I revisit this important topic in my most recent Psychology Today “Thin From Within” blogpost. For more, check the “weight loss surgery” archive, left, as well.
Here is a reprint of a post on my Psychology Today (PT) blog, “Thin From Within” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/thin-within) that suits this time of year.
Fall, and Back-to-School time, lend themselves to resolutions. Think about it: This is a time of transition, often with a recommitment to routine. It’s a season, too, that lacks the pressure that charges New Year’s Day. Resolutions to change specific, sometimes small, habits are those most likely to succeed, in any season. Lists of “Eat Healthier” or “Eat Lighter” targets have caught on, appearing helpfully at years-end and elsewhere. These suggest small but significant changes that build toward better weight and health. This fall, however, I’m thinking of “Eat More Sanely” targets instead. Such targets surely bolster those aimed at diet. Attitude, self-care, and behavioral goals emerge here—and any one will render the desired weight and fitness goals more likely to happen, and more likely to stick.
As with other resolutions, you can easily scan a list and say, “I need to do all of these!” However, starting with an item that’s potentially manageable can make a bigger difference than you might think. Starting with this one, however small, lays the groundwork for others. This one can help build confidence and a readiness for further change. Also, with these kinds of targets, perfection doesn’t count. Getting started, and keeping at it, counts.
Here are eight potential “Eat More Sanely” targets that can spur important shifts. (Each item ends with a link to related reading to get you started.) (more…)
Lately, a number of readers have rediscovered my April 12, 2011 blog, Be Kind to Yourself: It’s Better for Your Diet….judging by recent tweets and retweets. So, I offer the link here to make this still-timely article easily to locate: http://www.eatsanely.com/be-kind-to-yourself-its-better-for-your-diet
Read this recent post on my “Thin From Within” blog at Psychology Today!
I reprint here my latest Thin From Within blog from Psychology Today:
Those of us concerned with diet, health, weight, eating disorders, and addiction follow what I call “Sugar News” with great interest. Starting, perhaps, in 2011, with the New York Times story “Is Sugar Toxic?”, followed by a 60-Minutes segment with the same name, the public has had increasing exposure to what Overeaters Anonymous has known for years: some people just can’t stop. We’ve learned that sugar lights up addicts’ brains as clearly as drugs do. Further, we’ve learned that it may be sugar, and not fat, fueling diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and other diseases on the rise.
National Geographic now steps forward as the latest major magazine headlining Sugar News. “Sugar Love: A Not So Sweet Story”, by Rich Cohen, recounts our species’ historical love affair, and its significant struggles, with the substance that was once used sparingly, as a rare spice. (We now consume, on average, 78 lbs. per person, per year—some spice!) Cohen not only reviews sugar’s health tolls but provides deep perspective on why and how it spurs such rampant problems.
Other recent news, however, jars in contrast. For the latest review of our nation’s eating trends, well summarized by the New York Times’ Jane Brody last week, shows little change in our sweet consumption. That 78 lbs. per person remains stable, even if it is down somewhat from its all-time high. It’s still way too high, about 22 teaspoons per day. “….Cut back, many of the ill effects disappear…..”, one prominent medical researcher admonishes. But it seems the increasingly frequent headlines—calling sugar a toxin, a poison, a drug—haven’t nudged our behavior all that much, at least not yet.
Realistically speaking, however, mass changes can take a long time. It might take decades for these relatively recent findings to affect individual habits. It might in fact require changes in public health policy (think here of tobacco research). In the shorter run, though, Sugar News most certainly bolsters a group that sometimes does, and sometimes does not, overlap with the obesity stats: the binge eaters, or self-identified food addicts. Many in these groups benefit immediately from Sugar News. Indeed, new and affirming paths for healing open as a result. (more…)
I reprint here the most recent post from my Psychology Today “Thin From Within” blog:
In a true sign of our times, binge eaters have shown up significantly in the pages of several novels I’ve read this year. In one fine example, The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg, the powerful, overeating protagonist affects the lives of family and friends in far-reaching ways. In the end, one character comprehends how “….food is a wonderful place to hide.”
For many, starting in childhood or beyond, food becomes a source of solace and a companion–not only in hard times, but at the end of even normally stressful days. It’s something to look forward to, something that’s reliably there. This powerful emotional bond may be fully conscious, or not. When it exists, as it does for many who overeat, it’s no wonder that the diet of the moment won’t work, or that new regimes don’t last. In the lists of which foods to eat and avoid, dealing with the loss of this sanctuary gets missed, and the cycle of dieting and overeating resumes. (more…)
I recently found this post on the LiveInNanny blog. Its author echoes many of the points often made here, but with a specific focus on the overeating that follows frustrating times with kids. I hope some of you find it helpful!
I’m reprinting here a recent post from my Psychology Today “Thin From Within” column. Food addiction concerns many overeaters and dieters these days. Here, some ideas for change….
By now the scientific verdict is clear: some foods can spark cravings that rival those of any abused drug. Binge eaters have long suspected this. We now know that for many, the brain calls out for more of certain foods—typically sugar or other simple starches—and stopping feels impossible. Food binges may not wreak as much havoc–at first, anyway–as daily drunkenness or party drugging. They do kick-start diabetes, cardiac, and other problems, though. And they trap people in cycles of struggle and shame just as surely as other drugs do.
The overeater may hear “Just don’t eat it, then!” more often than the drug addict. Somehow, we understand that drugs exert a pull. Those who eat without struggle often can’t understand how someone simply can’t “each just one”. These days, understanding and supports have solidified for the binger, though, and clearer paths to freedom can emerge. These paths often include six predictable points along the way. (more…)
My New Year’s blogpost at Psychology Today helps us consider how to Leave the Kingdom of Sweets behind, post-holidays. It also proposes that we integrate some of this Click here to read the entire post.“leaving behind” into the New Year in whatever way works best for us.
Best wishes for
a healthy happy New Year!
“Your Brain on Food” warns one caption. “Can Some
Foods Hijack the Brain?” asks another. Now that science
finds similar pathways lighting the brain whether it’s on sugar or cocaine, many overeaters feel validated. They’ve known this “hijacking” for years. Others, puzzled by all the fuss, wonder “Why not just have one?”
When it comes to binging, many of the prime suspects emerge as addictive agents: sugar, sugar-fat combinations, and maybe certain flavor enhancers. Many—overeaters included—resist calling themselves “addicts”, however. They can’t imagine life with no sweets at all, and recoil at the ideas of “abstinence” or 12-step groups.
The addiction lens helps many indeed to find freedom and health. However, there’s truth in what holds others from embracing that approach: it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid sugar in our world. And problems can and do arise in making a whole range of foods taboo. Loss of control and binging itself among them. (more…)
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