Brain Over Binge 

Brain Over Binge

After six years of chronic bingeing and purging, Kathryn Hansen stopped her eating disorder independently and abruptly, using the power of her own brain.

I recently heard Kathryn’s story while listening to the Nutrition Matters podcast. Her story was powerful and her approach to recovery sounded compelling. She also sounded very bright, and she supported her ideas with research. So, I purchased and read her book, Brain Over Binge, to learn more.   Continue reading

Build a Body Image Shield

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If you live in today’s world, there is a good chance that you feel insecure about your body.  Every day, we are exposed to hundreds of digitally-enhanced images of unattainably perfect bodies.  Without realizing it, we compare ourselves to these images, and take in the message that our bodies are not good enough.  However, it is possible to respect and appreciate your unique body.  The secret is to protect yourself from society’s damaging messages by building a Body Image Shield.  Here’s how… Continue reading

Is Obesity Really the Killer It’s Made Out to Be?

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If obesity is really unhealthy, then people living in larger bodies should be more likely to die than thinner people.  Are they?

Biostatistician Katherine Flegal reviewed over 140 studies to answer this question (Flegal, 2013).  What she found may surprise you:

  • People in the ‘overweight’ category (BMI 25-30) had a slightly lower risk of death than those in the ‘normal’ weight category.
  • People in the ‘obese’ category (BMI 30-35) had an equal risk of death as people in the ‘normal’ weight category.
  • People in the ‘obesity classes II and III’ (BMI > 35) only had a greater risk of death if they were under the age of 65.  Their risk of death was 1.3x greater than people in the ‘normal’ weight group.  (To put that number in perspective, the risk of developing lung cancer is 30x greater among people who smoke compared to people who do not smoke.)

A number of other studies found similar results (Grabowski 2001, Steersman 2009, Oprana 2010, Tamakoshi 2010, Flegal 2005, Janssen 2007, Lantz 2010, Toriano 1996; see also:  Bacon 2011).

Continue reading

Pursue Pleasure to Improve Health

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Do you really need to kill yourself to save your life?  You might think so, if you look at the way some health fanatics strictly follow their diet or exercise plans.  However, not-so-novel research suggests that being healthy is much easier and more fun than we’ve made it out to be.  In Healthy Pleasures, an old but timeless book, authors Robert Ornstein, PhD and Davis Sobel, MD identify life’s simple pleasures and describe the proven ways they contribute to health and well-being.   Continue reading

Intuitive Eating or Structured Eating – Which is right for you?

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Both intuitive and structured eating styles are compatible with a Health At Every Size® approach. But which is right for you?  Take this quick quiz to find out:

  1. Are you able to reliably identify mild hunger?
  2. Do you have a flexible enough schedule to eat when you are hungry?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, intuitive eating may be right for you.

If you answered ‘no’ to one or both questions, start with structured eating.  Continue reading

A Dietitian’s Path to HAES®

I think that it’s important to share stories of why individuals decided to adopt a Health at Every Size® approach.  This story is from Dana Sturtevant, a wonderful dietitian at Be Nourished.  It is reprinted with permission.   Continue reading

Reclaim your tastebuds and learn to love nourishing food

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Do you get cravings for ice cream and French fries, but rarely for fruits, vegetables, whole grains or other nourishing foods?  Inspired by Chapter 11 of Linda Bacon’s book, Health at Every Size, this post provides tips and tricks to change your tastes.

Eating is meant to be pleasurable.  Don’t eat: die.  If food wasn’t rewarding, our species may not have survived.  We are especially hard-wired to enjoy foods rich in sugar, fat and salt.  Food manufacturers have taken advantage of these preferences to ‘hijack’ our tastebuds. They have designed foods loaded with sugar, fat and salt, but devoid of any filling fiber, or beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Dieting may have also hijacked your tastebuds.  Labeling certain foods as off-limits can make them more tempting and tasty.  Likewise, resigning yourself to only ‘healthy’ foods can make them taste dull and dreary.

However, most taste preferences are learned, and with time, we can learn to love and appreciate nourishing food.  By reclaiming your tastebuds, you take an important step in reclaiming your health.  Read on to find out how. Continue reading