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6 Signs you’re obsessed with food

Some statistics for thought: On any given day, 45% of women are on a diet, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. On average, we think about our bodies 8 times a day, found one recent survey. About 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance; what’s worse, 40% would trade 3 to 5 years of their lives to achieve weight loss goals.

No wonder many women report signs of disordered eating behavior—such as excessively counting calories or working out just to burn off food—even if they never develop a full-blown disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.

Problem is, there’s often a fine line between eating healthfully to slim down and becoming fixated with food, so we talked to top food behavior experts to understand the difference. Here are some red flags that could indicate a food/weight obsession.

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1. You eat in reaction to bad or good news.
You’re having a stressful day, so you treat yourself to Cheetos at the vending machine. Or you just nailed a big presentation, so you supersize your french fries as a reward.

“If food is your automatic reaction to dealing with any emotion—good or bad—it could signal an unhealthy relationship,” says Cynthia Bulik, PhD, director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Another sign: When you’re upset, you turn to food before you call your partner or a friend.

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2. You eat without feeling hungry.
It’s 12:30, your usual lunchtime. But today you had a late breakfast and aren’t feeling very hungry. Do you make a beeline for your favorite sandwich shop anyway? If so, that means you’ve detached eating from physical hunger, says Adrienne Ressler, LMSW, national training director for the Renfrew Center Foundation, one of the country’s top treatment centers for eating disorders.

“You may eat out of boredom, anxiety, habits, desire, or some other emotion,” says Bulik. But going with your gut—literally—is best for your health. Women who follow internal hunger and satiety cues report higher levels of self-esteem and optimism and lower BMIs, according to a Journal of Counseling Psychology study.

3. You have out-of-control eating binges.
Everyone indulges in an extra slice of pizza or another handful of M&M’s. But if you regularly eat much more than you intended, stuff yourself until you’re uncomfortably full, or feel like you can’t stop eating, that could be something to watch.

Overeating like this can result from going too long between meals or restricting yourself, not to mention that age-old culprit: boredom. “Binge eating is often associated with eating rituals, like sitting down to watch TV,” says Ressler. “You start with a bag of popcorn. All that salt makes you crave something sweet, like ice cream. Then you feel thirsty, so you have a soda.”


4. You count every last calorie.
It’s one thing to watch your intake while you’re trying to lose weight. But over time, people can gauge how much to eat to maintain weight loss without poring over every label. If you’ve cut calories dangerously low (under 1,200 a day for most women) and your life revolves around your food “rules,” then you’ve taken things too far.

Calorie hawks also feel guilty when they don’t follow their plans—”like the rest of the day is ruined,” says Bulik. Severe restriction can lead to anorexia or thwart weight loss efforts by slowing metabolism—plus, you’ll feel hungry, exhausted, foggy, and grumpy if you don’t consume enough nutrients.
5. You view foods as “good” or “bad.”
Bread is “bad”—so having a bagel for breakfast is a rare treat. Baby carrots are “good,” so there’s zero guilt about snacking on them. If you compartmentalize food choices like this, you’re setting yourself up for a tricky tango later, says Bulik: “Once you have a ‘bad’ label on something, under certain conditions you’ll crave it more, lose all control, and binge.” Research shows that people have only so much willpower; if you try to limit too many things at once, you’ll end up caving more quickly.

Of course, certain foods are inherently healthier than others—for example, you can’t eat fast food whenever you want. But that’s where portion control comes in. Train yourself to have just one Munchkin and then concentrate on something other than eating, says Bulik.

6. You follow extreme/weird diets.
Are carbs banned from your pantry? Do you drink all of your meals? Are you on a regimen where you can’t eat certain food groups, like fats and carbs, at the same sitting? Extreme plans like these may seem okay for short-term results (say, a high school reunion or family wedding), but “these diets can be really dangerous,” says Ressler.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

Diet Sodas Helps You Gain Weight Instead of Losing Weight

Think you’re making a healthier choice when you reach for diet soda instead of a sugary soft drink? Think again.

Diet soft drinks may have minimal calories, but they can still have a major impact on your waistline, according to two studies presented at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.

Researchers at the Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio tracked 474 people, all 65 to 74 years old, for nearly a decade, measuring the subjects’ height, weight, waist circumference, and diet soft drink intake every 3.6 years. The waists of those who drank diet soft drinks grew 70 percent more than those who avoided the artificially sweetened stuff; people who drank two or more servings a day had waist-circumference increases that were five times larger than non-diet-soda consumers.

The findings are in line with those of a 2005 study, also conducted by researchers at the Texas Health Science Center, in which the chance of becoming overweight or obese increased with every diet soda consumed.

