits to do your part.