Dietary Incompatibility

9b7e383a779ac255774360dc139c53d1No, this is not an article critiquing various online dating services based on common food interests! This is an article discussing dietary incompatibility among friends, parents and children and the role it plays in the success and failure of food related health issues including obesity.

Addictive food behavior is a real condition that countless numbers of people suffer from. It seems so simple for the average person to believe that this behavior is solely based on a “lack of willpower.” We underestimate how powerful the chemical and hormonal interactions in the body are. These substances can cause uncontrollable responses mirroring addictive behaviors and actions produced by cigarettes, alcohol and recreational drugs.

600pxcupcakeboyI have set out in search of a solution that could address this problem in a meaningful way. I have discovered that telling people to make better food choices (in and of itself) did nothing more than identify a concept most people already understood. Knowledge, therefore, was simply not enough to change behavior. I have decided to pursue an answer that addresses accountability in a POSITIVE WAY. Many people with health and weight problems already suffer from a lack of confidence and self worth; they don’t need further emotional challenges attempting to reverse their current course. Therefore, I believe that accountability among friends, parents and children already suffering health maladies including obesity might provide the missing link necessary to encourage positive changes through “support group” activity. When peers with similar problems become your supportive pillars, it reinforces the message of caring and optimism necessary to experience long term changes in behaviors and actions. I propose the following:

Health Problems Including Obesity Among Friends:

  • Call a friend and meal plan breakfast, lunch and dinner. Do this daily for 6-8 weeks. Meal planning should also include less nutritious food selections to make this undertaking realistic. The goal is LONG TERM health benefits and normalization of weight. Accountability will help keep each person more honest and help establish patterns of better food choices while rebalancing blood chemistries and hormones. If either person seriously contemplates deviating from the agreed upon selections for any meal, a phone call should be made to to discuss the problem with your friend. Many times venting is all that is needed to positively release emotions that trigger the unhealthy food choices we turn to.

  • Go for a walk. Often our best thinking is achieved in environments that stimulate our senses other than taste. A walk in a park, on a beach, in the mountains, in a neighborhood with children playing and laughing, etc… sedates hostile chemical and hormonal activities occurring inside our bodies. This helps us place our problems in better perspective and gives us (at the very least) momentary peace and happiness. It clears our minds providing “space” for better options to deal with issues and creates resolution to unnecessary eating without self destructive behavior.

  • Journal your feelings when you begin to feel frustrated (prior to engaging in eating, drinking or drug use.) It is important to begin each journal section with these POSITIVE FEELINGS and or activities done during the day. Don’t rush to say everything was horrible. Learn to find goodness in life. It is easy to “hate” and believe everyone and everything opposes your success. If you are willing to place this thought process on the side, I assure you, goodness will be found. As you repeat this exercise, it gets easier and easier with practice. By the time you finish writing and remembering your positive feelings, the need to satisfy emotional eating dissipates. It also reinforces the message that YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR EATING AND YOUR BEHAVIOR!

Health Problems Including Obesity Among Family:

  • Parents need to begin accepting greater responsibility for THEIR HEALTH as well as THEIR CHILDREN’S HEALTH. You are role models and your children turn to you for guidance and support. What chance do they have to grow up healthy if their home environment provides unhealthy options they choose on a regular basis over healthy ones. If they see you making poor food choices, they will emulate the “omnipotent” parent and make these same poor choices time and time again. If they see you leading a sedentary life, they will continue to sit behind their computers, tablets and cell phones. Your purposeful or accidental reason for bringing these children into the world requires greater responsibility than many have realized and/or been willing to assume. It is my opinion that NOW IS THE TIME to give unconditional love, guidance and support ALL CHILDREN are entitled to receiving.

  • Make certain everyone eats at least three complete meals each day. If you lack confidence in your nutrition knowledge, turn to professionals including nutritionists and and other food specialists to help you understand nutritional health needs. Don’t simply turn to your doctor unless it is for a referral to a food specialist. Doctors academic studies DO NOT include training in nutrition and will likely offer little assistance (unless they have specifically studied nutrition out of personal interest.)

