By Dr. Megan Osborne
Have you been stuck on a roller coaster of weight gain and weight loss? Does food seem to have power over you? If so, you are not alone, a recent study showed that two-thirds of American dieters regained all the weight they had lost within a year, and 97 percent gained it all back within five years.Intuitive eating is based on creating a healthy relationship with food, mind and body that is attuned to the body’s innate design to sense both hunger and fullness signals. If you routinely eat out of boredom, stress or other negative emotions, or continually work to avoid or ignore hunger, you may have forgotten what physical hunger feels like altogether.
10 Principles for Intuitive Eating (adapted from, Intuitive Eating, by Tribole and Resch).
1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from tuning into your hunger/fullness signals.
2. Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates, otherwise your body creates a drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate and conscious eating are fleeting. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.
3. Make Peace with Food Give yourself unconditional permission to eat while honoring your hunger/fullness signals. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing when you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food.
4. Challenge the Food Police Recognize the “food police” that declare you’re “good” for eating under 1000 calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The “food police” monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created.
5. Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes as well as what your current fullness level is.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor We often overlook one of the most basic gifts of the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. You will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Recognize that food won’t solve the problem.
8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.
9. Exercise Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference in your motivation.
10. Honor Your Health Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.
Megan Osborne, Ph.D., is a Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. Dr. Osborne just recently moved her private practice to Eagle Creek Family Medicine in Eagle, Idaho. She is the author of two children’s books Shaped With Love and Tummy Talk and is the founder of Shaped With Love Ministries (shapedwithlove.com) focused on educating parents for the prevention of eating disorders.
Cold & Flu Season
The person handing you your food gives you a message from the car that just pulled out. You are blessed, now please bless someone else!As the holiday season dwindles many find themselves in the throws of emotional turmoil and unhappiness. The weather is cold, the sky cloudy and the new year brings continuing financial woes. For some people, this time of year is not the most joyful. Old hurts and sorrows have arisen as colleagues, friends and families gathered in the last weeks for parties and reunions.
Many are the reasons that people become depressed and are often related to feelings of hurt, rejection and abandonment. Life’s traumas, like serous illness or death of a loved one, that happen during a holiday season constantly remind them of their loss. Reach out to those you see struggling, you may be their only lifesaver.
So, perhaps you can do something nice for someone you DO know!! Idaho ranks somewhere around eleventh in the nation for completed suicides. So many people feel hopeless and often what makes the difference is that one person who reached out “just at the right time” and showed a little kindness. Look for those who choose not to engage because they just may be falling into a deep pit of depression. Be especially concerned if they mention hurting themselves.
Our mission at Eagle Creek Family Medicine is to holistically treat you. This, of course, includes addressing physical, emotional, and mental needs but human beings are so much more! How you feel and what you think directly impact how you do physically and how you heal. More so, what you believe about who you are and why you are here on this earth has an equal if not stronger influence on your well being.
“A cheerful heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit makes one sick.” Proverbs 17:22 (NLV).
It is common to forget that we are spiritual beings. We get lost in the “have to do” list and don’t pay attention to our spiritual health. Studies show that people who have a belief in God tend to be less stressed, recover better from illness and have a general sense of peace. We, in the healing field, see this all the time. So, consider doing an experiment! Try to “Pay it Forward” to someone today and perhaps even tomorrow.
See how your days goes. We wish you a joyful 2012.
What is the hype about probiotics? For that matter what is a probiotic? Is there really any health benefit to taking them? Here is a brief introduction. As always talk to your health care provider about taking any probiotics and if they are right for you.Over the last decade more research studies and media have discussed probiotics. So what is a probiotic? They are living microorganisms such a yeast or bacteria that when taken in adequate amounts have a health benefit to humans. These can be ingested in the form of foods such as some yogurt products, capsules or liquid formulations. They have varying degrees of colony counts, or the number of microorganisms, and combination of strains of mircroorganisms. Common organisms used include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium infantis. Probiotics help to maintain and even restore the healthy balance of the gastrointestinal tract that harbors a natural flora of normal bacteria or microorganisms. When the normal gut flora is out of balance we can see or feel the consequence – with an increase in diarrhea and or constipation, gas, bloating, vaginal infections, an increase in illness, fatigue and even inflammation.
Some of the roles of our gut flora are to provide protective, structural and metabolic functions. Protection comes from inhibiting pathogens that can make us sick. Structural functions can help our immune system, and the metabolic function can help in digestion, synthesize vitamins, and detoxify harmful substances we ingest. In light of this we can look at how probiotics are of benefit to us. Probiotics can use some of the same mechanisms to enhance or stabilize the normal flora and help improve and stimulate the immune response. They can prevent and even shorten some infections, such as travelers and childhood diarrhea. Some research shows that probiotics can help with irritable bowel syndrome, help prevent stomach upset while on antibiotics, and may help prevent yeast infections in women.
The confusing part is the hundreds of different types of probiotics on the market today. Trying to figure out which one is best is most bewildering. Recommendations for trying to figure this out include talking to your health care provider or pharmacist, or reading the ingredients and the colony count. Generally the higher the colony count the better chance you will get helpful benefits. The longer a product sits on the shelf the more microorganisms will die and decrease its effectiveness. Refrigerating these products can help maintain the lives of the microorganisms, therefore helping maintain the quality of the product. It may take trying several different products to find one that works well for you and your health needs.
This insight into what a probiotic is may help you and your health care provider come to good decisions about their use and if they are right for you and your family.
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