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May
17

How Do You Know Your Body Needs Food

When you just starting to build- or should I say, “uncover” your healthy thin mentality your body may need patience as you learn what hunger feels like.

Of course you are new at this and your body is confused.

Your best tool is to stay in the present. Calmy- Am I hungry- not sure? Try a bit? Feel better? sometimes that just desire to eat IS hunger- Hunger is expressed in many ways with all of your senses Just as when you are attracted to another human- there could be many signs.

This is not weird of revolutionary.  Mother Nature was going to make sure that we eat- so we survive.  I used to ignore cues that I thought were not hunger. Now I know if I can’t get my mind off of food, I am indeed hungry, even if my stomach isn’t growling.

If you eat and your tastebuds are happy, happy- you were hungry- The way to lose weight with your healthy thin mentality is to DELAY eating more when that hunger stops signaling you to eat. You must pay attention to this and say- Could I be done? Could this be enough? Do I need more to calm hunger- YOU CAN DO THIS Give you self a chance!!

Jan
29

Top 5 Facts The Diet Industry Wants to Hide

  1. Calorie restriction  produces stress hormones, that act on fat cells to increase the amount of abdominal fat.
  2. Binge eating is a common mammalian response to calorie deprivation
  3. Our calorie-hoarding frames have strong mechanisms to stop weight loss, but weak systems for preventing weight gain.
  4. After you’ve lost weight, there’s an increase in the emotional response to food.
  5. After dieting, metabolic slowdown can mean that just to maintain a stable weight, people must eat around 400 fewer calories a day post-diet than before dieting.

We underestimate the severe consequence of dieting on our bodies, including persistent weight gain.

Build your healthy Thin Mentality Instead-  Workbook and book available to get you there-  dietsarefattening.com/book

Nov
1

Women who’d gone on two or more diets during the study were 5X as likely to become overweight

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I copied and pasted this amazing article so you don’t even have to link out!!  Read it!Why You Can’t Lose Weight on a Diet

 

The problem isn’t willpower. It’s neuroscience. You can’t — and shouldn’t — fight back.

By SANDRA AAMODT MAY 6, 2016

SIX years after dropping an average of 129 pounds on the TV program “The Biggest Loser,” a new study reports, the participants were burning about 500 fewer calories a day than other people their age and size. This helps explain why they had regained 70 percent of their lost weight since the show’s finale. The diet industry reacted defensively, arguing that the participants had lost weight too fast or ate the wrong kinds of food — that diets do work, if you pick the right one.

But this study is just the latest example of research showing that in the long run dieting is rarely effective, doesn’t reliably improve health and does more harm than good. There is a better way to eat.

The root of the problem is not willpower but neuroscience. Metabolic suppression is one of several powerful tools that the brain uses to keep the body within a certain weight range, called the set point. The range, which varies from person to person, is determined by genes and life experience. When dieters’ weight drops below it, they not only burn fewer calories but also produce more hunger- inducing hormones and find eating more rewarding.

The brain’s weight-regulation system considers your set point to be the correct weight for you, whether or not your doctor agrees. If someone starts at 120 pounds and drops to 80, her brain rightfully declares a starvation state of emergency, using every method available to get that weight back up to normal. The same thing happens to someone who starts at 300 pounds and diets down to 200, as the “Biggest Loser” participants discovered.

This coordinated brain response is a major reason that dieters find weight loss so hard to achieve and maintain. For example, men with severe obesity have only one chance in 1,290 of reaching the normal weight range within a year; severely obese women have one chance in 677. A vast majority of those who beat the odds are likely to end up gaining the weight back over the next five years. In private, even the diet industry agrees that weight loss is rarely sustained. A report for members of the industry stated: “In 2002, 231 million Europeans attempted some form of diet. Of these only 1 percent will achieve permanent weight loss.”

The specific “Biggest Loser” diet plan is probably not to blame. A previous study found similar metabolic suppression in people who had lost weight and kept it off for up to six years. Whether weight is lost slowly or quickly has no effect on later regain. Likewise — despite endless debate about the relative value of different approaches — in head-to-head comparisons, diet plans that provide the same calories through different types of food lead to similar weight loss and regain.

