From memoirs to self-help guides, learn about anorexia and bulimia resources

An estimated 10 million women and one million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder, according to the Eating Disorder Foundation. If you’re seeking help for yourself or someone you care about, talk with an expert.

In addition, we recommend the following books and DVDs:

  • “Letting Ana Go” tells the story of a girl who seems to have it all. But as she struggles with meeting expectations, she turns to controlling food as a way to take charge of her life. Weight loss comes to mean success, all documented in a moving diary that reveals the toll and tragedy of eating disorders. Learn more about “Letting Ana Go”
  • “Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia (P.S.)” is a fascinating memoir by best-selling author Marya Hornbacher. In it, she reveals how she first fight to lose weight – and then battled to recover. It’s a stark, insightful journey through the looking glass of eating disorders. Learn more about “Wasted: A Memoir”
  • What happens when a woman specializing in documentaries and photography explores life within an eating disorders treatment facility? The answer is “Thin,” an exploration into the lives of brave girls and women who revealed their stories in hopes of helping others. Included with their personal stories are essays on the sociology and science of eating disorders by renowned researchers Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Dr. David Herzog, and Dr. Michael Strober. Learn more about “Thin” by clicking here. Also recommended: HBO’s original documentary showcasing those patients: Get the details on the DVD
  • “You can never be too rich or too thin” has become a familiar saying. But Susan Sarandon proves why the “too thin” element can be deadly in the documentary “Dying to Be Thin”
  • Discover how to know if a “problem” might be an eating disorder by clicking here for “Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem? (The Almost Effect).”

4 big benefits of stretching

Obviously, stretching increases flexibility, but so what?

First, flexibility can increase “stability, balance, and ease of movement,” as Michelle Matte at Livestrong.com describes, which reduces risk of injury, not just in athletic activities, but in everyday life.

Stretching also encourages the production of lubricants in our joints, as AZ Central’s Andrea Cespedes tells us. This, combined with the relief of tension around your joints earned by stretching, can ease arthritis and other joint pain.

After sitting at a desk or behind a steering wheel for hours and hours on end, your posture can start to go. Stretching out your back, neck and chest will not only help improve posture, but work towards alleviating the lower back pain and neck tension caused by long-term slouching.

Speaking of long days working and commuting, stretching is a great stress reliever. When combined with deep breathing (as used in yoga) stretching can help you calm down and ease your mind, while loosening all the areas where you hold tension. Cespedes also explains that various stretches can even aid in hormonal balance, digestion, and blood pressure, which can all be associated with stress.

In short, if stretching is not a part of your routine, it should be.

After turning her body into a brand, Kim Kardashian attacks butt implant rumors

Kim Kardashian needs a rumor-vanishing version of “Ghostbusters.” The woman known primarily for her body (and her skills in spending money) had to go on the attack after rumors that she had turned to plastic surgery rather than the Atkins diet to shed her post-baby weight. Now she’s fed up with rumors that her famous derriere is actually the result of butt implants, reported On the Red Carpet Feb. 21.

“I’m seeing all these nonsense tabloids claiming I have butt implants-injections. Get a life! Using pics of me 15lbs skinnier (before I had my baby) comparing to me now,” scolded Kim.

“Anyone who has had a baby knows how hard it is to lose weight (especially the last bit of weight) & your body totally changes!” she added.

And to prove that her distinctive derriere has not changed, Kim posted a photo of herself on Feb. 21 with labeled “#FlashBACKFriday.”

Kim is so famed for her booty that she even stars in a series of fitness derriere DVDs, such as “Kim Kardashian: Fit In Your Jeans by Friday: Ultimate Butt Body Sculpt.”

Attacking tabloids who also reported that she had liposuction, Kim noted:

Making fun of me pregnant & making fun of me trying to lose weight now shame on you.

I’m not perfect but I will never conform to your skinny standards sorry! Not me. And BTW I’ve lost a lot so far & I’m proud of that! Don’t give young girls a complex!