  • Just like any habit, children will learn to eat healthy food choices placed in front of them especially, if done so, early in the process. It is more challenging to expect children to willingly choose broccoli and other vegetables over sugary and processed foods once they have developed a taste for them. I have heard many parent’s exclaim, “this is not a battle I choose to fight!” It SHOULD and MUST BE. This behavior may just determine whether or not your child will develop addictive cravings to foods that may damage their health and quality of life potentially for the rest of their lives.

  • Become physically active as a family. Go to a water park, play tennis, go hiking and camping, go for a family walk after dinner, go to health clubs and exercise together, etc… Find quality activities that encourage physical behaviors. These types of activities support the family unit by promoting good health, happiness and strengthen emotional bonds among family members.

balanceThe home is where dietary incompatibility begins. Children have greater difficulty processing instructions and rules contradicted by their parents behavior. Consistency, that reinforces positive behaviors promoting healthy living, provides the solution to dietary incompatibility for our friends, parents and children.

PARENTS:

  1. Is your child overweight? (ACCORDING TO YOUR DOCTOR!) Parents are often biased.

  2. Does your child live a sedentary lifestyle?

  3. Is your child happy and looking forward to another day of fun and excitement?

  4. When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you see the image of a person you want your child to become as they grow up?

  5. Do you practice the same type of rules you ask your children to live by?

  6. Are you happy? Do you regularly look forward to creating new memories that you and your family can enjoy in the future?

FRIENDS:

  1. Do you suggest healthy food locations or fast food restaurants when eating out?

  2. Do you ask your friends to participate in physical activities? (hiking, bicycling, sports, health clubs, etc…)

  3. Do you suggest going out for desserts like Friendly’s Ice Cream or Pastry shops?

  4. Do you ever let your friends know how much you care about them and discuss your concerns about their lifestyle patterns? Do they know they have your support?

ARE WE AS “FRIENDS” ACTING AS FRIENDS OR ENABLERS?

If these questions provide unwanted answers, why not begin implementing a new approach; one that provides a potentially better outcome. Friends, parents and children, can work together to support each others’ needs to make this world an incredible place to live. We have the ability to help enhance each others’ strengths and share these strengths to help each other achieve better and healthier lives. Doesn’t this sound like a better approach with a more appealing solution to our current dilemma? If so:

FIND A PARTNER TO PAIR UP WITH.

It all starts with you and your willingness to help someone else improve their current habits and patterns.

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20 comments

  1. “No, this is not an article critiquing various online dating services based on common food interests!” Hahahahah. Love it! What a way to start a conversation. You Rock, Doc!

    You hit so many important points with this post that I cannot pick just one to comment on, except your opening sentence. Loved it! Great post!!!

    Oh, and any success I have seen in losing weight and getting healthy (100 lbs lost and maintained for 15+ yrs), has come as a result of a supportive group of others walking the same path with me day after day. It works, if you work it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great comment!! It is important for people to realize that helping each other is a POSITIVE method to ensuring accountability. It creates a supportive social community that adds value to our lives as well. Rather than simply focusing on the scale (that yo-yos for most people) people supporting people can be a lifelong event. Something we look forward to and pass on to newcomers who may be insecure and intimidated (at first.)
      Losing 100 lbs. is truly amazing; keeping it off for over 15 years is spectacular. This is proof that lifestyle changes can be maintained WITHOUT sacrificing lifetime happiness. As a matter of fact, lifetime maintenance enhances self image, happiness and overall health. Well done!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your opening. It was so much easier for our parents. I wanted to be out and active playing sports. Adn there were fewer unhealthy choices. As you say, it all begins with parenting. That is the time to teach maming healthy choices. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am still searching for the phrase, the sentiment, the emotion, the awakening experience, etc… to get parents to take this important responsibility seriously. This is why I provided the concept of “support groups.” Often, people feel better when they realize their situation is not unique and others struggle as well. Organizing to solve problems together increases social networking and shifts the responsibility (partially) to the group making it easier for the individual to participate. This group effort reaches more people and communities (rather than just individuals) begin to benefit. My words, however, remain just words if I can’t motivate people to take ACTION.

