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Helena Phil, 42, went to extreme and dangerous lengths to try and lose weight in her late teens - but after years of unsuccessful, and dangerous, dieting, she had a turning point

Image: Helena Phil)

A personal trainer who spent years trying to lose weight has warned people about the dangers of fad diets.

Helena Phil, 42, was 15 stone as a teenager and incredibly self-conscious about her weight.

I tried everything, and sometimes I might lose a few pounds, but Id only put them back on again, she told The Mirror.

Desperate for a way to lose weight, Helena turned to fad diets - including some dangerous eating habits.

Experts warn against fad dieting due to the extreme nature of cutting down calories to very low levels, which can cause weakness, nausea, and inadequate vitamin and mineral intake.

One of the crazes she tried was a charcoal diet - which involved dissolving charcoal in water and swallowing it.

I thought it would get rid of toxins in my body. I read somewhere that you should drink it on an empty stomach, so I didnt eat beforehand.

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It just made me feel sick, and I had a constant feeling something was stuck in my throat.

After a week of drinking activated charcoal, Helena started to feel sick, so she decided to try something different.

I couldnt take it anymore. I felt like s***, she said.

While activated charcoal can have some health benefits, consuming it regularly can lead to vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea.

In serious cases, it can even cause gastrointestinal blockages.

After Helena gave up with the charcoal diet, another fad caught her attention - the baby food diet.

Id read about it in magazines and thought I should give it a try, she said.

The craze, which was once popular with Hollywood stars, involves eating small jars of baby food to significantly reduce calorie intake, which causes quick weight loss.

People giving the diet a go are supposed to eat jars of baby food throughout the day and an adult meal in the evening.

But when Helena tried it, she ate baby food for all three meals of the day.

It didnt agree with me at all. I ended up vomiting most of it up.

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But I truly believed it would work. I had such low self esteem and it took a bit of time to register that these diets werent a long-term solution.

Perhaps the most dangerous diet Helena tried out was eating just one meal a day, in a bid to drastically reduce her calorie intake.

I felt like c*** and I had no energy. One day, I nearly collapsed when I went out for a run, she said.

The scare was a turning point for Helena, now in her mid-twenties, who realised fad diets werent going to work for her - or anyone else - in the long run.

I thought, no, thats enough and started to become more mindful about what I ate.

This grisly-named diet is just as unpleasant as it sounds. Tapeworms, which are parasites, can be caught unintentionally by eating uncooked meat. But as a fad diet, people have been known to take a pill that contains tapeworm egg. When the pill enters the body, the egg hatches and releases a tapeworm that essentially eats everything you're eating. In theory, it means you can eat whatever you want, because the tapeworm eats excess calories. However, releasing a tapeworm into your body is incredibly dangerous, and can cause fever, diarrhoea and pain in the abdomen. In serious cases, the tapeworm can disrupt the functions of your vital organs. In short - it's not recommended.

Unsurprisingly, experts reckon this is one of the most dangerous fad diets out there. It essentially involves lighting up instead of eating when you feel hungry. In theory, you could lose weight by doing this, but at great cost to your health. By now it's well documented that smoking increases risk of cancer and heart disease.

This baffling experiment involves putting on blue-tinted glasses when you sit down at the dinner table to try and make your food look less appealing. The jury's out over whether or not this one works - but perhaps it's best to eat a colourful diet of fruit and veg instead.

I educated myself more about nutrition and body types, and started training at the gym. I also kept a food diary, she said.

Helena noticed if she ate a bit more nutritious food during the day, shed be able to fuel her body to train as much as she needed.

When she was doing fad diets, Helena would tend to binge in the evening, because shed go all day without eating anything.

As Helena started eating healthily and training, she ditched the scales and stopped obsessing over her weight.

When I was doing fad diets, scales were my holy grail. But one day, after a few months of healthy habits, I tried something on and it fell down to the ground, she said.