Kim has repeatedly emphasized that she’s worked hard for her weight loss and inimitable derriere. Her high fat low carb diet follows the Atkins guidelines: It’s a ketogenic approach designed to boost fat-burning.

How much has she lost? In contrast to Jessica Simpson, who repeatedly has declined to state precisely how much weight she’s shed in her second voyage using Weight Watchers, Kim told Jay Leno that she was “50 pounds down.”

Since that appearance, she’s lost more weight and reportedly wants to lose more prior to her wedding.

Kim’s low carb diet includes “proteins like fish, poultry, and lean meats; healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and olive oil; lots of colorful vegetables filled with antioxidants and fiber; and low glycemic fruits like berries—essential foods for maintaining energy,” said Atkins diet expert Colette Heimowitz in an E News interview.

National Eating Disorders Week hopes to raise awareness: How to get help

Designed to raise awareness of conditions such as anorexia and bulimia, National Eating Disorders Week occurs Feb. 23 to March 1. It’s also intended to help sufferers, parents and friends discover how to get help as well as what to do to prevent these diseases, reported Forbes on Feb. 22.

The three main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, but the causes and solutions are not so easily categorized, say experts.

“Eating disorders are complicated and vexing problems and we don’t exactly understand the pathophysiology of them,” noted Dr. Aaron Krasner, a practicing psychiatrist, and Director of the Adolescent Transitional Living Program at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut.

“Certainly there is both a genetic component and an environmental component,” he added. But “it is not a one size fits all remedy or a preventive strategy.”

An estimated 10 million women and one million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder, according to the Eating Disorder Foundation.

And eating disorders do not discriminate: Addiction specialist Drew Pinksy’s daughter Paulina just revealed that she battled bulimia and anorexia for seven years, reported USA Today on Feb. 24.

“Purging eight times in one day to cope with the emotional stress of being home during spring break had finally scared me enough to take action,” she wrote in an essay on body shame.

One of the keys to recovery: Talking about it rather than trying to hide the disorder, says Paulina.

“For me, talking about it normalizes talking about it. Eating disorders shouldn’t be a secret because that’s what perpetuates them,” she explained.

Dr. Drew said he takes pride in his daughter’s decision to get help.

“When she recognized she needed help she sought treatment and actively engaged in the process. And now she is using her insights to help others,” he stated.

But for those with eating disorders, the path to recovery can be long and difficult, revealed Jenni Schaefer recently in the Huffington Post. She’s the author of “Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem? (The Almost Effect)” and “Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too” (click for details).

Even after getting professional help, Jenni remained too thin. And she was obsessed with the “thigh gap” look symptomatic of women who are unnaturally slender.

Low carb Paleo diet burns fat fast for weight loss, says ‘Eat the Yolks’ author

If you’ve banned high fat foods such as egg yolks, butter and beef from your diet and can’t lose weight, a nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP) says she knows the reason: You’re missing out on the fat-burning benefits of healthy fats. In an exclusive interview on Feb. 25, we talked with Liz Wolfe, NTP, about what she’s discovered when it comes to permanent weight loss and health.

Why the epidemic of obesity in our nation? Liz links it to “decades of the Standard American Diet, which leads to hormonal imbalance and out-of-control hunger.”

She’s convinced that our tendency to avoid fat is a large part of the problem. Our hormones need fats such as butter, beef and eggs, says Liz. And her new book’s title sums up her philosophy: “Eat the Yolks: Discover Paleo, fight food lies, and reclaim your health” (click for details).

Modern science proves that we need both fat and cholesterol, and “fat and cholesterol from ethically raised animal products, along with the fat-soluble vitamins that come with them, are vital to our health,” Liz told us.

And when it comes to the ideal diet for weight loss and health, Liz is a Paleo plan proponent. However, she does modify the traditional Paleo approach slightly by adding certain types of dairy.

