Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder. It affects 3.5% of women and 2% of men. 

Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food, quickly and to a point of feeling uncomfortably full. The person has a sense of loss of control during the binge. Afterwards they experience shame, guilt and disgust with themselves. Purging is not a part of the disorder. 

Those who suffer from BED may be secretive about their eating. They may not practice normal eating behaviors and instead skip meals or only eat small portions at a meal and may engage in sporadic fasting and repetitive dieting.

There are health consequences associated with binge eating disorder. Many of these consequences are related to unwanted weight gain due to binge eating. These can include Type II diabetes, high cholesterol levels and heart disease as a result of elevated triglyceride levels. 

Binge eating disorder is strongly associated with depression, anxiety, guilt and shame. Possible risk factors include genetics, mood disorders, trauma, abuse and neglect and problems with family or other significant relationships.

Effective treatments available for binge eating disorder include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and psychotropic medications. A nutritionist can help those suffering with BED help regain normal eating patterns and learn about proper nutrition and having a balanced diet.

For more information on BED visit the following: 
BEDA Binge Eating Disorder Association
ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) 
National Eating Disorder Association

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Traits of a Healthy Marriage

We have all heard that “Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.” Arguments over the divorce rate continue to be an ongoing debate. Some studies suggest that the divorce rate in the U.S. is declining and that the rates are somewhere between 40-50%. Regardless of the statistics, there clearly are many people struggling to find a way to make marriage work. It may seem that the odds for a successful marriage are not in our favor however with resolve and commitment it is possible to have a long and healthy marriage.

Here are 6 traits of a good marriage
  • Accept your partner as they are.  Entering a marriage expecting you can change your spouse is a recipe for disaster.
  •  Put your relationship first.  When making big decisions consider how it will affect your partner. You are part of a team now. Don’t make choices that will put undue stress on the relationship.
  • Be kind and respectful in your relationship. You won’t always agree with your spouse and at times you will get angry but you can still remain considerate of the other’s feelings. You can focus on criticizing and hurting your partner or you can be kind in expressing your hurt and anger. Kindness is always a quicker path to resolution.
  • Don’t keep secrets. You can’t build trust with a partner when secrets are being kept and once trust is lost it’s hard to rebuild.
  •  Consider “divorce” a dirty word. Couples who frequently refer to divorce are more focused on their exit strategy and lack the commitment they need to heal and strengthen their marriage.
  • Live in the present. You can’t change anything that has happened in the past. It’s important to be forgiving and accepting in order to move forward. Couples who continually dredge up old hurts get stuck in their anger and resentment.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Forming Healthy Habits

It happens every new year. We feel the need to make those resolutions for ourselves because it’s a new year. What better time to make those changes that we did not accomplish last year.  We resolve to lose those 20 pounds; we will exercise 5 times a week; we will finally organize that out of control closet. There seems to be messages everywhere to push us in that direction. Tips and guidelines in magazines and news programs. Not to mention all the sales and deals on exercise equipment, gym memberships and storage containers you see every January. What could go wrong?

The reality is that for many of us we start our resolutions with the best intentions but our efforts tend to fizzle out by February. There are different reasons why we struggle to establish these new habits.
  •       We make too many resolutions at one time. Trying to make too many changes at once will become too difficult and overwhelming.
  •       We set goals that are not realistic. Are you really going to be able to go to the gym 6 days a week when you work full time and have a family?
  •       We adopt someone else’s resolution instead of our own. Are you resolving to lose weight because your spouse is pressuring you? Are you using ultra- thin models as your standard?
  •       We depend on outside solutions like a gym membership without doing anything to prepare our inside- our brain. 
  •       We don’t consider how we will psychologically handle the stress and discomfort that comes with change.
Here are some steps that may make your journey to healthier habits a little easier.
  •       Focus on small changes. Tasks are always easier when you break them down. Replacing a daily snack with something healthy is not as hard as revamping your entire diet. You can then move on to other small changes.
  •       Consider your timing. Do not try to make changes during times of stress and disorder in your life. The day you get fired is not a good time to quit smoking.
  •       Focus on the behavior not the result. Often we give up when we haven’t lost the pounds we expected to but if we continue with these healthier behaviors we will see results in time. It’s a matter of making lifestyle changes not looking for a quick fix.
  •       Find a partner. It can help to work with someone who can be your cheerleader and help keep you accountable.
  •       Change your environment. It will be harder to eat well with a pantry full of junk food. Turn off your devices or put them away if they are interfering with your efforts. Surround yourself with positive people.
  •       Set realistic goals. You may never be able to wear a size 4 or run a marathon but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your health or lifestyle in significant ways.
  •       Give yourself time. We hear that it takes 21 days for a habit to form but that might not be true for everyone. Accept that things will get easier but we have to be willing to give it time.
If you take small steps and keep your expectations realistic you are on the right path to form healthy habits.