This is what I learned about myself when I did the Body For Life plan. That plan calls for eating very healthy, exercising 6 days but what really helped was the one Free Day.
I did the program completely honest for the 6 days, but on the 7th it would be the day to go wild. So, during the week someone at work would bring my favorite doughnuts or order my favorite chinese food. I would pass it easier by saying, "I'll have that on my free day."
Then when my free day came I saw what I really loved. Not the doughnuts. I thought they were the best but when I have only one day to eat EVERYTHING I loved, they didn't make the list.
I was able to lose 40#. In the years that have passed I've gained 20 of that back. I feel the reason I haven't gained more than the 40 that I lost is because of the lessons I learned in what I really like and what I can pass up.
Self control has LONG been a problem of mine ! I too have a family that does not have a problem with weight and I feel just because I shouldn't be eating certain items doesn't mean I can't put them on the grocery list for them especially teenage boys! There are times I ask the boys to keep some of their snack foods in there own rooms so I don't see(in a plastic container so no critters come looking ). Another thing I have found is that the foods I seem to go crazy on are finger foods. I therefore do something that requires some cleaning products which make my hands smell like that even once rinsed(Lysol smell kinda kills the smell of brownies or chips) and another trick I try is if I am crafting...can't have any oils on my hands to complete the projects. I know these are simple ideas but they work for me...Good Luck !
Fitness Minutes: (165)
14 6/15/13 9:09 P
That's great advice, but what about the other family members? I live with 4 other persons who eat those temptations. I don't buy them but they do. They don't have food issues... and I don't want to enlighten them about it!
Fitness Minutes: (41,536)
306 6/15/13 8:15 P
I'm a big fan of not bringing home trigger foods. I know if they are in the house, I will eat them. Especially crackers. So I stop the cycle by not buying them in the store. I know that can be difficult sometimes, so here's some things I do. I eat lunch or dinner before I go shopping so I am full and not shopping with my stomach dictating anything. I make a list before I go and I only buy what is on the list. Another tip is to shop with a friend who will help keep you from buying junk). Or ask someone to shop for you if going to the store is too dangerous. Usually I will try not to look around too much. I stick to the produce and bulk section and try to focus on what I need and not the M&Ms, sugar-laden trail mixes, cookies etc. Hope that helps!
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 6/15/13 7:29 P
Just don't buy junk in the first place and get what you have out of your house! The worst things that I have in my kitchen right now are orange juice and brown rice. One can only do so much damage if the temptations are removed completely.
When you are tempted to eat something you shouldn't, have a drink of water or herbal tea instead. After a couple of glasses, if that doesn't work, have a snack that is high in protein or fiber--an apple, a few nuts, a piece of cheese. Then go DO something (hey, exercise is a good idea) to distract yourself from food.
This is such a struggle for many. If you can get your hands on a copy of the documentary Hungry for Change it will shed some light on the foods we eat today. I think I watched it on Netflix. The foods today have something in it to make you not want to stop eating it and then to crave more so you go buy more.
It's best to stay away from that junk food like chips, sodra, candy, crackers. They will keep you fat and prevent you from your goals. I can see this first hand now. Yesterday the kids wanted Rolo candy's. Well the whole bag is gone and they couldn't stop eating them. I hardly ever give in to buying any of this junk, but I guess yesterday I gave in.
I do make my own candies and baked goods and I usually only make a half batch so things don't get out of control. If you can't control the urges then I wouldn't bring any junk foods home. If they are not there, then you can't eat them. I know that I won't go out just for junk foods, so I am best not to bring any home. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (74,005)
1,546 6/15/13 10:37 A
I am an expert at quitting smoking - did it seven times before it finally stuck. On my last try I dealt with cravings by telling myself "I'll just wait twenty minutes and then I'll have a smoke". Then I got busy with something and usually after twenty minutes the craving was gone. If it was still there, I'd do the same thing again.
The same principle applies to food cravings. Except here, the happy news are, you don't have to give up your favourite junk foods forever. But right now, when you're working on eating healthier and probably on losing weight, it's better to stay away from foods that you KNOW you can't stop eating once you start.