“Paleo opens the door to a world of nourishing, delicious, appetite-regulating foods that many of us eliminated out of fear or simply forgot as a result of our standard diet rut,” she explains.

In contrast, “the standard American diet is based on restricting calories, restricting fat, eliminating fats and cholesterol from properly raised animals, and ignoring real food in favor of the profitable, nutrient-poor products we’re sold as if a so-called “whole grain” with a long ingredients label was somehow a true health food.”

Liz offers this insight on the benefits of whole grains: “That’s propaganda, pure and simple.”

So what really works for weight loss? To become what Liz calls an “efficient fat-burner,” dish up “healthy fats and cholesterol, properly-raised animals and the fat-soluble vitamins that come with them, and whole vegetables and fruits of all kinds. ”

A typical day in Liz’s own “Eat the Yolks” diet includes:

A ginger-lemon tea or glass of beet kvass.
Breakfast is eggs from our free-range flock, over sweet potato or taro root with a dollop of goat cheese or butter from grass-fed cows.
Lunch is quick: wild-caught sardines straight from the can – a fantastic, budget-conscious, low-food-chain source of Omega 3, calcium and protein – with leftover sautéed rainbow chard and other veggies, like roasted carrots or beets left over from dinner the night before.
Dinner might be soup or stew, made with homemade broth in the pressure cooker (another time-saver), or tomato sauce with ground beef over spaghetti squash, a favorite ten-minute meal.

For those who are vegetarians, Liz suggests modifying the traditional approach by incorporating “the right types of dairy products, eggs, and bivalve seafood like oysters.”

Liz feels that “eliminating processed grain products and packaged foods is 95% of the battle for most of us; from there, it’s simply tweaking to achieve our goals while paying close attention to how we feel.”

Rachel Frederickson talks ‘Biggest Loser’ weight loss: ‘Absolutely healthy’

Controversy swirled almost the moment that “Biggest Loser” season 15 contestant Rachel Frederickson stepped on the stage of the finale on Feb. 4. Had the 24-year-old lost too much weight? Nearly a month after her win, she addressed the backlash about her 155-pound loss today with Savannah Guthrie of the “Today” show.

“I felt amazing on the stage, I felt like I shined in my dress, and I got off the stage and Twitter was all abuzz,” she said Wednesday morning in New York. “There was just so much chatter about it.”

She said she was surprised at the social media reaction.

“My journey was my own and I loved it, I lived it, so I felt really proud of what I did,” Frederickson said.

When Guthrie asked whether she thought she had dropped down to an unhealthy weight, Frederickson disagreed.

“It was absolutely healthy weight loss. I dieted, I exercised and did it healthy the whole way,” she said. “I appreciate all the concern and I can see where it comes from. And there is the ‘movie magic’ – it’s over 7 months, it’s almost a year of my life losing the weight. So I was very unhealthy at 260 pounds and now, post finale, I’m the healthiest, most alive I’ve ever felt.”

This week, “Today” is focusing on body image with its “Love Your Selfie” week, and Guthrie asked Frederickson what lessons she learned from her mom about her body image growing up as a competitive swimmer.

“She has taught me to be independent, to love myself and to be me,” she said.

In maintenance mode now and visibly less gaunt looking than on finale night, Guthrie asked Frederickson whether she worries about backsliding.

“That thought always comes up but I think that what I’ve learned is that I have an inner strength. I have a voice and I can trust myself. I didn’t trust myself. I was critical and I judged myself,” she said. “You’re with you the rest of your life so you’d better accept you and love yourself.”

Dr. Oz unveils detox diet to revitalize metabolism: Lose 10 pounds in 10 days

Can you give your metabolism a makeover that boosts fat-burning and weight loss? Yes, says Dr Mehmet Oz. On his Feb. 24 talk show, Dr. Oz unveiled a new detox diet that helps you shed up to 10 pounds and prevent disease in just 10 days.

