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Ellen Glovsky, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach
Learn more…
Coaching for Nutrition
and Weight Management

Ellen Glovsky, PhD, RD, LDN, Nutrition Coach


Make peace with food.
For a complimentary telephone consultation, call or email me at (781)890-1618 or elglov@aol.com.

Offices in Waltham and Copley Square, Boston.
Services offered include:> in-person consultations
> telephone sessions
> home visits


Please forward this newsletter to others who may be interested. Feel free to contact me with questions or topics you would like to hear about in future issues.


 
Many of my clients have been struggling with food and their weight for a long time, and they have tried many different diets. What if you stopped dieting and started responding to your body’s hunger and fullness signals?

 

 

In This Issue
August/September 2009

  • Why Do People Overeat?
  • The Dieting Industry
  • The Chemical Trail
  • The Food Industry

 

 

Why Do People Overeat?

Have you wondered why, despite your best efforts, you still overeat your favorite foods?As more people in our country are overweight and so many people are “on a diet,” why aren’t we looking at the reasons people overeat?

The Dieting Industry

Perhaps you simply blame yourself for not being able to stick to a weight loss diet. An entire multi-billion dollar industry exists which is devoted to helping us lose weight, and it’s a terrific business to be in right now. Since most people regain the weight they lose, this industry has a built-in customer base.Scientists are only now beginning to investigate why people overeat.  Dr. David Kessler, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has a new book titled “Why We Overeat.” The book describes current research looking at the causes of overeating. And no, it’s not just that you are lazy or undisciplined.

The Chemical Trail

Research demonstrates that when we eat sugar, fat, or salt, the brain is stimulated to produce dopamine, a chemical that conveys messages from one nerve cell to another. When we consume just sugar, there is a small dopamine spike, but when the food contains both sugar and fat, the spike is larger and lasts longer than with sugar alone. Combine sugar, fat and salt, and the dopamine spike lasts longer still. When you add a variety of temperatures, textures, and aromas, the lure of certain foods becomes nearly impossible to resist.These chemicals “activate” the brain and turn on reward circuits, causing the desire for more and more of the food. For example, ice cream contains sugar and fat and is cold. When you add hot fudge (sugar, fat, hot, creamy, chocolate), crumbled cookies (sugar, crispy), and peanut butter candy (sugar, fat, chocolate), the food becomes multi-sensory and, consequently, even harder to resist.

The Food Industry

The food and restaurant industries know that to make food more irresistible, they should layer the fat, salt and sugar with the other sensory qualities such as texture, temperature, and color. These industries are smart enough to put these foods on every street corner, grocery store, and drug store. Add the gloss of advertising that says “eat this with your friends and family, have fun”, and we become conditioned to consume these foods beyond fullness.

Dr. Kessler points out that not everyone is equally vulnerable to the irresistability of these foods. We don’t know for sure why, but we think that some people produce fewer brain chemicals in response to stimulus, or perhaps the chemicals just don’t have the same effect.

Dr. Kessler refers to people whose brains are activated and remain so by food “conditioned hypereaters.” When people who are not hypereaters begin to eat very appealing food, they do so until the “reward circuits” in the brain shut off at a point of satiety. Conditioned hypreaters appear to be missing the shut off mechanism.

For more on this subject, see Dr. Kessler’s book:
The End of Overeating, Rodale Press, 2009.

 

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If you prefer not to receive
future e-mails of this type,
Leave this List.
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To view as a web page.
Ellen Glovsky, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach
Learn more…
Coaching for Nutrition
and Weight Management
Ellen Glovsky, PhD, RD, LDN, Nutrition Coach
Make peace with food.
For a complimentary telephone consultation, call or email me at (781)890-1618 or elglov@aol.com.Offices in Waltham and Copley Square, Boston.Services offered include:> in-person consultations
> telephone sessions
> home visits

Please forward this newsletter to others who may be interested. Feel free to contact me with questions or topics you would like to hear about in future issues.
Many of my clients have been struggling with food and their weight for a long time, and they have tried many different diets. What if you stopped dieting and started responding to your body’s hunger and fullness signals?

