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Coming to Grips With Disordered Eating

One of the distinct life challenges facing most people today is food. It's the classic case of "too much of a good thing can be bad for you." The negative cycle goes like this. You eat too much and don't exercise enough and you gain weight. The excess weight eventually leads to a host of chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Maybe you are one of these people; where eating food has become an obsession, maybe even an addiction; certainly going beyond its normal role as sustenance and social enjoyment in your life.

Unhealthy: Emotions Override Natural Mechanisms

To your credit, food is one of the most challenging substances to control. Look at the tremendous obesity problem we have in this country. People are literally eating themselves to death. The body's natural mechanisms designed to tell you you're full are being over-ridden with other mental desires and messages. Unlike alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, food is required on a daily basis and cannot be eliminated. Unlike cigarette smoking, if you are abusing food, you just can't give it up. However, with any disordered eating, there are many effective strategies available to reduce the importance and attractiveness of foods. Here are a few examples to consider.

First, let's examine what I call The Food Priority. As an example, little Johnny or Jenny is out playing in the back yard. Mom calls at the back door "dinner time" and of course the response is "I'll be right in Mom." You know what happens next; Mom has to come back to the door and call again, not just once but maybe even twice. For Johnny or Jenny, the Food Priority is very low and the play and having FUN priority is very high. This is an example of a normal and healthy Food Priority.

Healthy: Listen To Natural Mechanisms

Clients who have trouble with their weight typically have their Food/FUN Priority inversed. Food has migrated to the top of their priority level and FUN has sunk to the bottom. The solution... restore FUN to it's rightful place at the top of the Food Priority in your life. Find activities that are pleasurable, something you can really enjoy. Some of these could be learning a new sport, creating a hobby, trying a new class at the local community college or starting your own business.

The second is the The Food Habit. You may find yourself engaged in habitual or ritualistic eating rather than eating because you are hungry. A good example is going to the movies and having a bag of popcorn. This is more of a ritual than a specific hunger need. You may have skipped lunch or dinner to go to the movie's snack bar but that is an entirely different story. Another example is a bowl of ice cream or milk and cookies before bed. This again is probably more of a ritual than a specific need for nourishment. Recognizing these food/activity habits and trying to make a disconnection is helpful in maintaining control of your food intake. Again, make sure you are eating out of hunger and not just eating for other reasons.

The third is The Not Really FoodWhen you eat, make sure you really are hungry and not thirsty. This ties in nicely with the second example. Clinically, we have learned that sometimes when you think you're hungry, you are actually thirsty. Drinking enough water comes into play here. For some people, the brain converts mild dehydration signals into hunger signals. So, if you think your hungry and it has only been an hour since your last meal, consider that you are thirsty instead and take the appropriate action. Remember, water is your best choice for hydration because it will not act as a diuretic (tea, coffee, milk, juice) and it's self-regulating. You can't drink too much water, except in vary rare circumstances.

Fresh Start is an effective, better health solution helping you establish healthier eating habits as you safely lose weight. Fresh Start is also a complete, healthy lifestyle solution improving your nutrition, increasing FUN physical activity and reducing stress.
Fresh Start
provides all the components necessary for increasing strength, vitality and good health. 

Contact Woody McMahon at 702-628-2880 or email to learn more about giving yourself a Fresh Start or to schedule your free telephone or in-person consultation.

    A mindful and holistic approach to Fall Prevention, Balance, Full Body Functional Strengthening and Posture Exercises for All Ages! Our Science-Based Exercises are Safe and Appropriate for Your Ability. Our Exercises Help Improve Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, Fear of Falling, Balance and Strength Problems. Reston, Great Falls, Herndon, Middleburg, Arlington Sterling and Northern Virginia.

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