During the holidays, many folks indulge in rich foods that aren't part of their normal eating plan. With the new year, come resolutions to return to a healthier pattern — but that can be complicated by food cravings that just won't quit.
Food cravings stem from a variety of physiological and psychological forces, so reducing them may require a multi-pronged approach. Here are a four approaches to consider:
In the last couple of months there has been a lot of buzz about the new documentary, Fed Up. The film, narrated by Katie Couric, takes a hard look at some of the factors that are driving preventable chronic diseases in our country. It's no secret that we are seeing dramatic increases in chronic metabolic diseases — like obesity, diabetes, lipid disorders and hypertension. But is our approach to dealing with these problems on target? The answers may surprise you.
Obesity gets a lot of attention because it is a visible disease. From the outside, people can't see if someone has diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Obesity can increase someone's risk for these conditions, but it is also important to know that people can be at risk even if they don't have a high body mass index (BMI). Body mass index can be useful information, but it doesn't distinguish between lean and fat tissue. You can actually be "thin on the outside but fat on the inside" (TOFI). In fact, an Italian study published in 2009, found that BMI tended to underestimate someone's risk for metabolic disease.
These days we're hearing a lot about the power of mindfulness, and its amazing capacity to help us increase awareness, decrease stress and make wiser choices. Although programs like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), originated by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts, continue to provide opportunities for individuals to explore pathways to mindfulness, the concept may still seem a bit nebulous to the general public -- particularly folks who aren't used to the idea of a meditative practice.