Will Power?

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cwilcox007

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 7

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010, 15:18
What is that that causes me to eat something even when I am telling myself not to eat it? If only the mental gymnastics I perform in justifying eating "just a little something" when I know I shouldn't were physical I would never have a weight problem. I think many of us have been there before. Full of good intentions and will power only to have some craving creep ever so slowly into the back of our minds. At times I feel powerless to the point that I even tell myself "if I can just win "this time" I will have the strength I need next time." And then I proceed to pop whatever it was I was craving into my mouth and say I will do better tomorrow. WHAT IS THAT?
Runesinger

Joined: May 10
Posts: 578

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010, 16:17
It's not so much about will power, it's about eating the right things. Don't get in a hurry, don't overdo. If you eat too little, your brain will drive you crazy. Try to eat enough to get close to your Max RDI.

Also try increasing the protein intake and reducing the carb intake. Carbs burn very quickly and don't stay with you.

Make sure that the food you eat is nutrient-rich - not junk food. If your body gets adequate nutrients (proteins, vitamins, minerals), your brain will stop telling your body that you're hungry.
Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010, 16:19
Perhaps it's the lure of the forbidden?

I've tried dieting before, but I could never stick to it-- I always wanted to go eat the things that I wasn't allowed to eat. This time, for the first time in my life, I feel like I'm doing things right and it's working for me.

My strategy was not to create a list of forbidden foods. (OK, there's one thing that's forbidden-- artificial sweeteners-- but that's not a problem for me. I try to avoid HFCS, but I don't make a herculean effort.) Rather, I'm focusing on the things that I want to be eating, and on making those things as satisfying and delightful as possible.

Nothing is forbidden, though. For example, last Sunday I found that I'd only eaten about half of my (loosely-defined) calorie quota for the day. It was too hot to cook, and even if I did cook I didn't really have foods around that had enough calories to fill out the day, and I didn't want to undereat too badly. I contemplated my options for a couple of minutes then jumped in the car, put the top down, and went to In-n-Out for a hamburger and fries. I ate the burger and half the fries and wound up pretty much exactly at my calorie quota for the day.

One of the things I'm finding about not having anything that's off-limits is that I'm not fighting off cravings, ever. If I really want something I just go eat some of it and then work it into my daily food budget. I'm noticing that this has a really interesting side effect of making cravings less interesting for me. I've recently found myself contemplating high-calorie big-ticket foods that I really enjoy but am out of the habit of eating. What's really been interesting to me is the way that this happens-- rather than them becoming cravings, I find that I contemplate them in a much more detached manner. Today when I was heading out to lunch I had the following conversation with myself:

"Self, a brownie from the bakery across the street sounds really good, doesn't it? Yeah, self it does. Hmm. I could go get one." I contemplated a bit. "Nah, I don't want it badly enough. I'll have one another time." I walked over to the Thai place and got string beans with tofu instead.

I did the same thing with a cheesesteak sandwich earlier this week, and decided that I didn't want it enough to go get one. I'm sure that someday I'll have this thought and decide that I *do* want it badly enough to go get one. If I do, I'll have the 476-calorie 7" sandwich rather than my previous 788-calorie 10-inch sandwich. I can find a way to work a 500-calorie sandwich into my day.

For me, giving myself permission pretty much kills the cravings.
Johanne

Joined: Jul 09
Posts: 336

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010, 16:27
You need to eat the correct way for your body. For medical reasons, I have to restrict my protein. I eat very high carb, but it's all very complex carbs. I'm eating whole foods, seldom processed. I've eliminated the unhealthy foods (high fructose corn syrup, enriched and white flour products, hydrogenated oils, etc.) from my diet. Since I started eating this way, I'm never hungry and I have no cravings. Most of the other people on here who are finding success are experiencing the same results with whatever diet they are following. For some it's high complex carbs. For some it's something like South Beach or Atkins. If you find the right match for your own body, you will find it so easy. And . . . AND don't try to lose too fast. Stay close to your RDI or just below it. Adjust it every once in a while as you lose. That way you will be eating enough to support the person you are NOW and your metabolism won't shut down on you/go into starvation mode and tell you constantly how hungry you are. Best of luck!!!

Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and good things will be yours. -- Swedish Proverb

Hara Hachi Bu! The problem is, when do you know you are? LOL!

Calories are the little buggers that get into your wardrobe at night and sew your clothes tighter.
Johanne

Joined: Jul 09
Posts: 336

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010, 16:37
OK, I just checked out your diet calendar, and your RDI is set for the same amount of calories as mine is. I'm considerably smaller than you are (same proportions, just female shorty). Where did you get 2000 as an RDI? I'm thinking, of COURSE you're having cravings. I'm surprised you're not starving all the time. You might want to consider resetting your RDI for the weight you are now. You will probably lose faster as well. JMO. I hope I don't offend you.

Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and good things will be yours. -- Swedish Proverb

Hara Hachi Bu! The problem is, when do you know you are? LOL!

Calories are the little buggers that get into your wardrobe at night and sew your clothes tighter.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010, 16:58
It is either emotional or physical.

If it's physical, it is often a symptom of not eating enough nutritious foods regularly throughout the day. Eventually hunger will win. You may not even know you are hungry.

If it's emotional, it usually has roots in something that has nothing to do with food- like stress, sadness, unhealed emotions, etc.

If it's neither, just put your foot down with yourself. You are an adult, not a child. You are in control of your actions. YOU decide what you eat. Period.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
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newsie28

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 7

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010, 18:03
Hang in there... cravings will go away in time if you stick to a healthy diet full of whole grains, lean protein, fruits and veggies. You eventually stop wanting excessive sugar and fat. It's like you lose the taste for it. However when I do get cravings I have my own little crutches... if I want salt, I eat pickles (practically zero calories by the way) and if I want sweet, I eat raisins. They pack a punch of natural sugar and they're fairly low in calories. Good luck!
cgurski

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 8

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010, 18:08
I found that when I was hungry in between meals when I first started out that if I ate something higher in fiber I felt fuller longer. I also discovered that adding a small breakfast helped out a great deal too. I wasn't so hungry at lunch that I would have to overeat. I also carried around sandwich baggies of pre-measured servings of things like triscuits, pretzel sticks, or raw veggies since a lot of my problem is portion control!
Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010, 18:33
k8yk makes an interesting point-- is it a physical craving or a psychological one? You've gotten good advice for both types, but you probably should figure out where the craving is coming from before you decide how to address it.
FatAgain

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 32

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010, 19:06
Like Oprah says, "It's not what you're eating, it's what eating you." I really believe that. If we only ate when we were hungry and actually listened to our body's hunger cues, we wouldn't have issues like we do. It's the eating when we are bored/lonely/sad/upset/happy/watching tv/etc. that adds in all those extra calories. We need to reconnect with ourselves and tune into why we want to eat at any given moment.

And, as others have said in their own way, telling ourselves we can't eat something is a sure fire way to make it the only thing we'll be able to think about for the rest of our waking hours. Try to keep the really tempting, high calorie stuff out of the house to make it less attainable but also try to let yourself have the things you like in moderation and on a regular basis so that they don't turn into fixations.

We are addicts who must still deal with/shop for/handle/prepare the very substance we are addicted to on a daily basis so it's going to be tough. That's probably why there aren't too many recovering alcoholic bartenders!

I think what I've learned from this whole lifelong journey with weight issues is that it's not about deprivation. That's not something most people can live with long term. We need to create a new way of relating food to our lives. It's that difficult and that simple all at the same time. Just keep trying.
׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×

The Golden Rules
1) When you are hungry, EAT.
2) Eat what you want, not what you think you should.
3) Eat CONSCIOUSLY and enjoy every mouthful.
4) When you think you are full, STOP eating.

׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×

cwilcox007

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 7

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Posted: 01 Oct 2010, 10:18
WOW! What a great bunch of people you are! When I posted this I didn’t really expect that anybody would respond but hoped someone might share some ideas. Thank you very much.
My cravings are not physical for sure. Often times I know that I am not hungry. What is difficult for me is that many times I can not even discern what I am craving and those are the worst times. I generally will eat many things until I come across what ever it might have been that lets me stop.
I’m wondering if this isn’t behavior oriented. The only time I really have trouble is night time. After the family has gone to bed, I’m a bit of an insomniac, I lose control. I can adhere to my diet perfectly all day long and once I am alone I start sneaking food. Maybe worst about this habit is that I don’t record it in my food log. I assume I do this thinking if I didn’t record it I didn’t really eat it.
I’ve tried for years to figure if there is something emotional that causes my obesity and continually come up with nothing. I had a great childhood, wonderful parents, loyal friends and got along well at school. I’m just ashamed of my “food sneaking” and need to get a handle on it. My diet has worked, I imagine, as well as it has because of how well I adhere to my diet during the daytime. I know I could do so much better if I could just get that late-night TV munchie thing under control.
FatAgain

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 32

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Posted: 01 Oct 2010, 10:41
I think you got such a great response because we all share the same issues, to some degree, in our relationship with food.

There doesn't have to be some horrible issue in your past to make you an emotional eater. Boredom and loneliness are emotions! Also, I know what it is to "sneak" food. It's easier to be "good" when people are "watching" but then when we are alone we let loose. I think it's a matter of learning to be accountable to ourselves, to be our own food police, because there will always be times when nobody is watching us (and if there isn't, we'll go out of our way to create them!). There is so much shame associated with being overweight that we try to hide our addictions from the world. Trouble is, we're only fooling (and hurting) ourselves.