Dr. Oz explained that his detox diet is based on the research and weight loss program designed by his guest expert, Dr. Mark Hyman, author of “The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet: Activate Your Body’s Natural Ability to Burn Fat and Lose Weight Fast” (click for details).

Dr. Hyman says that benefits of the 10-day detox plan include:

  • Lose up to 10 pounds
  • Reverse chronic health problems such as joint point and type 2 diabetes
  • Alleviate brain fog and allergies
  • Prevent conditions such as acne and headaches
  • Help autoimmune disease

However, he told Dr. Oz that to succeed with both weight loss and prevention of disease, you will need to eliminate the following foods from your meals and snacks during the 10-day period:

  • Processed foods unless it is a canned whole food such as sardines or artichokes with only a few real ingredients such as water or salt
  • Any food or drink that contains added sugar (including honey, molasses, agave, maple syrup, organic cane juice or artificial sweeteners), especially any sugar-sweetened beverages or fruit juices
  • Anything that contains hydrogenated oils and refined vegetable oils (like corn or soybean oil)
  • Any foods with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, additives, coloring, or dyes
  • Anything sugar or flour based (cookies, cakes, candies, etc.)
  • Grains (rice, oats, quinoa) and all foods made from flours (crackers, pasta, bread, pretzels, etc.)
  • Starches (sweet potato, potato, squash, parsnip, beets, etc.)
  • Beans and legumes (chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, kidney beans, etc.)
  • Dairy (yogurt, sour cream, cheese, milk, etc.)
  • Coffee and anything caffeinated (tea, soft drinks, lattes, etc.)
  • Alcohol (wine, beer, spirits, etc.)

High carbohydrate diets linked to dementia: Eat healthy fats, say experts

Want to reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s? The latest studies show that the key to achieving that goal is simple: Eliminate carbohydrates such as sugar and grains and replace them with healthy fats, reported the Sacramento Bee on Feb. 21.

Spanish researchers evaluated the impact of diets on cognition, dividing study group participants ages 50 to 80 into three different groups:

  • One group ate a Mediterranean-style diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil
  • A second group followed a similar diet but supplement it with extra nuts rather than olive oil
  • The third group consumed a low fat diet with carbohydrates such as whole grains

The results after 6.5 years on these diets: Participants who ate the diet high in extra-virgin olive oil scored best on cognition tests, followed by those who ate nuts. The lowest scores came from those who avoided fat and ate grains.

Mediterranean diets traditionally include healthy fats such as nuts and olive oil, with total calorie intake from fats as high as 40 percent. Also included: Vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes, with moderate to high consumption of fish and seafood and low consumption of dairy and meat. Processed grains are kept to a minimum.

What’s the link between this high fat diet and cognition? Studies show that such diets result in lower blood concentrations of inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein and reduced risk factors for vascular disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Both inflammation and vascular disease are known risk factors in dementia and cognitive decline.

Contrasted with such high fat, low carb diets, the standard American diet (SAD) poses risks in its high percentages of processed grains and sugars.

SAD menus result in elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance, causing glycation of proteins.Through this process, glucose molecules attach to proteins, and that’s been associated with reductions in cognitive function.

Dr. Oz: Fenugreek fights diabetes; eat fat-burning snacks for weight loss

If you’re concerned about diabetes, you know that blood sugar spikes can be serious. On his Feb. 21 talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed how fenugreek can stabilize blood sugar and fight diabetes. Plus: Discover new Oz-approved fat-burning snacks to accelerate your weight loss.

Fenugreek slows down your body’s digestion of carbohydrates while decreasing the absorption of glucose. As a result, it can help to control your blood sugar while battling diabetes, says Dr. Oz.

How to use: Add the seeds as a spice to meals. It’s particularly good in vegetable dishes or soups. Dr. Oz recommends one tablespoon a day.

