|AREAS OF INTEREST: DIET PILLS, WEIGHT LOSS PRODUCTS, AMPHETAMINES, REDUX, ORLISTAT, DEXATRIM, GENETICS, OBESITY
by: Tom Seabourne Ph. D
When you reached the big 4-0, research demonstrated that your metabolism slowed. According to experts you lost muscle and gained fat. That was not a requirement. Your genetics may have predisposed you to accumulate fat. But your choices might have prevented it, if you designed your eating to fuel your muscles you starve your fat cells.
Obesity is on the increase yet fashion models are skinnier than ever. Fast food, working moms who have no time to cook, and sedentary jobs are a few of the reasons Americans are fatter than ever.
Sociologists have found that weight goes with the economy. When times are good, “thin is in,” when there is economic depression, “plumper is better.”
Because our culture values leanness, there is a lot of dieting, leading to diet-induced obesity. Restricting carbohydrates can lead to muscle loss, kidney problems, and acidosis. Low carbohydrate fad diets are popular every few years because you lose water and muscle.
Redux and Phen-Fen are now off the market due to heart valve problems.
Orlistat may be on the market by the Fall of 1999. It binds with about 30 percent of dietary fat and is excreted.
Dexatrim (Phenylpropanolamine) decreases appetite for a week to ten days before the body adapts and it no longer has an effect. It has the potential to cause rapid heartbeat and palpitations. People abused it because they assumed if a little was good, more was better.
Amphetamines raise the metabolism. They were used extensively in the 1960s. Some doctors continue to prescribe them.
A theory suggests that stress causes an increase in cortisol, which elevates neuropeptide Y, which decreases serotonin, which produces a craving for carbohydrates.
Some people have not developed coping skills to handle stress. They are not task-oriented. Instead, they hide from their problems by eating. Others have not learned to view themselves positively. Overeating makes them feel better. They may also view themselves as failures when they cannot succeed at weight management.
You may say negative things about yourself. Do not equate eating with morality. You are not “good” or “bad” based on what you ate. Eating is a health issue, not a moral concern. Stress is a major cause of relapse. Tackle your problems rather than
eat. Recognize situations over which you have no control,
|and learn to let them go. Overeating does not solve problems, it creates more. Another hypothesis submits calorically dense delectables over stimulating reward centers in the brain, which escalates a desire for more food.
Are you on any medications? Do you have any medical problems? Do you have a history of depression? Who else is in your home? What kind of support system do you have? What is your work atmosphere like? What exercise have you tried? What exercise did you like or dislike? What is your exercise and eating like now? How long have you been doing it?
Don’t over or under exercise. Begin slowly. Progress gradually. And do not overwork yourself. Work out with buddies. Associate with exercisers and successful people. Make appointments with them.
Many researchers feel personality traits can run in families. Placid versus active personalities show up even in infants, and weight differences vary according to activity levels. Instead of saying, “I will eat less fat,” propose a more specific initiative, “I will not spread butter on my toast on Tuesdays and Thursdays.” Find the triggers that cause you to eat inappropriately. Intercede in the chain of events before a binge occurs. Food diaries are useful. They raise awareness of your eating. Your diary helps you uncover unconscious sabotage – like the bag of fat-free potato chips you scarfed down during the Super Bowl. Motivate yourself with rewards. Rewards should not be related to food. Massages, manicures, and clothing are excellent rewards.
Losing weight is easy, keeping it off is the hard part. Figure out situations that caused you to binge. Less than perfect eating is not a reason to give up. Just get back on track for your next meal. There is no such thing as forbidden food. No one eats perfectly. Give yourself a break.