If you’ve been reading My Right Mind, you will notice commonly used words in my blog posts.

These words may be used differently on other web sites so please note the glossary with my own descriptions below:

Binge Eating – Binge eating is an eating style that is frantic, excessive and potentially compulsive.  Binging is eating large amounts of food (possibly a day’s worth, or more, there is no limit and it is different for everyone) in a short amount of time, usually alone.  It is characterized by feelings of anxiety, panic, disdain, fear (of being seen while doing it), comfort to be doing it and regret after it is over.  It is always an irrational urge that must be obeyed to be relieved.  Binge eating promotes malnourishment, irregular hormones, weight gain, bloating, skin irritations, headaches, brain fog, moodiness and feelings of shame, guilt and hopelessness.  Binge eating is rooted in dieting and severe food restriction, but once done it may become habitual even if severe food restriction stops.  Binge eating only feels impossible to stop, but it can be completely stopped, and healthier eating habits can replace it.

Diet – Foods eaten.  A diet is commonly thought of a strict way to eat, but it includes every person’s general eating patterns.  The food you eat today is your diet.

Dieting – Dieting refers to the voluntary decision to eat a specific set of foods.  Dieting often is coupled with undereating, restriction and binging, but not always.  While many people who diet also restrict (severely undereat) and binge, it is not rational to assume all do.  Many people diet and do not restrict (undereat) or binge.

Irrational – Irrational refers to thoughts, feelings and actions that are not based on truth.  They are generally rooted in sensational, emotional and absolutistic thinking.  Irrational approaches do not support the common good of anyone or anything but seeks comfort and protection from liberty in habitual thoughts and actions.

Mindful Eating – Mindful eating is eating with awareness of how hungry you are, how food tastes, how it feels entering your body, and how it feels to have had enough of it at any given meal.  Mindful eating enthusiasts advocate eating only when hungry, sitting down for meals, thoroughly chewing food and pausing in between bites to avoid its opposite, mindless eating, or overeating.  While the above certainly help to make mindful eating easier, they are not required to eat mindfully.

Mindless Eating – Mindless eating is eating without awareness of how hungry you are, how food tastes, how it feels entering your body and whether you have eaten enough or not at any given meal.  Eating while standing, at the computer, while watching television, or driving increase the odds that you will eat mindlessly, but do not guarantee it.  It is irrational to assume all eating away from the dining table is mindless and it is irrational to assume all eating at the dining table is mindful.

Overeating – Overeating is simply eating more food than your body needs at any given meal.  It is not a set amount of food, and it is different for everyone.  Some days a serving of food is an appropriate amount for your body and some days it is not enough, or it is too much.  “Too much” is overeating.  It is different from binge eating because it generally is not coupled with the intense emotions of binge eating, but it could be.  Overeating is often stopped with mindful eating.

Paleo – Paleo refers to eating foods that mimic our ancestors diet prior to the Industrial Revolution.  Foods eaten on the paleo eating plan include proteins from all animals, fats in their whole form, and fruits and vegetables.  It does not include grains of any kind, legumes, industrial seed oils, dairy or sugar.

Positive – Positive refers to the very best approach for this very moment.  To be positive is not to be bogged down by the past, but hopefully responsible with your thinking, feelings, and actions right now.

Primal – Primal refers to eating foods that mimic our ancestors prior to the Industrial Revolution.  Similar to the Paleo eating plan, while including dairy from organic, raw sources, and limited amounts of high-quality dark chocolate and sustainably sourced spirits.  It is commonly referred to as “Primal Eating and Living”, including lifestyle habits (focusing on food, fitness, sleep, relationships and relaxation) that contribute to the overall health of any individual.

Processed Foods  – Processed foods are foods that can not be found in nature.  They are often foods that come from a supermarket in a box or wrapper.  For the sake of this blog, processed foods refer to foods containing ingredients that are not whole foods.  They do not include animal protein, fats in their whole form, fruits, vegetables or freshly prepared juices.  An example of a processed food is a granola bar as it likely contains grains that have been refined, sweeteners that has been created in a lab, and shelf stabilizers that are nowhere to be found in nature.  An unprocessed food example is an apple or a grass-fed steak (despite the steak being cooked for consumption).  Debatable, a Larabar is not a processed food, despite it being contained in a wrapper from the supermarket, as its only ingredients are fruits and nuts in their whole form.  However, debating this is not within the spirit of My Right Mind and frankly, does not deserve this much attention.  Decide how rigid you would like to be when buying foods and feel confident going about it.

Rational – Rational is referred to as a logical approach to the thoughts we think, the feelings that follow our thoughts and the actions we do in real life.  It is based on truth.  It is opposite from “irrational”.

Restrict – Restricting food is often thought of simply not eating a specific food but on this blog it is referred to as severe undereating.  It is followed by strong urges to binge, feelings of relief and regret after binge eating, then restriction returns as compensation for binge eating.  Restricting food has not been found as an effective approach to stop binge eating, rather, serves to complicate, frustrate and delay the opportunity to completely stop binge eating.

Undereat – Undereating simply refers to not eating enough for your body.  Undereating will look different for everyone as everyone needs a different amount of food on any given day.  Undereating is a common approach to losing weight, but is often followed by strong urges to binge eat.  It likely promotes quick weight loss, but statistically is not a sustainable approach to eating.  It promotes malnourishment, irregular hormones and complicated behavior around food.  Despite this, it is irrational to assume all undereating results in binge eating.



Image from Flickr.


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