Junk food lover or slowly killing myself

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I guess my title is quite redundant. I am now admitting to myself that I am slowly killing myself by eating junk food most of the time. I know that it is bad for my health but I can't seem to control myself to avoid sodium and sugar altogether especially if I'm playing my games. I still want to live a longer life for my future grandkids, but how can I do that with my messed up diet?
 
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Well most things can be considered "slowly killing yourself": being multicellular, breathing oxigen, etc. So yeah don't worry too much.

Now if you wanna be a healthy grandpa, you can start by quitting junk food or practicing sports, whatever is easier for you. We still haven't got much Doritos loving, gamer grandpas out there, I guess.
 
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Well, I'm an MD, so I guess I can share some valuable input here.

Your eating habits have a tremendous impact on your overall health. You might not see the effects of it right now, but in time you will definetely suffer the consequences.

For example, digesting a lot of high-sodium food most likely will make you develop hypertension at a younger age and that once you get older, it will be harder to find a proper combination of drugs to keep your blood pressure at fine levels.

Moreover, eating a lot of sugar might cause you to develop diabetes, as it simply puts a strain on your pancreas to be constantly forced to release spikes of insulin to counter the high blood sugar and over time it might also make your cells more insulin resistant overall.

Another thing is, eating and drinking sweet stuff is the main reason for obesity. And despite what the mass media promote these days, obesity is a disease and is terrible for your health - for instance, it is a very serious risk factor in developing hypertension, diabetes, cardiac issues including atherosclerosis or miocardial infarction and many other health problems.

So yeah, what it all comes down to is that you should definetely change your eating habits if you want to stay healthy longer.

If your main issue is about not being able to control yourself while gaming, avoid buying a lot of junk food or sweets beforehand, so that you simply don't have anything to tempt you. Also, get some other stuff to chew on - vegetables, fruits, sunflower seeds, salty sticks (but with no salt), crackers, etc. They will help you keep your mouth occupied so that you won't miss the unhealthy food that much.

Also, treat yourself every now and then - there's nothing wrong in getting a pizza or a pack of chips from time to time. If you like that sort of stuff, you should somethimes just go ahead and eat it - being miserable all the time because you can't eat what you like at all isn't good for your health either. And, of course, feeling down due to over-restrictive diet will cause you to quit more easily. My advice to you is to slowly reduce the amount of fast food and sweets that you eat and in time you will get there.

And finally, exercise. What a lot people don't realize is that excercising doesn't mean that you have to spend hours at the gym or run marathons. In fact, if you don't like putting a strain on your body, you shouldn't force yourself to. It's better to do something you enjoy and that isn't hard for you - for instance, going on a 30 minutes of pretty lively walk outside 5-6 times a week is enough to make a lot of difference for your body (though, you are absolutely welcome to excercise more if you so choose).

Good luck :)

P.S. Also - don't waste time by stressing yourself over your eating habits. It won't do you any good as stress is also very harmful to your body. What matters is that you decide to improve and work towards it - you don't have to change everything over night. The effects of eating crap food build up over a pretty long time, so you can definetely afford to take things slow. Even if it takes you like a year or two to change your diet, it's fine - as long as you steadily work towards that goal, reach it and learn to stick to your new habits :)
 
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Thank ya'll for your replies especially to MasterBlaster. I guess my main issue is that it is difficult for me to hold myself accountable for how I approach my diet. My mom wants me to work with a dietitian or specialist hand in hand because I also had past issues with binge eating and purging. She is actually helping me to find a therapist near me. I know that I need it because I don't want it to be too late for me. I'll keep in mind all your recommendations and hopefully, they would help me to get out of this nasty eating habits.
 
