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By Anna Lynn Sibal
Eating Disorders Issues
Eating is definitely one of the greatest of the simple pleasures in life. Not only is eating vital to the survival of our bodies, but having a stomach full of a meal that was nutritious, delicious and a visual treat makes the body feel comforted physically and psychologically.
There is, however, a right way and a wrong way of eating. It is so easy to abuse food and make eating an addiction rather than a necessary function of the body. Eating too little deprives the body of the nutrition that it needs to run properly. Eating too much leads to the buildup of excess weight. Both conditions can lead to sickness and eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
How do you know you are eating the wrong way? You have a potential eating disorder if you display the following signs:
- Anxiety, agitation and restlessness
- Too much exercise
- Weight obsession - either going on the weighing scale every day or refusing to even get on the scale
- Far too frequent use of the bathroom, oftentimes to force one’s self to vomit
- Being self-critical and readiness to offer derogatory remarks about one’s body and self
- Refusal to eat and making profuse excuses to avoid eating
- Plummeting levels of self-esteem
- Difficulty in addressing or coping with emotions
- Isolation and withdrawal from society
You should seek help if you are displaying any one of these signs.
If you know you are eating the wrong way and you are serious about changing the way you eat, here is how to do it:
1. Do not set your mind into deprivation mode. If you convince your mind that you are depriving it of a particular kind of food, once that food crosses paths with you again, you will likely go into a binge. So instead of telling your mind that you are depriving it, tell yourself that you will just be postponing the pleasure for another time.
2. Focus on your meal. If you have a meal set before you, do not do anything else but eat. Do not talk on the phone, do not watch TV, do not check emails. Do not do anything while eating. In that way, you will be able to savor every bit of the food you are eating. What the mind does not miss, it will not seek.
3. Make eating a relaxing experience. Make your meals presentable by using pretty china and flatware. Put a flower arrangement or a nice centerpiece on your table setting to make the meal a visual treat. Pop in a CD of some nice music that is conducive to meals. Make your meals an event and a ritual to look forward to.
4. Eat something that you like. Forcing yourself to eat what you do not like will only set yourself into bingeing mode. There is nothing wrong with indulging in the “sinful” foods every once in a while.
5. Eat slowly and savor the taste. Eating slowly will make you aware of the food you are consuming, and it will also alert you when your stomach is already full. Sometimes, when we do not focus on what we are eating, we eat far too much than what we need.