Now coming up to 20 years living healthily, and after writing three books on fitness, Helena wants to warn other people about fad diets and how dangerous they can be.

Do you have a real life story? Email jessica.taylor@reachplc.com

In particular, she wants young women and girls to avoid social media - which can push people towards extreme dieting.

In my time, there was nothing like Instagram and Facebook. Id tell these girls to stop comparing themselves to others on social media, she said.

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'I was addicted to dangerous fad diets - I ate charcoal to try and be thin' - The Mirror

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Aug 28th, 2021 | Filed under Dieting

EXPERTS have revealed 11 key signs you are addicted to dieting.

While its okay to aim for a healthy weight, obsessing over food, exercise and being thin can destroy your emotional wellbeing.

1

Beyonce recently revealed she had suffered mentally as a result of her old dieting ways.

The singer told Harper's Bazaar she had spent too much time on diets, with the misconception that self-care meant exercising and being overly conscious of my body.

The beliefs Beyonce held tie into whats known as diet culture, experts at Cheshire-based rehab clinic Delamere Health have said.

Diet culture, in a nutshell, refers to the belief that being skinny comes above someones health and wellbeing.

We experience diet culture every day, yet most people are unaware of it. Thats because it is so deeply embedded in our society that it seems completely normal, Delamere said.

Everyone has gone on a diet at some point in their life.

But when has it gone too far, and the messaging of a healthy weight and wellbeing been lost?

Warning

The signs you are addicted to diets, and the messages that are perpetuated by diet culture, include:

With obesity levels at dangerous highs, and the Government keen to fix it, why are diets deemed bad?

Diet culture is the glorification of weight loss, it clouds our judgement and decisions about how we feel and treat ourselves," Delamere experts said.

[It] can negatively impact your mental wellbeing by fueling obsessive and negative thoughts towards eating and exercise.

Some ideologies that are ingrained in diet culture include that some foods are good while others are bad.

A person may also think exercise must be used as a way to burn off food eaten that day, and focus solely on eating foods low in calories rather than foods that are nutritious.

But on top of that, its the idea that controlling your body, in particular with regards to food consumption, Delamere experts said.

Individuals who have been conditioned to think diet culture is a normal way of life often have low self-esteem, poor self-image, participate in negative self-talk, and believe that being slimmer makes someone more successful and beautiful.

Diet culture can often trigger feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment and low self-worth.

Weight loss and dieting become of high importance to individuals, and when goals are not achieved, people often experience feelings of failure stress, anxiety and depression.

It doesnt stop there - dieting and the fear of putting weight on has been linked to disordered eating habits.

Diet culture can become extremely toxic and can cause body dysmorphia, disordered eating and other common mental health illnesses, Delamere experts said.

It may be distressing to find out what you thought was healthy is in fact rather harmful.

If you are overweight and focused on losing some pounds, then you may be wondering what you can do instead of dieting.

Experts suggest focusing on your health, both mentall and physically, is more important than the number on the scales or treadmill.

That means focusing on eating nutritiously balanced meals, not just low-calorie, and exercising because it feels good, not as a punishment.

Here are some tips from Delamere Health for anyone addicted to diets:

Intuitive eating refers to an eating style that creates a healthy attitude toward food and body image.

The rule of thumb is to listen to your body on how and what to eat, by following your hunger cues, by doing this you will eat the right food and the correct amount.

With intuitive eating no foods are off-limit. When you allow yourself to enjoy foods banned by restrictive diets it removes the feeling of guilt and shame you experience when eating them.

This step often takes time, especially since people who engage in diet culture, do so unknowingly.

During this step, you will avoid anything relating to food groups and calorie counting.

2. Stop using the terms "good" and "bad" foods

Diet-obsessed individuals have been conditioned into believing that certain food groups are unhealthy and bad for weight loss when indulged.

These feelings can influence how and what you eat.

Instead, try to remove words such as healthy, low-calorie, cheat or treat and look at food as simply a fuel of energy and source of enjoyment.