 

 

 

 

 

In This Issue
June 2009

  • The Trap of Mindless Eating
  • An Evolutionary Instinct

 

 


      The Trap of Mindless Eating

“Mindless Eating” refers to any time you eat without really paying attention. If you’ve ever found yourself with a half empty container of ice cream or a bag of chips or cookies, and you don’t remember having eaten the food, you have had an experience of mindless eating.Here are a few other “mindless eating” scenarios:

    • You eat automatically, perhaps when certain foods are available, such as candy, cookies, chips or other foods that trigger you to “just eat.”
    • You always eat when you first get home from work, whether you’re hungry or not.
    • You eat while you watch TV, work at the computer, or talk on the telephone, whether you are hungry or not.
    • You eat by the clock, “It’s noontime, I’ll have lunch,” whether you are hungry or not.
    • You stop eating only when the food in front of you is gone, not when you are no longer hungry.

An Evolutionary Instinct

To some extent, mindless eating is part of typical human experience in our society. We have much more food than we need and are surrounded by food more than any society in human history. Prior to the past century, most humans lived through cycles of feast and famine. Thus we evolved with the instinct to eat when food is plentiful in order to defend against periods of famine. This instinct has become a disadvantage, contributing to the problems we now have with overweight and obesity.

It takes concerted effort for many of us to stop mindless eating. It requires really paying attention to and responding to hunger and fullness signals. It is normal to occasionally eat when you are not hungry, and to eat beyond fullness from time to time. However, most of the time, if you are thinking about eating and you are not actually hungry, find something else to do!

For more on this topic, view this interesting video of Dr. Brian Wansink talking about his research on “mindless eating”.

Feel free to contact me with questions or topics you would like to hear about in future issues.

 

Nutrition Scams and Quackery

Let’s begin with some general ideas about these ads.

If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not true.

If an ad for a product promises to solve a problem or cure an illness no one else has been able to cure, be suspicious.

Be suspicious if the advertisement makes claims that sound like simple solutions to difficult problems, such as:

  • You can lose a lot of weight in a short time without changing what you eat or exercising.
  • You need to have your “colon cleansed” in order to lose weight, have more energy and live longer.
  • Herbs are safe because they are “natural”.
  • Sugar and white flour will poison you.
  • A hair sample can identify nutrient deficiencies.
  • There are “super foods” that will keep you healthy and that everyone needs these foods or this product, even if your diet is not very good.

These ideas are recycled over and over again. Remember stories about the “snake oil salesman” from the past? He’s back, just a lot more sophisticated now.

Wouldn’t a quick fix to chronic and sometimes serious problems like overweight, diabetes, heart disease, and just plain low energy be terrific? If an advertiser or television personality tells you that they have the answer, and that medical practitioners either don’t know about it or don’t want you to know about it, be suspicious!

Here are some ways to spot nutrition scams and quackery:

  •  Terms such as “clinically proven” or “research proves” have no meaning. What clinic? What research?
  • What are the credentials of the person who conducted the study? Unfortunately, some of my colleagues with legitimate credentials have put their names on commercial, unproven products, and this is a shame. Literally, they should be ashamed of themselves, since this is extremely unprofessional and unethical. Current examples are Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Nicholas Perricone who are promoting Acai Berry with Oprah. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that this product has any health benefits.
  • Who sponsored or paid for the study? If the company that is selling the product has sponsored the research, the results are suspect.
  • How many subjects were in the study? Two, five, ten? This is not enough to get accurate results to make claims that something is “proven”.
  • Was this research published in a peer reviewed, scientific journal, or presented at a scientific meeting?
  • Is the site/expert selling you something? Legitimate health care providers generally do not sell products. It is considered unethical.

 

For more on Acai Berry, from a legitimate source, go to Web MD at http://www.webmd.com/diet/acai-berries-and-acai-berry-juice-what-are-the-health-benefits.

 

Looking for the “Perfect Diet”

Many people believe they are overweight and “go on a diet” to correct that problem. Obviously, these people expect to lose weight! These expectations are generally unrealistic. The truth is that about 90-95% of people who diet either don’t lose weight, or lose some weight and gain it all back, often and then some. Would you take a medication or other treatment for your health if it had that kind of success rate?

Typically, people are able to follow a new diet for a short time, perhaps achieving some success at weight loss. They may even feel a real thrill when they are successful at controlling themselves! Most people gradually slide back into old food habits for very good reasons. After all, “We eat what we like and we like what we eat”.

Yet we continue to think that we should be able to restrain ourselves and not eat our favorite foods, our comfort foods. Why do we think we should be able to avoid or limit foods we love?

