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Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2017

Every year in late February the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA)  hosts eating disorder awareness week.  This year’s theme is “It’s Time to Talk About It”.

I love this theme as often people struggle for years with eating and exercise problems in silence.  Due to our crazy diet culture, it is hard to separate what is normative and what is an eating disorder.  Furthermore, there are a lot of people struggling with sub-clinical eating disorders or disordered eating.  Sub-clinic eating disorders mean that someone struggles with food issues, but doesn’t meet the criteria for a full-blown eating disorder.

Clinical eating disorder or disordered eating causes pain to the sufferer and those around them.   Therefore, the key is getting help & not suffer in silence.

NEDA is a great place to start they offer:

⇒Free and confidential on-line screening tools

⇒Confidential helpline

⇒Blog and videos from recovered individuals & clinicians

⇒And much, much more!

 

 

Get Off the Diet Roller Coaster, For Good!

Chronic dieter?   Feel out of control with food?  Tired of weight cycling?  Feel guilty after eating “bad” foods?  Feel at war with your body?  Concerned about your health?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I highly recommend reading and learning about Intuitive Eating developed by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA.   

The first edition of Intuitive Eating was published in 1995.  For over 15 years, I have been using principles of Intuitive Eating with clients.  Recently, I trained with Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD to become a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.  I am excited to share the ins & outs of Intuitive Eating & other tools, over my blog, webinars and in one-on-one sessions.

Intuitive Eating is an evidence-informed approach to making peace with food used by counselors, dietitians and eating disorder treatment centers across the country and worldwide.Continue reading

5 Reasons *Not* to Diet in 2017

New Year's ResolutionIt is that time of year: When New Year’s resolutions have been set.  Many headlines promote the “newest” diet trends to “jump start” weight loss in 2017.

If you make this resolution year after year with little results & lots of frustration have you ever considered NOT dieting?

Want to get off the diet roller coaster?  Make peace with food? Feel more in control of your eating?  If you answered yes to any of these I encourage you to set a new type of resolution: NOT to diet in 2017 or really ever again.

Why you ask?  I will give you five good reasons:

1.  Dieting doesn’t work for long-term weight regulation.  Scientists don’t have any good data that shows dieting works consistently in reducing weight, long-term.Continue reading

Weight Stigma Awareness Week 2015

According to an on-line dictionary stigma is defined as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality or person”.  Synonyms of stigma include shame, disgrace and dishonor.  Weight stigmatization is essentially shaming and blaming people about their body weight.

In efforts to promote awareness and ultimately prevention of weight bias in our culture, The Binge Eating Disorder Association sponsors a week long Weight Stigma Awareness Week annually in September.  This year’s theme, held September 21st through 25th, is “Bias and Bullying: Weight Stigma in Diverse Communities.”

Studies suggest that weight bias may actually INCREASE the likelihood of obesity, binge eating and staying obese.

Weight BiasWeight stigma is wide spread throughout our society including areas of employment, education and health/mental health care.  Studies indicate that weight stigma is on the rise in our society.  Weight stigma often is internalized by individuals which can lead to shame, hopelessness, isolation, etc.

A recent study published in Pediatric Obesity (July 2015) found that weight-based bullying is the most prevalent form of bullying in our youth.   This study found that more kids are being teased about their body weight than academic ability, physical/cognitive disables, sexual orientation, race & ethnicity or religion.  According to the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, the consequences of weight-based bullying increases our children’s risk for depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor body image, suicidal thoughts, poor academic performance and avoidance of health promoting behaviors.Continue reading

May 6th is International #NoDietDay

#NoDietDayOf course if I had it my way…EVERYDAY would be #NoDietDay!!

Here are just a few stats on dieting:

1.  95% of diets fail (weight is regained). ***Note:  Diets fail–NOT people***

2.  20-25% of dieters progress to disordered eating or clinical eating disorders.

3.  Studies show that dieting among female adolescents is a shared risk factor for purging, binge eating and overweight.

4.  Food restriction increases risk for overeating and binge eating.

5.  Studies suggest that dieting is a predictor of future weight GAIN.

6.  Making people feel bad about their weight is a strong predictor of obesity.

7.  It has been speculated that weight cycling (gaining and losing of weight) leads to chronic inflammation which is linked to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes.

 

Sources:

The Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders

The Science Daily Study: “Simply being called ‘fat’ makes young girls more likely to become obese: Trying to be thin is like trying to be tall”.

The Science Daily Study: “Dieting does not work, researchers say”.

Study: Influence of obesity, physical inactivity, weight cycling on chronic inflammation (2010).

Study: Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: Diets are not the answer (2007).

Study: Examination of shared risk and protective factors for overweight and disordered eating among adolescents (2010).

 

Bullying Can Trigger Disordered Eating

We alBullying and Eating Disordersl know that bullying is harmful to our children.  And researchers and eating disorder professionals are now just starting to understand that bullying can contribute to disordered eating.  If a pre-teen or teen has an eating disorder they could be using their eating disorder behaviors to cope with being bullied.  To read more about how disordered eating/eating disorders are believed to be “helpful” in coping with life stresses please visit here.

**Eating disorders are described as maladaptive coping skills-behaviors that are harmful overtime.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2015

Today, FebruaryEating Disorders 22nd, kicks off Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  Sponsored by The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), awareness week runs February 22nd-28th and the goals are to impart the seriousness of eating disorders, to improve public understanding of eating disorders and increase early detection and intervention in order to increase rates of recovery for eating eating disorders.

This year’s theme for is “I had no idea”.  There are often misconceptions about eating disorders in communities, families and even in the medical profession.  This year’s theme, “I had no idea”, does a great job of tackling some of the misconceptions around eating disorders.

 

 

Can’t Follow a Diet?

Can't follow a dietWhether you are a chronic dieter or a newbie at dieting—you know diets are tough to “stay on”.

Lack of willpower or personal shortcoming is often sighted as the reason people can’t follow a diet. I believe that lack of willpower is not the reason for diet failure, but the diet itself.  There is little to no evidence that shows dieting works to reduce body weight (and keep it off) in large sample sizes of people.  Most studies indicate that dieting works for a while, but isn’t a long-term solution.

If you have been on several diets this may sound familiar: You are able to follow a diet for a few weeks or months, then you get side-tracked and go “off” the diet and then re-gain lost weight.

There are so many bad things about dieting, beside dieting’s ineffectiveness, I don’t know where to begin. But, here are just a few of my gripes about dieting:Continue reading

Your Brain on a Diet

In my last post, New Year’s Resolution: Ditch the Diet, I explained that dieting is ineffective form of weight regulation for most people, is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder and can wreak havoc on our self-esteem.

In this post I am excited to share Dr. Sandra Aamodt’s TEDS talk-the neuroscience behind why dieting doesn’t work.

Dr. Sandra Aamodt, a neuroscientist, explains how our brains regulate our body weight like a thermostat which makes dieting an ineffective way to lose weight.

Dr. Aamodt’s talk starts out a little dry and slow, but hang in there.  She offers compelling research on how to improve your health regardless of body weight, throws in humor and her personal experience with dieting.  Which had me laughing and crying by the end.

It is definitely worth 12 or so minutes of your time.

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