Posted by Elisa Oras / in Blog, Physical, Video

Overshooting Set Point Weight And Why It’s Needed // Eating Disorder Recovery

This video is about overshooting your set point weight in eating disorder recovery, why it’s much needed and healthy for you the same way extreme hunger is normal and natural in recovery. Many people who recover from anorexia or bulimia may experience weight overshoot and as the weight gain fear in recovery is one of the top things that will make people relapse in recovery I want to remind you in this video why your body overshoots the weight in the first place, why its normal and needed and how it will come down in time as long as you stay in recovery and completely let go of all restrictions.

How To Know If You Are WEIGHT RESTORED? https://youtu.be/mpY1NmKsca8

Th Minnesota Starvation Experiment: http://followtheintuition.com/minnesota-starvation-experiment-eating-disorders/

Posted by Elisa Oras / in Blog, Physical, Video

How You Will Restore The SET POINT WEIGHT? Why Are People Overweight Then? // Q&A #2

How come I tell in my videos that your body will go back to the set point weight if there are so many overweight and obese people in the world? How come you will not just keep gaining and gaining endlessly? With eating whatever you want with no limitations you will surely get overweight, right?

Watch Q&A #1: https://youtu.be/6LoN1PzXucQ

Recommended videos:
How A Healthy Body Burns Calories? http://bit.ly/2ubARK0
I Feel Flabby! Weight Redistributing After ED http://bit.ly/2uha4LE
Overshooting Set Point Weight in Recovery http://bit.ly/2tgLMxe
How To Know If Weight Restored? http://bit.ly/2uUiHtG
Will I Get Fat When I Stop Restricting? http://bit.ly/2sSYhje
How To Restore Metabolism After ED http://bit.ly/2t5MXUZ

Posted by Elisa Oras / in Mental, Physical, Video / 2

Can’t Feel Hunger? How to Know If Fully Recovered? Children and Intuitive Eating? // Q&A #1

This is the Part 1 of the Q&A video series I’m doing 🙂 In this video, I’m giving advice on how to start making your hunger cues more normal, what it means to be “fully recovered”, and how to approach the subject of children and intuitive eating?

Links mentioned in the video:
My recovery book “Brainwashed”: http://bit.ly/2ssKdNr
Homeodynamic Recovery Method: http://bit.ly/2pN3CXT
What means “full recovery”?: http://bit.ly/2tPusDB
Book “Intuitive Eating”: http://amzn.to/2sJ8ZNg
Web link about children and intuitive eating: http://bit.ly/2tLAJAp

Posted by Elisa Oras / in Article, Blog, Physical, Video

8 Tips To Restore Your Metabolism After an Eating Disorder

“Restricting, dieting, overexercising and calorie compensating is a recipe for a metabolic slow-down. Your metabolism is not “broken” or “damaged” but what has happened is that your metabolism has adapted to the low-calorie consumption to protect you from losing too much weight. It’s what the “starvation mode” is all about. It doesn’t mean one can’t lose any weight when they eat less (yes, you can lose weight by restricting until you starve to death) but your metabolism just compensates for the lack of fuel coming in as a protection mechanism.

If you get anything out of this article, it’s that to restore your metabolism after an eating disorder you need to be doing kinda the opposite you have done in your eating disorder. If you have been restricting calories, you need to start eating more, if you have been overexercising, you need to completely stop all exercise, if you have been purging, using laxatives, skipping meals, you need to stop all that. You need to REST and REFEED. If you just focus on these two tips, your are on your way to metabolic recovery.

You need to REST and REFEED.

Some people ask me: “But I like how I look, I don’t want to gain any more weight by eating more!”

Your body doesn’t care what you “like” or “don’t like”, it only cares about the best possible functioning and if you gonna try and maintain a lower weight than your natural set point, this optimal functioning can’t happen. You cannot restore your healthy hormonal and metabolic functioning when you are below your healthy set point weight.

And then there is another group of people who say: “But I’m overweight and I need to lose the excess weight. I don’t want to eat more and risk gaining even more weight. I need to watch my calories and exercise more!”