3. Get off social media

Social media plays a huge role in promoting an unhealthy diet and wellness culture, from paid promotions to fitness influencers and brands.

Unfollow anyone who makes you feel like you are not exercising enough or eating the right things, as these individuals are influencing toxic diet culture messages.

4. Practise body neutrality

Body neutrality is the acceptance of your body as it is, and it encourages people to see its ability and non-physical characteristics over its appearance.

This method shifts your mind from trying to control and change your physical appearance. Instead, it creates a more positive mindset to become less focused on how you look and more on the things you can achieve.

Find people who inspire you and dont focus too much attention on their appearance. Think about how the message they show and how you can implement it within your own life.

5. Journal about your feelings

Everyone is perceptible to toxic diet culture. But if you want to shift your lifestyle habits, you have to be aware of the role it plays in your life.

Consider starting a thoughts and feelings journal, and record when, where and why you engaged in diet-culture behaviour at the particular moment.

For example, make a note of when you judged your body appearance, or when you didnt eat a certain food group because it was considered bad.

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The 11 signs you need to STOP dieting now revealed... - The Sun

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Aug 28th, 2021 | Filed under Dieting

Name: The Mediterranean diet.

Age: Coming up for 60 years old.

Effect: Positively tumescent.

Oh no, am I going to need a sick bucket for this? Not at all. The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have been well known for decades. The combination of olive oil, legumes, fruit and vegetables, and comparatively low amounts of red meat is incredibly good for the human body.

Why am I so nervous? Dont be nervous. Observational studies have shown that this diet has any number of benefits. It has been claimed to lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and dementia.

Right. Plus it could help with erectile dysfunction.

OK, see, there it is. I knew you couldnt keep this wholesome. There is nothing wrong with a better sex life. Erectile dysfunction is thought to affect around a third of men at some point. Its a serious condition.

And olive oil helps? It can, yes. According to research presented at this years European Society of Cardiology congress, men with high blood pressure are twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction than their peers with normal blood pressure. And the Mediterranean diet is fantastic for lowering blood pressure.

Which can get things working downstairs again? Yes. The researchers found that men who stuck closely to the Mediterranean diet had higher coronary flow reserve (which means they were better able to increase blood flow when needed), and better erectile performance.

Wow! We should all be eating the Mediterranean diet. No, really, we should. Especially the part about red meat. The Mediterranean Diet Foundation states that you should try to eat no more than two servings of red meat a week. Not only is that better for your health, but it is also better for the environment.

This is all well and good, but I dont enjoy sex and therefore cannot see the benefit of the Mediterranean diet. Im glad you brought this up. What if I told you that the diet had another benefit?

Im listening. Well, in 2014, Spanish researcher Fernando Azpiroz examined the Mediterranean diet for other benefits, and found that it can also reduce the incidence of farting by 28%.

Astonishing. It isnt the best fart-decreaser, though. For that you have to adopt a much more regulated anti-fart diet. But nobody is going to knock 28%.

So youre saying that people who eat the Mediterranean diet are healthier, less prone to disease, have better sex and fart almost a third less than their peers? Thats right. Out of interest, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Three Mars bars and a steak. Well, at least that explains the smell.

Do say: Ill have Greek salad, please.

Dont say: And a cold shower, just in case.

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The Mediterranean diet: why it could lead to a more satisfying sex life | Diets and dieting - Toys Matrix

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Aug 28th, 2021 | Filed under Dieting

From a very young age, all children, especially young girls and women, are pressured to monitor their personal exercise and eating habits in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, these incessant programs, check-ins and monitoring blur the line between fostering a healthy habit and encouraging behaviors that we often see with eating disorders and body dysmorphia. These both are concerningly prevalent issues among young women in particular as they enter adolescence and adulthood.