“On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese,” said Sharon Fowler, who was a faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology in the Health Science Center’s department of medicine at the time.

But how does something with no calories cause weight gain? Turns out that even if our taste buds can’t tell the difference between real and fake sugar, our brains can. Another study, also presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting on Sunday, found that after three months of eating food laced with aspartame (which is also found in many diet soft drinks), mice had higher blood sugar levels than rodents who ate regular food. According to Fowler, who worked on all diet soda causes weight gainthree studies and is now a researcher at UT Health Science Center at San Diego, the aspartame could trigger the appetite but do nothing to satisfy it. That could interfere with your body’s ability to tell when you’re full—and could lead you to eat more in general.

It happens in humans, too. A 2008 study found that women who drank water sweetened with sugar and water sweetened with Splenda couldn’t taste a difference, but functional MRI scans showed that their brains’ reward center responded to real sugar “more completely” than it did to the artificial sweetener.

“Your senses tell you there’s something sweet that you’re tasting, but your brain tells you, ‘actually, it’s not as much of a reward as I expected,'” Dr. Martin P. Paulus, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and one of the authors of the study, told the Huffington Post. So you chase that no-calorie soda with something more caloric, like a salty snack. The sweet taste could also trigger your body to produce insulin, which blocks your ability to burn fat.

Aside from the health problems that go along with a widening waistline, diet soft drinks have also been linked to an increase in diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. One study of more than 2,500 people found that those “who drank diet soda daily had a 61 percent increased risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who drank no soda, even when accounting for smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and calories consumed per day,” ABC News reported in February. And a 2008 University of Minnesota study of nearly 10,000 adults ages 45 to 64 found that drinking a single can of diet soda a day led to a 34 percent higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a collection of health problems that includes high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high levels of belly fat.

“Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn’t likely to hurt you,” writes Katherine Zeratsky, a nutritionist at the Mayo Clinic. “The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there’s no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer.”

“Some types of diet soda are even fortified with vitamins and minerals,” she added. “But diet soda isn’t a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss.”

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For more information on Weight Loss and How to Obtain Your Weight Goal got our Weight Management Pagehttp://www.celestialhealing.net/weightmanagpage.htm

Myths and Facts About Losing Weight

With so many facts and fiction about fat loss, it is not surprising that people get confused which advice to follow. Although this article is not intended as an exhaustive source of information about what is true and what is false about fat loss, we hope that it will help you to distinguish myths from facts.

Myth: Don’t drink much water, you will get fat.

Facts: Natural water has absolutely no calories, so it can’t be converted to fat. Actually, water dissolves fat. Besides, water is vital for the proper functioning of your body. If there is a relation between drinking much water and weight, it is a very indirect one and water can’t be blamed for that. When you drink water and it stays in your body, it’s absolutely logical that your weight will be higher but after a couple of hours, when water normally leaves your body, you will not have more fat because you have drunk water.

Myth: Exercise makes you eat more.

Facts: Sure, when you exercise, you lose energy but that does not mean that right after going out of the gym you must head to the restaurant. Experts often recommend that you neither eat, nor drink gallons of water at least 2 hours after physical activity. So if you don’t eat after you have been exercising, you will not gain weight.

Myth: Diet only is enough to lose fat.

Facts: Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. After you have been on a diet for some time, even if there had been positive results, there is always one point when even if you don’t eat at all (which is absolutely not recommended), your body refuses to use more of its fat reserved and you can’t lose a gram more. At this point, or even better from the very beginning, you must include exercise, because diets alone can’t burn enough fat.

Myth: There are magic diets and pills.

Facts: Too good to be true. Magic diets like „eat this and this and 10 a.m. sharp, don’t eat this and this and you will have the body of a god“ are really naive and besides keeping your mind busy through the day, other positive results are unlikely. The same applies to pills. Unless you have a serious metabolism disorder, which is a medical condition and needs to be treated by doctors, not by you, pills are not the lazy way to great body.

Myth: When you exercise hard, you can eat whatever you like.

Facts: This is the opposite to the dieting myth but the grain of truth is the same. Even when you exercise hard (2 or more hours a day) you still need to take into account what you eat and when you eat it. 2 hours of active exercising might burn enough fat but if you have a giant pizza and a huge bottle of Coke after that, forget about the positive effects of the stay in the gym – you will still have fat (though presumably more muscles as well).

Myth: You can lose fat only in a particular region of your body.

