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Apr 18

Starvation ketoacidosis: Signs, causes, treatment, and more – Medical News Today

Starvation ketoacidosis happens when a person has undergone an extended period of fasting. During starvation ketoacidosis, fatty acids replace glucose as the primary source of fuel for the body.

Starvation ketoacidosis is rare, but certain people may have a higher risk of developing it than others. Individuals at higher risk include those with eating disorders.

Starvation ketoacidosis can be serious if a person does not seek treatment, and it could even result in death.

This article discusses starvation ketoacidosis in more detail, including its symptoms and how to treat and prevent it.

Ketoacidosis is a metabolic state associated with high levels of ketones in the blood. Ketones build up when the body breaks down fatty acids to use for energy in place of carbohydrate.

Starvation ketoacidosis occurs when the body has not received enough glucose as its primary energy source for a prolonged period.

There are various reasons why a person may have fasted for a long time, including:

Mild ketosis meaning that the body uses fat as an energy source can occur after a 1214 hour fast.

Ketoacidosis happens when a buildup of ketones causes the blood to become acidic. In starvation ketoacidosis, once the body has run out of fat, it starts to break down muscle, which releases amino acids and lactate into a persons blood. The liver then breaks these down into sugars to use for fuel.

The transition from ketosis to ketoacidosis can occur after 23 days of fasting. After a couple more days, the breakdown of muscle may begin.

Learn more about the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis here.

According to a 2020 article, there are three types of ketoacidosis:

Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a persons body starts to run out of insulin, which can be life threatening.

Diabetic ketoacidosis can happen in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but it is more likely to affect those with type 1 diabetes.

Learn about diabetic ketoacidosis here.

According to a 2020 review, alcoholic ketoacidosis mostly affects people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol and find that the resulting symptoms such as vomiting, anxiety, and abdominal pain make them unable to eat solid food for 13 days.

Alcoholic ketoacidosis happens when a persons body cannot make use of glucose from their diet.

The alcohol in their blood keeps their blood sugar low and hampers the production of glucose by the liver.

The signs and symptoms of starvation ketoacidosis can include:

A 2020 case report presented information about people with psychiatric issues and starvation ketoacidosis. The authors conclude that making an accurate diagnosis may be more challenging in people with psychiatric disorders, as these individuals may not be able to provide an accurate history of their health or eating habits. As a result, there may be a delay in treatment.

Possible causes of starvation ketoacidosis include:

Most people who have easy access to food have a low risk of developing starvation ketoacidosis.

However, intermittent fasting, particularly in combination with an extreme diet such as the ketogenic diet, can put a person at higher risk of developing ketoacidosis. People interested in following specialized diets, such as the keto diet, should talk with their doctor before starting the diet.

A 2020 article lists the following risk factors for starvation ketoacidosis:

Starvation ketoacidosis does not occur frequently in healthy individuals, as it happens due to a lack of glucose from the diet after long periods of starvation.

Therefore, when starvation ketoacidosis occurs, a persons doctor may look for other causes of weight loss, which can delay diagnosis and treatment.

If a person experiences unexplained weight loss, they should tell their doctor about:

According to a 2020 article, a doctor will first need to stabilize the person before performing necessary tests, including blood tests, to check for electrolyte abnormalities and vitamin deficiencies. If a person receives a diagnosis of starvation ketoacidosis, the doctor will treat them accordingly.

Starvation ketoacidosis occurs when the body becomes deprived of necessary food and energy for a prolonged period. Although eating may seem to be the obvious therapy, it can be dangerous for a person who has lived a long time with malnutrition.

When a doctor treats a person for starvation ketoacidosis, they will need to monitor their electrolytes closely. During the process of introducing food, doctors will need to check and replace a persons potassium, phosphate, and magnesium.

One case study involved a person living with anorexia who had developed starvation ketoacidosis. Doctors treated this person with a dextrose solution for 15 hours, during which time the ketoacidosis improved.

With proper treatment, including the treatment of underlying health conditions such as anorexia, a person should make a full recovery.

When starvation ketoacidosis occurs, a persons body will often start to waste away. In other words, they will begin to look thinner or drawn out, and their bones will appear more pronounced.

Another complication is that a person may experience lethargy and a severe loss of strength because the body has begun to break down muscle.

Without treatment, ketoacidosis can be fatal.

People who are living with an underlying health condition or undergoing radiation therapy or surgery should work with their doctor to make sure that they can eat enough food to prevent ketoacidosis.

Help is also available for people living with eating disorders. Although treatment can be challenging, it can lead to recovery, offering the person a full and active life.

Eating disorders can severely affect the quality of life of people living with these conditions and those close to them. Early intervention and treatment greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.

Anyone who suspects that they or a loved one has an eating disorder can contact the National Eating Disorder Association for advice and support via:

These services are only open during specific hours. Someone in crisis can text NEDA to 741741 at any time to get support from a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line.

Alternatively, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) run a Disaster Distress Helpline that people can contact on 800-985-5990 for 24-7 support.

Many other resources are available, including:

Learn more about different types of eating disorder here.

Starvation ketoacidosis is an uncommon form of ketoacidosis. It occurs when a person does not consume enough food on a regular basis or cannot absorb nutrients correctly.

A doctor can check for starvation ketoacidosis with blood tests and will need to monitor the person as they start eating again.

Most healthy people with an adequate supply of food are not at risk. However, people living with eating disorders and those who have undergone certain medical procedures may have a higher risk of developing starvation ketoacidosis.

A full recovery is usually possible with treatment.

Original post:
Starvation ketoacidosis: Signs, causes, treatment, and more - Medical News Today


Apr 4

How This Guy Lost 85 Pounds, Got Fit, and Became a Personal Trainer – menshealth.com

As a teenager, Stephen Campolo tried out for baseball several times in high school, but never made it onto the team due to his weight. "Being overweight, it sucked," he says. "When you're young, people judge you on your appearance, you know, I got bullied a lot."

In a recent episode of the Truly series Brand New Me, Campolo shares how at his heaviest305 poundshe came to the understanding that he had to change his lifestyle: "I said, I do not want to be the fat guy any more."

He started running every night, and quickly began to lose weight. "I became addicted to seeing my body change," he says. "I became addicted to seeing the scale drop... Ever since that day, I've not looked back."

After losing a considerable amount of weight, he then discovered a love of fitness which helped him build strength and muscle. "When I lost that initial 50 pounds, I realized I had this loose skin, because I hadn't replaced the fat with any kind of muscle tissue. So now I'm like, OK, now I have to do something about this situation, so that was what led me to join the gym and start weight training to really build up my body."

Campolo has since leveraged his passion into a new life as a trainer and fitness influencer, and he enjoys being able to use the benefit of his own experience to advise and motivate people who are at the beginning of their own weight loss journeys.