As a neuroscientist, I’ve read hundreds of studies on the brain’s ability to fight weight loss. I also know about it from experience. For three decades, starting at age 13, I lost and regained the same 10 or 15 pounds almost every year. On my most serious diet, in my late 20s, I got down to 125 pounds, 30 pounds below my normal weight. I wanted (unwisely) to lose more, but I got stuck. After several months of eating fewer than 800 calories a day and spending an hour at the gym every morning, I hadn’t lost another ounce. When I gave up on losing and switched my goal to maintaining that weight, I started gaining instead.

I was lucky to end up back at my starting weight instead of above it. After about five years, 41 percent of dieters gain back more weight than they lost. Long- term studies show dieters are more likely than non-dieters to become obese over the next one to 15 years. That’s true in men and women, across ethnic groups, from childhood through middle age. The effect is strongest in those who started in the normal weight range, a group that includes almost half of the female dieters in the United States.

Some experts argue that instead of dieting leading to long-term weight gain, the relationship goes in the other direction: People who are genetically prone to

gain weight are more likely to diet. To test this idea, in a 2012 study, researchers followed over 4,000 twins aged 16 to 25. Dieters were more likely to gain weight than their non-dieting identical twins, suggesting that dieting does indeed increase weight gain even after accounting for genetic background. The difference in weight gain was even larger between fraternal twins, so dieters may also have a higher genetic tendency to gain. The study found that a single diet increased the odds of becoming overweight by a factor of two in men and three in women. Women who had gone on two or more diets during the study were five times as likely to become overweight.

The causal relationship between diets and weight gain can also be tested by studying people with an external motivation to lose weight. Boxers and wrestlers who diet to qualify for their weight classes presumably have no particular genetic predisposition toward obesity. Yet a 2006 study found that elite athletes who competed for Finland in such weight-conscious sports were three times more likely to be obese by age 60 than their peers who competed in other sports.

To test this idea rigorously, researchers could randomly assign people to worry about their weight, but that is hard to do. One program took the opposite approach, though, helping teenage girls who were unhappy with their bodies to become less concerned about their weight. In a randomized trial, the eBody Project, an online program to fight eating disorders by reducing girls’ desire to be thin, led to less dieting and also prevented future weight gain. Girls who participated in the program saw their weight remain stable over the next two years, while their peers without the intervention gained a few pounds.

WHY would dieting lead to weight gain? First, dieting is stressful. Calorie restriction produces stress hormones, which act on fat cells to increase the amount of abdominal fat. Such fat is associated with medical problems like diabetes and heart disease, regardless of overall weight.

Second, weight anxiety and dieting predict later binge eating, as well as weight gain. Girls who labeled themselves as dieters in early adolescence were three times more likely to become overweight over the next four years. Another study found that adolescent girls who dieted frequently were 12 times more likely than non- dieters to binge two years later.

My repeated dieting eventually caught up with me, as this research would predict. When I was in graduate school and under a lot of stress, I started binge eating. I would finish a carton of ice cream or a box of saltines with butter, usually at 3 a.m. The urge to keep eating was intense, even after I had made myself sick. Fortunately, when the stress eased, I was able to stop. At the time, I felt terrible about being out of control, but now I know that binge eating is a common mammalian response to starvation.

Much of what we understand about weight regulation comes from studies of rodents, whose eating habits resemble ours. Mice and rats enjoy the same wide range of foods that we do. When tasty food is plentiful, individual rodents gain different amounts of weight, and the genes that influence weight in people have similar effects in mice. Under stress, rodents eat more sweet and fatty foods. Like us, both laboratory and wild rodents have become fatter over the past few decades.

In the laboratory, rodents learn to binge when deprivation alternates with tasty food — a situation familiar to many dieters. Rats develop binge eating after several weeks consisting of five days of food restriction followed by two days of free access to Oreos. Four days later, a brief stressor leads them to eat almost twice as many Oreos as animals that received the stressor but did not have their diets restricted. A small taste of Oreos can induce deprived animals to binge on regular chow, if nothing else is available. Repeated food deprivation changes dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain that govern how animals respond to rewards, which increases their motivation to seek out and eat food. This may explain why the animals binge, especially as these brain changes can last long after the diet is over.

