Weight Loss

Do You Have an Addiction to Food? 5 Food Addiction Symptoms

I have always enjoyed SHAPE magazine and recently found this on-line. The article is written by Jennipher Walters and describes what symptoms to look for if you’re wondering if you could be addicted to food/eating!!

I often say that in college I was addicted to Pop Tarts. In graduate school, it was candy corn. These days, thankfully, I’m more drawn to more nutritious foods, but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard others say that they’re addicted to chocolate, or chips or fast food. While we usually all say these things in jest, the more research that is done on the brain’s reaction to some foods, the more food addiction isn’t just a joke — it’s a reality.

The latest study to come out Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that a chocolate milkshake may affect the brain in the same way that cocaine might. Cocaine! Researchers are finding that high-sugarand high-fat foods, in a way, hijack the brain into not just craving but needing certain kinds of food. So how do you know if you are truly addicted to food? Or if you just really like and crave something? Below are five symptoms that may indicate an addiction to food.

5 Food Addiction Symptoms

1. Food is all you think about. If thinking about eating — or worrying about what you just ate — is getting in the way of your ability to go to work, be social or be a good family member, you may have a problem.

2. You want to stop — but you can’t. If you feel like your love of food is out of control or if you want to stop eating so much but can’t stop, it may be a sign that you need professional help.

3. You eat in secret or lie about what you’ve eaten. One characteristic of most people who are addicted to food is that they hide their eating behaviors or lie about what they’ve consumed. Feelings of guilt and shame when it comes to eating is another sign of disordered eating.

4. You eat beyond the point of fullness. Eating too much on Thanksgiving or your birthday is one thing, but regularly binging is another. If you regularly eat so much that you feel sick or can’t stop eating even though you’re full, you might be addicted to food. If you use laxatives or purge after binging, it’s especially important to seek professional help.

5. You are compelled to eat when you’re not hungry or are feeling low. While we all eat out of emotion every now and again, if you find yourself always going for high-fat and high-sugar foods when you’re lonely, bored, stressed, anxious or depressed, this can signal food addiction, as your body is using some of the chemicals in those foods to boost levels in the brain.

Jennipher Walters is a certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, and holds an MA in health journalism.

Are You Addicted to Food?

So many people have seriously – and half kidding – have asked me if food can be addicting. And my answer is always a resounding YES! I know this is just a little over 7 minutes but when you’re wondering about how/where cravings begin, and how (food) addiction keeps you from losing weight, then you need to view this video. Our THINKING (in fighting the battle of the muffin top) is critical but the pathology of addiction is something that needs to be understood too – and I think this video does a nice job of it!

Eating 3 Meals a Day?

The research linking weight and meal frequency is fuzzy. A recent study suggests that it’s not the number of meals you eat that matters, but the total number of calories consumed. While both the overweight and normal-weight participants reported eating three meals a day, the thinner ones ate fewer calories even though they reported eating one more snack a day.

“Eating the right foods at the right time helps keep your blood sugar steady, but eating frequently is not a ticket to overeat,” says Sari Greaves, R.D., nutrition director at the Step Ahead Wellness Center in Bedminster, N.J.

Here’s the latest evidence for different meal plans:

  • Three Meals. It’s the magic number, according to a January 2011 review that found that eating one or two meals a day left people hungrier than eating three meals a day, even when they consumed the same number of calories.
  • Eating Less. Another study of 15 middle-aged adults compared eating three meals a day with just one large dinner. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner diet was linked to lower blood pressure, lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and feeling fuller. But those who ate just one meal a day had higher HDL (good) cholesterol and better glucose levels. Researchers said there are benefits to fewer meals, but the key is to cut your overall calories.
  • Six Meals. Eating six meals a day on a regular schedule has been associated with lower overall calorie intake, and lower total and LDL cholesterol compared with an irregular meal plan of three to nine meals a day, according to British researchers.
  • Bottom Line. If you’re watching your waistline, research suggests that eating three meals a day, with a healthy snack thrown in, will curb hunger pangs. If you opt for smaller, more frequent meals (about 300 to 4– calories each), stick with those that are nutrient-dense, like lean meats, low-fat dairy, and produce. You can use a notebook as a food diary to keep tract of your calories.

If you don’t have much of an appetite, focus on larger meals that contain high-quality protein like egg whites, healthy fat like almond or peanut butter, and lower carbohydrates, such as Greek yogurt, to remain full longer.

