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JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (564,374)
Fitness Minutes: (345,407)
Posts: 15,898
3/26/14 12:06 A

I really think the answer lies within yourself. Talk to your doctor and see what he has to say.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
Posts: 2,954
3/25/14 10:10 P

I gree with KJ. I follow a ratio of carb to protein to fat

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
3/25/14 9:24 P

There is a lot of validity to your argument.

The "Powers that Be" send out a generic message to the public that is intended to be a basic guideline. What is published, even the pictures of how your plate should be filled, is too complicated for a segment of our population, just right for others and not enough information for some one like you.

Those of us who have been or currently are morbidly obese have different issues then someone who needs to lose 30 pounds. The psychological issues involved in our relationships with food, being the invisible fat person in the room, our messed up metabolisms and everything else make losing weight more difficult.

One of the psychiatrists in our bariatric program (he does the pre-surgical psych evals) recommends cognitive-behavioral therapy to help with the addiction type issues that you are talking about. He says that we all know what to do to lose weight, it's the how to do it that is hard. And the how to keep doing it.

UMBILICAL Posts: 12,786
3/25/14 6:52 P


GIPPER1961 Posts: 763
3/25/14 6:11 P

it is absolutely up to the person to seek the answers, My original thesis was and still is that when the only answer offered by the dominant nutritional sources is one message, eat everything in moderation it becomes difficult to find the answer when you have tried and failed with that method over and over, Neither am I saying that it is anyone else s fault when some one puts the oreos in their mouth.

The pursuit of the perfect over the good is a dominant message today. As a parallel there are localities that ban e-cigarettes under the guise that it may attract young people to nicotine. But along the way the long time smokers that are using them to quit smoking are left out of the conversation.

in a perfect world science would give us the information based on the variables they were able to control for and we would make up our own minds after careful consideration, but studies are frequently reported not as the scientist presented them but as some writers "proof" that one diet or another is the ideal way to eat.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/25/14 5:54 P

I think it comes to "tweaking" for a lot of people, too.

Sparkpeople has my carb suggestion at 150-250 per day. I learned that 150 is even too much sometimes for me...250? No way.

Salt? Forget about it. I learned, too - that salt makes me retain water like a madwoman. I ate 1580 some cals yesterday, but my sodium was at 2,300 (daily recommended)..I put on 2 pounds overnight due to water retention :( I am drinking 9 glasses of water today and keeping my sodium to 1,300 today to try to get it out.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
3/25/14 5:05 P

I am in absolute agreement with Eelpie, that it is up to the person to seek information. If someone chooses to "give up" without spending even a few minutes researching their options, then that is their choice. The information is out there - in individual support groups, if not on government or institutionally sponsored sites. PubMed is invaluable for finding research, and only requires the choice to look.

I am also confused at the idea that there is a single, simple "formula" that is being provided to everyone. I see government recommendations of how to lay out your plate, or numbers of servings, but with some pretty wide ranges for the macro-nutrients. I see researched support for omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan diets. I see, many times, recommendations that people work with physicians and / or dietitians to find what will work best for them as an individual. What I do not see is anyone saying is "x+y-z= weight-loss for everyone" (unless, of course, they are trying to sell you x or y or z).

What has worked for me, personally, is an approach that I have never seen discussed anywhere. I had some severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies that I wanted to address with foods, so I focused totally on getting sufficient quantities daily of folate, iron, B12, B6, calcium, potassium, and fibre. It so happens that most foods that are high in those seem to be lower calorie, higher volume, and / or extremely satiating. I don't have any issues with cravings, because, quite simply, I'm full. I don't have any scientific basis for thinking this, but I suspect that my body doesn't crave anything because its needs are being met. I must note, however, that I have never been either an emotional eater or a binge eater, and I most definitely would never be considered a food addict.

Meeting all of the requirements for the individual micro-nutrients (which I need 150-200% RDA of some of them, due to some issues with absorbing them) just happened to work out so that my macros fall pretty much smack in the middle of the ranges recommended by governments, and by Spark. They also happened to fall in to the range of calories for weight loss. This was more happy coincidence than it was by design.

Just like most folks I've seen be successful, I did some research, and some thinking, and found a way of eating that works for me. I neither wanted, expected, nor looked for a simple, single formula to be handed to me by government or an institution. A government or institution does not know *me*, so how could they possibly know what my specific individual needs are?

