Tag Archives: Binge eating

Fitness Article : The Ultimate Diet (Psychology) Part II

The data isnt pretty wikipedia states that
“The U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 1994 indicated that 59% of American men and 49% of women had BMIs over 25. Morbid obesity—a BMI of 40 or more—was found in 2% of the men and 4% of the women. The newest survey in 2007 indicates a continuation of the increase in BMI: 63% of Americans are overweight or obese, with 26% now in the obese category (a BMI of 30 or more). “

This is probably not the way you would like to evolve

With growing obesity, many people are resorting to diets and get thin quick wats to lose weight. Diet is fast becoming a mainstream dirty word, normally associated with losing weight, and waif like anorexic women or beefy men exhibiting 6-12% hyper low bodyfat achieved through a cocktail of chicken breasts, tuna, steroids and powerful fatburners.

Many people view diets as ways to manipulate the body into burning high amounts of fat, but there is a good news and bad news, the good news is that its possible to lose weight rapidly if you employ hardcore techniques that involve starvation, drugs and improper eating and then theres the bad news, that it doesnt last, one year or even 5 years down the road, you are going to have a damaged body and face struggles as you body tries swing the pendulum back to your original state.

My point is that you cant diet without permanent changes to your lifestyle, and dieting is eating more of the right things instead of eating less. We all intuitively know what is the right things to eat, toufu or burger, brown rice or white rice. But we normally take this with an attitude of invincibility, thinking that we can shrug off the chocolate bar or the extra burgers. Or even relishing in the comfort that such food brings.

The Psychology of Over Eating

We have heard of binge drinking where people drink themselves silly. But theres also binge eating where people drown (or rather down) their sorrows in food. It doesnt help that ALOT of the odds are stacked against us by food producers who spend millions creating the perfect and most addictive foods that you would like to put into your mouth to maximise the gratification and sense of addiction to fat, salt and sugar. There is no doubt that much of what we eat in restaurants or what we can find in supermarkets is fat on fat on sugar on fat with salt. Even the salads are drenched with thousand island dressing and liberally sprinkled with bacon bits, because this is the thing that makes food SEXY.

Never let your Food be your Drug

If losing weight seems like a huge task to you, chances are that the greater your sense of shame you link with your appearance, the more you’ll be inclined to feel hopeless about losing weight. When you find you cant break the hold of food over your life or cant seem to take the effort to exercise, this breaks your confidence and spirals into other areas in your life.

That snickers bar just had the last laugh.

Psychology and Proper Eating

The best way to learn how to control our urges is to realise that eating creates positive emotions. There is no doubt about it, when you reach for that Hagen Daaz ice cream after your break up, you are reaching for an instant lift me, a sense of power and certainty that when you have the first bite you would immediately feel good. Its an instant Prozac, just that it kills your confidence and youself ultimately in the long run.

Emotional eating is not the way. One way to prevent that is to change your perspective about food. Do you eat to live or live to eat, make distinctions about food. Is food a fuel or is it a drug to you. Would you want high performance petrol in your vehicle or would you want sloppy oil coursing through your veins. Choose a positive way to view eating and youself, merge a positive self image with proper eating. Associate health and vitality with overeating instead of pleasure.

If you are guilty of emotional eating. Here are some ways you can prevent it.

  1. Learn to recognise when you are overeating and where you do it most. In the office, or on your couch.
  2. Determine the situations and feelings that you go through that precede the bouts of overeating 
  3. Ask yourself HARD questions and try to find out why you are doing this, the answer is usually deeper than because this tastes good so i would like to eat it. If proper thought be given, your reason should be more of “Finding solace or comfort in food” , or “venting frustrations by eating”. 
  4. Allow the feelings to sink in, and learn to recognise them. Appreciate that they are giving you the message and that you are doing what you think is best at that time to make yourself feel good.
  5. Also realise that you have to let go of the feeling and find methods to prevent yourself from getting into such situation. Choose alternate behaviours or avoid going to places that you think you would over-eat. 
  6. Reinforce and reward yourself for the positive action that you take, one less chocolate bar per day, cut down take small steps in reducing your overall intake. 
  7. Find support groups and exercise groups and learn from people who have taken massive action and succeeded, and learn from the ones that most resemble your situation. 

It isn’t easy but its definitely worth it

The only true way that you can lose weight and make it stay off is making adjustments to the way you think and the things you do. According to Einstein ” You cant solve a problem with the same mindset that created it”. Similarly, we need to create a new mindset, that would install the habit of binge eating and the cycle of obesity, hopelessness and low self-esteem.
Learn to eat things that are good for you and develop the discipline to eat them. You will reach a stage where your body would reject the junk food physically (in some cases people would feel nauseous when consuming foods that are high in oil, fat, sugar or salt) and start accepting the healthy foods you eat are tastier. That is when you have installed the proper eating habits and it would be easier to carry on eating healthy permanently from there.  It isnt easy but it worth doing.