In people, dieting also reduces the influence of the brain’s weight-regulation system by teaching us to rely on rules rather than hunger to control eating. People who eat this way become more vulnerable to external cues telling them what to eat. In the modern environment, many of those cues were invented by marketers to make us eat more, like advertising, supersizing and the all-you-can-eat buffet. Studies show that long-term dieters are more likely to eat for emotional reasons or simply because food is available. When dieters who have long ignored their hunger finally exhaust their willpower, they tend to overeat for all these reasons, leading to weight gain.

Even people who understand the difficulty of long-term weight loss often turn to dieting because they are worried about health problems associated with obesity like heart disease and diabetes. But our culture’s view of obesity as uniquely deadly is mistaken. Low fitness, smoking, high blood pressure, low income and loneliness are all better predictors of early death than obesity. Exercise is especially important: Data from a 2009 study showed that low fitness is responsible for 16 percent to 17 percent of deaths in the United States, while obesity accounts for only 2 percent to 3 percent, once fitness is factored out. Exercise reduces abdominal fat and improves health, even without weight loss. This suggests that overweight people should focus more on exercising than on calorie restriction.

In addition, the evidence that dieting improves people’s health is surprisingly poor. Part of the problem is that no one knows how to get more than a small fraction of people to sustain weight loss for years. The few studies that overcame that hurdle are not encouraging. In a 2013 study of obese and overweight people with diabetes, on average the dieters maintained a 6 percent weight loss for over nine years, but the dieters had a similar number of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease during that time as the control group. Earlier this year, researchers found that intentional weight loss had no effect on mortality in overweight diabetics followed for 19 years.

Oct
29

Lose your Diet Mentality and Thin Happens

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Free to enjoy life without food stress

Someone asked me in a FB post a couple of days ago:  “So you think thin is better?”

That requires a longer answer than I could do on FB.

This is what I know:

 

No matter how much you weigh, dieting hurts you.  So the first thing is to stop dieting.   I care more about this than  being “thin.”

 

But happily, for me and many of the people who follow me, when you stop dieting, your body is able to lead you to your ideal weight range.

It is the ultimate irony.

 

So it is not so much that I think “thin” (and I mean healthy thin) is better, it is simply that when you have a healthy thin mentality, instead of a diet mentality, Thin Happens!  So I advise that your goal is not to be thin, it is to build a healthy, happy relationship with food, and you will be delighted with the result.

These are things that I never, never, never, ever, ever, ever, ever thought I would do, when I was a dieter, that I do now with a Healthy Thin Mentality:

  • Suddenly realize I didn’t eat anything for lunch
  • Go to dinner and not order because I wasn’t hungry
  • Eat cake for breakfast and not feel guilty
  • Choose a kale salad because I really wanted it
  • Eat salad without dressing because I just really wanted to taste the vegetables
  • Eat chicken in the middle of the night because I woke up hungry
  • Eat just the top of a donut
  • Never ever weigh myself except when I go to the doctor
  • Everything is my closet- even really old stuff, fits
  • Exercise because I want to
  • Skip exercise because my body told me I was too tired

There are so many more.  Please join me in this life where your time and energy are spent on love, good work, and an appreciation of the simple and joyful pleasure of living.  Everything isn’t perfect.  But no matter what is going on in your life, a calm and happy relationship with food, eating and your body nurtures you.

For years, dieting robbed me of this because it made me disrespect the wisdom, instincts and beauty of my body so completely.

I am begging you, my friends, to understand this.  Because I wish someone had explained this to me, when I was a young woman.  Whew-  I am glad I figured it out, though!  Cheers!

Jun
23

You Can’t Believe You Ate The Whole Thing!

 

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You find yourself eating something in a quantity that you can’t believe is okay.  And, to top it off, the food you are eating is “bad.”

Then, after you have eaten it, whatever it is,  you feel bad because you can’t believe your body would ask for it.