There's no magic one-size-fit-all answer. But recognizing that you have these issues is certainly the first step toward overcoming them. Maybe it would help if you just bit the bullet and included the "sneaky" food in your log, blowing your own cover, so to speak, by not allowing yourself a place to hide. And maybe you could record another log of your food sneaking, keeping track of the time, place, what you ate, what you were doing, and how you felt at the time. Eventually, you will be able to identify patterns and perhaps come up with strategies to get through those moments.

Maybe it could be as simple as not watching tv late at night. Try reading or surfing the net, both of which keep your brain and your hands engaged so it won't be so easy to mindlessly eat. Or find a hobby or craft you enjoy doing. Whatever you do, I wish you success!
׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×

The Golden Rules
1) When you are hungry, EAT.
2) Eat what you want, not what you think you should.
3) Eat CONSCIOUSLY and enjoy every mouthful.
4) When you think you are full, STOP eating.

׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×׺°”˜`”°º×

Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

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Posted: 01 Oct 2010, 12:45
OK, you've clearly defined what the problem is. In that case, you want to take the psychological approaches rather than the physical ones.

You've outlined the behavior pattern that causes your out-of-controlled eating. To me the right approach is to figure out a way to change your whole late-night behavior pattern. As FatAgain suggested, try turning off the TV. Take a walk instead. Play video games, especially if you have a Wii-- the gameplay tends to be more physically interactive. Work jigsaw or crossword puzzles. Write long journal entries on here.

In short, don't sit idly and do something that keeps your hands busy.
cwilcox007

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 7

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Posted: 04 Oct 2010, 14:57
Thanks Hoser & Fatagain
jdofaz

Joined: Dec 09
Posts: 58

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Posted: 04 Oct 2010, 16:52
You might not be eating enough during the day if you are getting such strong cravings. Log it no matter what, this site does not work if you are not accurate as possible. Even if you eat up to your maintenance level take comfort in knowing you didn't gain, you just put off loss by a day.
mouse4

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 101

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Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 09:07
cwilcox - I always had the - "ok, everyone's asleep, now I can eat' syndrome!!!! I found a few things that helped.. when you want to eating, try drinking one or two huge glasses of water first; go clean something; go brush your teeth; take the dog for a walk (if you have one); find a puzzle to do or a book to read; EXERCISE!!! - even if it is a few leg lifts, some sit ups, or stretching; Heck, sometimes I have had to do several of these things to stop the cravings and the urge to eat - but believe it or not, after a few nights of this - you stop craving the foods and sometimes even find yourself just doing these things. The TV often never even goes on! AND bonus is that sometimes extra weight comes off faster!! It isn't easy to get rid of the hide and eats!! I know, eating after 8:00 at night was my biggest crime!!!
Good luck!! You can do this!!!
vackerman

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 66

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Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 12:25
What a great discussion. I think every post is correct at some point for each of us. Keep up the good work everyone! I especially like the recommendations about nothing being forbidden, which has worked well for me, as well as, the move and do something else. When really in a pinch I've chewed sugar-free gum. As a rule I stay away from artificial sweetners, but this has helped me to have something sweet, quench the craving and not break my calorie budget....
599diet019

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 2

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Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 12:42
My big problem was snacking when i'm not paying attention (sitting at the computer, driving). I didn't even realize how much I was eating when I did it. I knew I ate the entire bag of pork rinds or beef jerky or pretzels, I knew there were a lot of calories in the bag, but it didn't really register. I used to think, gee I don't eat that much... I wonder why I can't seem to lose weight. Well, I wasn't eating that much for meals, but I was snacking all day long. I may have only eaten 1500 calories at meal times for the day, but I'd had 5,000 including my snacks (including chocolate, mmm chocolate). I'm new at this, I can only hope that I too can overcome the cravings, but you are NOT ALONE. I too am a night owl, its about the only time I can play World of Warcraft uninterrupted. I've decided that when I get a really bad craving I'm going to do 10 quick pushups and see what happens to that craving. I've been told that sometimes a food craving is really thirst! So I'll always keep a cold glass of unsweetened tea handy. Good luck to you on your journey.
Lee2010

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 200

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Posted: 06 Oct 2010, 20:31
You should try to eliminate foods from your cupboard that are 'snacky' type foods you can eat at night. Stock up on fruit & veges instead, or healthy-ish snacks like rice crackers and hummus. Eat something that takes a long time to eat, like peeling and cutting up fruit. Or just go to bed earlier? Or, before you snack, say to yourself 'Ok, before I can have pretzels, I have to eat an orange'. This works for me because I don't really like fruit and would rather forgo the snack than eat the piece of fruit first (this is for those times when I know I am not really hungry).
Rafic

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 2

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Posted: 07 Oct 2010, 02:16
If you fancy reading about why people get hooked on certain foods, you should read "The End of Over Eating" book by David Kessler. Maybe that'll help you to stop.



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