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You're welcome :)

If you feel like you might not handle the issue on your own, you definetely should see a specialist. Obsessive eating might be a psychological issue as well, so go for it. After all, it won't hurt if you try and it might help you a lot :)

I'll keep my fingers crossed.
For now, start with something small - we have a saturday, so how about a nice walk outside? :)

Cheers! :)
 

deepstrasz

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It's pretty much genetic. Some get diabetes and risky hypertension while others don't until a very old age or at all.
Sure, you should reduce the risk factors and that includes stress too but that still doesn't guarantee you a high percentage healthy life.
Best strategy since ancient times is to eat for the need not for the taste. That means, keeping a low food intake unless you're doing bodybuilding of course... I'm not saying you should get to the point of malnutrition. Of course, there are studies mentioning the need of being overweight and having a good protein intake for cardiovascular patients, but those are details, specifics.
All in all, you should enjoy life but not stay off-balance.
 
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It's pretty much genetic. Some get diabetes and risky hypertension while others don't until a very old age or at all.
That's not really true, though. The reality is that for most diseases, lifestyle choices and habits have a much greater impact on the chance to develop said disease than genetic factors.

Even if you're quite heavily pre-determined by your genetic code to develop some disease, you eating relatively healthy and getting some excercise in on a regular basis will greatly delay the moment that the said disease develops, slow down its progress and make it much easier to manage (both considering the treatment and adjusting to the required lifestyle changes).

Heck, if we're talking about hypertension - the truth is that in most cases in the early stages of hypertension it is enough to start eating healthier, excercise, lose weight and cut sodium intake to go down to the desired blood pressure values. No drugs are really needed until much later on. So, if a healthy lifestyle can basically be sufficient to manage early hypertension, it's obvious that it also has a tremendous role to play in preventing it.

Sure, you should reduce the risk factors and that includes stress too but that still doesn't guarantee you a high percentage healthy life.
The thing is, you can't change your genetics at all. What you can change is what you do to your body - the reality is that while there are absolutely no guarantees, generally if you treat your body well it will pretty much always serve you better and longer.

Best strategy since ancient times is to eat for the need not for the taste.
True, but I wouldn't really concern myself with the "need" - if you want to eat healthy, generally:

1. Get a nice eating hygene - try to eat relatively smaller meals more often than stuffing yourself 2-3 times a day, try to eat at set times during the day and don't stuff yourself before going to bed.
2. Keep a balanced and varied diet - i.e. mix things up all the time and include a wide variety of food in your diet. Vegetables are generally considered the most healthy, so make sure to eat a lot of these, though definetely add in some fish, red meat, diary, fruts and other stuff.
3. Don't go crazy on junk food, sweets and fat food (though it's absolutely fine to get some every now and then).

If you really want to follow a healthy diet try the mediterranean diet - it's considered one of the healthiest, though you don't really need to. Get some excercise in (as I've descirbed earlier) and follow these 3 simple point and you will be fine.

The whole point of leading a healthy lifestyle isn't to get obsessed by it and make yourself miserable in the process, but to try to keep the things you want and the things your body needs relatively balanced :)
 
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I remember my cousin who got obese due to her problem with her ex. Eating became her way of escaping to her problems. My Aunt decided to bring her to a psychiatrist to help her manage her emotions and ways of facing the life issues.
 
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Stop playing your games then. If you stop playing, you also will stop your consumption of high sodium and sugar foods. /s

I don't think that your consumption of junk foods is killing you, it's your excessive intake of it. Also, everyone dies, enjoy your junk food in moderation, also your beer.

And get a necromancer, a good one.
 
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here is a trick that works for me. always eat with a fork/spoon eating implement a size smaller. that way it takes you longer to eat your food. people say eat with a plate a size smaller, but that doesn't stop you swallowing that plate in one gulp. since it takes a while before your body realises it is full, a teaspoon will get that message across

another solution is not to eat in front of your computer... but that is such an obvious answer:D
 
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You're welcome :)

If you feel like you might not handle the issue on your own, you definetely should see a specialist. Obsessive eating might be a psychological issue as well, so go for it. After all, it won't hurt if you try and it might help you a lot :)

I'll keep my fingers crossed.
For now, start with something small - we have a saturday, so how about a nice walk outside? :)

Cheers! :)


"Obsessive eating"...it punched me right straight in my face haha. So there might be a psychological issue when you're eating too much? I felt worried for myself. I actually gained 10 lbs more this year with too much eating. :(
 
You can eat a shitton of junk food and still be healthy, if you're exercising to back it up. The problem, however, is that a lot of people who eat a lot of junk food also don't exercise properly. This means that all the excess junk they are putting in their bodies actually has an effect on their bodies. If you exercise properly, however, excess fat, sugars and even sodium are going to be regulated in a much better way, and actually used by the body.