Mind Article : Run Your Own Race

I previously read an article on something called “The Rat Park“. Its about a group of scientists doing studies about rats and their “lifestyle”. It was a famous study done in 1970 about addiction and its insidious effects.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Overcome-Fear-and-Break-Free-from-Old-Routines#ixzz1ux820iTV

“The term comes from a study conducted in 1981 by psychologist Bruce Alexander and colleagues. He noted that many addiction studies had something in common: The lab rats they used were locked in uncomfortable, isolating cages. Testing a hunch, Alexander gathered two groups of rats. For the first, he built a 200-square-foot rodent paradise called Rat Park. There a colony of white Wister rats found luxurious accommodations for all their favorite pastimes—mingling, mating, raising pups, writing articles for newspaper tabloids. The second group was housed in the traditional cages. 

Alexander offered both groups a choice of plain water or sugar water laced with morphine. Like rats in other studies, the traditionally caged animals became instant addicts. However, the residents of Rat Park tended to “just say no,” avoiding the drug-treated sugar water. Even rats that were already addicted to morphine tended to lay off the hard stuff when in Rat Park. Put them back in their cages, however, and they’d stay stoned as Deadheads.

You probably wont be a happy camper if your brain just functioned in these two areas

This draws a parallel into our lives as well, well maybe mine especially but also  a large portion of the cubicle rats that our society produces known as office workers. We all live in times when we are told to make a living, doing something as mundane and office work and told to stick it out and give our all working late hours to get that “promotion” and “pay raise” as a recognition of our efforts and talent.

It works fine if we are doing something we like and benefiting from it but like most work, we are more like cogs in a cog wheel, easily replaceable and in an competitive environment that forces us to fight hard to gain that promotion competing against others and being thrust in a stressful environment. So like the rats in the experiment, we would then be more susceptible to numbing ourselves (hopefully not with heroine) but other things, like compulsive eating, escapism by watching far to many drama serials, compulsive gaming, gambling, smoking, endless hours of face-booking to see other leading the life you want and other pointless and destructive behaviour so that we can quickly fight that sense of numbness and feeling of being “caged” that we feel at work or failing to see a point in life. Being powerless and doing things because we HAVE to and not because we CHOOSE to.

Are you running a Rat Race or your Own Race

I guess this is the crux of the rat park experiment. Do correct me if I am wrong. But its should not end this way. We all need a productive and open environment. It might not be as the author said

“A paradise called Rat Park. There a colony of white Wister rats found luxurious accommodations for all their favorite pastimes—mingling, mating, raising pups, writing articles for newspaper tabloids”

But it has to have the qualities of what we WANT instead of what we END UP WITH. The truth is that we choose our own destiny, but if we don’t exercise this power, we give up our ability to choose. There is seldom things like no choice or being forced to (which is a choice in itself, you can choose that’s why you can be forced to choose as well, but theres seldom such things as “no choice” there’s another way or there’s a way you can create).

We all have the power to choose. Thereis this phrase that jingles quite true for me, which goes “If you dont choose for yourself, people around you will make that choice for you, and it might be far from what you want”. Well meaning people might want you to follow in certain footsteps that they once were on and think that you should do it too, but they are not you and can never be you. They cant make the best choice for you (for eg, parents). You have to make you own choices and engineer your own jailbreak from a rat race and into an environment that nurtures you, with a body that you want, with people you love and respect and doing things that elevate you as a person and not denigrate yourself.

You should not simply take life at face value and be carried with the tide. Many things that are worth doing are not easy, but it far beats taking the unhappy and easy way out and numbing ourselves silly with consumerism and binge eating or drinking. Take time to build up your body, build up your mind and take some time to listen to yourself, take some time to listen to the soft but steady voice in your head that tells you most likely what you love to be doing, and engineer that escape.


rat race is a term used for an endless, self-defeating or pointless pursuit. It conjures up the image of the futile efforts of a lab rat trying to escape while running around a maze or in a wheel. In an analogy to themodern city, many rats in a single maze expend a lot of effort running around, but ultimately achieve nothing (meaningful) either collectively or individually.

The rat race is a term often used to describe work, particularly excessive work; in general terms, if one works too much, one is in the rat race. This terminology contains implications that many people see work as a seemingly endless pursuit with little reward or purpose, albeit this is not true for many workers. For example, self-employment contributes to an increase in job satisfaction and the self-employed may experience less job related mental strain.