The “False Hope” Syndrome

So, hope springs eternal, and in this case, false hope. We think we should just try harder and be more disciplined. Or, we think the next new diet will be “the one that works”. This idea gives the power to the diet itself to “work”. If we could just find the right combination of foods or nutrients or the times of the day we eat, we will finally be able to be in control.

The basis of this argument is false! When we restrict the number of calories we consume, the body revolts and fights back, leaving us hungry, irritable, and constantly thinking about food. Our bodies are designed to maintain the status quo, both in terms of body weight and the amount of food we eat. Ever notice that when you’re “on a diet” food becomes the central focus of your day? It’s not the diet that has to be the right one, it’s a change in philosophy about the idea of dieting that’s in order.

There is an Alternative to “Dieting!”

What if you tuned into your body’s signals and

  • ate only when you were physically hungry,
  • ate the foods you REALLY wanted to eat, and
  • stopped when you were full?

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Well, it’s possible! This is the way to MAKE PEACE WITH FOOD. But, remember, these ideas are simple, but not easy to implement. It takes skill and training to live this way with food, and it is very empowering. There is no need to allow food to control you.

In the next issue of this Newsletter, we will explore the Hunger/Fullness Scale and other tools you can use for making peace with food.

You may be wondering how I define “success” if not by how much weight is lost. Here’s a “Success Story” from my practice.

Rona

Rona is a 58 year old woman who is moderately overweight and came to see me to lose weight. She has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and chronic heartburn and indigestion.

Rona said, “I have been on a diet for as long as I can remember”. As a child, her parents decided she was fat, and did everything they could think of to control what Rona ate to make her thinner, most often making her eat foods that she hated and made her “different” from others in her life.

Rona has been on “every diet” and lost weight on some, always regaining what she lost, and often more. She said she is tired of thinking about food constantly, and always worrying about what to eat, what not to eat, and how bad she has been with food. When Rona is “on a diet” she feels that she “eats healthy” and when she is “off the diet” she is sure her diet is unhealthy.

To begin our work together, Rona kept a diary of what she ate for a week while she was not on a diet, and e-mailed it to me. Together we reviewed her food diary for adequacy of nutrients and food groups. She found it shocking that her diet was quite healthy and well-balanced! With a few minor changes, Rona’s diet was just perfect for her.

After 3 months of weekly or biweekly sessions, both in person and by telephone, Rona was feeling an enormous amount of relief from her constant thoughts about food. She was learning to eat when she was hungry and to examine her needs when she wanted to eat and was not physically hungry. Rona began to allow herself to eat the foods she really wanted when she was hungry, and was starting to learn to stop when she was full, comfortably full.

By the way, after 3 months, Rona had lost 10 pounds, and had begun exercising 3 times a week for 1 hour. Her blood pressure and cholesterol are lower and she has a lot less heartburn and indigestion because she is eating less fatty food. Rona had come a long way in improving her health, both mentally and physically, and she was very pleased with herself!

 

Ellen Glovsky, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach
Learn more…
For a complimentary telephone consultation, call or email me at (781)890-1618 or elglov@aol.com.

Offices in Waltham and Copley Square, Boston.
Services offered include:> in-person consultations
> telephone sessions
> home visits


Please forward this newsletter to others who may be interested. Feel free to contact me with questions or topics you would like to hear about in future issues.


 
Many of my clients have been struggling with food and their weight for a long time, and they have tried many different diets. What if you stopped dieting and started responding to your body’s hunger and fullness signals?

 

 

In This Issue
August/September 2009

  • Why Do People Overeat?
  • The Dieting Industry
  • The Chemical Trail
  • The Food Industry


 

Coaching for Nutrition
and Weight Management

Ellen Glovsky, PhD, RD, LDN, Nutrition Coach


Make peace with food.

Why Do People Overeat?

Have you wondered why, despite your best efforts, you still overeat your favorite foods?As more people in our country are overweight and so many people are “on a diet,” why aren’t we looking at the reasons people overeat?

The Dieting Industry

Perhaps you simply blame yourself for not being able to stick to a weight loss diet. An entire multi-billion dollar industry exists which is devoted to helping us lose weight, and it’s a terrific business to be in right now. Since most people regain the weight they lose, this industry has a built-in customer base.Scientists are only now beginning to investigate why people overeat.  Dr. David Kessler, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has a new book titled “Why We Overeat.” The book describes current research looking at the causes of overeating. And no, it’s not just that you are lazy or undisciplined.