Unless the world changes in ways that I really don't want to see, it will always come down to each individual and what choices they make. We need to choose to look for information, choose to experiment, choose to make changes, and choose to act on those changes. If the action is complicated by medical circumstances (food addiction or another disease), then we have the choice to have those medical circumstances treated in order to make them less of an issue --- or we have the choice to "give up".

ETHELMERZ Posts: 19,672
3/25/14 4:21 P

There is no "right" set of answers, look at the decades long list of books written about weight loss and health, written by every kind of charlatan, or celebs, most of them make money but don't really ever "cure" anyone. Hardest thing to accept, is that just "knowing" what to eat and then doing just that for ever and ever, seems to not happen, maybe for a small percentage of people it does, but I don't know one single soul who has lost weight who kept it off, and I'm 67 yrs old!!! Even the friends who had weight loss surgery, after 3 yrs, and everyone marveling at how good they looked, they began the same eating style they had before, but kept saying they would "get back to healthy eating" next Monday or something. There is a mental thing going on here.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/25/14 4:04 P

"For some low carb diets may be the answer, but others not. Others may find another answer but because of the single formula they just give up and don't explore other ways of eating."

Then is it not up to the person to seek information?

I did. I researched and experimented with different "plans" and formulas until I found what worked for me. Mine is a style called "slow carb" coupled with whole foods and clean eating.

I guess maybe it comes down to initiative?

FLORADITA SparkPoints: (64,020)
Fitness Minutes: (41,213)
Posts: 541
3/25/14 3:42 P

I often think we miss some of the most important factors of our lives when we look at obesity and weight loss. Where we are emotionally, physically and psychologically plays a huge role in whether or not we will be successful. Mindset is so important but if you have been plagued with injuries or illness, if you are stuck in a miserable marriage or career, if your children, parents or loved ones are suffering or in trouble, or if you are suffering from trauma, abuse or depression can all play a significant role in how healthy a life we are living. When I am under intense stress or if I am suffering from depression, trying to lose weight or exercise can feel impossible. I crave and eat junk food, cake, cookies, chips, fast foods etc. as an escape from my misery. Of course the relief is momentary and harm get compounded but when your mind is being hijacked by unwanted and stressful emotions it is hard to think rationally or to act in ways that are healthy. While being addicted to food can cause serious damage over the long term it does take a while for the effects to present themselves. Being an alcoholic or having a substance abuse issue can wreck havoc in so many areas in your life and the damage can start to happen quite quickly. But food addiction and its effect tends to be a slower creep, kind of sneaks up on you and then 20 years later you wake up and go holy sh*t what the heck happened!!?? So many of us have put our own lives on hold for our children, spouses, parents and businesses etc. We are often last on the list of priorities so who can blame us when we treat ourselves to a pint of Hagan Daz?

When you are obese and are face with the huge mountain of a task to turn your life around it is easier and sometimes feels safer to stay where you are. I have made every excuse, I have tried and failed many times only to find yet another reason why to stay unhealthy. I even had legitimate reasons, my husband died, my kids needed me and then I lost my thyroid to an autoimmune disease which caused even more weight gain and so the list of reasons continued to grow.

The thing that changed for me was I felt time was starting to run out for me to ever have the life I knew I deserved. I began to feel resentful and angry at myself ( and the whole world for that matter) for putting everyone and everything ahead of myself. Instead of seeing getting healthy and fit as being a chore and something to dread, I decided to chose being healthy as a gift to myself. In putting myself at the top of the list for the first time in over 30 years I am finally taking a stand for me. And most importantly I am making it fun and interesting. I watch what I eat but I make sure I am eating great food that fuels my body and tastes fabulous. I schedule my workouts and it is my time that I give up for no one. I make choices based on what I want and what will assist me towards my goals. I cook what I want and need to eat, others can join me or they can now fend for themselves. I seek support when I need it, I no longer suffer in silence. In essence I have become more selfish about getting my needs met and the outcome has been better for everyone. Being the proverbial doormat doing everything for everyone served no one. As a mother I assumed that was the role I was to play but I ended up sacrificing my own health and happiness as a result.