A couch potato who eats a ton of chips all day isn't using the oils from the potato, neither is he using the carbs, and more importantly, he isn't using up the sodium to regulate the excess water in his body, since he probably isn't drinking a lot of it to begin with (drinking less water as long as you aren't lacking water isn't even unhealthy, but living a lifestyle where you need little water, is).
 

Kyrbi0

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MasterBlaster has masterfully blasted this topic with the greatest amount of concise, informative, and even-handed truth & knowledge. There's little else to say, but I'll throw in my $0.02...

At it's most basic, your body must conform to the laws of physics. It is a closed system, so if you want to maintain where you are, [[Energy In = Energy Out]]. In body-terms, that really means [[Calories In = Calories Out]]. The math is simple, then; if you want to lose weight, you must get Out more Calories than you take In (i.e. exercise more, eat less). The exact values will vary widely depending on a multiplicity of factors (ala MasterBlaster), but realize that it is not predetermined entirely by genetics. You have control.

As someone who loves to eat myself, consider working with your body. If you feel the need to snack, do so! But try to start replacing those unhealthy snack foods with healthy alternatives; a bag of crunchy baby carrots, sweet raisins, flavorful cherry tomatoes. Try mixing & matching to get the nutrients you need & make things more palatable; if you don't like plain celery but need the fiber, slather on some Peanut Butter (good protein!), and maybe dot with some raisins (better than straight sugar).

The More Colors, the Better. Especially when it comes to vegetables (where, often, the deeper & darker the colors, the better (e.g. compare Iceberg Lettuce to Kale or Spinach; much deeper green = much more/better nutrients)), you want a wide variety on each & every plate, if you can. Millions of tasty ways to prepare food that maintains nutrients (roasting vegetables in the oven is super simple).