Go ahead! But you won’t lose weight healthfully or sustainably. Yes, you can starve yourself skinny but eventually, your body’s survival response will win – you can’t restrict forever without starting to binge eat soon again, and your metabolism will be even slower to make sure you then gain all the weight back ASAP, plus more for the extra protection. This is an endless cycle.

Yes, you can starve yourself skinny but eventually, your body’s survival response will win.

Or even when you are normal weight, as I was all throughout my bulimia and orthorexia, you have still done a lot of diet behaviors that slow down your metabolism – skipping meals, purging, overexercising, intermittent fasting, you name it. You STILL need to be refeeding and resting to restore the metabolism.

So for a complete list of things you need to change about your habits and behaviors in order to heal your metabolism you need to be focusing on these:

8 Tips To Restore Your Metabolism After an Eating Disorder
  1. Eat more. Calorie restriction is a #1 cause for a slow metabolism, especially after coming from an eating disorder and extreme diet behaviors. You need to get in sufficient calories to reverse all damage calorie restriction has done to your body. Eat until full and satisfied. Period. (If you are unsure how many calories to eat you can read THIS post) Eating more will fuel the metabolic fire. At the same time you need to STOP all calorie compensation behaviors, otherwise, you are just shooting yourself in the foot – no overexercising, no purging, no using laxatives or diuretics, no skipping meals.
  2. Eat regularly. If your eating pattern is not consistent and regular the metabolism can’t speed up. Eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in between. Eating every 2-3 hours. Do not skip meals. Many people have the tendency in eating disorder to eat rather little in some parts of the day only to binge out later. For example, starting “from tomorrow” – eating a low-calorie breakfast and lunch hoping to lose weight but by dinner time being absolutely ravenous so they have the “last supper” type of binge only to promise to “start again from tomorrow”. It’s an endless cycle of metabolic suppression.
  3. Eat more warming foods. Eat things with high-calorie concentration – high carb, high-fat foods. Ideally combining something with sugar, starch, fat, and salt together in a meal or snack for the most satisfying and fulfilling experience. The more yummy and tasty is the food the better. For example, crackers with cream cheese, potatoes with butter and salt, pasta with cheese, ice cream with peanut butter and chocolate. Yup! All these foods actually HELP you in recovery! Your body desperately needs them for restoration. Do not focus on eating high water content fruits and veggies right now. No big raw salads or smoothies as a main meal. Eat them more as a side dish, as a snack or even more as a condiment. They are very cooling foods and therefore will not help you to ramp up your metabolism. (See video “5 Reasons to Not Worry About “Unhealthy” Eating In Recovery“)
  4. Add more salt. I come from low salt or even salt-free dieting. Eating lots of tasteless salads, veggie dishes, and smoothies. All it did was to leave my feeling extremely cold even in summertime, made me dizzy, fatigued and having monster cravings for salty foods. If you feel too cold, especially in your hands and feet it’s a sign to eat something salty to warm up – cheese crackers, bread with peanut butter and jelly, potato chips or salted nuts.
  5. Don’t drink too much water. Signs of drinking too much water can be frequent and sudden need to pee. Peeing clear, needing to go to the toilet during night time. Feeling overly cold, especially in your hands and feet. Drinking lots of water to increase your metabolism is an outdated information and doing so can actually have the exact opposite effect. Do not force drink water. Drink only when thirsty. In warmer climates or if more active it’s ok to drink more but your pee should still be yellow and you should not need to urinate every half an hour.
  6. Stop exercise. Many people with eating disorders come from an overexercise background. Even if you exercised just a little bit it can still be way too much if combined with low-calorie consumption and other calorie compensating behaviors. The least you need is to add exercise to “boost metabolism” in an eating disorder recovery. Unfortunately, many eating disorder recovery “experts” do not see a big deal with exercise and actually recommend it to people who are recovering from ED as a “healthy habit” but I disagree with that. Some walking, stretching and light yoga should be fine but that’s it. Yes, exercise is healthy for a healthy person, but for someone recovering from an eating disorder exercise is like adding more pressure and stress to a broken leg. You need to recover your leg before going back to running, not continue putting more pressure on it because “exercise is healthy”. The situation is VERY different here. (See videos about exercise: “Exercise In Eating Disorder Recovery“, “Is Some Type Of Exercise OK In Recovery?“, “How To Find A Healthy Balance With Exercise After Eating Disorder“)
  7. Sleep more – As mentioned earlier the most important aspects of eating disorder recovery and also metabolic recovery is to rest and refeed. Sleep is the most crucial time for your body’s restoration. When we sleep more we let our body put the most effort and energy into healing. The best is to make sure you go to sleep around 10 pm and get at least 8 hrs of sleep, the more the better. Most people need to take naps even during daytime in recovery, which is great. You will feel more tired and exhausted in recovery so listen to your body and make sure you rest and sleep more. (See THIS video and THIS article about sleeping in recovery)
  8. Deal with stress. Everybody knows stress is bad for your hormonal functioning, so of course, it will affect your metabolic functioning as well. If you start to do all of the above – eat more, no exercise, sleep more, stop all dieting behaviors – you are already eliminating a great deal of stress from your life and it will help to recover and restore your body. But also try to eliminate or minimize everyday stress as well – work or school stress, stressors in relationships and so forth. Develop some self-care practices and heal your mindset about your body and food. Deal with the mental aspects of recovery along with the physical recovery.

