Sorting Through Nutritional Information
- POSTED ON: Aug 06, 2011


I believe that each person needs to choose their own individual diet or food plan. Every diet works for someone,but every diet doesn’t work for everyone.

The choice of a diet, or food plan, needs to be based on the food and information that is available to each person, as well as a person’s personal preferences. Cultural issues and one’s tolerance for hunger are also important.

My own food and diet choices are a continual “experiment-of-one”. Dieting is my Hobby, and I am always learning more about it. I read diet books, I think about the information in them, and I try out different diets, and different food plans.

I’ve learned something new about myself from every diet I’ve used, and many of the new foods and recipes have become favorites that stay with me long after a particular diet is History.

 This is the process I used for weight-loss, and it is the way I maintain that weight-loss.

The choice of a food plan might seem to be an obvious or easy one, but each of us has a cultural and family food history that strongly influences what foods and eating patterns we can tolerate.

Also a great deal of misinformation exists about nutrition, dieting, weight-loss, and how the body processes energy. This often makes that food and diet choice difficult and confusing.

According to the American Dietetic Association’s (ADA) Nutrition and You: Trends 2000 survey, one in five consumers report being confused by news reports that give dietary advice.

Ten Red Flags of Junk Science

The Food and Nutrition Science Alliance (FANSA), a partnership of the ADA, American Society for Clinical Nutrition, and the American Society for Nutritional Sciences and the Institute of Food Technologists, has developed the “Ten Red Flags of Junk Science” to help recognize nutrition misinformation:

  • Recommendations that promise a quick fix
  • Dire warnings of danger from a single product or regimen
  • Simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study
  • Recommendations based on a single study
  • Dramatic statements that are refuted by reputable scientific organizations
  • Lists of “good” and “bad” foods
  • Recommendations made to help sell a product
  • Recommendations based on studies published without peer review

Recommendations from studies that ignore differences among individuals or groups

 So, my advice is to continually gather and process information, and make your food and diet choices based on your body’s needs, together with your own personal preferences and tolerance for hunger.

Kindness and Body Image
- POSTED ON: Aug 05, 2011

This video primarily addresses Kindness to others,
but Kindness to oneself is also important,
and is helpful in resolving body image problems.

Before my successful weight-loss I learned to have
compassion for the unwanted parts of myself,
and gained willingness to appreciate myself as lovable
even with my imperfections.

Research exists which shows that as body perception improves,
women are better able to self-regulate their eating, and lose weight.

Dr. Pedro Teixeira, from the Technical University of Lisbon,
who led such a research project, said:

“Body image problems are very common amongst overweight
and obese people, often leading to comfort eating and more
rigid eating patterns, and are obstacles to losing weight.

“Our results showed a strong correlation between improvements
in body image, especially in reducing anxiety about other peoples’ opinions,
and positive changes in eating behavior.

“From this we believe that learning to relate to your body in healthier ways
is an important aspect of maintaining weight loss and should be addressed
in every weight control program.”

At a future time, I plan to write more about this issue, including a few things we can do 
to improve our personal body image.

Is Bingeing an Eating Disorder?
- POSTED ON: Aug 04, 2011

  The dictionary definition of bingeing is:

to be immoderately self-indulgent and unrestrained;
to engage in excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in food or drink.

I personally agree that Bingeing isn’t usually because of lack of self control and weakness.
We binge because of a complex interaction of habit, brain chemistry, and external cues that signal us to eat. This interaction can be overcome, but it's harder to do and takes longer to change than most of us realize.

In the 1960s the Health Profession began attributing psychological reasons, rather than physiological reasons to people who overeat to the point of obesity. Since that time, there has been a tendency on the part of Health Professionals to classify every kind of eating outside “moderate eating” as an “eating disorder”. There are many reasons for this…and one of them is financial motivation. Unless a behavior is labeled a “disorder” or and illness, health insurance won’t pay for treatment.