According to statistics from the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner, 81% of 10 year old children are afraid of being fat, 46% of 9-11 year-olds are sometimes or very often on diets, 35-57% of adolescent girls engage in crash dieting, fasting, self-induced vomiting, diet pills, or laxatives, and 91% of the women admitted to controlling their weight through dieting in a college campus survey.

As college students, we are often experiencing the first real taste of independence, living away from home and being responsible for managing our own health without the direct influence from our parents or guardians. We are in charge of taking care of our own diets, eating habits, workout routines if any, personal hydration, supplements and more.

With all of the different responsibilities such as pursuing a degree, balancing full or part-time work, maintaining a social life and getting involved in different organizations on campus, it is often hard for students to prioritize their personal health, hence, the stereotypical gain of the freshman 15.

Adolescent and adult women often try to combat unwanted gains by following the advice of close friends, family members, peers, even the hot YouTube or TikTok fitness instructor that vouches for chewing ice and eating unseasoned chicken breasts three times a day. Impressionable individuals are told to fast, reduce their caloric intake, weigh in frequently, completely cut out undesirable foods and exercise without proper training, all of which drastically influence ones personal health and wellness.

When we are not subjecting ourselves to the opinions and advice we value the most from those closest to us, we are placing our trust and insecurities in the hands of social media, the prime example of unrealistic beauty and lifestyle expectations for every user.

Trendy diets, 2-week ab shredding challenges and water fasting are all examples of cookie-cutter solutions presented to those who feel desperate to fit a mold being pressured to them without truly examining the way their body works or functions in the long-term.

And of course, when these solutions inevitably fail or do not produce the desired long-term results, these women blame themselves, negatively influencing their relationships to their own health and habits.

This creates an incredibly harmful standard in how we view health, beauty and body positivity in our society.

According to a study focusing on users who actively engaged in social media platforms from Mental Health First Aid USA, Skipping meals and other behaviors related to eating disorders were reported by 52% of girls and 45% of boys who participated in the study. While social media wasnt cited as a direct cause of eating disorders, according to the study, there is a connection that should be acknowledged and monitored.

Acknowledging and monitoring these influences will allow us to promote healthy diet and exercise habits that do not rely on adjusting ones life in such a way that health and fitness is seen as a sacrifice or a drastic change. Through encouragement of balanced eating, moderation, studying ones own anatomy, and examining mental wellbeing in how it relates to ones view of their personal health, we can depart from our diet culture and enter into a new and improved health culture for all.

Katarina Hockema can be reached at [emailprotected] or on Twitter @kat_hockema

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OPINION: We need to stop promoting disordered eating - Argonaut

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Aug 28th, 2021 | Filed under Dieting

If you're over the age of 50, it's imperative that you take good care of your health so that you continue to lead a healthy life. In addition to staying up to date on cancer screenings and vaccinations, being active, avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, and eating nutrient-dense foods are just some other key ways you can reduce your risk of chronic disease and premature death, say experts.

"High blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, diverticulosis, and osteoporosis are some of the health conditions that become more prominent after age 50," says Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN. "Each of these conditions may have a hereditary component, however, lifestyle [habits], including dietary choices, can absolutely influence the development of disease as well."

To Rifkin's point about osteoporosis, Sydney Greene, MS, RDN, and member of our medical review board says, "with increased age, there is a higher risk of bone fractures and strains which is why there is an increased need for bone supporting nutrients like calcium and vitamin D."

In addition, Greene adds that as we get older, we begin to lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12, therefore extra supplementation may be necessary. For context, the body does not create vitamin B12, so you either have to get it in the form of a supplement or through animal-based foods. Deficiency in vitamin B12 may cause fatigue, heart palpitations, loss of appetite, weight loss, and infertility, per the National Institutes of Health.

Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD, and co-owner of Mohr Results adds that adults, in general, are at risk of not consuming enough fiber which may negatively affect overall health.

"Fiber is an unsung hero in nutrition, but research shows adults eat less than 50% of the daily recommended amount," he says. "Fortunately, this is an easy fix that doesn't require fad dieting, giving up foods or anything of the like."