"Once people started following me, and asking me all these questions, I realized maybe I could make a career out of this," he says. "Because I love the lifestyle so much, I became a personal trainer and I started helping other people get in shape. I'm very proud of how far I've come on my journey, but what I'm even more proud of is that I'm able to use my own story and help other people."

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How This Guy Lost 85 Pounds, Got Fit, and Became a Personal Trainer - menshealth.com


Apr 4

This is actually why youve gained weight during the COVID-19 pandemic – OregonLive

By Lina Begdache, Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Binghamton University, State University of New York

If you have experienced unwanted weight gain or weight loss during the pandemic, you are not alone. According to a poll by the American Psychological Association, 61% of U.S. adults reported undesired weight change since the pandemic began.

The results, released in March 2021, showed that during the pandemic, 42% of respondents gained unwanted weight 29 pounds on average and nearly 10% of those people gained more than 50 pounds. On the flip side, nearly 18% of Americans said they experienced unwanted weight loss on average, a loss of 26 pounds.

Another study, published on March 22, 2021, assessed weight change in 269 people from February to June 2020. The researchers found, on average, that people gained a steady 1.5 pounds per month.

I am a nutritional neuroscientist, and my research investigates the relationship between diet, lifestyle, stress and mental distress such as anxiety and depression.

The common denominator to changes in body weight, especially during a pandemic, is stress. Another poll done by the American Psychological Association in January 2021 found that about 84% of U.S. adults experienced at least one emotion associated with prolonged stress in the prior two weeks.

The findings about unwanted weight changes make sense in a stressful world, especially in the context of the bodys stress response, better known as the fight-or-flight response.

Fight, flight and food

The fight-or-flight response is an innate reaction that evolved as a survival mechanism. It empowers humans to react swiftly to acute stress like a predator or adapt to chronic stress like a food shortage. When faced with stress, the body wants to keep the brain alert. It decreases levels of some hormones and brain chemicals in order to turn down behaviors that wont help in an urgent situation, and it increases other hormones that will.

When under stress, the body lowers levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and melatonin. Serotonin regulates emotions, appetite and digestion. So, low levels of serotonin increase anxiety and can change a persons eating habits. Dopamine another feel-good neurotransmitter regulates goal-oriented motivation. Dwindling levels of dopamine can translate into lower motivation to exercise, maintain a healthy lifestyle or perform daily tasks. When people are under stress, they also produce less of the sleep hormone melatonin, leading to trouble sleeping.

Epinephrine and norepinephrine mediate the physiological changes associated with stress and are elevated in stressful situations. These biochemical changes can cause mood swings, impact a personss eating habits, reduce goal-oriented motivation and disrupt a persons circadian rhythm.

Overall, stress can throw your eating habits and motivation to exercise or eat healthy way out of balance, and this last year has certainly been a stressful one for everyone.

Easy calories, low motivation

In both of the studies, people self-reported their weight, and the researchers didnt collect any information about physical activity. But, one can cautiously assume that most of the weight changes were due to people gaining or losing body fat.

So why did people gain or lose weight this last year? And what explains the dramatic differences?

Many people find comfort in high-calorie food. That is because chocolate and other sweets can make you happy by boosting serotonin levels in the short term. However, the blood clears the extra sugar very quickly, so the mental boost is extremely short-lived, leading people to eat more. Eating for comfort can be a natural response to stress, but when combined with the lower motivation to exercise and consumption of low-nutrient, calorie-dense food, stress can result in unwanted weight gain.

What about weight loss? In a nutshell, the brain is connected to the gut through a two-way communication system called the vagus nerve. When you are stressed, your body inhibits the signals that travel through the vagus nerve and slows down the digestive process. When this happens, people experience fullness.

The pandemic left many people confined to their homes, bored and with plenty of food and little to distract them. When adding the stress factor to this scenario, you have a perfect situation for unwanted weight changes. Stress will always be a part of life, but there are things you can do like practicing positive self-talk that can help ward off the stress response and some of its unwanted consequences.

Read the rest here:
This is actually why youve gained weight during the COVID-19 pandemic - OregonLive


Apr 4

Unwanted weight gain or weight loss during the pandemic? Blame your stress hormones – The Conversation US

CC BY-ND

If you have experienced unwanted weight gain or weight loss during the pandemic, you are not alone. According to a poll by the American Psychological Association, 61% of U.S. adults reported undesired weight change since the pandemic began.

The results, released in March 2021, showed that during the pandemic, 42% of respondents gained unwanted weight 29 pounds on average and nearly 10% of those people gained more than 50 pounds. On the flip side, nearly 18% of Americans said they experienced unwanted weight loss on average, a loss of 26 pounds.

Another study, published on March 22, 2021, assessed weight change in 269 people from February to June 2020. The researchers found, on average, that people gained a steady 1.5 pounds per month.

I am a nutritional neuroscientist, and my research investigates the relationship between diet, lifestyle, stress and mental distress such as anxiety and depression.

The common denominator to changes in body weight, especially during a pandemic, is stress. Another poll done by the American Psychological Association in January 2021 found that about 84% of U.S. adults experienced at least one emotion associated with prolonged stress in the prior two weeks.

The findings about unwanted weight changes make sense in a stressful world, especially in the context of the bodys stress response, better known as the fight-or-flight response.

The fight-or-flight response is an innate reaction that evolved as a survival mechanism. It empowers humans to react swiftly to acute stress like a predator or adapt to chronic stress like a food shortage. When faced with stress, the body wants to keep the brain alert. It decreases levels of some hormones and brain chemicals in order to turn down behaviors that wont help in an urgent situation, and it increases other hormones that will.

When under stress, the body lowers levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and melatonin. Serotonin regulates emotions, appetite and digestion. So, low levels of serotonin increase anxiety and can change a persons eating habits. Dopamine another feel-good neurotransmitter regulates goal-oriented motivation. Dwindling levels of dopamine can translate into lower motivation to exercise, maintain a healthy lifestyle or perform daily tasks. When people are under stress, they also produce less of the sleep hormone melatonin, leading to trouble sleeping.

Epinephrine and norepinephrine mediate the physiological changes associated with stress and are elevated in stressful situations. These biochemical changes can cause mood swings, impact a personss eating habits, reduce goal-oriented motivation and disrupt a persons circadian rhythm.

Overall, stress can throw your eating habits and motivation to exercise or eat healthy way out of balance, and this last year has certainly been a stressful one for everyone.

In both of the studies, people self-reported their weight, and the researchers didnt collect any information about physical activity. But, one can cautiously assume that most of the weight changes were due to people gaining or losing body fat.

So why did people gain or lose weight this last year? And what explains the dramatic differences?

