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May 4, 2023

🌿 Intentional Living: Is multitasking harming your eating habits?

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In This Issue:

Featured Wellness Message: Is Multitasking Harming Your Eating Habits?

Recommended Resource: Making Peace with Food Kickstart Kit

My Psychology Today Article: What Role Does ADHD Play in Eating Disorder Treatment?

My Featured Post: Can Rewiring Your Brain Transform Your Eating Habits?

Is Multitasking Harming Your Eating Habits?

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If you’ve ever talked on the phone while folding laundry, you probably figured you were making efficient use of your time. And maybe you were, for something as rote as folding.

But when it comes to eating while doing something else, efficiency is the least of your concerns. Let’s look at several reasons that multitasking and food shouldn’t go hand in hand:

Multitasking may lead you to miss subtle fullness sensations that offer you cues about when to stop eating.Multitasking with something unfamiliar or complex may increase cortisol levels and interfere in the functioning of hormones that accurately reflect the state of your appetite.If your emotions are intense, multitasking may make you vulnerable to emotion-driven eating. Multitasking may distract you from acknowledging your real hunger, needs, and desires, which may maintain diet behaviors or an eating disorder.

Cultivating a healthy relationship with food is about nurturing your mind-body connection and nourishing yourself on purpose with compassion, nutrition, and intention. Multitasking will make it nearly impossible to do this. The key is to give your full attention to eating.

What intention will you set to move away from multitasking and toward intuitive or mindful eating?

XO,
Dr. Gia

 

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“Multitasking is a lie.”
​―Gary Keller, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

Making Peace with Food Kickstart Kit

Have you ever thought, "If I can just lose weight, I'll be so happy/successful/loved"? This mindset is really common, after all this is the message we get from all types of media. But as non-diet dietitian Maddi Parsons says, "Weight loss acts only as a band-aid…. Finding peace with food means eating intuitively, trusting your body to make food choices that are good for you, and accepting your body for all that it does for you."

Parsons should know. "I've been there," she says, "I was constantly swinging between 'good' foods and 'bad,' and I dreaded social outings surrounding food."

Now, Parsons helps people go from feeling stuck with food guilt and body shame to eating intuitively, building back body trust and making peace with food. Her short e-book, Making Peace with Food Kickstart Kit, provides insight into intuitive eating practices and lots of journaling prompts, where you can reflect on your eating habits and learn how you can sidestep the stress, guilt, and shame around food and your body.

You can find Parsons on instagram @maddiparsonsnutrition and on her website, https://www.maddiparsonsnutrition.com. Don't forget to download her mini e-book!

What Role Does ADHD Play in Eating Disorder Treatment?

Eating disorder recovery takes attention, self-regulation, and intention

The statistics are startling. It turns out that people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more than three times as likely as the general population to develop an eating disorder (ED). Some studies place this number even higher. In addition, more than one-third of adult female patients being treated in a clinic for eating disorders who were given an adult ADHD self-test qualified for the diagnosis of ADHD.

So, ADHD and eating disorders often seem to come together, with significant shared genetic causality. This is true in children, across the lifespan, and in both men and women.

Specifically, the significant increase in risk is related to disorders involving loss of control with food, rather than specific obsessions about bodily appearance or weight management. In children with ADHD, this manifests as a 12-fold increase in the likelihood of developing the behaviors related to what is called “loss-of-control eating.” In adults, this manifests as an increased risk of developing one of three eating disorders: bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa (binge/purge subtype), or binge eating disorder.​

The two most prevalent shared mechanisms are impulsivity and attentional issues. To learn more about these characteristics and the role they play in ED treatment, read my full Psychology Today article.

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Can Rewiring Your Brain Transform Your Eating Habits?

Find out how neuroplasticity can promote a healthier relationship to food

Also known as neural adaptation or neural plasticity, neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to change and adapt in response to new experiences and stimuli. This means that our brain is capable of “rewiring” itself—adapting to new situations, forming new connections, and constantly reorganizing itself—throughout our lives, based on our experiences, behaviors, relationships, thoughts, and emotions. This remarkable ability is the foundation for learning, memory, and recovery from injuries.

So, how can a rewired brain benefit your efforts to stop dieting? Well, when we make the decision to give up restrictive diets, our brains are given the opportunity to create new neural pathways that are more flexible and sustainable. Instead of constantly focusing on food and the fear of gaining weight, we can retrain our brains to prioritize self-care and nourishment. In this way, neuroplasticity is a powerful tool that can play a crucial role in breaking free from the dieting cycle and developing healthy behaviors for life.

By taking small steps that prioritize your physical and mental health, you can create lasting habits that support your overall well-being. The brain-body connection is a powerful tool in motivating ourselves to eat enough and include variety in our diets. To learn specific ways you can make healthy, long-term change by harnessing the power of neuroplasticity, read my full blog post.

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