You may call me cynical, but since “Binge Eating Disorder” is far more common than anexoria and bulimia. It has a much larger population base. This means more patients to treat with Therapy, and/or Eating Disorder programs, and more money and more profit for that specific Health Industry field.

Binge eating disorder first appeared in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, in 1994. Until recent times, “Binge Eating Disorder” has been categorized under the umbrella term 'eating disorders not otherwise specified”, or EDNOS for short. EDNOS includes a wide variety of disordered eating patterns.
It's often used for people who meet many of the symptoms of anorexia or bulimia but not all. For example, a woman who meets all of the symptoms for anorexia,  but still menstruates regularly -- a criteria for an anorexia diagnosis -- would be diagnosed with an eating disorder not otherwise specified.

Health professionals admit that a Binge Eating Disorder is more than simply eating too much food, and that many obese patients don't have it. However still they claim that up to 5 percent of obese patients and 30 percent of patients participating in weight loss programs meet the criteria for binge eating disorder.

"It is important that clinicians and the public be aware that there are
substantial differences between an eating disorder such as
binge eating disorder and the common phenomenon of overeating,"
says B. Timothy Walsh, chair of the DSM-V Eating Disorders Work Group,
in a press release. "While overeating is a challenge for many Americans, 
recurrent binge eating is much less common and far more severe and
is associated with significant physical and psychological problems."

Proposed changes in the upcoming DSM-V, to be released in May 2013, would categorize BED as a specific eating disorder.
The proposed criteria require that episodes of binge eating, defined as:

“the consumption of unusually large amounts of food,
accompanied by a sense of loss of control
and strong feelings of embarrassment and guilt”

occur a minimum of once a week over the last three months for a diagnosis.

Such a diagnosis would fit almost every obese person that I’ve even known.….I’ve been one myself and I’ve known many, many others… Almost every obese person…and some of those who are not obese… experiences a sense that they have lost control of their behavior, and has strong feelings of embarrassment and guilt after eating an “unusually large amount of food”.

Weekends come every week, vacations and holidays come rather frequently, other celebrations and special events happen frequently as well.  Plus, most of us experience times of sadness, anxiety, or crisis more frequently than we like. It is common for an obese person to engage in excess overeating on these occasions. In fact it is also a very common occurrence for an obese person to “binge out” at least once a week for months at a time.

The disgust and aversion that modern Society has for fat people pretty much guarantees that fat people will feel embarrassment and guilt due to their failure to keep from engaging in behavior that contributes to their fat condition.

It is my opinion that, despite the “conditions” that psychologists attach to the “Binge Eating Disorder”, by their proposed definition, almost everyone who engages in excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in food, which is the dictionary definition of Bingeing, could easily fall into thecurrent medical classification of having an “eating disorder”.

I find something really wrong with this reasoning, and it is one of the reasons I was drawn to Gary Taubes’
research and theories about obesity having a physiological cause, with the psychological problems being a RESULT of the condition, not a CAUSE of the condition.

Taubes makes a compelling argument. My own experience and my observation of the dismal long-term success rate
of “eating disorder” treatments, especially those that include the use of “Intuitive Eating” as a tool of recovery tend to support my belief that while Therapy is helpful to gain self-understanding of one’s behaviors, and can help one learn alternative behaviors, the underlying conditions causing obesity are not cured through that process.

So…my position is that, for those who are obese, bingeing is normal, and not abnormal, eating behavior.

Society’s current label of “eating disorder” and suggested “treatment” is simply another attempt to shame fat people into believing that they need not starve themselves to become thin and stay thin. This is a misplaced effort, because an obese body wants to maintain itself, and this is a survival instinct that will never leave, no matter how thin one becomes, or how much therapy one has.


A Change
- POSTED ON: Aug 03, 2011


Sharing some excellent advice that was given 
in response to the following question by one
member of a forum that I frequently visit to another member.

 I have been doing so bad with my eating the last month or so.
I haven't been this heavy for about two years now.
Why oh why am I doing this???
I just can't control my eating at all anymore. Tears.....”