Now, here are four eating habits that experts suggest you avoid after the age of 50. Then, don't missPopular Foods That Increase Visceral Fat, Says Dietitian.

Rifkin explains that many pre-packaged and processed food items contain added sugars, salt, and even trans fats, all of which can contribute to the development of several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

"Not all convenience food items are bad, just plan to spend more time sifting through ingredient lists and avoiding those with salt, sugar, and hydrogenated oils (trans fats) in the ingredient list," she says. "While you can maintain an overall healthy diet utilizing some convenience items and eating out occasionally, it is important to balance these items with more healthful, less processed foods that are more likely to be nutrient-dense."

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Research has shown that not getting enough quality sleep can contribute to chronic inflammation, which can then cause health complications like heart disease and diabetes. One way you can ensure you get a good night's rest is by eating dinner at least two to three hours before going to bed so that you prevent gastrointestinal discomfort before going to bed.

"Late-night eating can lead to unwanted weight gain and gastrointestinal issues like gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea," says Greene. "Sleep is the body's opportunity to repair and restore, it is not the time to be digesting food. Allowing the body time to rest is key for memory and mood support."

Now, check out the 40 Best and Worst Foods to Eat Before Sleep so you know which foods to avoid before bedtime.

"As we age, our thirst mechanism becomes less effective, leading to fewer cues to drink liquid throughout the day," says Rifkin.

She warns that people over the age of 50 could be at risk of dehydration, which can lead to a number of side effects, such as a drop in blood pressure, a rise in core body temperature, and nausea or vomiting. If left unaddressed, dehydration could lead to more severe health issues including kidney failure and seizures.

"Additionally, because we typically lose muscle with age, we have less capacity to store water, further promoting the likelihood of dehydration," says Rifkin. "Aim to drink frequently throughout the day, whether or not you feel thirsty, and use your urine color as a gauge for hydration. Within a couple of hours of waking up, your urine should be getting lighter in color and should eventually be close to clear and stay that way throughout the majority of the day."

Don't miss One Major Effect of Drinking Ice Cold Water, Says Science!

Mohr flips the narrative a bit and recommends that you start focusing on the foods you can add to your daily meals, rather than dwelling on which ones you should remove from your diet. For example, he suggests supplementing your diet with more foods that are rich in fiber.

"Consider adding more fruits and veggies, [instead of] ultra-processed foods that currently make up about two-thirds of childrens' diets, and likely similar proportions in adults' diets," he says.

Fibrous foods will not only help you stay satiated throughout the day, but Mohr says that they may also assist with weight maintenance and weight loss.

"One of my favorite ways to get fiber is by adding California figs, which are an excellent source of dietary fiber and are tasty, portable, and loaded with nutrition," he adds. "Just three to five figsdried or freshprovide 5 grams of dietary fiber or 20% of the Daily Value."

In general, Rifkin says that increasing your fiber intake can help you improve your overall health.

"A lower fiber intake can negatively influence digestion, weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol, so it is important to keep an eye on fiber intake," she says.

In addition to fruits and veggies, she suggests adding more whole-grain products such as brown rice, oats, whole wheat bread, and legumes (think beans and lentils) to your weekly meal plan.

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Eating Habits to Avoid If You're Over 50, Say Dietitians | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

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Aug 28th, 2021 | Filed under Dieting

Fat Fasting Kit offers a seamless transition to a healthy body composition for experienced and inexperienced dieters alike.

Karla Cardella is the founder of Fat Fasting Kit, a 3-day complete meal kit made and based in the USA, and now, shes announcing the benefits of the Fat Fasting Kit to the health and wellness community. The Fat Fasting Kit was developed based on scientific data supporting metabolic shifts triggered by constructing specific levels of macro-nutrients into a multi-day diet.