Facts: If you have seen many people with thin legs and a fat belly, or the opposite, more likely it is so not because they want it but because this is their body structure (which they probably don’t like at all). When you lose fat, this happens in a pre-defined order. First, fat disappears from the face and the breasts. The belly and the hips come next. The thighs and the upper-arm usually are the last ones affected and for many women these areas never become fat-free.

Myth: Diets and exercise are universal.

Facts: People are different and diets and exercise are not an exception. While there are universally true facts about dieting and exercise, more often than not, successful and sustainable fat loss is achieved when you are hard-working and diets and exercise are tailored to your needs.

Myth: You can lose fat once and forever.

Facts: This hardly ever happens, though there are cases when one has been fat during puberty and as an adult his or her weight is in the norm. But for adults, losing fat means a constant struggle to maintain the achievements, so you can’t rely on the fact that you will make some efforts, drop your excessive weight and then there will be no need to do anything.

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Dr Akilah El  is a certified personal fitness trainer, nutritionist  and also holds a PhD degree in Naturopathic Medicine. She has been helping people all lover the world successfully achieve their weight loss and fitness goals for over 10 years. To learn more about how you can benefit from her easy to use weight loss and fitness programs go to: http://www.celestialhealing.net/weightlossintro.htm

The Ten Worst Foods To Eat

Quite simply, you really are what you eat, but the standard American diet leaves plenty of nutrients lacking … and gives you an excess of unhealthy fats, sodium, preservatives and chemical additives.

Every day, 7 percent of the U.S. population visits a McDonald’s, and 20-25 percent eat fast food of some kind, says Steven Gortmaker, professor of society, human development, and health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Harvard Magazine. As for children, 30 percent between the ages of 4 and 19 eat fast food on any given day.

When Morgan Spurlock, the mastermind behind the film Super Size Me, ate only McDonald’s for 30 days straight, his body fell apart and he gained 25 pounds!

“My body just basically falls apart over the course of this diet,” Spurlock told Newsweek. “I start to get tired, I start to get headaches; my liver basically starts to fill up with fat because there’s so much fat and sugar in this food. My blood sugar skyrockets, my cholesterol goes up off the charts, my blood pressure becomes completely unmanageable. The doctors were like, ‘You have to stop.’”

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Americans get processed food not only from fast-food restaurants but also from their neighborhood grocery stores. As it stands, about 90 percent of the money that Americans spend on food is used to buy — that’s right — processed foods.

So you have a choice to make when you eat. You can eat foods that will nourish your body, give you energy, and keep you healthy, or you can choose those that may lead to chronic disease, fatigue and weight gain.

Eating healthy will become obvious if you truly listen to your body. One hour after eating how do you feel? Time it and ask yourself. Do you feel better with more energy or worse one hour after eating or drinking something? If worse, then stop ingesting what makes you feel bad instead of what will make you feel better or even great!

Life’s too short to not feel the best you can and help your body be the healthiest and strongest it can be.

Here we’ve detailed the 10 worst food choices in American’s diets so that this can help you make the best food choices for your health.

  1. Pork Scratchings Heavy and hard, we are talking fatty pig skin deep fried and then doused in salt. Also, if you are lucky you might even get one sporting a few hairs; pig hair is usually removed by quickly burning the skin before it is cut into pieces and cooked in the hot fat. Plus they are not great for your teeth either; we couldn’t get the stats on how many dental injuries have been inflicted by eating these suckers but we are guessing it’s pretty high.
  2. Fried Desserts Fried desserts feature high up on the list of worst foods to eat as essentially you are dipping something in batter that is already high in sugar and fat, and then deep frying it. And don’t be fooled by pineapple and banana fritters either, they are no better because they are fruit, the layer of batter and the fact they are swimming in sugary syrup make them no go dishes too.
  3. Cheesy Nacho Chips, Chips or fries could feature as a bad food on their own, but, as you know we are all about moderation here at and seriously cutting chips from your life totally would be a hard move.  But taking a plate of chips and layering them in cheese, well, that takes them up a notch in the bad food stakes. Cheese typically contains over 10 times as much saturated fat as fish and white meat and coupled with deep fried carbs, a serving of cheesy chips are a big bad no no.
  4. Pop and Soda Drinks – yeah they’re bad, mainly because they pack massive amounts of calories even in  small quantities, so you are adding to your daily calorie quota and getting little nutritional value in return.  Studies have also linked fizzy drink consumption to osteoporosis, tooth decay and heart disease. And diet drinks are not recommended either, granted they are lower in calories but as they contribute to dental erosion (the bubbles in the drink are acidic) they are a no go as well.
  5. Hydrogenated fats – These are mostly man-made fats that are used in bakery items and stick margarine. Studies show that it isn’t so much how much fat there is in your diet that causes problems, as what kind of fat, and hydrogenated fats are the worst. Avoid buying cookies, crackers, baked goods or anything else that has hydrogenated oil on the ingredient list. Fortunately, the FDA now requires that food manufactures identify the amount of hydrogenated fats in their products—look for trans fats on the nutrition panel.
  6. Liquid Meals Okay, they aren’t inherently bad for you, but liquid meals or meal-replacement drinks do keep you from eating proper food. You need to make sure you eat eating whole, natural foods to ensure you gain all your nutrients. Meal replacements maybe okay for people who are too ill to eat, but don’t let them replace the real foods in your diet.
     