In contrast, if you start to implement all of the above suggestions into your recovery and daily life you will see loads of positive improvements:

Signs your metabolism is speeding up:

  1. Higher body temperature, warm hands and feet
  2. More energy
  3. Better mood
  4. Better concentration
  5. Higher sex drive
  6. Night sweats (uncomfortable symptom in recovery but a good sign of raising metabolism)
  7. Possible weight loss (if above set point) or/and loss of bloating and water retention
  8. Better digestion, regular bowel movements

By following all the above tips you will experience positive improvements in your metabolism along with all the other changes mentioned. The most important is to be very consistent with implementing all of the new habits and give it time to work! You did not have your eating disorder just a few months (in most cases) so recovery will also not take just a few months. But I can promise you will start seeing positive results! So stick with this and see your body healing and restoring it’s metabolism and all other functions as well!

Want to know more about recovery and how to start healing? Take this FREE video course: “6 Steps To Recover From An Eating Disorder”

Posted by Elisa Oras / in Blog, Mental, Physical, Video

How Long Will Eating Disorder Recovery Take?

Many times is get asked, “So…how long does it take to recover from an eating disorder?” Is it 1 year, 2 or 3 years…or even 7 years? What can you expect from your recovery? How to recover as quickly as possible? How to “speed up” this process? What matters the most in all of this? These are some of the things I will discuss in today’s video.

Links mentioned:
Blog post “How long does recovery take”- https://goo.gl/Qbto3N
Video “Why You Need To Get Uncomfortable In Recovery” – https://goo.gl/eFUApH
Video “Are You Stuck In Quasi-Recovery?” – https://goo.gl/GRiZEc
Video “”How I Finally LET GO My Eating Disorder” – https://youtu.be/4qSlTzTkep0

Posted by Elisa Oras / in Blog, Physical, Video

Fastest Way To Get Over Fear Foods And Cravings

In this video, I share my experience what is the fastest way to get over your fear foods and cravings in recovery. I used to have so many fear foods and cravings – I came from orthorexia after all…but I learned what worked the best to end all my obsessions with foods. Hope you gonna find it helpful!

Posted by Elisa Oras / in Blog, Physical, Video

What To Do After A Binge?

What to do after a binge to not gain weight? Should you eat less the next meal or day? Should you cut out carbs, sugar, fat + do some extra cardio to burn it off? – This is the common thought patterns of today’s diet and weight obsessed society. But if you know anything about what I teach you can already guess what is my opinion on this. So here is some real truth of what you should do instead!

Calories for recovery: https://www.edinstitute.org/blog/2011/9/14/i-need-how-many-calories

Posted by Elisa Oras / in Blog, Mental, Physical, Video

5 Reasons to Not Worry About “Unhealthy” Eating In Recovery

In eating disorder recovery it’s necessary to let go of all rules and restrictions and eat what you crave. But often times people find themselves craving predominately the “unhealthy foods”, processed foods or even junk foods. This is what they have restricted and understandably this is what they crave. But now they start to worry about nutrition – should they try to eat more healthy or should they trust and follow their body?

