Your hankering for that yummy Big Mac could suddenly vaporize if you knew how far you’d have to walk to burn it off.
We now have more access to the calorie content of food, on packaging and even some restaurant menus.
But a new study published in the journal Appetite out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found a different tactic might help.
Jill Richardson has an interesting article on AlterNet:
Did you hear the news? Now it’s healthy to be fat! It turns out that your smug skinny friend who eats broccoli and runs marathons should have been eating fast food and watching TV this whole time. Right?
Well, maybe not. A new study  published in the Journal of the American Medical Association…
The Processed Food Industry has been commended for creating foods that have made it easy for us to consume in our busy and hectic lives - but are these foods good for us? Here is what the processed food industry doesn't want the basic consumer to know:
- Processed foods are addictive and can cause you to overeat. Eating highly processed or highly concentrated foods can artificially stimulate dopamine (the pleasure neurotransmitter), which plays a role in addiction.
Sometimes, I read something that I wish I had written. Or that I wish I could have sat down with the writer and discovered from them on my own, through a meaningful discussion. Most of these writings involve good stories, experiences that I have been curious about or yearned to learn more about.
This piece “What Losing 180 Pounds Really Does To Your Body–And Your Mind” is one of those, as it finally deals with–in an extremely real and intimate way–the psychology behind weight loss and the myths that accompany it. The author opted to get weight-loss surgery and expected her life to magically turn into a fairy-tale overnight–as fat people are taught that life is only worthwhile and love is only possible when you become skinny–and guess what? It didn’t.
When she goes to have a consultation for weight-loss surgery, the doctor makes a comment about how freeing it will be to be in public without people staring or without causing a scene.
He said that like it was a fact about all fat people. All fat people hate themselves. All fat people know that what’s good in life is really only accessible to thin people. Thin is the most important variable in of life’s equations. Thin equals happy, thin equals beautiful, thin equals a life worth living.
The most embarrassing fact of my life – and oh, how many embarrassing facts there are in my life – is that it was true. I was angry at him for saying it, for buying into the cliché of the fat person. For assuming that my life would transform immediately. Because he was saying all the things I had secretly thought. He was reinforcing all the secret fantasies I had about the way everything about me would be more amenable and lovable and acceptable to the whole rest of the world. To everyone on airplanes and everyone in my life. To myself. When I lost all the weight. When I got weight loss surgery.
I wish I could just copy and paste the entire article, because there are so many important realizations and confessions and knowledge that this woman gained (while losing the weight) about sense of self and body image.
The problem was that I lost all those pounds, but I didn’t have to change a thing about my self. I didn’t have to address any of the emotional or psychological issues. I didn’t have to figure out why I had been depressed – why I was still so, so depressed, despite the fact that the one thing I thought had been ruining my life was suddenly gone.
It doesn’t go away, you see. I thought that my body was wrong when I was obese; I thought my body was wrong when I was thin past the point of health. I thought there was something wrong with my body whatever I looked like, because there’s always just one more thing to fix before I look perfect, feel good in bed with hands on my body, feel sexy in a dress or a bathing suit, feel comfortable in my skin.
There have been endless articles recently on body image (when aren’t there?) in the media and on the internet recently that I’ve been meaning to post about, but I feel like this is a good one to start with. It’s amazing to me that these impossible standards of beauty are still upheld (and I subscribe to them too, I am not immune at all) and that people equate outer beauty with inner happiness. If there were as many articles directed towards women on “how to create a beautiful soul” instead of “how to get perfect calves,” I think our world would be a much different place.
(Image courtesy of WiseGeek)
Last week (February 24th-March 2nd) was National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Unfortunately, I was ill all week so I didn’t get a chance to post then, but I still wanted to highlight this important cause as it’s never too late to be aware.
This year’s NEDAwareness Week theme is “Everybody Knows Somebody” because awareness of eating disorders is certainly spreading. Last year, NEDAwareness Week registrants spanned all 50 states and 30 other countries. The aim of NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses – not choices – and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.
NEDA asks everyone to do just one thing to help raise awareness and provide accurate information about eating disorders.
This is a really important mission and there are so many different ways to get involved or get help. Please do check out the website and be compassionate and supportive of those around you (or yourself!) if anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder. There is hope and people who care and want to help.
The brilliant Postsecret project featured many secrets these past weeks relating to themes of eating disorders and recovery. Here are some of my favorites:
The average American eats 3,800 calories a day. This is twice the average daily requirement.
Obesity has reached the epidemic status, with about 65% of U.S. adults overweight.
$100 billion a year is spent on treating obesity-related disorders.
300,000 U.S. citizens die from disorders caused by excessive eating.
… So who’s hungry?
Hunger is defined in my Biopsychology book as “the motivation to eat.” According to this textbook (which is cited below, and used for all of the facts presented throughout this post because it’s the most amazing textbook I’ve read) the goal of hunger is to increase the probability that we will eat.