We all experience cravings once in a while and we all overeat on occasion. We are generally aware of what we are doing, sometimes regret it afterwards, but generally recognize it as atypical behaviour, something that is not likely to be repeated too often. What would happen, however, if this behaviour became more frequent, if cravings became harder to ignore and overeating became the norm rather than the exception? What would happen if eating became the focus of most activity to the detriment of social functioning and began to cause harm to your health? And what if withdrawal from food caused anxiety, irritability and altered mood? When does craving become addiction? The past decade has seen the diagnosis of “Food Addiction” (FA) propelled from lay literature conjecture to the front page of esteemed scientific publications, a move fuelled by research into the alarming rise in obesity. It fell just short of recognition in the DSM-V released earlier this year, but not without substantial lobbying and controversy. Continue reading
Ghandi said, “you must be the change you want to see in the world”. January is not just the start of a new year, but is also the start of a new stronger, healthier and happier you. 49% of North Americans make New Years’ resolutions and yet only 8% stick with them (J of Clin Psych 2014). Rather than making one rigid resolution that can easily be broken, target the main pillars of health: sleep, diet, exercise and stress management, and enjoy a path to lasting wellness. Continue reading
25% of adults suffer from chronic sleep disorders, and 30 to 40% of children do not get enough sleep daily. Stress and unhealthy lifestyles are the main culprits, quickly followed by workload, frequent travelling and physical ailments. Sleeping just one hour less a night (8 versus 7) decreases melatonin (our sleeping hormone) production and increases cortisol (our stress hormone) secretion. Increased cortisol further inhibits melatonin production, worsening sleep the next night. Continue reading
Inflammation is defined as the first response of the immune system to infection, injury or irritation. It is characterized by redness, heat, swelling, pain, and dysfunction. There are two main components involved in the inflammatory process, one is exudative and the other is cellular. Continue reading
Dispelling the myths behind frequent meals and why eating three meals a day with no snacks is the healthiest option.
It’s estimated that 80 per cent of diets fail because people give in to food cravings. Regardless of which weight-loss plan you follow the desire to snack invariably overwhelms even the most ardent and determined dieter and although you may feel these hunger pangs originate in your stomach, the food cravings and desire to snack actually originate in your brain. An imbalance in chemical messengers tricks you into feeling hunger pangs even though your body doesn’t really need more food. And to add insult to injury, this same imbalance results in more of that snack being turned into fat! Continue reading