Going Up? Take the Stairs

Take the stairs–and save time?

It’s true, according to a recent study. Researchers timed four Canadian hospital workers as they took the stairs or an elevator to their designated floor. Using the stairs took just over 13 seconds per floor, on average, while the elevator took around 36 to 38 seconds (including the time spent waiting for it to arrive). Saving time is in addition to the obvious advantage of taking the stairs, which is that they help you get more exercise.  (Consumer Reports on Health, April 2012)

If you’ve ever pushed the button for the elevator and waited, and waited (and pushed the button again), how many times have you muttered “it would be faster to take the stairs?”  Well, next time, take the stairs!!

Tips for Successful Slumber

A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with a thyroid issue, and up until that point I had many health problems that were plaguing me and they really took a toll on me.  In the midst of trying to get my health more balanced, one piece of advice I took from my doctor was the value of getting a good nights rest.

I don’t think, up until that point, I ever really thought of ‘quality sleep’ one way or another, nor how valuable sleep/rest is for your body (and brain).  I now know that when I get the right amount of sleep, it is amazing how different I feel, and I encourage you NOT to wait until a health problem rears its ugly head before you take action.

In the meantime, here are some helpful tips from Consumer Reports on Health (April 2012 edition):

Even if the cause of your sleeplessness is properly treated, poor sleep habits might need to be managed separately. These techniques can help.

*Set a bedtime and wake-up time. A schedule teaches your body to expect sleep at a certain time each night.

*Curb napping. A 30-minute snooze before 3 p.m. can help make up for lost sleep, but later naps could hinder sleep at night.

*Limit alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Refrain from smoking 2 hours before bedtime. Eliminate caffeine at least 6 hours before then, and avoid alcohol 4 to 6 hours before going to bed.

*Avoid large, late meals. They can cause sleep-disturbing indigestion, But a bedtime snack consisting of a carbohydrate and a protein – such as peanut butter on toast or cheese and crackers – can help induce drowsiness.

*Establish a soothing bedtime routine. A warm bath, reading, or listening to mellow music will help you wind down.

*Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Try a sleeping mask or heavy curtains to shut out light. Use earplugs, a fan, or a sound machine to block noise. Consider replacing an old mattress.

*Turn off the technology. In a 2011 poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 95 percent of the participants said they watched television or used a computer or other electronics in the hour before going to bed. But light-emitting screens discourage sleep.

*Use your bed only for sex and sleep, which will train you to associate it with just those two things. If you don’t doze off within 20 minutes of trying to sleep, leave the room and do something relaxing in dim light until you’re sleepy.

*Exercise early in the day. Regular aerobic exercise promotes sleep, but evening workouts can impede it by raising body heat.

*Use natural light. It keeps your internal clock on a healthy schedule. Open shades to wake with the sun, and spend at least 30 minutes outside daily.


Dine Out and Lose Weight?

Training in mindful eating can help frequent restaurant-goers prevent weight gain, according to a recent study of 35 women who dined out an average of six times a week.

One group received weekly training on portions, hunger cues, and staying aware while eating; the other didn’t.  After six weeks, the women in the mindful group cut their daily intake of food by about 300 calories and lost 4 pounds, on average.  (information provided by Consumer Reports on Health, April 2012)

Just another reason why having a Diet Coach just might be so helpful!

The Dirty Word – Exercise

15 is the number of minutes of moderate exercise that is needed daily to extend your life by three years, according to new research published in The Lancet.

Eating Well magazine, Feb 2012


Drinking Diet Pop

To most, the word “diet” equals weight loss. But diet soda may not be holding up its end of the bargain. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center Center at San Antonio recently found that people who drank two or more diet sodas daily had a six-times-greater increase in waist circumference at the end of the 10-year study than those who didn’t drink diet soda at all.

Those bigger waists sizes may be due to the “I saved here, I can splurge there” theory of dieting, says researcher Sharon Fowler, M.P.H. Or perhaps the artificial sweeteners in diet soda stoked diet-soda drinkers’ appetite, as other research suggests.

Have a Chocolate Craving?


Beat Afternoon Cravings

Are you like me and struggle with the ‘Afternoon Blahs”? It’s so easy to cure those low moments of the afternoon with FOOD!! Take 1 minute and 26 seconds to watch this helpful video. Go on….watch it!