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Ten tips to love your body

Posted in Motivating MessageMotivationTips & Tricks

On a scale of 1 to 5, how much do you love your body today? What about yesterday? If you answered anything other than a 5, then you must be exhausted. That’s the only way to describe how it feels to chase society’s body ideal. Just exhausting. Because of this, true body love is something […]
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How Common is Food Addiction? A Critical Look

Overweight Woman Addicted to Chocolate
“My name is Kris and I am a food addict.”
I’ve written a number of articles on food addiction before.
The feedback has been amazing… many people have commented and e-mailed me, sharing their struggles with food.
From talking to people, I have gotten the vibe that food addiction is a pretty common problem.
The cravings, obsessive thoughts about food, failure to cut back despite physical harm…
These symptoms are common, and they happen to be typical symptoms of addiction.
This has a well defined biological basis, because new studies have shown that junk foods activate the same areas in the brain as drugs of abuse (1, 2).
For this reason, people who are susceptible to becoming addicted can become addicted to foods, in the same way as drug addicts become addicted to drugs.
I personally know this to be true… I am a recovering drug addict, alcoholic and former smoker, and a few years after I became sober I developed an addiction to unhealthy foods.
The cravings, the thought processes, the complete lack of self control. It was exactly the same as my addiction to drugs, only a different substance and the social consequences weren’t as severe.
Although I’m sure food addiction has been around for a long time, it is a relatively “new” term and isn’t fully recognized as a real disorder yet.
Fortunately, times are changing. The number of papers on food addiction in the scientific literature has been increasing rapidly in the past few years.
Several studies have been conducted attempting to assess how common food addiction is, as well as how it affects peoples’ weight and risk of chronic disease.
The results are pretty shocking and should serve as a wake up call for health professionals and public health authorities… many of which are currently clueless about the existence of this massive health problem.

How is Food Addiction Diagnosed? The Yale Food Addiction Scale

Skeptical Female Doctor
As with most other addictions, there is no blood test to diagnose food addiction.
It is based on behavioral symptoms and is usually diagnosed with a questionnaire.
The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) contains the official criteria used by health professionals to diagnose mental disorders.
Unfortunately, food addiction is not yet recognized in the DSM.
However, a scale called the Yale Food Addiction Scale has been developed in order to diagnose food addiction (3, 4).
It is a set of 27 questions that assess a person’s eating and how it relates to the DSM’s official criteria for addiction.
You can find the questions here and the instructions on how to interpret them here.
Someone who is a food addict according to this scale has the same brain responses and behavioral symptoms as a drug addict, it is just a different substance (5).
Bottom Line: The Yale Food Addiction Scale is used to diagnose food addiction. It is a set o 
27 questions that relate to the official criteria used by health professionals to diagnose addiction.

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5 Reasons Most Diets Fail (and How To Succeed).

The average person gains five pounds for every diet they go on. Even worse, when they lose weight, they lose muscle and fat. When they regain weight, they gain back all fat. And since muscle burns seven times as many calories as fat, their metabolism is slower than when they started the diet. The cruel fact is that they then need even less calories to maintain their weight.
Haven’t you known someone who was very overweight and said they don’t eat that much? They may not be lying. They have just damaged their metabolism by yo-yo dieting.
The key to losing weight and keeping it off are two simple things. First, automatically reduce your appetite not by white knuckling it and starving yourself but fixing the out-of-whack hormones and brain chemistry that drive hunger and overeating.
The second is to automatically increase your metabolism so you burn more calories all day long. Unfortunately, most diets do the opposite – increase hunger and slow metabolism.
Here are the five reasons most diets fail and how to succeed.
1. You use willpower instead of science to control your appetite
There is a science of hunger. Unfortunately, most diets (eating less) will trigger hunger. You can only hold your breath for so long. You can only starve yourself for so long. Powerful ancient mechanisms compensate and protect us from starvation (even if it is self induced). Our hunger dramatically increases, our cravings ramp up and our metabolism slows way down to conserve energy. Eating certain foods (low fat, higher carb or sugary foods) actually increases hunger and slows metabolism.
Success Principle: Appetite
  • Eat enough to satisfy your appetite (but only real whole fresh food).
  • Eat protein for breakfast and avoid eating 3 hours before bed.
  • Compose your meals to balance blood sugar and lower insulin. Combine protein, fat and low-glycemic, non-starchy carbs (vegetables, fruit, small amounts (less than half a cup of grains and beans) at each meal. Fat and protein and fiber slow insulin spikes.
2. You focus on calories (eating less and exercising more)
The mantra of calories in/calories out, of energy balance as the key to weight loss, is quickly entering the scientific dustbin. In my last blog on Automatic Weight Loss, I reviewed the science behind that fact that all calories are not created equally.
Some calories make you fat, some calories make you thin. What we now know is that any foods that spike insulin (sugar, flour and even excess grains, fruit and beans) trigger a shift in your metabolism. What does insulin do? It drives all the fuel in your blood from the food you just ate into your hungry fat cells (visceral or belly fat).
Then, your body thinks you are starving even though you just at a giant bagel or sucked down a Big Gulp. And remember, two things happen when your body thinks you are starving – you increase hunger and slow metabolism.
Have you ever eaten a big meal, then, an hour later, felt hungry again and needed to go raid the fridge or eat something sweet? That’s why.
Success Principles: Calories

  • Focus on very low-glycemic foods as the staples of your diet. Nuts, seeds, chicken, fish, grass fed meats, low-glycemic veggies (greens, salad fixings, etc.)
  • Use grains and beans sparingly (not more than a half cup once a day each).
  • Use sugar as a drug – in very small doses. And all sugar is the same. If you have to ask “is ______ OK?” It isn’t.
  • Don’t use artificial sweeteners – they trigger sweet receptors, hunger and slow metabolism leading to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
 3. You eat a low-fat diet