The Chemical Trail

Research demonstrates that when we eat sugar, fat, or salt, the brain is stimulated to produce dopamine, a chemical that conveys messages from one nerve cell to another. When we consume just sugar, there is a small dopamine spike, but when the food contains both sugar and fat, the spike is larger and lasts longer than with sugar alone. Combine sugar, fat and salt, and the dopamine spike lasts longer still. When you add a variety of temperatures, textures, and aromas, the lure of certain foods becomes nearly impossible to resist.These chemicals “activate” the brain and turn on reward circuits, causing the desire for more and more of the food. For example, ice cream contains sugar and fat and is cold. When you add hot fudge (sugar, fat, hot, creamy, chocolate), crumbled cookies (sugar, crispy), and peanut butter candy (sugar, fat, chocolate), the food becomes multi-sensory and, consequently, even harder to resist.

The Food Industry

The food and restaurant industries know that to make food more irresistible, they should layer the fat, salt and sugar with the other sensory qualities such as texture, temperature, and color. These industries are smart enough to put these foods on every street corner, grocery store, and drug store. Add the gloss of advertising that says “eat this with your friends and family, have fun”, and we become conditioned to consume these foods beyond fullness.Dr. Kessler points out that not everyone is equally vulnerable to the irresistability of these foods. We don’t know for sure why, but we think that some people produce fewer brain chemicals in response to stimulus, or perhaps the chemicals just don’t have the same effect.Dr. Kessler refers to people whose brains are activated and remain so by food “conditioned hypereaters.” When people who are not hypereaters begin to eat very appealing food, they do so until the “reward circuits” in the brain shut off at a point of satiety. Conditioned hypreaters appear to be missing the shut off mechanism.For more on this subject, see Dr. Kessler’s book:
The End of Overeating, Rodale Press, 2009.

Sent to: ellen@nutrition-coach.com
If you prefer not to receive
future e-mails of this type,
Leave this List.
Sent By:
Institute for Motivation and Change
229 Billerica Road
Chelmsford MA 01824
U.S.A.
To view as a web page.

 

 

 

Ellen Glovsky, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach
Learn more…
For a complimentary telephone consultation, call or email me at (781)890-1618 or elglov@aol.com.

Offices in Waltham and Copley Square, Boston.

Services offered include:

> in-person consultations
> telephone sessions
> home visits


Please forward this newsletter to others who may be interested. Feel free to contact me with questions or topics you would like to hear about in future issues.


 
Many of my clients have been struggling with food and their weight for a long time, and they have tried many different diets. What if you stopped dieting and started responding to your body’s hunger and fullness signals?

 

 

In This Issue
June 2009

  • The Trap of Mindless Eating
  • An Evolutionary Instinct


 

Coaching for Nutrition
and Weight Management

Ellen Glovsky, PhD, RD, LDN, Nutrition Coach


Make peace with food.

The Trap of Mindless Eating

“Mindless Eating” refers to any time you eat without really paying attention. If you’ve ever found yourself with a half empty container of ice cream or a bag of chips or cookies, and you don’t remember having eaten the food, you have had an experience of mindless eating.Here are a few other “mindless eating” scenarios:

  • You eat automatically, perhaps when certain foods are available, such as candy, cookies, chips or other foods that trigger you to “just eat.”
  • You always eat when you first get home from work, whether you’re hungry or not.
  • You eat while you watch TV, work at the computer, or talk on the telephone, whether you are hungry or not.
  • You eat by the clock, “It’s noontime, I’ll have lunch,” whether you are hungry or not.
  • You stop eating only when the food in front of you is gone, not when you are no longer hungry.

An Evolutionary Instinct

To some extent, mindless eating is part of typical human experience in our society. We have much more food than we need and are surrounded by food more than any society in human history. Prior to the past century, most humans lived through cycles of feast and famine. Thus we evolved with the instinct to eat when food is plentiful in order to defend against periods of famine. This instinct has become a disadvantage, contributing to the problems we now have with overweight and obesity.It takes concerted effort for many of us to stop mindless eating. It requires really paying attention to and responding to hunger and fullness signals. It is normal to occasionally eat when you are not hungry, and to eat beyond fullness from time to time. However, most of the time, if you are thinking about eating and you are not actually hungry, find something else to do!For more on this topic, view this interesting video of Dr. Brian Wansink talking about his research on “mindless eating”.
Feel free to contact me with questions or topics you would like to hear about in future issues.



Nutrition Scams and Quackery

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