Many people find comfort in high-calorie food. That is because chocolate and other sweets can make you happy by boosting serotonin levels in the short term. However, the blood clears the extra sugar very quickly, so the mental boost is extremely short-lived, leading people to eat more. Eating for comfort can be a natural response to stress, but when combined with the lower motivation to exercise and consumption of low-nutrient, calorie-dense food, stress can result in unwanted weight gain.

What about weight loss? In a nutshell, the brain is connected to the gut through a two-way communication system called the vagus nerve. When you are stressed, your body inhibits the signals that travel through the vagus nerve and slows down the digestive process. When this happens, people experience fullness.

The pandemic left many people confined to their homes, bored and with plenty of food and little to distract them. When adding the stress factor to this scenario, you have a perfect situation for unwanted weight changes. Stress will always be a part of life, but there are things you can do like practicing positive self-talk that can help ward off the stress response and some of its unwanted consequences.

[Expertise in your inbox. Sign up for The Conversations newsletter and get expert takes on todays news, every day.]

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Unwanted weight gain or weight loss during the pandemic? Blame your stress hormones - The Conversation US


Apr 4

Can Eating Food Quickly Result in Becoming Overweight? – Science Times

Does eating quickly make a person overweight?

University of Roehampton and Bristol University researchers surveyed 800 volunteers about their weight and eating habits and found that those who eat quickly are more likely to be overweight.

The participants included adults and children, which the researchers found that both groups do not differ much in terms of the effects of eating fast on becoming obese.

The researchers found that if both children and adults are quick eaters, they develop larger waistlines and higher body mass index (BMI), MailOnline reported.

Their findings shed light on the long-held misconceptions that adults are not affected much compared to children by eating at a fast pace.

(Photo: Unsplash)Eating Food Quickly More Likely to Result in Becoming Overweight [STUDY]

The study, entitled "Associations between number of siblings, birth order, eating rate and adiposity in children and adults" published in Clinical Obesity, found that faster eating was significantly associated with a higher BMI and larger waist circumference in children and adults.

According to 2021 NHS data, 67% of adult men and 60% of women are overweight or obese in the UK. Meanwhile, the country also records the highest rates of childhood obesity in Europe with one out of 10 in children aged four to five are classified as obese and increases to one out of five by the age of 11.

Lead researchers Dr. Leigh Gibson said that the study confirms that adults are affected the same way as children in eating quickly.

"By assessing both adults and children, we were able to debunk the notion that adults are immune from the effect of eating quickly on obesity that has been established in children,' Gibson added.

Ultimately, their study suggests that the best way for anyone to lose weight is by slowly eating. "By slowing down and taking longer to eat our meals, we can keep our waistlines and BMIs in check," the researchers said.

ALSO READ: Artificial Sweeteners vs Sugar: Which is the Healthier Option?

The study also showed that the birth order of siblings determines how quickly they eat food, MailOnlinereported. First-borns were twice as likely to eat faster compared to their siblings.

On the other hand, those without siblings reported eating slower than adults who were not first-born. But children in Bristol with more siblings are associated with eating faster.

Adults in London with siblings reportedly eat slower than those people with two or more siblings. Meanwhile, those people with only one sibling are also linked to eating faster.

Healthlinereported that eating fast does not only increases the risk of becoming overweight or obese but is also linked to other health problems.

For instance, eating too quickly is associated with a higher risk of insulin resistance wherein blood sugar and insulin levels increase, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes.

A study, entitled "Fast eating and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a case-control study," found that fast eaters are 2.5 times more likely to get type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Lastly, eating fast could lead to poor digestion as fast eaters take larger bites and chew their food less.

RELATED ARTICLE: Eating After 8 PM is Worst Time of Day to Eat for Weight Loss

Check out more news and information on Weight Lossin Science Times.

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Can Eating Food Quickly Result in Becoming Overweight? - Science Times


Feb 10

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss: How to Tell the Difference – Healthline

Weight loss refers to a decrease in your overall body weight from muscle, water, and fat losses.

Fat loss refers to weight loss from fat, and its a more specific and healthful goal than weight loss.

However, it can be difficult to know whether youre losing weight from fat or muscle.

This article explains why fat loss is more important than weight loss, how you can tell the difference between the two, and provides tips for losing fat and maintaining muscle.

Its common practice to track your weight loss progress using a scale.

While this can be helpful, most scales dont differentiate between fat loss and muscle loss.

For that reason, tracking only your weight isnt a reliable way to determine whether youre losing fat or muscle and in what amounts.

Conversely, a body fat scale can provide a more accurate picture of your body composition by measuring the percentage of fat and muscle you have.

You can also use skinfold calipers to estimate your body fat percentage, but this takes practice to ensure accuracy (1).

Instead of solely relying on the scale, you can use a body fat scale or skinfold caliper to better understand your body composition and track your progress.

Many weight loss programs claim to help you lose weight quickly and easily.

However, its important to realize that a significant amount of this weight may include water and muscle losses (2, 3).

Losing muscle can be detrimental, as muscle is a crucial component of your overall health.

Maintaining a healthy percentage of muscle has several benefits, such as regulating healthy blood sugar levels, maintaining healthy fat levels like triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood, and controlling inflammation.

Indeed, several studies have linked a higher fat-to-muscle ratio to chronic diseases like metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes (4, 5, 6).

Maintaining your muscle mass may also reduce your risk of age-related muscle loss, which results in frailty and potentially disability (7).

Additionally, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. This is the main reason why men generally have higher calorie needs than women (8).

Consequently, losing weight in the form of muscle can decrease the number of calories you burn at rest, making it easier to regain any weight you lost in the form of fat (9).

Emphasizing fat loss rather than weight loss can decrease the risk of several chronic diseases, help reduce the risk of age-related muscle loss, and reduce fat regain.

There are a few simple ways to ensure youll lose weight in the form of fat and either maintain or gain muscle mass.

These include eating plenty of protein, exercising regularly, and following a nutrient-dense diet that puts you in a slight calorie deficit.

Protein is an important nutrient for a variety of bodily functions.

Its necessary to make enzymes that help with digestion and energy production, regulate fluid balance, and support immune health, among other functions.

Protein is also important for maintaining the muscle you have and supporting new muscle growth, especially when losing weight.

In one 4-week study, young men were randomized to consume a low calorie diet containing either 0.55 or 1.1 grams of protein per pound (1.2 or 2.4 grams per kg) of body weight combined with an intense exercise training program (10).

While both groups lost a significant amount of weight, the men who consumed the higher protein diet lost 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg) more fat mass and gained 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg) more muscle than men who consumed the lower protein diet.

Importantly, the study found that high intensity resistance exercise followed by a high protein recovery snack made the most difference. Also, it limited the mens fat intake to create a calorie deficit and maintained their carb intake for adequate exercise fuel.

