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How to cope if the eating disorder has resurfaced since lockdown

The pandemic is affecting the mental health of many people in ways we have not anticipated.

If you are dealing with an eating disorder, the COVID-19 lockdown poses some unique challenges. So, we explore some coping strategies.

Living with an eating disorder is always tricky, not just now. So, we know that you are used to meeting everyday challenges. However, the lockdown was a unique situation that brought some unprecedented difficulties. For anyone dealing with binge eating disorder, bulimia, anorexia, or another type of eating disorder, the pressures inflicted by lockdown weigh on them especially hard.

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Many people with these conditions experienced increased anxiety and a worsening of symptoms in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. Also, the stress of living in a time of a life-threatening virus resulted in a greater focus on shape and weight. In the beginning, we all started “stockpiling” foods or using food for comfort.

Given these challenges, this article is going to focus on how to support people who are struggling with their eating and mental health. 

Start by reasserting control

Start the process of regaining control with re-establishing structure. This will help you manage the process of eating and promote consistency. You will manage to make a good schedule across numerous areas of life. 

You should create an eating plan that follows some simple guidelines – for example, breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner. And you should eat no more than 4 hours apart. This will help you with healthy weight control. Don’t forget that eating and sleep are interrelated. To keep both healthy, you need to be consistent. So, stick to a sleep schedule to regulate eating and vice versa. 

Remind yourself how you felt when you recovered from your eating disorder

If you see that you have trouble gaining back the control, implement the strategies that have helped you before. The tested strategies show how much you’ve learned so far. That is a demonstration of the wisdom you have earned on this journey. 

If you notice unhealthy thoughts or patterns reoccurring, you should remind yourself of the areas of your life that you fell back in love with when you started to recover. Going out for dinner and drinks, cooking with family and friends, long walks, and whatever you enjoyed then. Think about the things that brought you happiness once you recovered.  

Find ways to deal with your stress 

Effective and positive ways of handling stress help when things do not go according to plan. The nature of coping can vary, but common strategies include exercise, gardening, arts and crafts, mindfulness, and other hobbies. You just have to find what works best for you. 

eating disorder

However, you have to be careful that the coping methods (especially exercise) are not hijacked to manipulate your weight when dealing with an eating disorder. Pair your physical activities with social activities like going for a walk with your friends and then going to have a snack and drink as part of your planned eating. 

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Reach out for help 

If you feel that your thoughts are all-consuming and that you cannot gain control over the situation, you should talk to someone – a friend, a family member, or a psychotherapist. Just don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Having those worries and thoughts are not an indicator that you are doing badly in recovery. 


And there are numerous evidence-based treatments available that will help you with your eating disorder if you feel that you need help.

Health

In the spirit of breast cancer month – the best foods for your breasts

We must start by saying that eating healthy won’t protect you immediately from boob ailments, but it could have a good effect over time.

A healthy diet supports breast health by diminishing inflammation, and bettering metabolic health, which may lessen, but not eliminate, breast cancer risk. 

Did you know that breast cancer is the most common cancer in the world, affecting 1 in 8 women, and even some men? You cannot avoid some risk factors like family history, but if you adopt a breast-friendly diet, you can reduce the breast cancer risk. 

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With a combination of moderation and motivation, many healthy foods positively impact breast health. 

Legumes 

All types of legumes are beneficial for your health since they are high in fiber. Eating a high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of a diagnosis and recurrence as well.  According to one study, if you eat ten grams of fiber a day, you will lower the risk of breast cancer by 5%. 

Kale and arugula 

Yes, all leafy greens are wonderful for our bodies, but kale and arugula are supercharged with health benefits. These two are members of the cruciferous veggie family and are amazing sources of carotenoids and fiber, two elements that can be beneficial in reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Fatty fish

Some studies say that fatty fish may reduce the risk of breast cancer due to their high levels of omega-3s and selenium. And the choices are endless – you can have salmon, sardines, mackerel, swordfish, trout, and herring. Just make sure you buy from a credible source.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a fermented food and contains probiotics that promote a healthy immune system and gut. This, in turn, helps with digestion. Yogurt can help us rid the body of toxins. People with breast cancer usually also have colon cancer, and that is mostly due to bad eating habits.

Onion

Studies have found that some properties of the onions – vitamin C, flavonols, and other antioxidants – can help decrease the risk of breast cancer.

Spices and herbs 

Spices like basil, cumin, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon contain nutraceuticals that may reduce inflammation. They need to make more research, but it is proven that some spices have anti-cancer properties. Some combinations of the spices do not affect healthy breast tissue, but they can prevent free radicals from developing. 

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Flaxseed

Whether you prefer to eat it as oil or seed, you will get its benefits since the flaxseed is rich in antioxidants and contains omega-3. The flaxseed oil may help in stopping the growth of breast tumors. So, you should have at least a tablespoon of flaxseed oil a day. You can easily include it into your day by putting a tablespoon on your whole-wheat toast with cinnamon, or you could add it to your salad.

breast cancer

Blackberries and blueberries 

All berries are high in flavonoids, manganese, and vitamin C, but blackberries and blueberries have the potential to decrease the risk of breast cancer because they are loaded with phytochemicals like resveratrol, cyaniding, and kaempferol. These phytochemicals interfere with key pathways, and trigger cell death to decrease the risk for recurrence.

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Health

Why isn’t your belly flat?

At first, when you started exercising and dieting, the pounds seemed to melt off! We’ve all been in a situation where the last pounds of belly fat don’t want to leave.