Of the many perceived benefits of completing the Fat Fasting Kit, achieving greater daily energy resulting from the kits food composition is a notable standout.

Through researching the potential effects of certain macro-nutrients on the body, carbohydrates in excess stood out in food science studies to show elevated levels of fatigue, weight gain, and brain fog. Consumers of the Fat Fasting Kit can expect their meals to be formulated with the correct macro-nutrient breakdown for lower carbohydrate levels to potentially influence a metabolic shift to burning ones own stored body fat as fuel while potentially nixing fatigue and brain fog.

Scientific studies show that intermittently restricting daily caloric intake can benefit the bodys ability to shed excess weight without negatively altering the bodys metabolism. The intermittent caloric deficit combined with a low carbohydrate/moderate protein/high fat food composition for 3 days that makes up the Fat Fasting Kit presets the body for weight loss success without the burden of extreme hunger that can accompany other forms of diets. In fact, many high fat/low carbohydrate dieters agree that hunger was not at the forefront of the experience with this form of diet using the Fat Fasting Kit, allowing the results to be more easily maintained post-diet.

Fat Fasting Kit takes out the complications of sustainable dieting that allows each consumer to consider Fat Fasting Kit as a convenient go-to monthly body rejuvenation reset. More information can be found athttps://fatfastingkit.com/.

Media ContactCompany Name: Fat Fasting KitEmail: Send EmailCountry: United StatesWebsite: https://www.fatfastingkit.com/

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Fat Fasting Kit Debuts as New Diet Meal Kit Focused on Total Body Rejuvenation - Digital Journal

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Aug 28th, 2021 | Filed under Dieting

Intuitive eating paired with flexible nutrition guidelines can help make sure your nutritional needs are being met throughout the day. Intuitive eating is an evidenced-based approach to eating where, instead of focusing on external food rules to guide your eating choicessay, like eating six small meals per day or cutting out sweets after 5 p.m.one of the goals is to cultivate trusting your own body and instincts to determine when and what you eat. Ive found intuitive eating can help us quiet the noise and tune into what habits help us feel our best.

With intuitive eating, instead of labeling nighttime hunger as bad, the focus shifts to how youre feeling during mealtimes. Are you satisfied physically and mentally? Are you making food choices that reflect your unique needs, instead of what social media is telling you to eat? For people with a history of dieting and food restriction, intuitive eating can take time to adoptand thats where flexible nutrition guidelines come in. There is a place for structure and flexible meal planning with intuitive eating, and both can be incredibly helpful for making sure your needs are met.

Here are a few questions I recommend you ask yourself if you keep feeling famished as bedtime approaches:

Often overlooked, breakfast can set the tone for meal timing throughout the rest of the day. Thats because it helps your digestion get going early in the morning, which in turn influences hunger levels for the hours to come. Waiting several hours until your first meal can also result in feeling hungrier later in the day, which can affect eating into the later hours.

If youre not used to eating in the mornings or dont have much of a road map for when you eat throughout the day, breakfast can be a challenge. Initially, it may feel like youre forcing yourself to eat without being hungry (doesnt sound very intuitive, amiright?). However, with practice, your body will likely adjust. Whats more, you dont have to eat a huge breakfast, especially if youre not feeling it. You can start with smaller meals or a hearty snack instead of going all out with eggs, toast, and fruit. Experiment with yogurt or a fruit smoothie and see how you feel.

Its also important to emphasize that there are no fixed rules with this, and if breakfast is still not vibing well with you, then you should honor that. Just keep in mind that if your goal is to stop feeling hungry before bed, youll want to make sure youre getting enough nutrients through other meals and snacks for your nutritional needs.

Like I mentioned before, hunger before bed may simply be your body telling you that it requires more energy and nutrients. Thats likely to be the case if you are skipping meals, not having enough food during a given meal, not fueling properly with food before and after workouts, or if you have a medical condition or are on medications that increase appetite.