And while eating plenty of protein with a reduced calorie diet without weight training may not help you gain muscle, it may help you maintain muscle while increasing fat loss.

A review of 20 studies involving men and women ages 50 years and older found that a high protein diet containing at least 0.68 grams per pound (1 gram per kg) led to more muscle mass retention and fat loss than a lower protein diet (11).

While protein needs differ depending on your age, health, sex, and physical activity level, consuming protein in the range of 0.450.73 grams per pound (11.6 grams per kg) of body weight per day can support muscle mass retention and fat loss with dieting (11, 12, 13).

For reference, the recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.36 grams per pound (0.8 grams per kg) of body weight per day.

Exercise is the most effective way to encourage fat loss rather than muscle loss.

A review of 6 studies found that older adults with obesity who engaged in cardio and weight training at least 3 times per week while following a calorie-restricted diet retained 93% more of their muscle than those who did not exercise (14).

Certainly, exercise alone is an effective strategy to maintain muscle mass with dieting, but combining exercise with a higher protein intake may help optimize your results (10, 15).

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adults get at least 150300 minutes per week of cardio and muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups (16).

To lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. You can create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories or exercising, but preferably both.

However, cutting your calories too much can lead to a greater loss of muscle rather than fat.

Instead, aim to moderately reduce the number of calories you consume by 500600 per day to minimize muscle loss while still facilitating fat loss (17, 18).

You can reduce the number of calories you consume by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein foods, low fat dairy, and fewer sugar-sweetened products and beverages, processed meats, and fried foods (19, 20).

You can prioritize fat loss and maximize muscle retention by eating plenty of protein and exercising regularly alongside a reduced calorie diet.

Weight loss refers to a decrease in your overall body weight, whereas fat loss refers to weight loss that occurs specifically from losses in fat mass.

A body fat scale or skinfold caliper is more useful for monitoring fat loss than tracking your body weight alone.

Other simple ways to access fat loss include measuring inches or centimeters lost from your waist and hips and noting any changes in how your clothes fit around your waist.

Losing weight in the form of fat rather than muscle should be the priority given how important your fat-to-muscle ratio is to your overall health.

You can prioritize fat loss by eating plenty of protein, exercising, and moderately restricting your calories.

Excerpt from:
Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss: How to Tell the Difference - Healthline


Feb 10

Dangerous Side Effects of Losing Weight, According to Science | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

The health benefits of losing weight are almost too many to name. You'll feel better, sleep better, have more energy, and reduce your risk of disease and early death. But if you undergo dramatic weight loss, lose too much weight too quickly, or simply make the wrong food decisions as part of your plan, there's a good chance you'll experience some of the negative side effects of weight loss that you may not have seen coming.

After all, the loss of excess fat can have a considerate impact on your body, hormones, metabolism, mood, and even your relationship status. For theseand other potentially dangerous side effects of losing weightread on. And for some great advice for how to lead a healthier lifestyle starting now, make sure you're aware of the One Major Side Effect of Walking Every Day, Say Experts.

According to a study published in the journal PLOS One, though losing weight comes with undeniable physical benefits, the "effects on mental health are less straightforward." The researchers, from the University College of London, found that people who lost 5% or more of their body weight had an increased chance of reporting feelings of depression afterward.

"Resisting the ever-present temptations of unhealthy food in modern society takes a mental toll, as it requires considerable willpower and may involve missing out on some enjoyable activities," noted Sarah Jackson, Ph.D., of the UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Public Health Care, and lead author of the study. "Anyone who has ever been on a diet would understand how this could affect wellbeing."

RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter for the latest weight loss news.

Many trendy weight-loss plans require you to slash entire food groups from your diet, which may also mean that you're robbing your body of some essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, CSSD, LDN, a sports dietitianwho works with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, calls this no-no "elimination without justification."

"Cutting out dairy without medical reasons, for instance, lowers your intake of calcium and Vitamin D," she says. "If you were eating yogurt and you suddenly stop, you're not getting as many probiotics for your gut."

Other examples include cutting out too many fats, which could reduce your lipid levels and decrease your body's absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, which adversely impact the health of your skin and hair. And if you're going vegan, you need to make sure you're finding ways to get more necessary protein into your diet. "Remember," says Bonci, "Putting just fruits and veggies on the plate may result in weight loss, but will not promote great health."

RELATED: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now

Studies have shown that successful weight loss is actually easier for couples if they attempt to lose weight together. But, according to a study of 21 couples conducted by researchers at North Carolina State University, if one-half of a relationship loses weight and the other doesn't, it could negatively impact the relationship and potentially cause rifts that could lead to a breakup.

Another study, published in the journal JAMA Surgery, found that those who undergo bariatric surgery and lose weight are putting themselves at risk of breakup and divorce. "In addition to its association with obesity comorbidities," the researchers write, "bariatric surgery-induced weight loss is also associated with changes in relationship status."

If you're losing weight too fast, you could be losing the wrong type of pounds. "Calorie restrictive diets may cause your body to break down muscle for energy and fuel," Emmie Satrazemis, CSSD, a registered dietitian and nutrition director at Trifecta, explained to Healthline. If you're losing muscle, you're also losing one of your body's most effective calorie burners, so you're also raising your risk of gaining all of that weight back.

RELATED: 25 Best Foods to Eat for Muscle Definition and Toning

"Excessive or sudden weight loss can cause your periods to stop," writes the UK's National Health Service. "Severely restricting the amount of calories you eat stops the production of hormones needed for ovulation."

If this happens, says the NHS, you could be underweight, which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5. If that's the case, you should seek out a dietitian for help putting weight back on safely and healthily.

Countless studies have shown that crash dietingAKA eating a really harsh, low-calorie dietsimply doesn't hold up over time. "If you go on a crash diet, you will lose the weight," says Rebecca Leslie, PsyD, MS. "But then you'll likely gain it back. There is even the chance that you will gain more weight back than you lost."

Since that's not your mission, here are some much more effective and lasting ways to lose weight, according to experts.

Read the original here:
Dangerous Side Effects of Losing Weight, According to Science | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That


Feb 10

Tammy Slaton Once Attempted Suicide: Here’s What Happened – TV Shows Ace

In addition to her struggles with weight loss, Tammy Slaton has also had an issue with suicide. It was in January of 2018 that the TLC personality became overwhelmed by her health ailments and her weight. It was during an interview withPeople Magazinejust before the release of 1000-Lb Sisterson TLC that Tammy got candid.

When TLC viewers first met Tammy and Amy Slaton, we learned they weighed just over 400 and just over 600 pounds. Amy made a huge strive to lose weight allowing her to have bariatric surgery. She, however, didnt listen to her doctor and became pregnant just months after the surgery. Unsurprisingly, her doctor became concerned she would just put the weight back on because of the pregnancy.