Recovery book: http://followtheintuition.com/book/

Posted by Elisa Oras / in Article, Blog, Mental, Physical

How Diets Mess Up Your Body And Mind!

[This article is an excerpt from my book “BrainwashED: Diet-Induced Eating Disorders. How You Got Sucked In And How To Recover”]

Some people think that “healthy” restriction is okay – that you have to restrict to remain healthy and not become overweight – and this may sound logical to most people, but it could not be further from the truth!

Diets are an ineffective tool to lose weight or get healthy, and science has proven dieting actually triggers binge eating, overeating, eating more food than you need, and eating more junk food than you would normally want. It can result in the loss of normal hunger cues and can even initiate eating disorders. Actually, the most common trigger for a full-blown eating disorder is – you guessed it! – DIETS!

But let’s focus on why dieting is a bad idea and why it’s not healthy.

Yo-yo dieting increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, immune system failure, impaired cognitive function, chronic fatigue, depression, and again…eating disorders.(1)

This study shows that doing nothing in regards to eating is four hundred percent better (!) for weight than dieting.

In The University of Pennsylvania study, rats’ weight was decreased and increased by weight cycling (yo-yo dieting). The second time the rats tried to lose weight by eating less, they lost weight one hundred percent more slowly and regained the weight three hundred percent faster than the first time they ate less. The rats who yo-yoed the second time stored food as body fat four hundred percent more efficiently than rats who maintained a fattening diet! This study shows that doing nothing in regards to eating is four hundred percent better (!) for weight than dieting. (2)

Arthur Frank, medical director of the George Washington University Weight Management Program, reports that out of every two hundred people who start a diet, only ten of them will successfully meet their weight-loss goals. And the odds get significantly worse when you look at the long-term outcomes. Out of those ten people, only one of them will keep the weight off over time. That’s a failure rate of 99.5%! (3)

A team of experts at UCLA (The University of California, Los Angeles) analyzed every study that followed dieters over a two- to five-year period. Every published, long-term dieting study was included. The results were published in the APA (American Psychological Association) journal, American Psychologist. When interviewed about the findings, UCLA researcher, Tracy Mann, said that the results of their data were conclusive: “Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss, or health benefits, for the majority of people.”

She added that most people would be “better off not going on a diet at all. Their weight would be pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear from losing weight and gaining it all back.” Initially, she explained, many people lose five to ten percent of their body weight. But the majority of people regain any weight they lose. So the exhaustive review of every published, long-term dieting study found that diets are ineffective for weight loss.

The UCLA team concluded that “one of the best predictors of weight gain over the four years was having lost weight on a diet at some point during the years before the study started.” Not only do diets fail at producing (or maintaining) weight loss – they actually make you gain weight! (3)

While dieters can consciously override the basic drive to eat for short periods of time, most cannot continue to do so. Hormones such as leptin and ghrelin that stimulate appetite after weight loss do not adapt quickly to reduced body weight. They continue to send out “eat more” signals for as much as a year after weight loss. Eventually, biology wins out. (4)

Not only are diets ineffective for long-term weight loss (and they make you heavier!), studies also show that dieting leads to food obsession, emotional distress, and binge eating as already shown in the Minnesota Starvation Experiment. That’s right – dieting has been scientifically proven to lead to binge eating! In reality, restricting what you eat does nothing to restrain you from eating. Instead, it only exaggerates the urge by intensifying your cravings and your focus on food. When you are forbidden from having something, it dramatically fuels your desire for it. You begin to think about food more and more. When you watch TV, you become fixated on what people are eating. You mentally devour every mouthwatering recipe in magazines. You watch what other people eat and secretly judge them. If someone eats something other than what you allow yourself to eat, it somehow matters to you what they eat and why. The more you restrict particular foods, the more you crave them.

None of this is a sign of weakness on your part. It’s simply the natural result of scarcity making something more desirable. Scarcity itself causes us to want something more. If you are told NOT to look at every red color in the room, you start to seek it out more and focus on it. The more you try to avoid something and not focus on it, the more it starts to pop up everywhere. The same thing happens when you try to restrict food. Restriction makes food a forbidden thing, and therefore, you begin to think about it much more frequently and obsessively.

