Overcoming Food Addiction

Avoid Junk Food During Pregnancy – Your Child Will Thank You

Portrait of a happy young pregnant woman with her husbandWe all know that junk food tastes good and that many people even develop a craving for specific foods that can get out of control. It is a cliche that pregnant women might start craving certain foods.

But research also shows that if you are pregnant and indulge in eating junk food, you may be dooming your child to a lifetime of altered brain chemistry.In other words, what you eat really leaves a permanent mark on your child's brain.

What gets affected is the reward pathways of the brain. The ones involved in cravings of all types and for high reward activities like eating or sex. The same pathways that are not functioning normally in drug and alcohol addicts.

Researchers have looked at offspring of rats fed either normal chow or a junk food diet during pregnancy and lactation. They actually looked at the brain chemistry and eating behaviors of the offspring. They found lasting changes in the opioid receptor systems of the brain in those junk food offspring. Brains have natural receptors in them for morphine-like peptide hormones related to regulating the reward centers of the brain.

Even giving a powerful drug to block opioid receptors to the junk food addicted offspring did not work as well to cut their intake of fat and sugar as it did in normal offspring whose mothers had not consumed the junk food.

What does this mean? It reinforces the point that the brain has critical periods of development that specific environmental factors can modify forever. We knew that kind of thing about mothers who might drink alcohol or use addictive drugs during pregnancy, but now we can see that even diet matters. A lot.

So, if you needed a strong motivation to get on top of your food cravings and you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, get help for your food addictions. Give your child a better start in life with a brain that can deal with the world more normally and who is less at risk of becoming a food or even drug addict down the road as they get older.

One step you can take is to find a local acupuncturist to help you cut down your own junk food cravings. But there is a lot more available to you...

Check out our 14-week "Complete Overcome Food Addiction" program now -- Click Here



Make Better Food Choices With The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System

Make Better Food Choices With The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System

If you want to eat healthy but you’re uncertain about which foods to choose, the new NuVal Nutritional Scoring System will make your life easier. Independent health professionals have devised this system that ranks foods by a single number on a scale of 1 to 100. You just pick the higher score if you’re trying to figure out whether cottage cheese or yogurt is better for you.

Understanding NuVal:

1. Learn the background. NuVal was developed by an independent panel of nutritional and medical experts concerned about rising rates of obesity and diabetes. The team included physicians from many major universities.

2. Get familiar with the benefits. If you sometimes find product labels confusing, you may prefer having everything summarized into a single numerical score. Plus, the system covers all kinds of foods and brands.

3. Examine the science. The scores are based on more than 30 distinct nutrients and factors. The data and conclusions come from published scientific studies, the Department of Agriculture and other government agencies.

4. Emphasize favorable factors. The highest scores go to nutrient dense foods. They deliver the good stuff your body needs like vitamins, minerals and fiber without excessive calories.

5. Avoid unfavorable factors. Lower scores warn you about empty calories or high amounts of sugar, sodium and cholesterol. Trans fats are a particular concern because they have a strong link with heart disease.

6. Stay updated. New studies are always adding to our knowledge about the foods we eat and some products get reformulated. NuVal plans to make revisions every two years.

7. See your doctor. NuVal contains general guidelines for everyone over the age of two. Talk with your doctor if you have existing health conditions or other individual concerns that affect your food choices, as these may need to override the NuVal choices.

Using NuVal At The Grocery Store:

1. Check the shelves. NuVal scores are displayed on the price tags on store shelves and on other signage. Their double hexagon emblem makes them easy to spot.

2. Trade up. The cornerstone of the system is trading up. You may find that the store brand outperforms your usual peanut butter.

3. Find the best values. Whole foods often cost more than junk food. NuVal can help you plan balanced meals within your budget by putting nutritional information side by side with prices.

4. Continue your education. Many supermarkets already provide brochures and presentations to help you improve your diet. NuVal adds to that trend and gives you more opportunities to access reliable information with banners, shelf-talkers and other communications.

5. Locate stores near you. A number of major chains are already featuring the NuVal system and more are signing up. You can also find information on the NuVal website, www.nuval.com, or ask your store to consider enrolling.