We also learned Tammy hadnt left her home in over six years. With the exception of going to the doctor. This isolation put her in a place of deep depression. The depression became too much. And, she did attempt suicide. Thankfully, she wasnt successful. Moreover, the suicide attempt seemed to be a real eye-opener for her. She didnt want to pass away at 35 or 40 years old after spending nearly a decade of her life never leaving her home.

Tammy and Amy Slaton had a rough childhood. Their mother worked multiple jobs just to pay bills. And, they could never afford truly nutritious food items. Their grandmother and father died when they were very young. The Slaton sisters grew up eating a lot of microwave meals because they were cheap. Fast food and canned goods were also a popular choice. And, then, the weight gain quickly became out of control.

Amy and her sister Tammy Slaton admit theyve been trying to lose weight since they were teenagers. But, they toldPeople Magazine nothing they tried worked out.

Becoming TLC personalities may have just saved the Slaton sisters lives. As far as we know, Tammy Slaton has not made another suicide attempt since 2018. They both head toward happier and healthier lives as Season 2 currently airs on television.

I can go to the store and not worry about my looks because I feel good about myself regardless of what other people say about me. Im beautiful the way I am. Amy Slaton doted toPeople Magazine.

Presently, there isnt a lot of information surrounding Tammy Slatons suicide attempt. Just that it happened in January of 2018. And, she didnt really talk about it until a year later.

Presently, things are pretty serious for Tammy Slaton as her doctor tells her she only has about five years left to live if she doesnt make drastic changes to her health. Fans hope Tammy will take things seriously as they want only the best for Tammy Slaton.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Trisha Faulkner has been a freelance writer for a decade with a focus on news/reporting for the last three years. She enjoys writing about the Showtime series Shameless, CBSs Survivor, Netflix, TOWIE, and some entertainment/celebrity news. In her spare time, she enjoys raising awareness about autism and spending time with her two children.

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Tammy Slaton Once Attempted Suicide: Here's What Happened - TV Shows Ace


Feb 6

18 small everyday changes that can help you lose weight – Insider – Insider

Losing weight may seem like a daunting process that requires long workouts and carefully planned meals. Although those things certainly play a big role in the process, there are many small changes to your lifestyle that can help you shed pounds.

To find out the little things you can do each day to lose weight, we spoke with three registered dietitians who offered 18 tips.

When you don't drink enough water, your body can confuse hunger with thirst. This is why "upping the water intake can have a huge impact on how much you eat during the day," says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CEO and founder of the NY Nutrition Group.

If you have trouble drinking enough water throughout the day, there are a couple of ways you can remind yourself. First, carry a water bottle so you always have a physical reminder to drink.

Second, set goals for yourself throughout the day. Moskovitz recommends starting the day with a glass of water and having at least two cups before each meal or snack. "Not only will that help curb your appetite a little bit right before you eat, but it's a good way to remember to drink first," she says.

While fats are often a feared food group, they can actually increase satiety and prevent bingeing later, says Whitney Stuart, RD, the owner of Whitness Nutrition.

Of course, some fats are healthier than others, so when adding fat to your diet, Stuart said it's best to go for nutrient-rich unsaturated fats. These fats, known as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, can be found in avocados, olives, nuts, and fatty fish like salmon.

General advice: Try to limit your intake of saturated fats like red meat, whole milk, and butter. Instead, replace them with unsaturated fats like salmon, avocado, and olive oil.

If you've ever found yourself at the bottom of a pint of ice cream, you're not alone. In fact, ice cream is one of the easiest foods to overeat because of its soft texture.

"One reason why things like ice cream or mashed potatoes are easy to overdo is because the texture is such that it's very easy to just keep eating spoonful after spoonful," says Andy Bellatti, RD, the strategic director of Dietitians for Professional Integrity. "Whereas, if you eat raw vegetables, you have to chew them longer."

That's not to say that you can't enjoy foods like ice cream or mashed potatoes, but it's important to be mindful while you're eating them. It's a good idea to measure out your portions beforehand to avoid overeating.

Not getting enough sleep can raise your stress levels, which can increase the likelihood of weight gain.

"When you don't get enough sleep, your levels of the stress hormone cortisol rise," Stuart says.

Stuart adds that a lack of sleep can also get in the way of weight loss because the less you sleep, the longer you're awake, and the more time there is to eat. She recommends getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.

You don't have to go to bars or restaurants with friends to have a good time. There are plenty of other ways you can be social and burn calories at the same time, such as:

Breakfast is dubbed the most important meal of the day for a reason. Some research has found that skipping breakfast is associated with a greater risk for obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol whereas breakfast eaters are often able to maintain a healthier weight.

Stuart says that she often sees clients who skip breakfast because they're pressed for time. She pointed out that breakfast doesn't have to be time-consuming, especially if you prepare something ahead of time.

"I'm a big promoter of making your meals on Sunday and having a nice breakfast casserole or breakfast frittata ready to go that you can eat," Stuart says. Egg-based recipes stocked with vegetables are filling, protein-rich, and last all week. Plus, they can be whipped up in as little as 15 minutes, Stuart says.

Eating lots of fiber can help you feel full for longer. To get more fiber, Bellatti recommends eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes.

Some examples of healthy, fiber-rich snacks include:

Shayanne Gal/Insider

Although some oils, like avocado or sunflower oil, are healthier than others, Bellatti says they are calorically the same as others. Certain oils can be a great source of healthy fats, but Bellatti recommends getting your fats from whole foods instead.

"Adding half an avocado to a meal gives you the healthy fats but also fiber," he says. "Whereas cooking with avocado oil, while it's healthier from a fat perspective, doesn't really have anything that fills you up."

Filling the majority of your plate with vegetables is one of the easiest ways to cut down on calories without changing how much you eat.

That said, it's important to load up on the right kind of vegetables. Starchy fare like sweet potatoes and butternut squash are nutritious but they contain more calories than water-heavy veggies such as zucchini and cauliflower, Stuart says.

Some simple ways to incorporate zucchini or cauliflower into your regular diet could be:

In a large 2008 study, researchers found that those who kept daily food records of what they were eating lost twice as much weight as those who didn't keep any record. "Food records can be really helpful to write down what you're eating and really examine it," Stuart says.

And if keeping a journal seems like too much, there are also many weight loss apps that can help keep track of what you're eating and stick to a plan that meets your goals.

It can be tempting to eat lunch at your desk while you power through work, but it's important to take a break from what you're doing so you can focus your full attention on eating.

"When people are on their laptop working on something, there can be a lot of mindless eating because you're focused on the task at hand," Bellatti says.

General advice: To avoid mindless eating, Bellatti recommends stepping away from your desk, turning off the TV, and sitting down to eat in another room.