Well, my body asks for non-nutritious food sometimes- and it doesn’t worry or frighten me anymore.  Here’s why:
Example 1:   If I eat something when I am hungry for it and it is truly delicious to me, down to the last bite,  there is no problem.  I just move on with my day.
Example 2:   If I eat something because “I might as well finish it because I already blew it”  there IS a problem because:
This kind of rationalization is not part of a healthy Thin Mentality.
I understand how difficult it it is to eat something “bad” and feel “good.”  But remember, my body, and yours, knows exactly how much energy (food) you took in, and will ask for future energy (food) based on that.
Give your smart and fabulous body a chance to show you that if you eat a 1000 calorie sundae in the middle of the day, for example,  you will have much less hunger for the rest of the day.    You must respect that lack of hunger by not eating.  That is the key to eating with freedom, no stress, and pure enjoyment.  You respect hunger AND you respect non-hunger.
And it is the key to returning to your ideal weight.
The biggest change in my eating patterns since going from a diet mentality to a healthy Thin Mentality is that I notice I eat more during the day, and less at night.  That makes so much sense when you think about it.  I used to skimp all day, to try to be “good” and then eat a lot at night.  The daytime skimping wasn’t good and the nighttime eating made me feel awful.
Now with a healthy thin mentality, I don’t skimp in the day.  I eat what I need to stop hunger and to delight my senses.  Then at night, there are times when I eat very little.  Now I know you are saying, “Wow, I could never do that, I love a big dinner etc.”
BELIEVE ME!  I would have said the same thing!!
But everything, and I mean EVERYTHING changes when you stop using a bunch of diet mentality reasons to eat or not eat.  When your body leads you, you NEVER suffer deprivation.  You eat when you are hungry.  You don’t eat when you are not.  And honestly, it is not hard at all to eat very little at night when you get used to hunger being the only reason to eat.
Folks, I used to be a wandering night-time eater, I know what it feels like!  You open cabinets and the fridge in search of “something.”  That goes away!  Your appropriate response to hunger all day calms down your night.  And it is such a relief!
You scratch your arm when it itches.  You don’t when it does not.
You use the bathroom when you need to.  You don’t when you do not.
You sleep when you are tired (hopefully) You don’t when you are not
You stretch your legs when they are cramped up.  You don’t when they are not.
All these normal physical cues are paired with your reaction to them.
Eating is the same way.
Stay in the present, trust yourself even when you feel that diet mentality freaking out, and when you are not hungry, delay eating until you are.  You CAN do this!!
Apr
10

How to Be Smart About This

shhh

It may seem confusing because I am telling you to “turn off ” your brain and listen to your body. But let me emphasize that your brain is important in other ways, as you develop your thin mentality.

Here is how:

Don’t use your brain to decide if you are hungry.   Use your brain to notice what kinds of eating satisfies you the best.

For example, use your brain to notice that if you eat more slowly, you are better at noticing when your hunger is gone.  This may sound similar to “diet advice.”

But the perspective is different.

I am simply telling you that while you are learning about your hunger, you may need some training wheels.  If you eat quickly, you may not notice your hunger has been answered and it is time to stop.  But!!  Once you establish your thin mentality, eat according to your natural rhythms.

I eat really fast.  So what?  Most “nutritionists” would say eating quickly is bad for me.  I say, “whatever!”

Since I have lived with my thin mentality for 16 years, after dieting for DECADES, I am really in tune with my body and I can eat fast, which I simply enjoy, and know when I have had enough.

But, for you novices, it may help to slow down at first, until you familiarize yourself with how much food you need to answer hunger.  Notice that I never say, “Until you are full.”  Because… being “full” is not the goal.  Being “full” is now a feeling that I avoid because it feels awful.

Feeling good is when I am hunger neutral.  I am a zero on the hunger scale.  But I am also a zero on the “full” scale.

It is a very happy place to be.

Apr
7

That Thin Feeling…

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That feeling you get when you drop a few pounds quickly makes you happy, I know.  You check yourself out in the mirror, notice that your pants are loose and your stomach feels smaller.

How do you feel when you gain it back?  How miserable are you when you reach into your closet and put those pants on and they are now really tight, or you can’t even pull them up?

That is the ying and yang of dieting.

A thin mentality person never gets that empty, newly thin feeling.  Your progress toward your ideal body weight comes at a pace that is not going to freak your body out.  It IS slower than dieting, for absolute sure.  No doubt.

But, like the turtle who wins the race against the rabbit, the thin mentality person “wins.”  Weight loss is permanent, in harmony with your biology.  You work WITH your body.  You don’t fight your instincts anymore.

I have to reiterate, as I do a lot, that working with your biology includes eating when you are hungry and NOT eating when NOT hungry.  Yes, of course that is important.

Eating when you were NOT HUNGRY is what made you fatter than you want to be in the first place!  You did not get heavy eating when you were hungry.