Weight loss and getting healthy is about eating good whole foods, exercising and generally eating less food overall but more than anything it is a mind/body/spirit effort. If you feel defeated you will be defeated. If you feel stuck you will stay stuck. If you think it is to big a problem to fix you won't be able to fix it. If you believe food tastes better than having the life you deserve you will keep eating. What you believe about your situation is what will be your reality. Most of the worlds problems are due to the belief systems that prevail. If you want to be thin/fit/healthy then think thin/fit and healthy. We seriously underestimate what power our emotional well being has over the decisions we make and way we live our lives. Not only did I have to cut out some unhealthy foods from my diet I had to cut some unhealthy enablers from my life. I had to add healthy activities and drop self destructive ones and people who aided me in the bad habits. In securing my mental health and well being meant distancing myself from family and friends that caused mental distress and sought out those who have similar goals and feed my soul and well being.

Every single person knows what is needed to live a healthy lifestyle. The stories we tell ourselves otherwise is our psyche playing tricks. The exercising, eating healthy foods and lowering our caloric intake is easy, the emotional, psychological and mental aspects are what hang us up.

GIPPER1961 Posts: 763
3/25/14 3:09 P

I actually agree quite a bit with what ICEDEMETER wrote. I personally do keep the mind set that the typical advice won't work 100% for me. Sometimes I do better than other times but yes I do treat it as a sugar addiction.

I feel very strongly though that we are leaving a great many people who can be brought into this way of thinking are left to their own devices because of what I see as a dogma from the government. For some low carb diets may be the answer, but others not. Others may find another answer but because of the single formula they just give up and don't explore other ways of eating. Also the daily influx of new diets promising unreal results also doesn't help but I am not sure what we can do about that.

I don't expect easy answer to be honest but it is a subject I am passionate about and thought it might generate some thoughtful discussion.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
3/25/14 2:40 P

I think that when we look at a nation with an obesity problem, and even more-so with multiple nations with an obesity problem, then we have to expect that the national governments and large institutions are going to focus their research and recommendations on generalizations that will hopefully impact the majority of the population. They really need to get the biggest "bang for their buck", which means focusing on what will help the most people.

While there is more and more research coming out showing that some segment of the population has a "food addiction" that mirrors the physiological affects of any other addiction, there is no reason to believe that this affects more than a minority of the population.

Unfortunately, this puts members of that minority in the position of knowing that the general recommendations don't apply to them, but without knowing where to go for assistance and guidance for their specific situation.

I see it as being similar to having a rare cancer. You see every day the huge amounts of fund-raising and research and government dollars going towards the common cancers, but have to search hard to find someone who has any knowledge at all about your particular condition. The internet has helped tremendously in this search, by allowing far-flung individuals to share their knowledge and research with each other. When there are enough folks sharing information with each other, they not only can provide each other support, but the "weight" of the community can spur the institutions and governments to increase research when they can see that there is enough need.

I think that this is where you and others who have food addiction are going to have to start - with groups that are focused on your specific needs. It will start with sharing information and tips on what might help, what might harm, and with support. As these groups grow, then some individuals may choose to start lobbying the government and institutions for more research and more tools to treat this specific addiction. If there are enough people impacted, then we'll start seeing more support and services, similar to what we see for drug or alcohol addictions.

When there aren't enough people impacted for there to be a strong, focused community, then you are unfortunately put in the position of having to use more generalized information and try to get support from others who do not share your specific condition. The main fora here, for example, is going to be focused on the majority who really can just "make up their mind", and who can actually be helped by the general recommendations. The minority will have to look for separate groups or "teams" that are focused on their shared issues for support and recommendations for any specific condition.

It is not an easy thing to accept that the "big picture" does not include yourself, and your life-and-death struggle. It's frustrating and heart-breaking to think that your own situation is not common enough to be included in the majority of recommendations and research. It means that you have to search more, experiment more, and try harder to find the support and information that you need. There are many, many people suffering from rare conditions who deal with this every day, and I haven't yet seen a better option for them than to "get together" on-line to share their resources and hopefully join together enough "weight" to get more institutions and governments to do more work on their behalf.

Here on the general fora of Spark, I think that the most you can expect from anyone is for them to share their own experiences and support. While most folks may not have the issue of food addiction, hopefully there will be some who will want to share their own experiences and knowledge either here or in one of the focused teams.

3/25/14 2:20 P

Just my two cents; I addiction of any kind needs to be addressed. I also think addicts need to start their path to controlling addiction by eliminating others (enablers) and put the focus on oneself.

I have lost weight and a good chunk of it without knowing national standards but just knowing the basics; macro nutrients (Fat, Protein, Carbs) and used an online calculator to figure them out and then find out what works best for me.

Good luck!