Exercise is one of the most important aspects of healthy weight loss, but it's often only effective if you find workouts that you enjoy doing and will stick to regularly. And it doesn't have to be running or weight lifting.

There are many different types of exercise that can support your weight loss goals and you should try a few of them until you find something you like. For example, consider the following workouts:

Even if you've worked hard to eat healthy all day, a couple of drinks at happy hour can easily set you back hundreds of calories. Here's how alcoholic beverages stack up to common snacks:

Skye Gould/Samantha Lee/Insider

Although you won't "miss" these calories, you might feel that you're missing out on social situations when you're not drinking. To get around this, Stuart suggests the following:

"With YouTube, there are so many videos where you don't need any equipment," Bellatti says. "You can type in pretty much any time interval and you'll find a guided workout."

To really feel the burn, HIIT workouts are a great place to start. They don't require any equipment, are relatively short, and can be done in a small space.

Protein, especially lean protein, is an essential part of any diet. It fills you up and helps you build and maintain muscle mass, Moskovitz says. Some of the best sources of lean protein include:

The recommended amount of protein, or dietary reference intake (DRI), is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, according to the Food and Nutrition Center of the United States Department of Agriculture.

This chart can help you figure out how much protein you need:

Granola bars can be great options for a quick meal or snack if you're on the go, but they can also quickly pack on hundreds of calories in just a few bites.

"Very few nutrition bars are balanced and most of them are very concentrated," Stuart says. "They're smaller than your palm so they don't provide a huge amount of satiety and many of them have lots of added sugars or poor sources of protein."

The only way to know for sure what you're eating is to read the label. Bars shouldn't contain added sugar or more than 2.6 grams of saturated fat and should contain around five grams each of fiber, protein, and fat. Stuart also recommends opting for kid-sized bars that contain fewer calories.

You don't have to complete a full workout to burn calories. Changing your habits to take the stairs more often or walk instead of driving can have a big impact on your weight over time.

"If you've been sitting at your desk for more than two hours, take a brisk walk to get your body moving," Stuart says. Breaking up your day with short walks not only burns calories but could also lessen your risk of developing heart disease and other health problems associated with sitting for long periods of time.

Listening to your body and individual needs is the most important way to stay on top of a healthy weight loss plan. "I don't like the idea that there is one-size-fits-all," Bellatti says. "Part of the success is not eating by the clock, or not eating by rules."

Paying attention to your hunger cues can help you eat more intuitively and make healthy eating a lifestyle that not only helps you lose weight but also keeps it off.

"Some days you might want a large dinner and other days you might just want a bowl of soup," Bellatti says. "As long as you're honoring your hunger, meaning that you're not just having a bowl of soup because you think you look bloated and you want to lose five pounds overnight."

Weight loss is a journey. While it can seem difficult, it may be helpful for you to think about how all the little changes can really add up.

Overall, finding small ways everyday to eat healthy foods, exercise, drink more water, and get enough sleep might end up making a big difference.

For more personalized recommendations to lose weight, you should consult with your doctor, who can help you develop an individual plan for your health needs.

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18 small everyday changes that can help you lose weight - Insider - Insider


Feb 6

This Is What Its Like For Men With Eating Disorders – BuzzFeed News

Kyle was trying to be honest about when his body image issues started, but he also wanted to be polite. My mom is in the room, so I dont want to say anything offensive, the 16-year-old California high schooler told me in an interview in January. But I dont know a single member of my family over 40 who hasnt been on Weight Watchers.

Early on at about 12 years old Kyle became anxious about his weight. With this history of diabetes and hereditary obesity, I was pretty certain that I needed to eat healthy, he said. Thats when he started to jog every morning. For lunch, he had a salad without dressing every day.

By 15, he was cramming hours of physical activity into each day, without eating much. I would leave the house at about 5:50 a.m., then run to the gym, work out for an hour, go to school for eight hours. Then I would go to dance rehearsals for four hours, and not make it home until about 10 p.m., Kyle said. Not only was I overtaxing my body and mind and everything, but I didnt eat any carbs. I was vegan. Pretty much tofu and lettuce, thats all I ate.

Kyle attributed some of his body insecurity to what he was reading and seeing in culture, notably in Harry Potter. Teenagers are supposed to shoot straight up, especially teenage boys. I mean, in Harry Potter, they talk about how without any work, Harry just shot up. And it made me realize a lot of my friends were that stereotypical teenage boy who had just grown 6 inches over the summer. And that wasnt happening with me, Kyle said. And that was very disappointing when I was getting messages from real life and the media that my body didn't fit into any of those ideal paradigms.

Kyles parents noticed that he had lost a significant amount of weight rapidly and started researching whether this could be a problem. Meanwhile, the teen thought the weight loss was evidence that he was on the right path. I thought losing weight was just a sign of a healthy diet and exercise, he said. So when he sat across from a panel of specialists a doctor, a dietician, and a psychotherapist and was given an atypical anorexia diagnosis, he was taken aback.

He was only half-listening when the specialists said he had to go to the hospital. I was like, OK, thats cool. I have a couple of tests this week. Can I go to the hospital next week or next month or something? No, they told him. They said, You have about an hour to pack, and we want you at the hospital by dinner.

When Kyle checked into the eating disorder ward at a California hospital, his heart rate was in the low 30s. (A normal resting heart rate is somewhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute.) I was so close to dying. My heart was beating once every two seconds, he told me. He spent two weeks in the hospital, on strict bed rest They wheel you everywhere. You cant walk. They dont want you exerting any energy whatsoever, he said before starting a therapy program.

Kyle is lucky on multiple fronts. Anorexia can be deadly the illness has a death rate as high as 10%. Even when it doesnt kill, the effects on the body are brutal: Your body enters a starvation state and begins to shut down. Essential organs like the liver and the kidneys begin to fail, then eventually, the heart and the brain. Luckier still: Kyles mother told me getting her son into the clinic that diagnosed him was not an easy feat; it took months. When Kyle got his diagnosis, he said he felt like his masculinity was stripped away.

During the two weeks Kyle spent in the eating disorder ward, he was surprised that he felt relief. Finally someone was seeing the pain that I was going through, saying this isnt healthy and I need to stop it. No one was applauding me for cutting out carbs, he said. Among the dozen patients in the ward, Kyle met two other men. It was the first time I realized: Hey, other boys go through this. One was a student at an amazing university; the other was looking at colleges. There were really smart, really strong boys who also got eating disorders.

He is now trying to come to grips with the lifelong consequences of his eating disorder. This is probably my biggest regret from all of this: If you see my growth chart, the day I started dieting, very soon after, I stopped growing and didnt realize it, Kyle said. Right now Im 58, and I was expected to be at least 510. Now Im done growing, and Ill never get those two or more inches back. And it was all because of a flawed body image and a flawed body perception.

