Will Eating Fat Make Me Fat?

Will Eating Fat Make Me Fat?

Will Eating Fat Make Me Fat? My name is Janelle Hunt, MS, RD – and I’m a Registered Dietitian who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. In my last two blogs, I discussed how essential it is to consume carbohydrates and protein. Now let’s look at the last vital macronutrient, fat. Yep, the forbidden word, fat! It seems like currently the media is on a ‘carbohydrates are bad’ kick but many of us recall the 90’s fat-free craze. Almost all food naturally containing fat, became fat free. Cheese would no longer melt, potato chips caused gastrointestinal problems because of the Olestra being added instead of fat and our pans were never the same again as even oil or degreasers were forbidden. Even though the media moved onto different trends, this fad still hangs in the back of our minds and I often have clients who are still convinced that fat is bad. To answer the common question, Will Eating Fat Make Me Fat – let’s review the different types of fats: Saturated: found in animal-based products and tropical oils – meat, eggs, dairy, palm oil and coconut oil. They are typically solid at room temperature. These used to be thought of as bad fats but more studies are showing that as long as these are consumed in moderation, they are not harmful. Unsaturated (poly, mono and omega’s): typically found in plant oils as well as fatty fish – olives, nuts, seeds, avocados, salmon and tuna. These are known for having huge health benefits. They are being used to treat schizophrenia and depression, prevent blindness, decrease cholesterol levels and...
Binge Eating Disorder and Weight Loss

Binge Eating Disorder and Weight Loss

Binge Eating Disorder and Weight Loss Success Strategies Binge Eating Disorder and weight loss goals tend to surface with New Year’s Resolutions. However, your therapist tells you, “Trying to lose weight can trigger binge eating.” And, your dietitian tells you, “Cutting calories too much can trigger binge eating.” But you’re wondering,”I’ve gained so much weight because of binge eating, so how can I lose this excess weight in a healthy way?” Based on my 20+ years of clinical experience in the treatment of Binge Eating Disorder and Obesity, as well as my own personal experience overcoming these issues, I have some Binge Eating Disorder and Weight Loss Success Strategies to share with you. Stop Trying to Lose Weight. You’re probably thinking, “But I want to lose weight!” As strange as it may seem, weight loss happens when you stop trying so hard to make it happen. Allow weight loss to be an outcome of other goals, such as reducing or eliminating binge eating. Don’t Diet or Forbid Food. Many people with Binge Eating Disorder attempt to restrict or forbid certain foods (usually the foods they tend to binge eat). However, deprivation eventually triggers binge eating. The key is to have “permission to have” all foods in moderate amounts. Learn Mindfulness Meal Skills. Binge Eating Disorder typically involves rapidly eating large quantities of food. Incorporating mindfulness skills at mealtimes can help to restore balance to the quantity and quality of food consumed. There are many books about mindful eating – and our therapists and dietitians at Positive Pathways can give you 1-on-1 guidance. Incorporate Intuitive Eating Practices. Intuitive eating is...
Sugar Addiction: Why Am I Constantly Craving Sweets?

Sugar Addiction: Why Am I Constantly Craving Sweets?

Do you constantly crave sweets? Do you try to avoid sugar, but eventually binge? Do you wonder if you have a sugar addiction? We are constantly bombarded with conflicting nutrition messages; “Eat only foods that are fat-free or low-fat,” “Consume high fat food and lots of protein,” “Avoid all carbohydrates,” “Everyone should follow a Paleo diet,” etc. Let’s step away from the fad diet band wagon for a moment, and consider why it’s important to consume all nutrients in moderation – including carbohydrates. Foods containing carbohydrates are broken down to glucose in your body, which is the key nutrient. Examples of a few carbohydrate-rich sources are foods containing sugar like desserts or candy – as well as bread, rice, grains, lentils, potatoes, pasta, juice and fruit. Carbohydrates are an important energy source for your body, which you likely are aware of already. Not only are they important to provide energy for your body but they also provide fuel for your brain to function. Glucose is the only nutrient that can cross into your brain to be used as fuel to allow you to concentrate and think clearly. What is often not talked about is how important carbohydrates are for the production of making the messenger’s in your brain, specifically serotonin, which is responsible for functions such as making you feel happy and relaxed, as well as helping you sleep, regulate your blood pressure properly, have pain sensitivity and control your mood. Have you put carbohydrates into a “bad food” category? Especially sugar – have you told yourself that you should never eat sugar, because you have a “sugar addiction”?...
Fitness Modeling and Eating Disorders