Restricting what you eat doesn’t affect only your mental processes – it also changes your actual physiological response to food. Dieting makes you physically crave it more! And it’s very important to note that dieting and eating disorders are not only about the restriction of calories but also about the restriction of types of foods – something we see in the rise of orthorexia, an eating disorder where certain foods are obsessively restricted.

It’s not your weakness or a food addiction that creates this intense response. It’s the mere fact that the food is forbidden.

Think about the food you last went overboard with. The food that sends you spinning out of control. It’s probably something you routinely forbid yourself from having, right? It’s not your weakness or a food addiction that creates this intense response. It’s the mere fact that the food is forbidden.

Scarcity creates desire. Think about human behavior in stores where the “Last and Only Final Summer Sale” is announced. Everything 50% off for one day only. Or, in your case, “Binge out on everything for one day only! Tomorrow you will start a new diet, so don’t miss out on your last favorite meal!”

Remember how Adam and Eve were told not to eat the red apple from The Garden of Paradise? Despite all of the available fruit in abundance in the garden, that apple was the only thing they ended up eating. Why? Because it was forbidden.

This is something at the core of our human nature. Forbidden fruit is always the sweetest. Do not give unnecessary power and desire to foods by restricting them.

Catherine Liberty from Bulimiahelp.org writes: “Researchers have proven time and time again that a restrictive diet has the ability to induce every single physical and psychological symptom we associate with bulimia. What may come as even more of a shock is the fact that this isn’t new information. The scientific community has been aware of the link between restrictive eating and the onset of bulimia for nearly 70 years!” (5)

I hope by now you have had many light-bulb moments…Yeah, I know, it’s a pretty crazy world we live in!

Here’s an example of how dieting leads to eating disorders:

First, you have a goal to lose weight or get “trim, toned, and sexy.” Or maybe you just want to eat “healthy” and give up a lot of the “unhealthy” foods you love.

You start to diet – you restrict foods and/or calories. You hashtag #finallygettinghealthy on your protein shake Instagram picture.

Initially, you lose weight, and you think…Amazzzing!! Finally! #thingsarehappening…But then you start to have cravings. At first, you resist the urge and use your willpower to avoid eating and stick to your diet.

But sooner or later, you give in. You binge. You overeat. You let go of the restriction and say the hell with it! You eat everything you have been restricting. After the binge, when you begin to think clearly again and come out of your food coma, you realize what you have done. You have “ruined” your diet. Your life is basically over. You get upset, feel panicky and out of control, and can FEEL how you are getting fatter by the minute. You feel fear and disgust. You feel like you’ve become this dangerous, insatiable, eat-everything-on-this-planet kind of Foodzilla who has to be stopped.

After this, you promise yourself to be a “good girl/boy” tomorrow and start over. But today? Well, you’ve already blown it, so you might as well eat for the rest of the day…

(Note: Keep in mind that this binge after dieting is a VERY normal response from your body – you just don’t realize it yet! Remember what happened to the Minnesota men who were starved on 1570 calories a day? Yes, they binged hardcore! Why would you think you are any different?)

The next day you start to restrict and diet again, but this time with even more fear and obsession. You want to be sure that yesterday’s binge never happens again…and the monster is stopped from doing any further damage to the world’s food storage…

But eventually, the same thing happens – you feel the urge to eat more than allowed and the kind of foods that are forbidden on your diet. And eventually, you binge again. You have now entered dieting merry-go-hell.

Of course, thanks to dieting, your metabolism is much slower now, and you’ve also lost quite an amount of muscle and water weight thanks to restriction. You’ve lost some digestive enzymes and might find it very hard to digest some of the foods you formerly ate, causing you to get easily bloated and constipated.

So now when you start to eat more – or even normal amounts of foods – you gain weight very quickly. You can gain all the weight back, often times weighing even more than you did originally.

You may find it very hard to eat normal amounts and feel totally bloated after a meal.

Welcome, ladies and gents! You are now trapped in a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting! You have been brainwashed to believe you just need more willpower to continue dieting and it’s all your fault it didn’t work.

Some stop here and give up dieting (or become chronic yo-yo dieters)…

But some continue with extreme measures to get rid of the weight “once and for all” – welcome, eating disorder!