WATER. I can't stress enough, drinking SO MUCH water. It's nearly impossible to kill yourself by drinking too much water, and I have found & studied it to be an amazing panacea for the body. Don't get me wrong, it won't cure cancer, but our body is 70% water, and nearly every cell in the body needs it to function. It aids digestion. It mitigates headaches.
Start where you can, but your body has a built in 'barometer' of sorts; your urine. Pay attention to the color of your urine when you eliminate wastes next; how deep a yellow is it? The deeper the yellow (& the smellier), the more you need to drink. Think of it like diluting.
The amount you drink will vary greatly based on a large number of factors (the "eight 8oz glasses a day" is just a random rule of thumb). But for reference, my urine is, usually, light-light yellow, sometimes even clear. Why? I have a 32oz mug I carry with me at all times, and I drain it approximately 3-7 times a day (which amounts to 96-224oz a day). I don't drink soda almost at all, drink no coffee, tea, or alcohol, and it feels so good. : )

~~~

I was not supposed to write a lot, but I should know by now that's impossible for me. Well, hope it helped.
 
1) body is not a closed system in any sense

2) calories in/out is a flawed and oversimplified way to look at the diet and while at the most basic way it is somewhat true, you cannot gain any useful insight by attempting to crunch those numbers when you have no idea of the whole equation

3) colors are completely unrelated to the dietary value of food, but not necessarily unrelated to the amount of specific nutrients (food that is orange/reddish is often rich on beta carotene, for example, while food that is predominantly green tends to be very rich in cellulose which we can't digest but provide useful dietary fibers) and speaking of spinach and the like, most of those very green plants actually have jack shit when it comes to nutrients, they are in no way comparable to any big macronutrient sacks like legumes or potatoes would be, and they barely have any digestible micronutrients because they're tied to cellulose and therefore not very bioavailable, so kale and spinach, although touted as being healthy, are actually pretty nutritionally useless, this is of course helped by cooking, but at that point you destroy some nutrients that would otherwise be useful, and those plants barely have any to begin with, if you want micronutrient rich plants, you're probably best off eating root plants, like carrots and beet and contrary to popular beliefs, an ordinary potato actually has more micronutrients than pretty much any vegetable that grows above the ground, except for vitamin C, which you should be getting from fruits anyways

4) it is actually quite possible to kill yourself by drinking too much water, people doing challenges have proven that (and LD50 of water is still low enough to be attainable), also drinking too much in general can seriously mess up your body, there have been countless cases of people drinking too much water and also avoiding salty foods too much at the same time, to the point where they suffer hyponatremia, you should still drink as much water as you need in order not to feel thirsty (except if you have a disorder that changes how you feel thirst), and of course as you said, as long as your urine is of acceptable color
 
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"Obsessive eating"...it punched me right straight in my face haha. So there might be a psychological issue when you're eating too much? I felt worried for myself. I actually gained 10 lbs more this year with too much eating. :(
Yes, there can be a psychological issue behind eating too much, but it's not really something like "omg, I eat too much, I need to see a shrink" kinda thing. Obsessive and compulsive problems are a matter of the lack of control over your thoughts and actions, despite your better judgement.

Sometimes it's pretty benign - for instance, quite a lot of people often get this urge to go back and check if they locked the door, despite remembering that they did it. This is not a problem if you go back once or twice and after checking that everything is fine, the urge is gone and you carry on with whatever you're doing. It becomes an issue if you can't control it, i.e. if despite going back time and time again, you just can't shake this feeling/thought in your head or if you're getting that sort of urge so often that you can't really do anything, because you're constantly trying to ease your obsessive thoughts.

As for things like eating disorders... In regards to this topic, the most likely suspects are either compulsive overeating (i.e. food addiction) and binge eating disorder (BED). In the most basic terms, the first one is a problem where you generally/habitually eat too much, the latter is one where you have episodes of overeating (i.e. you mindlessly stuff yourself full whether you feel hungry or not). What connects both of these medical problems is lack of proper control over one's actions.

While this is fairly obvious and self-explanatory for BED, it might be a big confusing for compulsive overeating, so... in the most basic sense, just ask yourself a question - if you tried, could you manage to go a few weeks or months on a diet? If the answer is "yes" then your problem is likely one that comes from faulty eating habits that you should work on, if the answer is "no" then it might be a psychological issue and you might want to consider seeking help.

Regardless, it should be noted that in most cases the problem of gaining weight due to overeating is simply caused by faulty eating habits and thus if you're generally able to control yours (even if it's hard), instead of worrying too much about your mental health, you might want to just try eating healthier and you'll be fine :)

You can eat a shitton of junk food and still be healthy, if you're exercising to back it up. The problem, however, is that a lot of people who eat a lot of junk food also don't exercise properly.
I kinda agree with this as it's generally true that if you excercise a lot your body deals with junk food much better, though... Your body has its limits. If you put too much physical strain on your body, it will eventually have a negative effect (mainly on your joints, adrenal glands and heart, though pretty much every part of your body needs time to recover after excercise). The same goes for junk food - no matter what you do, it still has to be processed, so even if you're excercising and burning all those calories and fat, your liver and pancreas will still eventually have issues keeping up. Of course, we're talking about extremes here :)

