Originally published September 24 2008
Overcome Helpless Over-Eating With These Healthful Tips
by Tony Isaacs
(NaturalNews) If you believe that you are a helpless over eater whose attempts at dieting are doomed, you may actually have already taken an important step towards success in overcoming your problem. Admitting that you have the problem is a big first step, the most important one in fact, and now it is just a matter of coming up with a game plan to conquer your feelings of helplessness and put yourself in charge of doing something about it. Here is a plan to help you realize the success you dream of, with an added tool at the end that may finally help you get over the hump.
The Emotional Side:
Find a friend or group of friends who want to help if you can. Call them whenever you are on the verge of a binge or even in the middle of one.
Go buy a copy of Og Mandingo`s "The Greatest Miracle in the World". It is a great little inspirational book that millions have taken to heart and I recommend it most highly. Chances are good you can buy it for a song at a used book store.
Practice EFT, meditation and/or yoga for better health and relief from negative feelings and depression. Make sure that you engage in at least some physical activity each day. Exercise is not only helpful in taking off and maintaining weight, it also releases endorphins that enhance your mood.
Find activities and hobbies that fill in the blank spaces instead of food. Often eating is used to take the place of emotional fulfillment and things we may be missing out on in other areas of life. Involving yourself in activities that help others can be tremendously rewarding emotionally.
When you do eat:
First of all, get rid of all the junk and replace it with healthy fruits and vegetables. The old saying rings true -- if you hang around the barbershop long enough, one day you will end up getting a hair cut. In some cases, I suppose you could say beauty shop and hairdo. If the food is not there, you can`t eat it.
Try to eat smaller portions at each meal. Instead of two or three substantial meals, try three small ones with some light and healthy between meal snacks.
Drink a tall glass of water between meals and snacks and during meals and snacks too. It will help you feel filled and full sooner. For a healthy boost, substitute one or two of the glasses of water for anti-oxidant rich fruit juice (pomegranate and dark grape are great, as is blueberry) and unsweetened black or green tea (or a mix of the two).
Make sure that you get all the vitamins and minerals you need, supplementing as need be. Be sure to include the vital yet often overlooked trace minerals -- and get the ones that are plant derived. Oftentimes, our body keeps telling us to eat more no matter how much we eat because we are still not getting the vitamins and minerals it craves.
Chew slowly and much more thoroughly. Health experts say that the optimum number of chews for each bite of food is 50. That may be a lot for you to do, but the more you chew, the better your food will be broken down and utilized without stomach distress and the more time it will take you to finish a meal. Studies have shown that there is typically a lapse in the time a body signals that it is full when you are wolfing down your food.
Once each week, pick out a day for modified "fasting". Pick from watermelon, dark grapes with seeds, water and/or juiced fruits and vegetables. Go ahead and binge! Yep, eat all you want. And be sure to include the seeds with the grapes (not the watermelons though). The health benefits of regular fasting are immense and it helps keep your stomach shrunken so that you are filled with less food the rest of the week so long as you avoid huge meals.
When you crave sweets the rest of the week, reach for modest portions of healthy fruits or a glass of juice instead. Remember that organics are always better when it comes to fruits and vegetables and to drink 100% fruit juices and not the high fructose and sugar sweetened juice "cocktails".
Avoid all artificial sweeteners except Stevia or perhaps the harder to find and more expensive (but better tasting) Lo Huan. All artificial sweeteners are dangerous and have been linked to multiple health disorders, including cancer. In many instances, they also actually make you crave more food. None are more dangerous than Aspartame.
Avoid MSG. It also leads to food cravings, obesity and multiple health problems. Read your food labels and also learn the many different names and guises used to mask the presence of MSG. Likewise, avoid trans fats (but not all fats). Soy is another no-no, as is canola oil. Pure butter is actually healthier for you than most margarines and butter substitutes even if you are dieting. Often, a bit of healthy olive oil can substitute quite nicely for butter.
Since you are not only battling weight loss, but also mood and depression it is important to realize that diets that are too low in fat can cause or increase depressions. Omega three fats in particular are important for mood and mental health. So, while it is a good idea to eat a lot of healthy raw vegetables and fruits, you should also eat smaller portions of other foods that enhance your mood:
Almonds help increase dopamine levels. Six raw almonds a day is healthy for everyone.
Avocados (eat in moderation): Avocados increase the levels of dopamine and healthy vegetable fats, they increase endorphin (feel good chemical) levels.
Turkey: Turkey also helps increase endorphins and help you achieve a relaxed mood
Oatmeal: For the same reason as the bagel-increase of serotonin levels from Complex Carbohydrates.
Complex Carbohydrates: These foods raise the levels of serotonin in the brain giving you a calm and relaxed feeling. Look for whole grains, brown rice, fruit, high fiber cereal, potatoes. Again, moderation is the key.
Fats: Vegetable fats increase endorphin levels. Healthy fat foods include olive oil, almonds and avocados. Omega 3 foods are extremely important and include salmon, lobster, shrimp, walnuts.
Proteins: Protein helps stimulate the production of dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine.
Dark chocolate: Umm, did I mention limiting portions? OK, not the ideal food of choice for dieters, but chocolate stimulates the release of serotonin and dark chocolate has other health benefits as well. And it will likely help you have a bit easier time with your cravings for sweets. Since you want to lose weight, go very easy on the dark chocolate. A good plan would be to buy enough each week to enable you to "reward yourself" once a day with one single small square of dark chocolate and no more. If you eat too much of it, you simply go without until the following week. Do the same more than a couple of times and do away with the chocolate until you achieve better control.
Make sure that success is "in the cards" for you
Here is an added tool that has helped many people overcome addictions and obsessive behavior:
Get a notepad and pen. On one page, write down all of the positive things you can think of about losing weight and eating a healthy diet -- such as better self image, being healthier, longer life, more attractive, more active lifestyle, etc. Try to come up with the top ten reasons. On another page, write down all of the negative things you can think of, such as poor self image, poor health, depression, shorter lifespan, less attractive, less active, etc.
Now, get yourself a few index cards, or even make some up on your computer. On the front of each card write the negative things about overeating and poor diet. On the back, write the positive things. Put one card in your purse, one on the fridge and another on your pantry/cupboard. And promise yourself that each time you have an urge to eat too much, or eat something unhealthy and/or fattening, you will take the time to read both sides of the card.
Then drink a big glass of water, call that friend, go take a walk, get in the car and go find an activity to take your mind off eating, do anything to avoid giving in and the craving will pass and soon be forgotten about.
Try those things, rejoice in the positive steps you take and do not despair during the times you slip a bit -- but never give yourself an excuse or plan to slip. Most people who have addictions or other obsessive/compulsive problems they are battling usually plan their slip-ups well in advance and already have an excuse waiting to be pulled out to justify their slip-ups. Instead of dwelling on eating and constantly thinking about it (and perhaps planning your next downfall), develop a lifestyle that revolves around activities and interests other than eating.
You may very well find that, while there may be some ups and downs as there are in many things in life, you will slowly but surely be on the path for success.
About the authorTony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers.
Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".
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