We have discovered there could be a few factors contributing to the extra fat on your belly without you even realizing it. 

These habits may be sabotaging your weight loss.

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You’re not including enough vegetables in your diet

Besides the other healthier choices you make, you must eat as many veggies as you can. You should make half your plate vegetables and/or salad since veggies are nutrient-dense and full of fiber, filling you up without overloading on calories.

You’re eating out nightly

Eating fast food and at restaurants, every night isn’t the best diet choice for your belly! These foods have more fat and salt whereas you cook lighter meals at home. Instead of choosing the local burger joint, try making a burger at home. At home, you can make it as you like it the most, so it will be tastier, that’s for sure!

You’re eating the wrong fats

Foods like nuts or avocado are full of healthy fats, like omega-3 and monounsaturated fatty acids, helping with heart health and weight regulation. Don’t you ever avoid them because they are high in fat!

You eat three large meals a day

Eating large meals three times a day isn’t the best choice if you want your belly to be flat. Eating more frequent, smaller meals a day can help lower cravings and control hunger, leading to weight loss. The best solution is to reduce the size of your meals and have healthy snacks like fruit or nuts if you’re hungry in between meals.

Your meals aren’t colorful

As we mentioned above, veggies are an essential part of everyone’s diet, and a colorful medley of them on your plate will give you a variety of minerals and vitamins you need for a balanced diet. So, if your plate is beige, you’re doing it wrong!

You drink diet soda

You cut soda from your diet, but you keep drinking diet soda, expecting to be a healthier choice for you since it has fewer calories and sugar than its regular counterpart. However, people who drink diet soda have an increase in waist circumference compared with people who don’t drink any soda. So, stop drinking any type of soda and always opt for water!

You don’t include whole grains in your diet

Due to their high fiber content, whole grains have been proven to help regulate body weight, besides having more flavor than white slices of bread and baked goods. Fiber helps regulate your digestive tract, and whole grains are full of minerals and vitamins, keeping the body fit and running smoothly.  

flat belly

You don’t balance diet and exercise

Eating a slice of pizza after a workout is only going to add those calories you burned off back into your body. Also, eating salads without working out could lead to weight loss, but the muscles will not get the necessary workout they need to be strong and toned. Your body requires a balance of both exercise and diet, so incorporate the pair into your daily lifestyle.

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Your workouts are too easy

You aren’t doing it right if you aren’t sweating! Doing the same exercises over and over without making it more intense, won’t make your body stronger. You should try switching up and explore another workout, like a Zumba, boot camp, or a spin class.

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Health

How to boost your metabolism as you age

We all want a fast metabolism that works to blast away calories, but as we age, it becomes more elusive.

In your thirties, you could lose 3% to 5% of your muscle mass, and it will become more difficult to keep your metabolism working at the same pace.

That means it’ll be harder to eat the foods and the same sized portions as you eat in the past years. As we get older, muscle mass decreases, and fat increases, meaning your body won’t burn up as many calories as needed, consequently, your metabolism suffers.

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If you want to keep feeling and looking your best, there is a solution. You can make lifestyle changes and choose the right foods to prevent a significant portion of these metabolic shifts. 

Eat every few hours

Don’t worry anymore about eating multiple times since eating snacks between the meals reduces hunger at mealtimes, so you’re likely to eat smaller portions. Stop keeping your body into starvation mode and then overcompensating by eating massive meals once or twice a day!

Breakfast is a must

You must have heard this already, but you’re always in a hurry, right?  The metabolic functions slow during sleep, so it’s essential to properly refill your body with a nutrient-dense breakfast. Don’t hesitate and go for a high-protein breakfast, like cottage cheese on a high fiber cracker. 

Hydrate to boost your metabolism

Always hydrate! But the best choice is water. You need to avoid soda, juices, and other drinks containing added sugars since they have low (if any) nutritional value. What is more, they’re full of unnecessary calories. Drinking water increases energy expenditure throughout the day, meaning the body burns more calories at rest. Good hydration supports healthy digestive function and helps the body detoxify.

Eat more beans

Fiber is the zero-calorie, indigestible part of a carbohydrate that adds bulk to food. Fiber swells in the stomach, allowing you to feel fuller with less food. Beans are a rich source of protein and fiber, burning many calories during digestion. So, include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and bran in your diet.

Cut out artificial sweeteners to boost your metabolism

Artificially sweetened beverages may confuse the body’s regular metabolic response to sugar, which can in turn increase appetite. Additionally, diet drinks are increasingly being connected with gaining weight, metabolic syndrome, and a host of other ills. So, you should limit your sweets altogether and take 150 to 200 calories of sweets per day.

metabolism

Don’t stress

Cortisol, the stress hormone it’s triggered in response to stress. It causes the blood sugars to rise anytime you are stressed out. This causes insulin, the fat-storing hormone, to transport sugar from the bloodstream to the cells stored as fat. Unfortunately, there is no clear way to beat stress, but you must try your best to reduce stress in your everyday life. This can be anything from going to the park with a friend, keeping a journal, going to the gym, or meditating.  

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Move more to boost your metabolism

Exercising and moving more are important in maintaining metabolism. As people age, activity is essential since hormonal changes and metabolism in the 40s create a perfect environment for excess fat storage, particularly in the midsection. The gym isn’t the only way to increase activity; walk to the mall, use the stairs, and take long walks with your loved ones. Exercise is essential for maintaining muscle mass but more important is changing up the routine or exercising at a higher intensity.

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