  7.  Processed Meats These are also sometimes referred to as ‘mystery meats’ because it’s ambiguous as to what some of them actually contain. But you can be assured that if it comes from a can and is kind of unrecognisable – it’s not going to be great for your body. Try to steer clear of sausages and salamis too, these food stuffs are generally all the unwanted bits churned up with fat and salt, we are talking heads, knees and toes (plus a few other less-desirable bits).
  8. Chicken Nuggets First off, chicken nuggets that are not made from fillets are the real bad guys. Again it’s similar to the sausages situation, all the leftover carcass bits mixed up with sawdust-type stuff to bulk out the meat so manufacturers can crank out more portions.  But it’s when these little nuggets are deep fried that really boosts their ‘worst-food’ status and it’s all to do with the size. Smaller fried items, i.e. nuggets absorb more fat that larger pieces of fried goods, so a portion of nuggets will pack way more fat that a single larger fried piece. So if you want fried chicken – go for a big breast.
  9. Doughnuts If there is one food that epitomises the 21st century junk food it’s the doughnut. Coated, filled, glazed, sugared, jam crammed or plain old ring they are not great for your body.  And it’s not only the refined flour, refined sugar and then the frying in the refined oil that makes them bad for you. Doughnuts will upset blood-sugar balance, and give a quick high followed by a crash and burn low, then you guessed it,  you’re hungry again and reaching for another one – that’s why they generally come in bags of 10.
  10. Canned Soups Now, soups don’t seem to be one of the bad boys and in comparison to some of the above, and they probably can sit quite comfy in the middle of the bad-food scale, but it’s their salt-packing stealth that gets them into this list. Soups mainly sport a healthy identity; wholesome, warming and good for you. The reality is many canned varieties are super-high in salt, so if you must have soup, avoid the canned ones or make your own.  

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For more healthy food ideas, recipes and information please visit our Health Tips Pagehttp://www.celestialhealing.net/healthintro..htm

Couch Potatoes Have Higher Risk of Having A Heart Attack After Sex

Sex and exercise can trigger heart attacks in older people who don’t get much of either, a new analysis finds. The risk is low, but it’s a good reminder that slackers should change their exercise habits gradually, especially in middle age.

People who exercise regularly have a much smaller risk of having a heart attack immediately after sexual or physical activity, said lead author Dr. Issa Dahabreh of Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

“It would be really bad if someone thought our paper means people should not exercise,” Dahabreh said. “If anything, it’s the opposite.”

The analysis, appearing in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, combined results from 14 studies involving more than 6,000 patients.

The studies involved only people who’d had heart attacks or had died suddenly from a heart problem. The studies looked at what the people were doing during the hour or two before their heart attacks and compared that to the same people’s activity on normal days with no major heart problems.

That study design is used to try to answer the question, “Why did the heart attack occur now?”

Physical activity and sex increased the risk of heart attack by a factor of about three, according to the analysis of the pooled results. Exercise increased the risk of sudden cardiac death by nearly five times. The researchers didn’t find a triggering relationship between sex and sudden cardiac death, that is, a sudden death from a heart problem.

The risk for any one person is extremely low.

“If you were to follow 10,000 people for a year and if they all decided to increase their physical activity by an hour a week, you could expect to see two to three more heart attacks,” Dahabreh said.

That risk is offset for most people by the benefits of exercise. The more frequently people exercise, in general, the less risk they have of exercise or sex triggering a heart attack.

Most of the patients in the studies were in their late 50s and early 60s, but the findings are a cautionary tale for people in any age group who are slowing down.

Exercise might even be considered cross-training for sex, said Mercedes Carnethon, a heart disease researcher at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the research.

“Engaging in regular physical activity is a requirement for maintaining a long, safe, healthy sex life,” Carnethon said.

“If this isn’t more motivation for people to maintain some degree of physical activity, I’m not sure what is,” Carnethon said. “Get out and walk. Do something.”

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