Using NuVal At Home:

1. Reconsider fad diets. Restrictive diets often leave you feeling deprived, and many people gain back more weight than they lose. One of the advantages of NuVal is that it promotes a healthy way of eating you can follow each day for life.

2. Try new recipes. The NuVal website also offers free recipes full of ideas for trading up. Learn how to slim down your desserts and sandwiches.

3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Remember the other lifestyle elements you need to complement smart eating. Get plenty of good quality sleep, stay physically active and get regular medical check-ups.

NuVal is a simple tool that can help you select nutrient dense foods. Even small changes in the way you eat can have a dramatic impact in helping you to stay fit and lower your risk for diabetes and other health conditions.`

12 Essential Secrets to a Balanced Diet When You’re Lactose Intolerant For Food Addicts

12 Essential Secrets to a Balanced Diet When You’re Lactose Intolerant

2Lactose intolerance can make eating a balanced diet more complicated. If you’re one of the millions of people who have trouble digesting milk products, there are plenty of delicious ways to get the nutrients you need from both dairy and non-dairy foods.

If you are lactose intolerant you may experience some symptoms such as bloating, nausea, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort after eating or drinking foods containing milk sugar (lactose).  Many people have less severe symptoms and can handle a glass of milk.  Others may feel discomfort after drinking a small amount. Your body has an enzyme called lactase, which breaks apart the lactose in the milk.  People with lactose intolerance have difficulty digesting milk because their bodies don't have enough lactase.  You need lactase to fully break down the lactose into a simple sugar that your body can use.  However, most children can tolerate lactose. Even if a child is diagnosed with lactose intolerance, he can usually drink one to two cups of milk a day without experiencing abdominal discomfort.

Dairy Foods

1. Control serving sizes. Lactose intolerance is usually a matter of degree. Find your individual comfort level by cutting out all dairy foods and then adding them back into your diet a little at a time.

  • By eating dairy products in moderation, you can probably avoid the typical symptoms like cramps, gas or bloating that usually occur within 2 hours of eating a trigger food.

2. Combine dairy products with non-dairy foods. You may be able to tolerate trigger foods better if you pair them with other stuff. Try putting milk on your cereal instead of drinking a glass by itself. Serve ice cream on a slice of pie.

13. Eat a lot of yogurt. Even though yogurt contains the sugar (called lactose) that your body has trouble digesting, it also produces the lactase enzyme that solves that issue.

  • Frozen yogurt lacks live cultures, but many yogurt products are loaded with active bacteria that will protect you from any discomfort.

The good bacteria (live, active cultures) found in yogurt will digest the lactose for you.  Choose a high quality yogurt with very few ingredients, or Greek yogurt, which has less lactose to begin with.

4. Say cheese. Cheese is another winner. Hard cheeses like cheddar are naturally lower in lactose than the soft and creamy styles like Brie. Cottage cheese and Feta are also good choices.

  • With growing awareness about lactose intolerance, you also now have the option of lactose free cheeses.

5. Look for special formulas. Virtually all dairy products, including milk, now come in lactose free and low lactose versions. With an estimated 30 to 50 million people in the U. S. alone being sensitive to dairy products, there’s a huge market for producers to cater to.

6. Read package labels carefully. Watch out for milk products in places where you’re unlikely to suspect them. Many processed foods contain dairy products, as do certain organ meats and even lima beans. Read labels to see if what you’re buying contains whey, caseinates, milk solids, curds and other ingredients that could spell trouble.

7. Consider supplements. You might find that lactase enzyme supplements enable you to keep eating dairy products. Ask your doctor if they’re right for you.

Non-Dairy Foods and Other Strategies

3Some non-dairy foods may include ingredients that contain lactose. The ingredient list on food packages informs you of lactose-containing ingredients in the food. Although dairy products are the most common sources of lactose, some nondairy processed or baked foods contain smaller amounts.

Cheese and milk products can offer healthy fat and calorie sources. If you have lactose intolerance, you can consume non-dairy products to replace the calorie and fat consumption. In many cases, the substitutes can be healthy options with comparable calories that, when consumed as part of a balanced diet, can help provide necessary nutrients for weight gain.

