March 2011 Archive
Caitlin Boyle began a movement by placing a Post-It in a public restroom that simply said, “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!”
This one act created a movement! Women all over the world began sharing positive affirmations, leaving them for each other in all sorts of places including gym lockers, diet products in stores and public places.
What a way to “pay it forward” and create body acceptance and feelings of self-worth!
Check out their web site and new book at www.operationbeautiful.com
I see many people who struggle with some form of disordered eating that believe they are addicted to sugar, some say they are addicted to sugary and salty foods. Some times it is fatty ones. Here are some of the FAQs on this very important topic:
FACT: The most common targets of food cravings are energy-dense foods that are sweet, salty, high in fat, or both. (People often refer to a sugar-fat-salt combination).
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN? In clinical studies, eating sweet, salty and high-fat foods has been found to stimulate the brain to release dopamine (the neurotransmitter associated with the pleasure center). Over time pathways in your brain associate pleasure with these foods. You can start craving them simply by seeing them, thinking about them or being exposed to them without feeling hungry. Once you eat them, dopamine is again released and you feel emotional relief
When you eat sugary, salty, and high fat foods chemicals are sent to your brain that make you feel good making you crave more. Over time your brain associates these foods to feeling good.
DOES THIS MEAN I AM ADDICTED? No. There is no evidence that sugar and fat permanently impact the neurobiology of your food preference.
Just because it tastes good and feels good to eat these foods does not mean you are hardwired to become addicted and keep craving more.
WHAT FACTORS CONTRIBUTE TO FEELING OUT OF CONTROL EATING CERTAIN FOOD? Dieting! Restricting certain foods heightens the way your body perceives and responds to food. By restricting you become more preoccupied with food and can prime yourself to binge. Beliefs about “good” and “bad” foods contribute to these patterns because it sets up all or nothing thinking. These foods are not eaten to relieve hunger suggesting the presence of emotional reasons underlying cravings. In studies with rats (Mary Hagan), rats only binged on their chow after three conditions were met: they had been on a diet, they were stressed, and they sometimes had access to Oreos.
OKAY, SO WHAT CAN I DO? You can rewire your brain’s response to food and develop peaceful relationships with food, eating, and weight. It is a process of re-learning new skills. Shift your perception by challenging the way you see food. Rather than perceiving French Fries as a guilty pleasure, eat because you are hungry. View food as nurturance and energy your body needs. Do not eat for reward or punishment or as a means of self-soothing. Develop alternative ways of coping and addressing your feelings. Eat small portions of the foods you crave. Increase your body’s movement. Pay attention to your feelings- MANY cravings stem from not getting emotional needs met, feeling deprived or believing you should be deprived.
When you are not getting your needs met elsewhere seeking food as a pleasure or reward becomes more important.
HOW TO RE-INTRODUCE FORBIDDEN FOODS: Set your own pace and determine for yourself what feels safest (i.e. bring home small packages of an item until you see you are in control, identify which foods you want to reintroduce). Practice mindfulness. If you have some cake and ice cream balance it out with low glycemic foods (fruit, veggies, legumes, grains). This promotes physical and emotional harmony and balance. Identify other activities that make you feel good that do not involve food. Most cravings last for 30 seconds. Ask yourself, what can I do to feel good during this time period?
A new campaign targeting childhood obesity in Georgia is stirring up a lot of debate! The campaign shows images of children described as obese and includes obesity statistics, you can see footage of the campaign here.
The campaign has met criticism for perpetuating weight stigma and bias as well as contributing to issues that trigger bullying among children and teens.
What do you think? Share your thoughts by completing the survey sponsored by the Obesity Action Coalition.