    Like

  4. Great suggestions to help people eat healthier and encourage their friends and family to do the same too! For me, I have a sweet tooth, and determination alone does not help. So I have to make sure I have no sweets, chocs and cakes in the house. This helps a lot. I also find eating out less is a good one because when I eat out I’m often tempted by sugary cocktails and fries !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People assume athletes are magically immune to sweets and/or unhealthy food cravings. We simply taking discipline more seriously and override these cravings by creating habits or situations that limit our exposure. (ex. keeping chocolate and cakes away from the house) ANYONE can accomplish lifestyle modifications if they truly value their health. Unfortunately, most need a crisis to create the motivation.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am doing a sugar detox with my mom at the moment and it’s a lot easier knowing that I have her (suffering) right along with me. My friend DK and I have also started to send each other pictures of our meals so that we can compare and share recipes. Recently, my husband has also come on board the healthy train, so those closest to me are all on the same page. Another trick I’ve tried is going for a walk with my dog and my husband while drinking a bottle of water before deciding if I’m still hungry for whatever it was I wanted. Usually, I’m not.

    I was already using your tips before I read them…I can read your mind! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then you know how excited I am for you and the success you WILL achieve in 2016! It is also nice to hear positive affirmations that my suggestions are effective. Well, I have to get back to my caramel popcorn, ice cream sundae and chocolate covered raisinettes. If I am going to join you in a sugar detox, I need to create a need, don’t I? 😀 (YES, I’M KIDDING!)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This post can change lives!
    I am going to share this post with my family. Thank you so much for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have spent most of my life attempting to help people find truth within themselves. Both health and happiness resides within our bodies. Finding the words to help motivate ACTIONS is my goal. Thank you for sharing my message.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is such a noble cause. You have my respect. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Some great ideas there Doc. I can confirm that writing down/journaling thoughts, feelings and foods eaten really does help as does taking a walk and getting out into nature. It takes you mind off of food for one and helps to burn calories without much effort at all.
    The one part I have an issue with now is enabling friends to eat. Since I had my surgery I can no longer serve big platefuls of food so I have friends come to eat and I load their plates up instead. Good for me but not too clever for them I suppose.
    All good, salient and relevant points Doc, this really is a post that if followed and understood will really change peoples lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Cameron. Coming from one who has learned to “walk the walk” I appreciate your comments. As people realize the advice is practical and has proven to help other people with similar situations, more people will be willing to give it a try. Thank you for sharing your personal stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think most people will be surprised to learn that the academic studies of doctors don’t include training in nutrition. (Then again, the average American has some academic background in nutrition by elementary school age.) The trick is discovering for yourself what is true. Beyond that, having the ability to apply that knowledge to some specific goal is the key to getting results. Most of us know what to do we just don’t do it. Keep sharing these posts. Everything we do in this direction will help raise awareness and reverse the current trends in health care.

    Like

    1. Written beautifully with compassion and heart felt caring. You’re a good man.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the kind words. I consider you a colleague in the study of natural health and an ally in the battle against obesity in America. Keep up the good work!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. its so helpful to read the encouragement and advise over and over again….never gets old and never ceases to help me….thanks again for another good post….kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I learned that people need to hear the same message (expressed in different ways) over and over to get them to take action steps. It’s a slow process that requires a lot of patience. I move slowly and have a lot of patience so I seem to meet the qualifications necessary to spread the message. 🙂 . Glad it has made a positive impact on your life. Thank you for all you contributions.

      Like

      1. can’t hear it enough in all shapes, ways and forms…thanks for doing it…..kat

        Liked by 1 person

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