You could try the same trick that helped me quit smoking. Nicotine cravings are a little bit physical and a lot psychological. Food cravings I would say are vastly psychological. If your mind tries to fool you into thinking you NEED this food right now, fool it back and make it wait. Get busy and the cravings may go away.
If this doesn't work for you, try to substitute healthier snacks. I would say have a little of your favourite junk, but I can see from the posts for lots of people this doesn't work. If your mind is pushing you that you NEED ice cream, give it some low-fat plain yogurt instead. You won't be eating three tubs of that.
Fitness Minutes: (165)
14 6/15/13 10:04 A
I just wanted to chime in, and share my pain too. I guess most of us are on SP for these same reasons, the power (?) that tempting food has to us as a comfort, crutch, whatever. I really appreciate the wisdom of the other contributors. Funny how tough we are on ourselves. I can accept all kinds of imperfection in the world and in myself - just check my sock drawers - but when it comes to eating, I'm so ready to slap myself for my weaknesses. I agree that avoiding the tempting stuff - chips awk!- is so wise and simple. Funny that I hear a little voice advise me, "Oh, don't make a big deal, just eat a few chips, everyone else does..." and I agree at that moment, knowing that I gave them up...! Then later, REMORSE. Well, I over-chipped last night, But thanks to all for your support. One more thing - maybe some of us who don't have as many actual pounds to lose are even more likely to badger ourselves, and we struggle so much for peace, because gee, it's just 10, 15, whatever pounds away, we should be able to do it!!! But emotionally and humanly, it's really tough. Let's persevere together!
Fitness Minutes: (215)
27 6/13/13 6:13 P
I really enjoyed these tips Beth , Thank you!
Fitness Minutes: (9,064)
241 6/13/13 1:11 P
I love all of these answers, and I agree, the stuff we call "junk food" is called "junk" for a reason. No redeeming nutritional value, just a bunch of sugar and fat.
Archimedes has said many times that eating that type of stuff is going to make you want more of it. And that turns into a vicious cycle. So for now, get it out of the house so it isn't there to tempt you, and try to eat cleaner so that the cravings go down.
And having said all of that - I know your pain, been there and done that so many times. It will get better if you stay off of it.
Oh my gosh - Everything that BETH said! That's been effectively my own strategy... and the result has been such a win-win: I enjoy my food more than I ever did before, AND i'm eating healthy/losing weight.
Fitness Minutes: (43)
4 6/13/13 11:29 A
I struggle with the same self control problem, but I think everyone who has posted suggestions are very helpful. I am going to take note of these and use them for myself. Thank you and good luck to everyone who struggles with this; it is extremely hard to deal with.
Fitness Minutes: (218,745)
21,371 6/13/13 11:04 A
Good health isn't about will power or self control. Good health is all about making BETTER choices, not perfect ones. Stop trying to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect to be healthy.
Remember, you're trying to change habits learned over a life time. that's not going to happen overnight, a week, a month or even a year. Change takes time. thus the need to be patient with yourself and your body. YES. You are going to make mistakes. We all did. YES. you are going to have day you eat more than others ! And you know what ? That doesn't make you a bad person or an unhealthy one.
It really does take time to change habits. So, don't beat yourself up because you're not perfect. You really don't have to be perfect to be healthy. Moderation in all things. And yes, learning moderation and portion control takes time.
Self-control is so overrated. I think if you have an attitude of deprivation, it will always backfire.
I am a big fan of self-indulgence. The junk food is designed by food engineers to get you hooked, with the combinations of fat, salt, sugar, and texture. Most of it does not really TASTE that good, though. Find really self-indulgent things that are truly delicious, and eat those. Strawberries are in season here. We can eat a quart of strawberries a day, and it feels like a luxury.
The other thing I think about is that it is way better to have something four times as good one fourth as often. So instead of eating a twix every day, go to your local bakery and get a chocolate brioche (or whatever else they have that looks yummy) once or twice a week. Twix has 250 calories. Brioche has maybe 380. So it's a huge win calorie-wise, taste-wise, supporting your local economy-wise if over 4 days you have 380 calories for one brioche vs. 1000 calories for twix. It's not that hard to fit it into an eating plan, and it's really hard to feel like you're depriving yourself when you're getting a fabulous dessert.
