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The Cold Truth About the Diet Industry in America

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The Cold Truth About the Diet Industry in America

I share this because I care. The journey to weight loss for me was and still is a struggle. However, incremental steps, keeping the faith, and staying diligent all work. Simply put, the only way to lose weight, get in shape, and feel good about yourself is through long-term behavior modification. This can help you, especially this time of year with New Years resolutions flying around. Don’t let yours fly out the window!  Read on, because:

Dieting Is an Industry You May Not Need to Buy Into

Check out the following data[1]:

  • Americans are dieting at the highest rate in history
  • 20-24 percent of American men and 33-40 percent of American women are actively dieting to lose weight
  • 57 percent of U.S. women are now dieting according to a national telephone survey
  • The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Over the past twenty years, the diet industry has tripled its gross annual income to approximately $60 billion
  • Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who don’t diet
  • Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors (skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives).

Current Diet Mindsets of Americans

We continue to beat ourselves up and believe:

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  • It is impossible to be fit AND fat at the same time
  • All large people MUST lose weight in order to improve their health and fitness level
  • All large people are in poor health
  • Everyone can lose weight IF they just follow the proper diet and regular exercise program
  • The main reason people regain lost weight is THEIR failure to comply with prescribed diets or make long-term commitments to weight loss.

Ben Goldacre wrote in his book “Bad Science” that, “we have somehow become collectively obsessed with these absurd, thinly evidenced individual tinkerings in diet, distracting us from simple, healthy eating advice but, more than that, as we saw, distracting us from the other important lifestyle risk factors for ill health that cannot be sold or commodified.”

Some Facts About Leptin and Ghrelin

Leptin is good, Grehlin (I like to think ‘Gremlin’) on the other hand, is troublesome if you don’t know the difference.

Leptin is your body’s long-term regulator, which is produced in fat cells; it tells the brain that the body’s fat reserves are sufficient by signaling the hypothalamus and quieting appetite signals. The issue lies in the fact that obese people have plenty of Leptin, they just do not respond to its signals correctly.

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Ghrelin increases the appetite, is released primarily in the stomach, and is thought to signal hunger to the brain. When you are hungry it is your hormone Ghrelin at work.

Educate Yourself

My issue with diets, diet plans, and pseudo-diets is the finite nature of the whole concept. I had tried almost everything, and with my compulsive behavior I was on a roller-coaster of fitness and weight loss my entire life. Would you like to know how I finally was able to diet correctly?

It was education!

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I just never put the pieces together, probably like you and many others I am sure. It wasn’t until 1998 when everything changed because I became informed. I made a lifestyle change, not a finite diet but a lifelong decision to learn about and come to grips with my own struggles. It is now a daily journey, a lifestyle that is very simple and doable.

Make a Change

Doctors and economists refer to the term, “opportunity cost,” or the cost of doing one thing rather than doing something else. Finding your way and changing is the opportunity cost versus not doing anything and hammering chips while you lose your quality of life sitting on the couch.

Our opportunity cost of feeling better is directly related to making accountable decisions.

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So what is your opportunity cost of not getting off the couch? To not utilize your skills, share knowledge, and regain your quality of life? Think about it.

Lead By Example

Your ability to do outreach and help others by leading change can start a movement and tip the economies of scale and scope in your favor. It increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

Not doing something positive is a potential for loss, and feeds into a figurative “negative energy tornado” (NET). Why not opt for the socialization of the “positive energy network” (PEN) and be an example? You will have an intrinsic feeling of knowing that you helped not only yourself, but also helped others by setting the example and sharing your quest. People often need examples if they want to get better!

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With this said, I look forward to helping others through my work in the multimedia. Find more work on our website and in coming articles here at Lifehack. Peace!

Featured photo credit: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiy3snkn7PRAhWE34MKHXrXB-UQjhwIBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.anktangle.com%2F2013%2F01%2Freclaiming-healthy-on-intuitive-eating-and-ditching-diet.html&psig=AFQjCNGtyZX9UdHCq-GWM-wcjHAsybPnbg&ust=1483988940579052 via google.com

Reference

[1] Southern Connecticut State University: Why Diets Don’t Work

More by this author

tom matt

Talk show host, Author, Professional Inspirational Speaker, Higher Education-Telecommunications Professional

The Cold Truth About the Diet Industry in America Can We All Afford to Ignore This?

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

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How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

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That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

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More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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