That it took a hospitalization for Kyle to learn that other men have eating disorders is not a surprise. Studies suggest that men make up roughly 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 cases of eating disorders. But according to Dr. Blake Woodside, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto who is also medical director emeritus of Toronto General Hospital's program for eating disorders, in treatment settings, men are more like 1 in 20. Theres a lot of guys out there with eating disorders who never end up in treatment centers. Woodside stressed the importance of seeking help early. If youre concerned that you have an eating disorder, you want to treat that like youre concerned you have prostate cancer. So you wanna get it checked out.

Kyles name and identifying information, and the identifying information for most of the men we spoke to for this piece, have been changed. Nearly all of them expressed reticence being identified because they said they felt shame for being a man who has an eating disorder, a type of illness they once falsely understood was associated with women.

Jason Nagata, a physician and researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, is working on changing how we talk about eating disorders and men. He said that even the field of research is only beginning to address that men get eating disorders. The clinical guidelines that we have from the medical field are really based mostly on girls and women, Nagata said. As a result, a lot of boys and men go unrecognized and they have delays in getting care.

It used to be that to get a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, one of the criteria was that you had to miss periods, said Nagata, whose interest in researching eating disorders came from wanting to help more men. There are still guidelines in place today that just dont apply to men, he said. He added that the vast majority of eating disorder research has been done on women, and is based on the assumption that the person youre trying to diagnose is trying to lose weight. So the diagnostic questions end up missing worrying signs of disordered behavior. Many guys with eating disorders or with body image issues, theyre not trying to lose weight. Theyre actually trying to bulk up and be muscular.

Many guys with eating disorders or with body image issues, theyre not trying to lose weight. Theyre actually trying to bulk up and be muscular."

Between the rise of Instagram and TikTok, and the supremacy of the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the last two decades have seen an acceleration in media and technological forces that distort mens body images. Now, young men are inundated with the pressure to have Captain Americas washboard abs and bodies devoid of an ounce of body fat. The v-shape broad shoulders, six-pack abs, smaller waist has become the male body ideal. Even men who are famous for their ripped physiques arent immune from the shaming that comes with those pressures.

But while men navigate these body image issues, theres a dearth of shared language and stories of the way they impact men. Many men starve themselves, or spend hours at the gym overexercising, or restrict their food intake, but theres still a stigma around how they talk about their relationships with their bodies.

James, a 29-year-old who lives in the UK, just finished seeing a therapist after getting a bulimia diagnosis back in 2010. He said his therapist saw 2030 patients a week, and I was the only man that he was seeing in the entire clinic. An eating disorder diagnosis is already a lonely and stigmatizing experience, but being the only man receiving therapy deepened the feeling of isolation and shame.

But it also made him realize how many men just arent getting the help they need. James had always been a swimmer, and when he arrived at an elite UK university in 2009, he started swimming with the schools team. Obviously, starting at university, the academic workload increases exponentially, he said.

As a competitive swimmer, James said he had a fixation on weight. With the pressures of maintaining a certain weight to perform at a competitive level, he found himself looking for something to control. I was focusing on food as a way to say, Oh, if I can control how much I eat, everythings kind of even-keeled.

After going home for the holidays at the end of the first semester, it flipped the other way, James said. All the big holidays, surrounded by food, can be difficult, with eating so often. And about a week later was the first time I would make myself sick.

What followed next is a cycle that would become familiar to James. I immediately felt much better about what I was stressed about. My feelings about my weight and emotion felt a bit better, he said. But that high is not the right word, but emotional release or whatever is temporary. Its pretty much always followed by lots of negative emotions and shame and disgust and disappointment.

It didnt take long for James to realize he had a problem. Just five weeks after he started making himself throw up, he remembered having a particularly bad day. I think I made myself sick like four times that day, James recalled. And I knocked on my neighbors door and had a chat about it. He encouraged me to email my parents, because I was very emotional at the time.

Immediately, Jamess parents sprang to action, consulting doctors. We spoke to my GP, and they referred me to the first place I received treatment. So its actually a very quick turnaround, he added. Im glad about this, because even with me receiving treatment so quickly, Im still dealing with the same issues long term. These could be very difficult, deep-rooted issues to work your way out of.

Ten years after his bulimia diagnosis, James feels that he is just now in a position to start pushing toward recovery. He started working with a therapist in 2015 and recently completed the therapy program. My therapist and I think we have the tools for me to continue my treatment by myself and recover, James said.

James is still trying to untangle the lingering effects of weighing yourself constantly and measuring yourself against other high-level athletes. Compared to the general population, I was exceptional. But in the pool of exceptional, I was at the bottom, he said. And this had immediate consequences. Swimming performance would equate the time the coaches would spend on you and your social status within the club hierarchy.

He expressed his frustration that for elite-level athletes, theres no thought of aftercare, for when someone leaves the sport. There are few resources to help athletes adjust how they eat or organize their life and free time as they transition from competing at a high level to being out of the sport altogether.

On top of that, comparison can exacerbate the impact of eating disorders. James is determined to let others know, however good a swimmer you are, or if you make that cut, it doesnt reflect on your worth as a person or your ability to be a good human being or have an impact on peoples lives. Hes also worried about how social media is affecting the generation of young boys coming up behind him: If you look at TV shows, the teenagers on them men and women are played by 25-, 26-year-olds in an incredible shape that, realistically, a 14-year-old isnt incapable of, he said.

James said hes now on the lookout for men who may be struggling. Im always hyperaware that just because someone looks fine, looks healthy, or average, you dont necessarily assume theres not anything difficult going on with them. On multiple occasions, he has tried to send a general signal to a person he suspects is having a hard time. I say, You can always talk to me if you want to, and try to leave the door open.

Leaving the door open is key. James said he doesnt start conversations about his eating disorder with friends, but will happily talk about it if they bring it up.

The ideal male body didnt always look like Chris Evans as Captain America. Harrison Ford didnt need abs to electrify audiences, and neither did Bruce Willis. They looked fit, sure, but part of the appeal was that they also looked like regular guys. But in 2021, being a teenage boy means having endured a dozen years of Marvel movie box office dominance, with an array of ripped superheroes serving as the most popular form of entertainment on the planet.

Its probably not an accident that the Marvel movies explosion of popularity coincided with an acute rise in body image anxiety in men. The superhero of the 21st century is bulkier and more buff and has overwhelming muscle definition basically everywhere.

Kyle told me he was taken aback by the news of John Krasinskis recent transformation. I know him from The Office as the sort of affable, friendly, not-super-ripped guy. And he went through this huge body transformation, and hell possibly play a superhero in a movie he said. I remember thinking: If youre a superhero and you have superpowers, whats the point of having six-pack abs?

