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5 Things I Want You to Know About HAES

5 Things I Want You to Know About HAES

HAES: Health At Every Size By Dana Magee, RD, LD, CLT Health At Every Size (HAES) is a movement that is based on HEALTH as opposed to WEIGHT.  I see the truth in this movement EVERYDAY when I see my clients making healthy lifestyle changes that include feeding themselves well, cooking for themselves, moving their body in ways they enjoy, prioritizing sleep and practicing stress management tools.   Unfortunately, HAES is met with a lot of pushback from those that do not understand it. My goal in this blog is to explain HAES to those that are open to a new mindset for what being healthy means.    1. Why do I believe in HAES? In our dieting culture the message “thinner is better” is played on repeat. I would argue that the message can also take the form “thinner is healthier”. Even more concerning, the dieting culture proclaims that achieving thinness is desirable by any means necessary.   This is dangerous and irresponsible.  The restriction and unhealthy behaviors around dieting can actually put the person at greater health risk.  Health at Every Size is a movement that separates the fusion between size and health.  HAES reorganizes our priorities and puts health at the top of the list (where it should be) and takes the focus on weight loss out of the picture.   What is health? Health is determined by the quality of the food you eat, regular and pleasurable movement, stress management and sleep hygiene.  When those ducks are in a row that is when we see improvement in chronic disease states, regardless as to whether weight has...
The Binge Eating Disorder (BED) Cycle

The Binge Eating Disorder (BED) Cycle

Banish the Scale By Dana Magee, RD, LD “Within a diet and thin-focused culture, the focus has been on weight loss as the goal. This ‘treatment’ is often promoted by well-intentioned friends, family, and professionals. But with binge eating, dieting is a causal factor in the development of binge eating disorder. So it’s essential for treatment to provide alternatives to dieting for improving health and body image. In fact, weight loss as a goal of treatment—as opposed to goals of improved self-care–can be damaging to the process of recovery.” ~Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA)   How to Stop the Dieting Cycle In order to see the effect the scale may have on your nutrition behaviors, body image, and self esteem take some time to answer the following: How long have you been watching the scale?  What is the frequency in which you weigh yourself? Remember “Nothing changes if nothing changes”. Journal about how you feel when the scale shows a decrease in weight. Journal about how you feel when the scale shows an increase in weight. What are the pros of daily weighing? What are the cons of daily weighing? Use the questions above to evaluate if weighing yourself often is bringing you CLOSER to your health goals or if it may be bringing your FURTHER away from your health goals.  Try to identify feelings associated with weighting such as guilt, shame, accomplishment, anxiety, relief, pride, excitement, disappointment. Beyond a Shadow of a Diet Here are some interesting points made about the use of scales in the treatment of Binge Eating Disorder as stated by one of my favorite books: Beyond a Shadow of a...
Amenorrhea and Bone Health: Dietitian Book Review

Amenorrhea and Bone Health: Dietitian Book Review

Questions About Amenorrhea and How it Affects Bone Health Dana Magee, RD, LD, CLT utilizes the book “No Period. Now What: A Guide to Regaining Your Cycles and Improving Your Fertility” to discuss amenorrhea and also its affects on bone health. What is amenorrhea and how does it occur? Amenorrhea is the absence of the menstrual cycle in a woman of a child bearing age and can occur due to: Stress: either physical or emotional stressors. Too low of body fat/weight: It is possible to lose your period at a “normal” weight but it is more common in women with low body weight. Losing 10 pounds, even in years past can affect the loss of menstrual cycle. Over-exercising: Eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full may not accommodate the caloric deficit from exercise especially if your diet is too low in fat. Over exercise can also increase cortisol levels which will affect reproductive hormones. You can even be moderately exercising 3-4 times a week or less and when coupled with other variables (energy intake, stress, genetics) may lead to amenorrhea. Under eating: food is our energy source and fuels our top priorities first: heart, liver, lungs, brain and then the rest goes the next level of necessity hair, nails, immune cells, bones, maintaining our body temperature, our digestive system (constipation) and our reproductive system. Genetics: explains why someone with a similar physique may lose their period while another one won’t. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: other symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, unwanted hair growth, hair thinning on the head, infertility, acne, headache, sleep disturbances. Tumors of the...
All About Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

All About Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

All About Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Not sure where to go for treatment of binge eating disorder? Did you know binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States? If you or a loved one are suffering from this terrible illness, look no further for binge eating disorder treatment. Binge eating disorder treatment will likely involve a team including your Registered Dietitians, therapist, and primary care doctor. Support groups, art therapy, and psychology appointments may also be helpful if recommended. Tips for Managing Binge Eating Disorder If you struggle with Binge Eating Disorder, here are some things you can do to get started. 1) Identify your triggers- Stress, boredom, fatigue, can all be triggers that can lead to emotional, binge eating. A good first step is to start journaling and identify trends. Remember not to be judgmental this is just to practice awareness. 2) Practice forgiveness- Along the same lines, the road to recovery is never a straight line. There are going to be bumps in the road and forgiving yourself and moving forward will help you keep going. 3) “Normalize” eating patterns- Eat balanced meals including carbohydrates, protein and fat to help keep you full and satisfied. It is also helpful to eat every 3-4 hours to keep your blood sugars stable and prevent you from getting over hungry. 4) Plan ahead- In order to do this try thinking of your meals one day at a time according to your schedule. Will you need to pack snacks or lunch? If you are working late is there a 10 minute meal you can make when...
Experiencing Korean BBQ in Ellicott City

Experiencing Korean BBQ in Ellicott City

Experiencing new foods and cultures: My first experience at Korean BBQ! By Dana Magee, RD, LD, CLT When asked why I became a Registered Dietitians I have about 3-4 reasons. The one I usually start with is that I LOVE food. (I’ll share the others another time:)) As a lover of food, what could be better than a job that I get to talk about food all day and help others learn to love food too. It breaks my heart to know that some people dread food, hate food, or want to avoid food. Part of my job that is so rewarding is helping my clients create better memories with food and at least turn that hate into neutrality around food, and maybe even like or love. The new experience I had is one that I wanted to share with you and also how experiences similar to this one might be a fun way to gain a healthier relationship with food. This brings me to two tips to bettering your relationship with food: Experience new food adventures Experience new food adventures. I always encourage others to enjoy the signature food of the area they live in or are visiting. Thinking back to Philly cheesesteaks and pretzels from my hometown, deep dish pizza in Chicago, bagels and NY pizza in New York, chicken and waffles in Georgia, or a good steak in Texas. In the Columbia Maryland area one of the local cuisines is Korean BBQ, there are many places in Virginia too (this will be my next stop!). I have never had Korean BBQ before, or even Korean food....

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