I recommend eating a minimum of three complete meals per day that include a balance of the three macronutrients: carbohydrates (including fiber), protein, and fat, which together will help you meet your daily energy needs. This can look like a tuna sandwich with a side salad or stewed chicken with curry vegetables and sweet potatoes. These meals can be as simple or elaborate as you want them to be.

Just keep in mind that a chicken salad without carbs or salmon with only roasted veggies probably wont cut it. A balance of the three macronutrients is important for satiety. Generally speaking, a complete meal should keep you satisfied for about three hours. Then, depending on factors like exercise or medication (or whether you simply want to enjoy eating a snack), you may want to have additional food or snacks if youre left feeling hungry in between meals.

Okay, so what if youve gone through the first two questions and have determined that you are nourishing yourself adequately, but you still feel hungry at night?

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Why You Feel Hungry Before BedAnd What to Do About It, According to a Registered Dietitian - Self

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Aug 28th, 2021 | Filed under Dieting

Food has been a global preoccupation during the pandemic. Home cooking became a necessary lockdown pastime and sourdough bread became shorthand for the many food trends that tore through social media. At the same time, one Winnipeg dietitian has seen a rise in emotional and disordered eating over the last year and a half.

"A lot of the things that people use to cope have changed," says Raschelle Sabourin, a registered dietitian who runs a virtual nutrition counselling practice locally. "People were more isolated and theres a lack of routine and peoples relationships changed, so that caused more stress and people are sometimes using food to fill that void."

Sabourin says that while using food as a coping mechanism can be a quick fix for quelling difficult emotions, the comfort of binge eating doesnt last.

"For the short term, they might feel really good, but in the long term theyre not feeling good after emotional eating," she says.

The pandemic may have compounded the issue, but Sabourin has been specializing in emotional eating and eating disorder treatment for the last decade. Her focus is on helping clients improve their relationship with food while educating on the harmful effects of diet culture.

"A lot of my clients struggle with chronic dieting," she says. "When people go on diets, a lot of times, theyre more prone to having eating disorders theyre going to be more preoccupied with their weight and have distorted views of their body.

Diet culture values appearance over physical well-being, and its pervasive cropping up everywhere from magazines promoting weight loss to family members commenting on physical appearance to doctors recommending dieting as a health intervention, Sabourin says.

Recent taglines, like the "Quarantine 15," have added shame and judgment to weight gained during the pandemic.

Diet culture not only takes a toll on mental health leading to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem but yo-yo dieting can also hinder physical health.

"Theres still a lot of people that recommend diets to people and theyre just not sustainable," she says. "Theres a lot of negative side effects, (dieting) takes up a lot of your time and then you cant focus on other areas of your life when you go on a diet that slows your metabolism, it might affect your cholesterol and you might actually gain weight."

Instead of focusing on the scale, Sabourin teaches clients how to practise intuitive eating, where diet mentality is rejected; hunger cues are observed and honoured; foods arent labelled good or bad; and the thorough enjoyment of food is encouraged, among other things.

"As a society were taught to restrict and when people go on diets, their hunger cues get blunted," she says, adding that food restriction often leads to craving and binge eating. "You can teach yourself to relearn those hunger and fullness cues, but it takes time."

When it comes to emotional eating amid the pandemic, Sabourin recommends finding different coping strategies like talking with a friend, reading, spending time with a pet or exercising for enjoyment as well as taking stock of things that might trigger bingeing with a food and mood diary.

"That can be helpful for identifying different patterns," she says.

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Maintaining regular mealtimes and eating consistently throughout the day can also help curb emotional overeating.

Above all, kindness and positive self-talk go a long way to improving someones relationship with food.

"During the pandemic, its normal to be emotionally eating because of the stress of everything," Sabourin says. "I try to encourage people to give themselves grace because theyre going through a lot right now.