I think we make things much harder on ourselves than they need to be.... this whole idea that we "should" have "self control" in the face of all kinds of food temptations and triggers, and that "having the strength of self control" is what "success" looks like. And then we place ourselves in situations where we're tempted and tested - this is soooo stressful! And when we "fail a test" and "give in to temptation" we feel really bad about ourselves. "I have no self control."
You know what? Resisting temptation is HARD. The best way to do it, is to prevent yourself from entering these Test Your Mettle situations. If you find buffets difficult (almost everyone does), maybe avoid them for now. Definitely do not keep chips in the house - they will call to you in your sleep. If they aren't in the house testing and tempting you, you won't have that stress NOR the opportunity for giving in to it. Make your environment as supportive as possible. Make it as easy as possible do "eat right" and as inconvenient as possible to get your hands on "resolve-busting junk."
Now you can't control every situation. You'll go to work and there will be cookies in the lunch room. Or someone in your household will leave a bag of m&m's lying around in plain sight. Yeah. For these uncontrolled moments of temptation, you need all the resolve you can get. For those moments you need resolve. And when you ONLY need to dredge up the strength to cope with OCCASSIONAL moments like this - you'll find you can do it.
It's when every waking moment is a battle of will vs temptation that we set ourselves up for disaster. Fixing your environment is a lot easier than fighting an energy draining battle of willpower vs temptation.
Wise suggestions about the food. I am an emotional eater and just finished 3... yes three haagen dazs bars for a total of over 1000 calories. Sometimes I feel like I can't even go to the places where trigger foods are sold. Makes grocery shopping challenging especially on days like today. I just went in and bought, came home and ate all.
I will always be a sugaraholic. Period. Fact of Life. And this week I am weak. I posted and the responses I got were: a) stop beating myself up and b) do one good thing every day for yourself... c) let the past go... great challenges for me... I struggle with all three in all aspects of my life... so today I am going to drink a lot of water... cause I totally blew the calorie intake. Being human is such a nuisance sometimes. If I can do this, so can you. It isn't easy all the time. When it's easy it's very easy and when it's hard... it's really [blankin'] hard. lol.
Fitness Minutes: (74,005)
1,546 6/12/13 9:48 P
Totally agree with making small changes. At the same time though, I wouldn't keep trigger foods around for a while. If you must have those snacks, you could try to get Halloween size bags, make a friend or relative the "keeper of your stash", and have them only dole out one small bag a day. In time you'll get to the point that fruit or veggies taste just as good or better.
Fitness Minutes: (33,757)
22,223 6/12/13 9:04 P
Here is something to ponder on:
Are you trying to change a lot of things at once? If so, this could be part of your problem. Go back to the beginning and make small changes - Baby Steps. This might be adding an extra serving of fruit/veges and doing a bit more physical activities during the day. It might be reducing soda/juice and increasing water.
WHEN your brain and body have gotten used to that change, add something else to the mix.
By doing it this way you won't notice it anywhere so much, and you will be far less likely to feel deprived. The other thing to note is that this isn't about deprivation or starvation. It is about healthy choices MOST of the time. To stay on this journey it has to NOT feel like a chore. There will be times that you will indulge a little too much, or chose the 'wrong' foods, but this is part of life. It is far easier to stay on track by not beating yourself up, than it is to be in the mind set of "I can't have this and I have to have that!"
Good luck, Kris
Fitness Minutes: (20)
10 6/12/13 8:19 P
I'll start a few days with a good plan on how I'm going to lose this weight, but then something happens where there's food around and I stuff myself like crazy. All I think about it my weight and I don't understand how it's this hard when I REALLY want to lose it. For example I went to a buffet for lunch, then came home and ate a bag of combos, a small bag of doritos and a twix!!!!!!!! ugh how can I ever resist the urges?
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.