1. Learn about non-dairy calcium sources. Calcium is essential for healthy bones, nerves and blood circulation.

  • If you think you need more calcium, try non-dairy sources like broccoli and other green vegetables or fish with edible bones like salmon and sardines.

2. Mind your vitamin D intake. Vitamin D is also important for your bones and general wellbeing. While milk is fortified with this essential nutrient, so are many other foods like bread and breakfast cereals. Natural sunlight also helps your body make its own vitamin D.

3. Order Chinese food. Eating out can sometimes pose difficulties when you’re trying to avoid lactose. Most Asian cuisines rarely use dairy products, so you should find plenty of dishes on the menu that are appealing and safe.

4. Learn new recipes. At home, you can modify many recipes that use dairy products to suit your needs. For example, fruit pulp can stand in for butter.

5. Be prepared for age-related changes. Many people become more sensitive to milk as they grow older. Knowing your options will help you to keep eating well.

Lactose intolerance is usually easy to manage. Find your individual comfort level with dairy foods, opt for the safest choices like yogurt, and get calcium and vitamin D from non-dairy sources if needed. Your doctor or a nutritionist can help you design an eating plan that will keep you well nourished.

Simple Methods to Get Impulse Eating Under Control For Food Addicts

Simple Methods to Get Impulse Eating Under Control For Food Addicts

Even if you stick to your diet most of the time, impulse eating can interfere with reaching your weight loss goals. Try these simple techniques at home and when you're dining out to help you outsmart common obstacles.

Methods You Can Use At Home

11. Keep a journal. Studies show that there may be just a few minutes a day when we're most vulnerable to giving in to impulse eating. Write down what you eat and when. It will help you spot those situations when you need to take extra precautions.

2. Manage stress. Reinforce your will power by lowering your stress levels. Get plenty of good quality rest and sleep. Find a relaxation practice that works for you. Meditate daily or book a soothing massage.

3. Sit down to eat. It's easier to be aware of how much you're consuming if you pull up a chair even for a snack. You'll also digest your food better.

4. Use smaller plates. Downsizing your plates will help you feel full on fewer calories. Portions will look more generous, so you'll be less likely to want to go back for more.

5. Serve one portion at a time. Get in the habit of dishing out a few cut vegetables or nuts if you want to munch while watching TV. That way you'll be forced to decide if you really want to make a return trip to the kitchen.

6. Be extra careful when you have company. Family dinners and holiday gatherings are important traditions that nurture our connections. They also tend to make us eat more. Researchers find that the bigger the group, the more
likely we are to overdo it. Focus on talking with your loved ones. Beware of nibbling, especially when alcohol may lower your inhibitions.

7. Limit your exposure to advertising. Marketers know that a picture of pizza or cheesecake can make us crave the real thing. Turn your attention to other things. For example, do some floor exercises when TV commercials come on.

Methods You Can Use When Dining Out

21. Plan your order ahead of time. Long menus and enticing specials can lead you astray. Arrive with your mind set on a healthy choice, like green salad and grilled fish.

2. Take leftovers home. Ask to have half your order bagged to take home to remove the possibility of eating it all. If that feels uncomfortable, push part of your plate to the side so you can save it for later.

3. Forgo the fast food restaurants. Burger joints have mastered the science of getting us to supersize it and bolt down our meals quickly with their bright colors, fast music and discounts. Pass them up as much as possible.

4. Take note of the lighting. Candlelit restaurants are romantic but dim lights can also make us eat more than we planned. Order sensibly and enjoy the ambience.

5. Develop a buffet strategy. Circle the buffet first to cherry pick the best stuff instead of grabbing it all. Sit far away so it's less convenient to go back for refills.

6. Carry around your own snacks. Keep a small insulated pack of yogurt and baby carrots in your car. Enjoy having better options than the chips and candy bars you'll find in most vending machines and convenience stores.

7. Fill up before you go grocery shopping. Eat something nutritious and filling before you head to the supermarket. You'll save both money and calories.

Managing your weight is an important part of looking and feeling your best. Discover the triggers that tempt you into impulse eating and get them under control. You'll be able to stick to your diet at home and your favorite restaurants.