"I have been where you're at.
In my case I rode it all the way up to having over 30 pounds to re-lose.
Here are things that I think contributed to my weight gain.
I say "I think" because there may be things I haven't considered or that aren't obvious.

1. I believed websites that told me
how much I "should" be able to eat to maintain my weight.
I wanted to be able to eat that much.
But, I found that I gain--maybe slowly, but I do.

2. I didn't realize that I am sensitive to how much
and what kind of carbohydrate I eat, in that above a certain amount,
I slip into a state where I want to eat even more carbs
and I always feel "hungry."
Once I got my carbohydrate levels under control
(and I don't mean eliminated--
I mean a certain target amount of mostly complex carbs every day!)
I found that I am not as hungry and feel much better.

3. I tried to make what had worked in the past continue to work.
I had a plan, and I had lost weight on it, so it should WORK, right?
Well, I could no longer stay on that plan for the length of time
necessary to lose weight. I would lose 2 pounds in 2 weeks,
then gain 3 in the next week because I couldn't stay on plan.
I tried to use this same plan again, and again, and again, for over a year!
You'd think I'd get the idea!
So, I had to try something different.

4. I was in denial about these things.
I thought it was just a matter of having enough "will power."
So when I couldn't make things work the way I wanted, I felt like a failure.
To put it simply, I had to admit all of those discoveries above.

Maybe this will give some things to think about.
Don't be afraid to try something you might never have thought of doing--within reason…"

One thing I'm doing this week, in my efforts to lose the weight I gained at VidCon,
is to try a different food plan.  I don't think the plan itself is that effective or unusual,
but I'm doing it because it is a change from the way I normally eat
and sometimes I find a change can be helpful. 

 Good luck to me, and to all of you as we go about our day.


- POSTED ON: Aug 02, 2011



Stress is a symptom of something else.
It's a sign that we're trying to evade the here-and-now
for the what-might-be or what-once-was.

In a National Public Radio Interview: Eckhart Tolle spoke to Christa Tippett about this.

MR. TOLLE:   What is stress?
Stress is normal in our civilization
but really basically what it means
is you would rather be somewhere else.

Stress means you want to be in the next moment
or you want already to be finished with what you're doing
while you're still doing it.

You would rather be finished with it.
Or while you're traveling towards someplace,
you'd rather already be there.


MR. TOLLE: But you're not.
And stress is so normal that everybody accepts
that, OK, if you're successful in life then you must be under stress.

MS. TIPPETT: Right. But I think counterintuitively
you're saying you lean in rather than wishing it away.

MR. TOLLE: Yes. It's by becoming friendly with the present moment.
What's my relationship, is the present moment my friend or my enemy?
Another little pointer. And it's a strange question, but if you look very closely,
you'd find that very often you make the present moment into virtually an enemy.
Or it becomes an obstacle.

MS. TIPPETT: And you're saying that we do have the power.
Whatever is enclosed in that moment,
we have the power not to define it as an obstacle.
And that's going to change the way we approach it.

MR. TOLLE: Yes. The first thing is the realization of what you're doing.
In other words, one could say: "see the madness in yourself".
And that's not a bad thing; it's a great thing,
because that is not something to be depressed about.
That means that you are awakening.
And that which is awakening is the awareness behind the thinking.

We have no choice but to experience each and every moment of life.
We could anesthetize ourselves using various drugs, or drinks, or excess food,
but that's an entirely different topic.

We are here physically regardless of how we feel mentally,
but we can feel better if we try to synch our mind and body…
If we try to be really present
and find small moments of happiness throughout the day.

Down the road, perhaps we will change our lives
and find larger, more permanent ways to inject happiness into it.
But for right now, this moment, we need to try to find small moments of happiness.

Changing one’s mindset from merely existing to really living isn't easy,
but once you do it, it is surprising at how contagious a positive attitude can be.

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