Where to find: Look in the grocery store or online, such as Starwest Botanicals Organic Fenugreek Seed.

Also featured on the same episode, Dr. Oz dished up his new weight loss discoveries: Snacks that actually boost your body’s ability to burn fat.

Dr. Oz recommends:

  • Use figs as snacks to reduce your hunger and burn fat faster. Tip: Look for brands without added sugar and chemicals, such as Indus Organic Turkish Jumbo Dried Figs (click for details).
  • Licorice root blocks an enzyme that plays a role in fat accumulation and helps control cravings. You can also find it in tea form, such as Yogi Egyptian Licorice Tea.
  • Protein-packed pistachios help you stay full, reducing your cravings. Tip: If you have a problem with portion control, look for mini bags, such as 130-calorie bags of Wonderful Pistachios.
  • Hydrating watermelon supports your metabolism. Try one cup in a smoothie to lose weight more easily.
  • High in polyunsaturated fats, pine nuts make your body burn calories faster. Dr. Oz suggests two tablespoons three times a week. Look for pine nuts in health food stores or online, such as Good Sense Pine nuts.
  • Make snacks that use beans, which have soluble fiber and reduce fattening inflammation. Try the recipe below as an example.

Midnight Brownies

This recipe was created by Kim, a guest of “The Dr. Oz Show” who lost more than 200 pounds. The secret ingredient: black beans. Kim authored a book about how she lost the weight: “Finally Thin!: How I Lost More Than 200 Pounds and Kept Them Off–and How You Can, Too” (click for details).

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 8×8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a food processor, mix all brownie ingredients (except chips) together. Chop on high, until smooth. Clean off sides and blend for another 20 seconds. Add the chips and stir well. Spread into the 8×8 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 1 hour at room temperature.

Frosting
Ingredients

  • 6 oz. fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp semisweet mini chocolate chips, melted

Directions

With a whisk attachment on an electric beater, blend all ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread evenly over the top of the cooled brownies. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the 2 tbsp of chips with a 2-second spray of nonstick cooking oil. Using a spoon, swirl the chocolate on top. Allow it to set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Dr. Oz talks extreme weight loss ‘thigh gap’ diets and magnesium energy boosters

For several years, girls, teens and young women have been obsessed with achieving the newest slim sensation: Thigh Gaps. But their extreme weight loss plans can pose dangers, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz. On his Feb. 25 talk show, Dr. Oz explored thigh gap diets. Plus: Find out how to boost your energy with magnesium.

As an example of how these diets can become obsessive, Dr. Oz talked with Camille Hugh, author of “The Thigh Gap Hack: The Shortcut to Slimmer, Feminine Thighs Every Woman Secretly Desires” (click for details). Camille feels that her book does a service in offering tricks such as overcoming hunger, exercises and focusing primarily on very low calorie foods. She defended her desire to achieve the thigh gap look.

However, Dr. Oz is concerned that books and views such as Camille’s can lead to eating disorders. He asked eating disorder specialist Dr. Jennifer Thomas to offer her insights.

Author of “Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem? (The Almost Effect),” Dr. Thomas notes that Camille’s emphasis on extreme weight loss and low body fat parallels the development of anorexia. By obsessing on those goals, young girls are at risk of developing eating disorders.

In addition to the emotional aspects of anorexia, girls focused on developing thigh gaps put their health at risk, warned Dr. Oz. They may lose muscle, which impacts the metabolism and even can affect the heart.

Note: This week is National Eating Disorders Week, designed to spread awareness: Learn more by clicking here. And find out about resources on eating disorders, from memoirs to DVDs to self-help guides, by clicking here.

Also on the show, Dr. Oz discussed magnesium for energy and health. Symptoms of insufficient magnesium include constipation, anxiety, fatigue and muscle spasms. Studies show that up to 75 percent of American adults lack enough magnesium.

To boost your magnesium levels, eat these foods:

  • kidney beans
  • black beans
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • bran cereal