Fitness Modeling and Eating Disorders

There are many things about the world of fitness modeling that makes an eating disorders therapist cringe. Most notably, there’s the very strict dieting, and also the large amount of time spent on intensive workouts at the gym. Less obvious – but extremely concerning – are the body image issues that arise from quests for physical perfection, as well as comparisons with other fitness models, along with judgments during competitions and photo shoots. And then there are those who are not fitness models, but who compare themselves to the images of fitness models in magazines. Stacking yourself up against another person, who may or may not be healthy in their pursuit of perfection, is never helpful. As an eating disorder therapist, I’ve worked with many current, former, and prospective fitness models, and while I do believe that some people can navigate that world unscathed, for many it is a slippery slope into dangerous waters, and many don’t know how far down they’ve gone. So what makes the difference between a healthy approach to fitness modeling, and an eating-disordered approach to becoming a fitness model? The most important thing to consider is the motivation for fitness modeling. Is it the external validation? A desire to look like someone you saw on the internet or in a magazine? To make an ex-partner jealous? A desire for the “perfect” body? Or, for the enjoyment of challenging yourself? Another area to consider is eating. If you are a fitness model, ask yourself how you feel if or when you eat something not on your meal plan. Would you even dare let yourself? Do you shrug it off, or do you try harder the...
New Years Resolution: Don’t Diet!

New Years Resolution: Don’t Diet!

It’s the New Year – and according to Time Magazine, 39.6% of people surveyed set a resolution to lose weight this year. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese (BMI ≥ 30). Some of the health risks commonly associated with obesity include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Many people who are overweight or obese want to lose weight as a means of reducing these risks. However – typical diets, exercise and weight loss programs address the symptom of excess weight through the control of caloric intake and expenditure. The Binge Eating Disorder Association reports that about one-third of people enrolled in commercial weight loss centers have Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – and dieting has been shown to cause binge eating, especially in people who already have BED. There is only so much “willpower” that can be used as a means of adhering to restrictive diets, and numerous studies have shown that 90-95% of dieters regain any weight they lose within 1-5 years. Diets don’t work – so what will work to lose weight (and keep it off)? Here is some “Don’t Diet” food for thought: Stop Trying to Lose Weight – instead, focus on health gains. According to Linda Bacon, the author of Health At Every Size and founder of the HAES™ community, overall health is more important than any number on a scale. In fact, many people who are a “normal weight” or “underweight” may not be healthy. Who is to say what BMI is truly healthy for each individual? With health as a goal, the achievement of a healthy weight...
Eating Disorders & Body Image Tips for Parents

Eating Disorders & Body Image Tips for Parents

How to Help Your Teenager: Eating Disorders and Body Image Issues Teenage girls who diet are often depicted as shallow and vain, and are made fun of in many movies and TV shows. However, dieting is a warning sign that an adolescent has a negative body image or is developing an eating disorder. One in three teenage girls engage in fad diets, fasting, or take diet pills or laxatives to lose weight – and nearly half of 1st-3rd grade girls say that they wish they were thinner (Source: National Eating Disorders Association). Other signs that your teenager may have negative body image or is developing an eating disorder are: Dramatic weight loss or drastic fluctuations A preoccupation with weight, food, food labels and dieting Excessive drinking of fluids or denial of hunger Avoidance of meal times or situations involving food Withdrawal from friends and activities Self-induced vomiting or abuse of laxatives Excessive, rigid exercise regimen A change in dress, such as oversized clothing to cover the body or revealing clothes to flaunt the weight loss (Source: Elizabeth Easton, PsyD) If you think your teenager has an eating disorder, there are ways that you can help: Intervene Early. The sooner you are able to talk to your teenager, the sooner you will be able to figure out the level of care your teenager needs whether that is changing up how your family talks about food and bodies or finding a therapist who can provide some treatment strategies for your child. Ask Questions and Listen. Avoid accusing your teenager of having an eating disorder or implying that there is something wrong with the way they are eating – this will...
Don’t Diet – EDIT™!

Don’t Diet – EDIT™!

Learn about the five principles of EDIT™ and how these can guide the achievement of a healthy weight — without destructive diets. EDIT™ was developed by Dr. Dorie McCubbrey, and she has been dubbed by her clients as the “Don’t Diet Doctor” because one of her clients stated, “You’re like a surgeon who removed the diet mentality from my mind.” By practicing the EDIT™ principles in your everyday life, it’s actually YOU who removes the diet mentality from your own mind! May the concepts below be “food for thought” to nourish your health! The Five Principles of Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ is the treatment approach developed by Dr. Dorie McCubbrey, MSEd, PhD, LPC — Owner and Clinical Director of Positive Pathways — as a result of her own journey of recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Food Addiction and Obesity. This highly effective method for the treatment of eating disorders can also be used for the healthy treatment and prevention of obesity. The EDIT™ approach involves the practice of five principles: Love Your Self:  Discover how to develop ACCEPTANCE of your body exactly as it is right now — when you love your body, you will take better care of your body. Healthy weight loss can be a natural outcome from this starting point of Self-Love. Be True To Your Self:  Learn how to trust your INTUITION for the type and amount of food and fitness your body needs  — when you stop trying to control your eating and exercise, you will find your own healthy way. As an outcome, you can easily achieve and maintain a healthy weight.   Express Your Self:  Develop healthy COPING SKILLS to...