So, if you miss that “Wow, I just dropped 5 pounds this week high” please remind yourself that you won’t miss the “Wow, I gained 7 pounds this week low.”

Right?

People!  Slow and steady wins the race.  Happy, thin, relaxed, smart.  That is you as a thin mentality person.  Join me!!

Mar
31

Dieting Disappointments Make You Think Hatefully about Yourself.

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  • If  I can’t even control my weight, what does that say about me?
  • I don’t deserve a new bathing suit because I did not lose the weight I promised myself that I would.
  • Secretly, I think thin people are smarter, and more disciplined than me..
  • I am not going to eat any food I like so I won’t be tempted and I won’t gain weight back.
  • Every part of my body has too much fat on it, and since I gained weight back, it is really squishy.
  • If I don’t go on vacation with my family, I won’t have to get in a bathing suit, and I can eat diet food all week alone at home instead.

Dieting is restriction, payback, rejecting your body,  and rejecting your life.

You avoid parties, food, and friends so you can “stay” on your diet.  Dieting makes you sad and more likely to feel lonely and isolated.  For example, you didn’t lose weight this am, which makes you sad, so you aren’t going out for coffee because you don’t want to be tempted by the bakery, so you stay home and isolate yourself, and then you go to bed, early, to avoid the ice cream in the fridge.

Do you see how dieting is about living your life from a point of weakness and negativity. It is from disconnecting from yourself and letting someone else, some expert, take the reigns and tell you what to eat, when to eat.

This simply leaves you weak, sad and feeling defeated.

(Yes the first diet experience is different than this, because you lose weight the first time you diet.  And it isn’t so bad.  But no one ever diets once.  And what does that tell us??)

Your healthy Thin Mentality is about Love.  Corny, I know, but true.  It is

  • Loving food
  • Loving your body’s voice
  • Loving lifes

Your healthy Thin Mentality is about nurturing,  Nuturing your love for food, your body, your life.

It is about waking up in the morning and not succumbing to a scale.  It is about choosing when and what to eat based on what your body is asking you to provide.

It is about your strength, your rejection of advertisements designed to cripple your self-trust, and your commitment to respecting your body.

When you nuture love– love of yourself, your body and your wisdom,–you thrive. And, you realize that eating without hunger isn’t fun.  It isn’t loving.

It is disrespectful of your body.

Think, “How can I best nurture myself?  What food, beverage, activity, relaxation would please my body.

Nurture, not punish.  Love, not hate.

Mar
28

How do You Answer These Questions?

call-meWhen I was a dieter, I answered these questions completely differently than I do now, with a healthy Thin Mentality.

I. If there is some food left on my plate, I

  1. Really struggle to leave it behind
  2. Don’t even notice if I am not hungry anymore
  3. Clear the plate so I am not tempted anymore

II.  When I am about to go to bed and am hungry

  1. Have a little snack so I feel good and nourished before bed.
  2. Am happy because maybe I will weigh less in the morning
  3. Have a bowl of ice cream because I was bad today anyway

III. When I know I have to get into a bathing suit in a week I

  1. Eat only protein and vegetables so I lose weight fast.
  2. Make sure I have a bathing suit that I like
  3. Figure out a way to get out of going

IV.  When I am sick and know I am dehydrated I

  1. Drink water
  2. Drink ginger ale because I usually don’t let myself have that, but since I don’t feel well I let myself
  3. Weigh myself to see if I weigh less.

V.  When I go to a burrito bar,

  1. Get a salad because the burrito is fattening
  2. Get a burrito and add all the great food I love, including sour cream and guac, and save my leftovers for when I am hungry again.
  3. I don’t go to burrito bars because I always eat too much when I go there.

When I was a dieter, I would answer these questions like this:

I-3

II-3

III-1

IV-2

V-3

With my Healthy Thin Mentality, I answer these questions

I-2

II-1

III-2

IV-1

V-2

Do you see how much better life is with a Healthy Thin Mentality?  Don’t the dieter answers seem sad?  But I want you to know this too:  I understand that you want to be a nice weight. I know you want to fit into your favorite jeans.  What I am trying to tell you, without body shaming anyone, is that your Healthy Thin Mentality will not only make you happier and de-stressed around food.  It will get you to your best weight.

If I could scream this from the top of a mountain so that all dieters could hear this, I would.  Help me scream this message.  I can’t afford ads on TV!!