What I'm really trying to say now is - everything is fine if you don't overdo it. You definetely should excercise and if you do you absolutely can afford to eat some junk food every now and then without worrying one bit about how your body will handle it, but don't go crazy - either on excercising or junk food :)

MasterBlaster has masterfully blasted this topic with the greatest amount of concise, informative, and even-handed truth & knowledge.

Thanks :)

It is a closed system, so if you want to maintain where you are, [[Energy In = Energy Out]]. In body-terms, that really means [[Calories In = Calories Out]]. The math is simple, then; if you want to lose weight, you must get Out more Calories than you take In (i.e. exercise more, eat less)

I get what you're trying to say and it's generally true that if you want to lose weight, you need to have your body use a bit more energy that you provide with food, so that it compensates by burning fat you have stored, though:
1. You still need to eat enough! Food is not just about energy, it's also about nutrients that you have to provide. Also, malnutrition will not just cause your body to burn fat, but also - for example - the proteins in your muscles.
2. The most important thing is that you eat smaller meals more often. The way the body works is that if you eat one huge meal during a day and then starve, your body will store the excess energy after that one meal as fat and then it will have issues with energy levels during the day. If you eat smaller meals, i.e. provide a steady and moderate influx of energy, your body will use it all up during the day and not store any fat.

The thing is, if you want to lose weight, don't try to do it too fast - take your time. If you put your body in a situation where your energy intake is much lower than what you need, it will freak out and while you might lose weight, it won't be in a healthy way. In other words, keep your body well fed and give it a reasonable amount of excercise and in time you will lose weight without hurting your health :)

The More Colors, the Better.
Uhm, I don't really know about that one, but the general rule is - your diet should be varied as that's the most simple way to provide your body with everything it needs in moderate amounts.

Pay attention to the color of your urine when you eliminate wastes next; how deep a yellow is it? The deeper the yellow (& the smellier), the more you need to drink. Think of it like diluting.
Drinking enough water is very important, I agree, though it needs to be said that your body has various ways of making sure that it has enough water.

For example, your kidneys not only remove excess water, but might also keep it in your body when you don't provide enough. A clear indication of that is urine's color changing to darker yellow. What it means is that your kidneys are literally sucking the water out of your urine - since it's less diluted, it color gets darker. On the other hand, lighter urine means it's more diluted, i.e. your kidneys let more water go. It needs to be noted, however, that while this is a nice way to tell how well your body is hydrated, singular changes of urine's color intensity are in no way, shape or form indicative of something bad happening with your body.

Actually, it's quite the opposite - if you notice your urine color changing slightly depending on how much your drink, it means your kidneys are doing their job just fine. The only take away from this is that if your urine is/gets darker, you drank less water than you needed in the time period required to accumulate your recent piss. If that happens quite often, especially in a row, it probably means you should drink more water in general.

A better indication of one's hydration, especially relating to a general threat of dehydration, is... the tongue. The mucosa in your mouth will get dry if you're dehydrated as your body will cut the production of saliva (and make it less watery) to preserve water. If your tongue is wet it means that your body is decently hydrated, if it's dry then you should drink something. There are also other ways to tell whether you're hydrated or not, for example through the skin, but an average person doesn't really need to care about them - basically, if you're urine is light yellow most of the time, you drink water whenever you feel thirsty or have a dry feeling in your mouth, you're absolutely fine :)

As a side note, two most common causes of dehydration are diarrhea and infection (high temperature) - if you get any of these, drink a lot. While these rarely lead to serious dehydration in adults (though they can be very dangerous to small children), providing enough water will help you get better faster.

While we're on the topic of providing water... The way I'd recommed going about it is just to carry a small bottle with you all the time and drink small amounts every now and then, especially when you feel thirsty. Don't drink too much at once. While it is pretty hard to accidentally hurt yourself by doing so - I wouldn't really consider some idiotic "challenges" as valid examples of people getting hurt by drinking water, because what these are is basically people forcing themselves to do something against their own body and I hope a normal person will be smart enough to stop drinking when he/she feels full or is about to vomit.

The thing is that if you drink too much at once you might get the bad impression that you got your body enough water to last the whole day when in reality your kidneys will just filter out the excess water pretty quickly and a bit later your body might still not be properly hydrated. However, if you drink smaller amounts more often, your kidneys will have a much easier time keeping your body well hydrated all the time.

P.S. There's this genetic disease called Prader-Willi syndrome. What happens is that you cannot feel sated by food - i.e. you are always hungry, no matter how much you eat. Whenever I talk about eating habits and stuff, I always remember that one kid we saw at college who had this and feel genuinely bad for him. It's a truly terrible disease to have.
 
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