There is some pushback against this ubiquitous ideal. Robert Pattinson refused to change his body to play Batman. He told GQ, if youre working out all the time, youre a part of the problem. Its a break from his ancestral Batmen Ben Affleck bulked up to play the role, and Christian Bale built up so much muscle, he couldnt fit into the Batsuit. Pattinson is having none of it. No one was doing this in the 70s, he said. He has a point: even in the 90s, Michael Keaton didnt need the big muscular look to don the suit.

Left: Michael Keaton in Batman (1989). Right: Ben Affleck in Justice League (2017).

Within the Marvel universe, the conversation is evolving. The movies will not suddenly withdraw from the unrealistic body image they helped advance, but at least when comedian Kumail Nanjiani revealed his body transformation to star in the upcoming Eternals, he made sure to note that it takes an extraordinary amount of resources to get there. I would not have been able to do this if I didnt have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world, he said. Im glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time.

While the ripped bodies dominate social media and movies, Dr. Nagata said we need new diagnoses to be more gender inclusive ones that cover the men who are preoccupied or obsessed with spending time at the gym, who may actually be objectively muscular, but they just dont see themselves that way. His research encourages rethinking our understanding of eating disorders. In the title, it implies its eating-related, but really, a lot of these guys are just excessively, compulsively exercising, Nagata said. We sometimes have people going to the gym, I kid you not, for 10 hours a day.

That type of overexercising can be dangerous, even if it flies under the radar. Even if guys are eating normal amounts of food, if theyre exercising for 10 hours a day, youre still going to get into a huge energy deficit, Nagata said. Your body can still get into starvation mode, and still have your heart shut down, or liver shut down, and all these dangerous things, even if youre not restricting food.

Jamal, in his late thirties, said the gym is a huge presence in my life. The business owner based in the Midwest estimates that he spends a good three hours a day at the gym. Most of it is spent on cardio. If Im not working out a certain amount of time, I dont eat, he said.

I know objectively and intellectually that weight can fluctuate for a lot of reasons that dont relate to actual weight gain or fat. I know about water retention and salt, all those things, Jamal told me. But I really dont leave the gym until I see a number on the scale that Im a little happier with. Sometimes that means two or three hours at the gym, sometimes it means a little bit longer, or sometimes it means multiple visits to the gym during the day.

Jamal recalls growing up pretty overweight, but losing a significant amount of weight when he got to college. The weight loss came with an unexpected downside: People are effusively complimentary when youre losing weight. And thats great to hear. It gives you an adrenaline boost, that sort of jolt of positivity. And you start to need it.

If Im not working out a certain amount of time, I dont eat."

Because of his fixation with people giving positive feedback, Jamal directed his energy toward managing the number on the scale. If Im really thirsty at night, I will resist any urge to have a glass of water. Objectively, obviously, I know water is good for you. Its not a bad thing to be drinking water. But I know that having that glass of water is going to result in my weight being up this many ounces or 1.2 pounds the next day. So I will decline to do it. He said that based on the number on the scale, he adjusts how many sips of coffee he drinks.

Jamal was seeing a therapist regularly. Though his reasons for going werent specifically about his relationship with food, that was a topic that came up a lot. But when the pandemic began and his therapist went virtual, he stopped. For whatever reason, the efficacy wasnt there. I wasnt able to feel the connection. It just got too removed through Zoom, he said.

Nagata was careful to note that while not all behaviors and diets and practices are disordered per se, the tipping point is when these behaviors to control your weight or appearance really start to become an obsession, or youre really preoccupied about them, and youre not getting enjoyment out of food or exercise, and its really becoming a compulsion.

Nagata worries about the ways social media compounds the problem. A lot of boys and men now more than ever have their bodies on display for social media, he told me. You can get lots of followers on Instagram or TikTok, and theres this whole new phenomenon of shirtless guys who are getting lots of likes through that.

I pushed back on this I grew up with Ushers abs on TV. How is this any different? I asked. Nagata offered that the music videos were something older generations watched, but it wasnt really something you participated in. And therein lies the difference: 10, 20 years ago, it was a little bit harder to produce your own content.

The way social media creates enormous pressure to adhere to unrealistic body standards is familiar stuff to Sam. The 27-year-old grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Haifa, Israel. By age 17, Sam said he knew he was gay. The gay world, and society as a whole, has what I would consider to be a damaging portrayal of what the gay stereotypical man should look like buff and ripped and blonde and super-high cheekbones, just the whole package, Sam said. Sam was born in Colombia and adopted as a baby by white parents. He added, Im shorter with darker features and thin, and getting that exposure to what the gay world looked like, knowing it wouldnt be something I could ever obtain, I started to think that maybe there is something I can obtain that is still desirable. And that, to me, was to be thin.

By the time he got to college, he was running 3540 miles a week and biking 2025 miles. He was also restricting food more and more. Sam described to me how this worked: I didnt feel pain to say, I can skip the dining hall today, and then, Oh wait, we can just skip lunch altogether. Or you can make excuses, like, Oh, I have class. The dining hall will be closed by the time I finish. He added, People with eating disorders are masters at justification. We can justify just about anything.

The justification extended to Sam hiding evidence that anything was wrong from his parents, even hiding a particularly worrying health development. After a routine physical, some of Sams blood results had come back obscure, and so his doctor ordered a brain MRI.

The doctor calls me, and he says, Well, we have good news and some not good news. Because of the results in your blood test, we had concerns that your body was throwing signals of a brain tumor. The good news is you dont have a brain tumor. The alternative is your body is throwing the signals because its starting to shut your organs down because you are so malnourished.

People with eating disorders are masters at justification. We can justify just about anything.

Sam remembered figuring out a way not to tell his parents the serious news hed just heard. I think all I shared was the fact that I dont have a brain tumor and left it at that, he told me. Even by the time Sam started therapy, he wasnt planning on changing how he was living. In my head, I had envisioned going for like a month to dot the is, and cross the ts, and say I did it and move on, he said. But thats not how it went. Finally, after so many years of running and depriving and staying away and not touching, the time and space to open up and to understand and fix, or maybe not fix, but reconcile all of the things that got me to the point of on the road to organ failure.

But even with therapy, Sam said he was stubborn. Even though I was getting professional help, I was also hell-bent on retaining the same build and physique that I had maintained at the peak times in my eating disorder. It took time and developing routines and strategies in therapy to begin to release those habits.

Its not a journey thats ever finished. But you can have good days. Sam cautions others who suspect theyre dealing with an eating disorder: If you think youre going to be able to dig your way out of it in a little bit of time, you wont. You just wont. Thats something I wish someone had told me. He added, Just start talking.

If youre dealing with an eating disorder and need someone to talk to, the National Eating Disorders Association helpline is 1-800-931-2237; for 24/7 crisis support, text NEDA to 741741.

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This Is What Its Like For Men With Eating Disorders - BuzzFeed News



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