GIPPER1961 Posts: 763
3/25/14 1:56 P

As for our dietitian my guess is that as the sources that produce the standards start to accept other ways of eating spark people and others will also report this change. I don't fault them. It is the sources of the standards that seem a bit inflexible to me.

--MEOW-- Posts: 4,521
3/25/14 1:55 P

Eating less works for everyone but I guess the real problem is figuring out why we overeat... If you think you are addicted to food then working out and trying to diet will never be enough... have you been actually treating it as an addiction? I mean, it might be true and maybe you need a therapist who specializes in addictions instead of a nutritionist...?

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/25/14 1:51 P

Well, an alcoholic can't drink even one.

But the problem is that people need food to survive, or they die.

So I guess the question do you do that - be addicted to something that is necessary to life, yet stop the addiction.

Have you ever looked at the websites or literature by groups such as overeaters anonymous to see how they handle it?

GIPPER1961 Posts: 763
3/25/14 1:36 P

Just for discussion purposes do we just tell an alcoholic to make up their mind to drink 1 beer per day? I truly don't see the difference. I don't think we should treat over eaters as victims because that isn't helpful, but just make up your mind not to do it? I personally have tried to do that for forty years and am trying to find a way to do that.

SHKIRK Posts: 1,168
3/25/14 1:22 P

Addiction and disease have been thrown around about obesity for more then 10 years now. The true fact is we need to eat less calories and move more. Plain and simple. The causes are different for each person but the facts are the facts. We have to convince ourselves we can do it and do it. It is up to each person to do it for themselves. (for whatever the reason we eat more then we need) Mind over matter !! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/25/14 1:21 P

I hear what you are saying, but at the same time, people can only post about what effects them and what they have found that works for them.

"I have some of these attributes but have not given up. My topic of discussion is that the traditional formulaic advice of eat x number of servings of vegetables, eat x amount of fiber and eat everything in moderation just doesn't ring true. "

Every one is different. What worked for me to lose weight, might not work for you..what Betty did to lose weight might not work for me, and what Joe did might not work for any one.

In the's calories in vs. calories out - that is what matters. Now someone could achieve the same kinda results on a diet of peas every day (1500 cals worth of peas), and some one could achieve the same kinda results on a diet of potato chips (1500 cals worth of potato chips).

Some people have addictions to food. I believe it to be true. But I never did - I ate unhealthy portions of unhealthy food, so I can't ever offer advice to someone like that - and I certainly would never poo-poo their problems.

"I am talking about nutritional teaching." Have you brought this up to Dietician Becky in the Diet and Nutrition Thread? That is where I would start.

GIPPER1961 Posts: 763
3/25/14 12:52 P

I have been a member for a long time and have even had some success losing weight. I have been back into some binge eating habits. This post is somewhat adapted from a post on another thread that I thought could get some interesting comments and at the same time maybe give me some food for breaking my current plight.

While the nutrition advice I see here and other sources is solid for many people in the world, there are a group of people (no idea how large) who it just doesn't work for. The group I am talking about has the following attributes:
1. Morbidly obese
2. Has tried numerous diets and eating plans
3. Has lost weight before successfully and has gained it back numerous times
4. Is about to give up and just eat themselves to death peacefully

I have some of these attributes but have not given up. My topic of discussion is that the traditional formulaic advice of eat x number of servings of vegetables, eat x amount of fiber and eat everything in moderation just doesn't ring true. There is an addiction mentality even though many people say food or sugar addiction isn't real.

Personally I have fought this successfully and unsuccessfully for decades. My point here is that when we offer formulas we leave people that fit this profile out. We treat them as people treated alcoholics and drug addicts in the past. They were told to just stop drinking and taking drugs. It is easy just stop. Over the years we have developed good strategies for helping them, but when we tell eaters they just have to follow the rules and eat everything in moderation we not only don't help the people but we hurt everyone since so much of the health care system is funded by public tax dollars. Obesity is costing real money and won't turn around for these folks by offering formulas.

I will also say I am not referring to the support aspects. There are great teams available for this here and I am a member of some of these, I am talking about nutritional teaching. Additionally I am not intending to indict organizations like spark people. There are very up front about where they get their information and advice. I am talking about the government and non governmental sources that create these formulas. I have come to refer to them as the nutritional industrial complex.

I wish I had the answers but am interested in the viewpoints here and maybe some can help me with my problems.

Edited by: GIPPER1961 at: 3/25/2014 (13:19)
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