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Leading Eating Disorder Treatment Center Identifies Popular Diet Myths
Date:6/25/2008

PHOENIX, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders (http://www.remudaranch.com), the nation's leading eating disorder treatment center, reports that many myths surround the nation's obsession with dieting. As the dieting industry continues to surge at $50 billion a year, Americans continue to lose and gain weight in dangerous cycles.

"Research tells us that weight cycling may elevate blood pressure, reduce good cholesterol, deplete the body of heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids and increase risk for gall bladder disease, kidney and breast cancer," said Juliet Zuercher, registered dietitian and director of nutrition services at Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders. "Additionally, the repeated failure of diets can be demoralizing and psychologically damaging, which can lead into a full blown eating disorder."

Popular myths about dieting include:

#1 -- Dieting will result in weight loss and thus improve health. Ninety-five percent of diets fail. A continued focus on weight loss as a means to health will in all likelihood only result in poorer health. A shift to wellness by caring for the body as a whole -- mind, body and spirit -- is more effective in achieving metabolic fitness. This means getting and staying active without turning into a compulsive exerciser and eating intuitively with balance, variety and moderation.

#2 -- If I don't have rules around eating, I will be out of control. Part of normal eating involves trusting the body's natural hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you are hungry or have a craving. Choose foods that you believe will satisfy you. Stay connected to your body and eat with awareness and enjoyment. Stop eating when you're full or satisfied.

#3 -- Anyone can weigh what he or she wants as long as they diet and exercise hard enough. Contrary to popular belief, one of the strongest determinates of healthy body weight is our genetic code that was configured in the womb. We can only alter this natural set point a small amount with diet and exercise. Fat doesn't always mean unhealthy and thin doesn't always mean fit.

#4 -- Dieting means I have strong will power and I'm morally good. Labeling food as "good" or "bad" has dire consequences. What happens when an individual eats a food that is perceived as "bad" for them? They may feel guilty and want to get rid of or purge those calories by exercise or fasting for the next day or two. If there are limits about never eating "bad" food, when an individual feels emotionally vulnerable, what might be the first food that he or she seeks? The "bad" food, and usually not in moderate portions. Keeping food neutral is key. When food is kept in its proper place in life, with no inherent moral value, intuitive eating is a natural result.

#5 -- Everyone diets, it's just the way it is. Just because many people are stuck in the cycle of dangerous dieting, doesn't mean it's the best way or that you have to follow. The best thing one can do for overall peace of mind and wellness is to cease the cycle. Individuals on diets are often irritable, fatigued and have difficulty concentrating or engaging in enjoyable social settings that involve food.

"Because there are so many diet myths out there, the best resource for truth is a registered dietitian or medical doctor," adds Zuercher. "Unfortunately, eating disorders often develop after dabbling with diets. Beware of the underlying dangers in this cultural phenomenon."

About Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders

Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders offers Christian inpatient and residential treatment for women and girls of all faiths suffering from an eating disorder. Each patient is treated by a multi-disciplinary team including a Psychiatric and a Primary Care Provider, Registered Dietitian, Masters Level therapist, Psychologist and Registered Nurse. The professional staff equips each patient with the right tools to live a healthy, productive life. For more information, call 1-800-445-1900 or visit http://www.remudaranch.com.


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SOURCE Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders
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