Some people begin to overeat uncontrollably (binge eating), some binge and purge (bulimia), some starve themselves (anorexia), some obsessively avoid particular foods (orthorexia), some overexercise (bulimia or anorexia athletica), and some may have all of these together (EDNOS – eating disorder not otherwise specified).

“Getting rid of dieting could wipe out at least 70% of eating disorders. Get rid of dieting!”(6)

“Dieting is a primary trigger of the downward spiral into an eating disorder.” (7)

“Girls who severely dieted were eighteen times more likely to develop an eating disorder within 6 months than those who did not diet. And 2/3 of new cases of an eating disorder came from those who dieted moderately.” (8)

Now you may think, But my eating disorder is different! I didn’t “diet.” My problem was more emotional and psychological – eating disorders are mental disorders!

Yes, some people do develop eating disorders for other reasons and not because of going on a diet. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter! No matter the reason behind your eating disorder, as long as you continue to restrict, you cannot recover. When your brain is malnourished, it can’t think or function properly. When you start to diet and forbid enough food and calories, your brain is much more likely respond in an eating-disordered way.

An undernourished individual’s brain cannot recover

“We know that starvation and weight loss have powerful effects on the body and the brain. Malnutrition impacts on the brain’s capacity to think, manage emotions and process information from its environment. Starvation often exaggerates an individual’s personality traits and ways of thinking. Malnutrition may lead to changes in brain development even after they have restored normal eating and weight. We also know that the brain responds to, and has an effect on hormones and other body systems that are undernourished. Food certainly plays a major role; the most urgent task of early recovery and maintenance is restoring the patient’s normal weight with adequate daily nutrition. An undernourished individual’s brain cannot recover.” (9)

To recover, you need to eat enough calories for your brain to start functioning properly. This is why you cannot recover only “mentally” – you need to recover physically as well so that your body can emerge from the eating disorder. If we recover physically, the mental aspect is much easier to correct. It cannot happen the other way around.

If you want to read more awesome content like this you can read my book “BrainwashED: Diet-Induced Eating Disorders. How You Got Sucked In And How To Recover”


References:

(1) Bailor, Jonathan. A Calorie Myth: How to Eat More and Exercise Less with the Smarter Science of Slim (2014)

(2) G. L. Blackburn, G, T. Wilson, B. S. Kanders, L. J. Stein, P.T. Lavin, J. Adler, and K. D. Brownell, “Weight Cycling: The Experience of Human Dieters” (1989), American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, PubMed as cited in Bailor, Jonathan, A Calorie Myth.

(3) Spinardi, Josie, How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too: Stop Binge Eating, Overeating and Dieting for Good, Get the Naturally Thin Body You Crave from the Inside Out (2013)

(4) Priya Sumithran, MB, BS, Luke A. Prendergast, PhD, et al, “Long-Term Persistence of Hormonal Adaptations to Weight Loss” (2011), The New England Journal of Medicine, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1105816?viewType=Print.

(5) Katherine Liberty, “The Alarming Link Between Diets and Bulimia” (2011), Bulimia Help, http://www.bulimiahelp.org/articles/alarming-link-between-diets-and-bulimia

(6) Reflections on Body Image,” All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image and Central YMCA, online magazine, http://issuu.com/bodyimage/docs/reflections_on_body_image/69

(7) Kathy A. Benedetto, SPE, LPC, LMFT, Stephen Todd Callahan, MD, MPH, Rhonda Rose, RN, BSN, and Edwin S. Rogers, PhD, ABPP, “Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents,” https://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/behavioral-health/attachments/Pages_from_CY_BPGs_195-207.pdf

(8) Irene Alton, “Eating Disorders,” online document, University of Minnesota, http://www.epi.umn.edu/let/pubs/img/adol_ch12.pdf

(9) H. Walter Kaye, Puzzling Symptoms: Eating Disorders and the Brain (2014), A F.E.A.S.T Family Guide to the Neurobiology of Eating Disorders, 7, online document, accessed February 5, 2016, https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.feasted.org/resource/collection/DBF23DC3-CF99-488E-9FC6-A51632E8012E/Puzzling_Symptoms_LTR_11.20.2014.pdf.