"Once people improve their relationship with food, it can help with a lot of other areas of their life."

eva.wasney@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @evawasney

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Pandemic isolation impacted our relationship with food, self-image - Winnipeg Free Press

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Aug 28th, 2021 | Filed under Dieting

Most diets prescribe a set of rules to follow for a set period of time, usually to meet a weight loss goal or other health goal.

This kind of diet sets you up to fail, because it teaches you that the rules need to be followed until your goal is met.

Once you finish the diet, it is easy to slip back into the habits that caused weight gain to begin with.

Because the body increases appetite and holds on to fat stores during dieting, all too often a temporary diet becomes self-defeating, leading to temporary improvement followed by weight gain and disappointment (3).

To break the cycle of temporary changes producing temporary success, stop thinking in terms of a diet and start thinking in terms of a lifestyle.

A large study of more than 120,000 adults in the United States found that several habits could help gradually decrease and maintain weight over several years (35).

Here are some of the behaviors it found worked for long-term weight loss:

By making permanent lifestyle changes that promote a healthy weight, you can have permanent success and break the yo-yo cycle.

Importantly, a study of 439 overweight women showed that a lifestyle intervention designed to promote gradual and consistent weight loss over time was equally effective in women with or without a history of yo-yo dieting (36).

This is encouraging, showing that even if you may have had difficulty keeping weight off in the past, making long-term lifestyle changes can still help you lose weight.

Yo-yo dieting is a cycle of temporary changes producing temporary results. To break the cycle, start thinking in terms of permanent lifestyle changes.

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10 Solid Reasons Why Yo-Yo Dieting Is Bad for You

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Aug 2nd, 2021 | Filed under Dieting

[Elliots] official cause of death was labeled as fatty myocardial degeneration due to obesitybut that would still be a shocking cause of death for such a young woman and has largely been refuted, Pandell tells me. From the research Ive done and the doctors I spoke to, it seems the most likely cause of death was extreme dieting in combination with long-term substance abuse. Pandell believes that present-day fatphobia contributes to a continued lack of understanding about how Elliot actually died, in part because confronting the possibility that Cass may have died due to extreme dieting challenges our idealization of diet culture.

Theres a wealth of evidence out there about how unhealthy extreme dieting can be, not to mention ineffective in the long term, with 97% of dieters gaining back every pound they lost (and then some) within three years. Unfortunately, though, during the span of Elliots all-too-short life, to be thin was widely considered empirically good and healthy, while fatness was seen as health-compromising and morally suspect, regardless of the specifics of an individuals health status or medical history. Despite all the body-positive gains that have been made in the last half-century, far too many of us are still stuck in that binary, blinkered mindset.

Pandell has dedicated herself to getting the real story of Elliots death out into the public consciousness, but shes also found much to admire about Elliots life, image, and career that has nothing to do with her weight. The way she is remembered is deeply unjust, says Pandell. The more you learn about Casss personality and her soaring talentand her deep-seated drive for acceptancethe more you cant help but think that Cass deserved far more from us. Cass Elliot was a woman far ahead of her time. She expressed ideas about motherhood, sex, celebrity, and womanhood that even today would be considered by some to be radical.

It might be tempting to point to the existence of stars like Lizzo, Beth Ditto, and Chrissy Metz and infer that weve grown enough as a society to allow fat people to be their full, authentic selves in the public eye, but sadly, that would be a lie. Yes, there are more fat-identifying celebrities to admire today than there ever were before, but theyre still forced to paddle upstream against a deluge of fatphobia and body-based judgment. Doesnt it tell us something that so many people still associate Elliot with the words ham sandwich, despite her brilliant career and mold-breaking image (not to mention the long-ago debunking of that rumor)? Hopefully, we can learn enough from her tragic death to at least try to create a world in which fat people arent forced to starve, drug, and otherwise contort themselves in order to be seen as, well...people.

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Mama Cass Elliot Died Almost 50 Years Ago, But Her Memory Is Still Obscured By Fatphobia - Vogue

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Aug 2nd, 2021 | Filed under Dieting
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