Those of us who have struggled with overeating know that it is not uncommon to turn to food when life feels overwhelming. What many otherwise competent, high-achieving people don't realize is that overwhelm is often created when we fail to engage in effective self-care because we think we have "more important things to do." Usually this involves attending to the needs and care of others while we put our own self-care last on our "To Do" list. There is a way out of this pattern, however, and it's as simple as planning ahead. When we become skilled at planning ahead for success by organizing our lives, we not only function better, but we often find that we have more, not less, free time. That free time may be used to relax, take a walk with our partner or children, or to simply do nothing, and it fuels us in ways that overeating cannot.Read More
For chronic dieters and people who struggle with overeating, January can be a challenge. After the busy holiday season, leftover treats and "comfort foods" are everywhere. Many of us felt deprived when we abstained from the holiday buffet and guilty when we did indulge, leaving us more confused than ever about what to do next with our eating. After years -- or even decades -- of engaging in an annual cycle of deprivation, overeating and remorse (along with a few pounds of winter weight gain) mentally preparing ourselves for a new year and a new approach can make us feel like the Thanksgiving turkey: stuffed but unsatisfied.Read More
Have you ever wondered why so many accomplished, successful people struggle with overeating, higher-than-comfortable weights and chronic dieting? Despite their success in other areas, many have tried "every diet out there" and found that nothing has worked, at least not long term. Some have successfully lost -- and then re-gained -- hundreds of pounds.Read More
This is a simple, nutrient-rich, delicious meal that will help you to improve the quality of your dietary fuel, providing you with sustained energy throughout the day. It’s inexpensive, fast, and generates minimal waste – truly a win!Read More
Many people who struggle with overeating and "weight" concerns do not realize that the feelings (acknowledged or unacknowledged) that we experience at 3-o'clock can have an impact hours later... driving even the most motivated of us to the refrigerator for comfort.Read More
Many of us are tired of being full. We are tired of harsh self-criticism, dissatisfaction with our bodies, and skepticism that we will ever be able to overcome our tendency to overeat and the powerlessness that we feel over food. You can learn the skills you need to end overeating and love yourself to better health. And it all starts with a daily practice of awareness and self-kindness.Read More
From a quick check of the mainstream medical literature, the “War on Obesity” appears to be in full swing. The alarm is audible everywhere, at our medical conferences, in our offices and hospitals, from government leaders, within our schools, and for many of us, within our own households. We, as health care providers, are trained to believe that fat is the enemy, and that, beyond a certain BMI, we must recommend weight loss (or at least maintenance of a stable weight during periods of growth) in order to promote health. Our training is so focused on outcomes (e.g. weight and BMI) as indicators of health, that we actually feel progressive when we focus on “healthy lifestyle choices,” rather than on simply eradicating fat through weight loss.Read More
One of my favorite parts of my job is helping my clients to improve their time management, so that they can carve out more time for pleasure and being truly present in their lives. To improve performance in any area, time management included, we need to acknowledge and understand the obstacles. Despite considering myself to be a relatively accomplished person, I have struggled as mightily with time management as I have with food. Time management is now an ongoing area of personal development work for me. I have studied it and have incorporated what I have learned into my own daily practice (and it is a practice, rather than a destination). All of this is to say that, thanks to my own shortcomings in this area, I have a pretty clear understanding of the obstacles involved.Read More
At my most comfortable, natural weight, I knew what I was having for lunch every day.
It was my third year in medical school, commonly believed to be the most stressful, but I tend to gain weight when I am stressed, so that was not the reason. And it was also not what I was eating that brought me to this comfortable, sane place with food and my body. It was how.
My favorite quote from the business literature is, “You become what you think about most of the time.” Focus on what you don’t like or don’t want in your life (fat, dieting, food rules, your least favorite body part (more on this later), your worst habit), and that’s exactly what you are likely to get more of. Have you ever noticed how the more you focus on restricting calories or avoiding certain foods, the more you want to consume? You get what you think about.Read More
I am delighted to report that my new book, Helping Patients Outsmart Overeating: Psychological Strategies for Doctors and Health Care Providers, was released this week. The book is co-authored with eating disorders therapist, 7-book author, and eating psychology expert Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed. Eating psychology is about the “how” and “why” of eating, rather than the “what,” and it helps us to understand the patterns of thought, emotion and belief that cause some of us to restrict calories, overeat, or alternate between dietary deprivation and mindless over-consumption. It is these patterns that often underlie what we ultimately recognize as weight gain, weight struggles and metabolic dysfunction. Understanding and addressing these patterns is an important step in healing overeating, chronic dieting, and weight cycling, and Helping Patients Outsmart Overeating seeks to help doctors, health care professionals and patients do exactly that.Read More
This series of blog posts, entitled, “Ask A Great Question,” is intended to help you approach challenges, problems, and goals differently than you may have in the past. When you ask a great question, you approach the topic from a different perspective, often one that you have not considered before.Read More
Zucchini “pasta” is a wonderful way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, while also enjoying the warm, savory flavors that most of us associate with comfort food. Zucchini is rich in vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B-6 and vitamin K. Creating this dish from zucchini rather than wheat or white pasta (or rice) helps boost both the flavor and the nutrient-density, while allowing you to have lunch or dinner on the table faster than it would take you to boil the water for pasta.Read More
Many of my clients who struggle with overeating are high achievers who put themselves last. That’s a big part of the reason that they overeat. They are using food and the act of eating as a means to care for themselves. The simple act of becoming aware of this is the first step toward changing your life for the better.Read More
Strawberry Cashew LOVE Cookies are fun, nutritious, and simple to make.
They make a wonderful dessert that won't derail your efforts toward nutritious eating, and because they are stored in the freezer, they are simple to grab and go.
The problem with our “war on obesity” is that, as in all wars, there are unintended casualties for our children. When we tell children that the fat on their bodies will kill them, or that their bodies are unacceptable if they do not conform to the cultural thin ideal, or the bell-shaped curve of “acceptable” weight or BMI values, they internalize these judgments as shame, whether they recognize it in the moment or not.Read More
Have you ever had a great day ruined by a thoughtless comment or unexpected event? Your favorite aunt tells you that you look like you’ve put on a few pounds since she last saw you, and you tell yourself you’re a failure.Read More
First and foremost, let us remember (and celebrate) that not everyone who is fat is unhappy with his or her body. Many large people are quite comfortable with and well-served by a large body, and we support them by respecting this fact.Read More
Have you ever noticed or been told that you are our own worst critic? Do you criticize yourself for your perceived shortcomings, imperfections, and mistakes? Do you live in fear of taking risks in your career and big steps in your life because you worry about being judged harshly by yourself or others if things do not go perfectly? If so, you are not alone. Many high-achievers are hard on themselves. Some even believe that this perfectionism and “accountability” is part of what drives them to succeed.Read More