AQUAGIRL08   200,399
200,000-249,999 SparkPoints
AQUAGIRL08's Recent Blog Entries

Why Do I Snack? Evening Snacking Is A Problem!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Weight Watcher's assignment this week was to look at any snacking in which I indulge. I am to record what I eat, what time I eat it and how I feel when I want a snack. All of this information will be recorded on a piece of paper which I will take with me to my next group meeting on Friday. We will discuss our findings at the meeting, but I just wanted to share with others what I've discovered about myself already.

When we were initially discussing the topic of snacking, last week, we listed reasons that people snack. Here are some of the reasons that were mentioned:

Pain both physical and emotional
Because the food is available
Pressured to eat a snack by another person
Social situations
Because you're actually thirsty
Not eating enough earlier in the day
Not feeling full after a meal
Some nutrients missing from diet
Using food rewards
Eating to take medication
Substituting food for love and affection

The discussion that we had made me think about what my own reasons are for snacking. Writing down my snacks and how I was feeling when I ate them, was an eye opening experience. I eat healthy snacks, during the day, that are planned and that isn't a problem. What is a problem is my evening snacking. I found five things about my snacking habits, that jumped out at me already and it is only day four of my recording. There are occasions when I do others too but the five listed below were reasons that are my most repeated reasons.

First, I snack because I don't get enough fat in my diet. Last night I went through a parade of low calorie snacks before I decided to eat some almonds. Sure enough, as soon as I ate them, I stopped snacking. In my mind, I know that this is nothing new. Putting it into practice is another thing, however. My experience last night made a huge impression and I will now incorporate more healthy fats into my diet. Healthy fats help to make you feel more satisfied and are needed as building blocks for your body.

Second, I snack because I'm fatigued. Right now I'm making a concentrated effort to spread out my activities over the course of the whole day rather than exhausting myself by working out for 2-3 hours in the morning. I'm using a device called an ActiveLink to monitor my daily activity and to help me in this endeavor. I will also head to bed earlier and increase my nightly amount of sleep. Spark People has a great article on what fatigue does to sabotage your good diet intentions.

Third, I snack because my old eating pattern was to eat too little during my day. I've increased the amount that I eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner which has helped tremendously. I also carry snacks with me when I go out, just in case I get really hungry after my workouts.This is an ongoing battle for me since I was raised by a mother who had an eating disorder. As someone who is hypothyroid, not eating enough caused by metabolism to tank even further than was my norm. Tracking my daily food from the time I get up in the morning until the time I go to sleep at night has also been very helpful. Saving up my calories or Weight Watcher's points instead of using them starves my body during the day and is very unhealthy. I'm not going to earn accolades for under eating and I'm not going to starve if I reach the end of my day without calories to spare. I also don't want to force feed snack foods just to achieve my daily calorie and Weight Watcher's point totals. Eating the wrong foods is just as unhealthy as not eating enough. It is time to overhaul my thinking in this department.

Fourth, I tend to medicate myself with food to help me deal with chronic pain as well as emotional pain. This is self defeating and has masked my problems instead of treating my problems. I am now working on activity pacing so that I can decrease my pain without food. Using the pacing to get myself to stop activities before I start to feel pain is also a good way to avoid putting myself in a position where I can do permanent damage to my joints, muscles and spine. I am also dealing with my emotional pain head-on and learning new techniques for coping. My goal is to feel good without medication by using what I've learned and turning things to my own advantage.

Last, using food as a reward. This overlaps with snacking as a habit because using food as a reward has become a habit or an excuse for me to snack. Sometimes I have difficulty separating the two reasons. I have started a non food reward system for myself in an effort to get away from food rewards. At Weight Watchers we have also taken a look at choosing activities that are not food or alcohol based. Celebrating my own achievements without food will go a long way to help me feel good about myself without self defeating behavior. This is a hard one for me to break because I was brought up in a family where food dominated social and reward situations. I can start by learning to love myself as I am right now - without guilt or apology. It's okay for me to share accomplishments with others and accept sincere compliments and attention with grace. I don't need to deny the value of rewards, compliments and recognition to prove that I'm humble or not selfish. We all need to be validated and appreciated. I need to learn to do this for myself. I also need to improve my positive self talk and appreciate as well as celebrate my own talents, achievements and gifts.

Have you taken a look at your snacking habits? Are you using any of the reasons listed above? I would love to have you share your experiences with me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNABRIGHT 10/24/2012 8:40AM

    I remember doing this exercise years ago and I thank you for blogging on it as I need to do it again. I'll let ou know what I find out about me!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AQUAGIRL08 10/24/2012 5:21AM

    I agree with both of you that a planned snack can often keep you from getting too hungry. I do have planned snacks after exercise or if I get really hungry between meals. Healthy snacking can be a good way to control over eating. Hunger is one of the healthy reasons people snack. One of the reasons I get hungry, besides working out, is that I don't get enough healthy fat in my diet. I also tend to under eat for breakfast and lunch. From reading several Spark articles, I gather that this is a common problem.

Comment edited on: 10/24/2012 5:22:17 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLENDERELLA61 10/23/2012 9:37PM

    planned snacks are fine and can even been encouraged. they can help you keep your blood sugar level and stay satisfied and full without stuffing. Unplanned eating is the problem in my book. When it comes to unplanned eating I have so many excuses. Truly I have been a binge eater for years. However, now my binges are far smaller, far healthier, and far less often. The biggest change is I don't give up just because I screwed up. I get right back on it. Fatigue is definitely a big trigger for me. There are other times I mess up and just can't figure out why I did it. Guess I need to analyze it better. I'm not aware that I'm doing "emotional eating" but when I am deviating from what I logically want to eat, it must be emotional??!?

You've done a really good analysis of your own behavior. Keeping that list or journal has to give you some real insight. Perhaps I'll make more notes and give it more thought. So many people in my life think I've been a normal weight for 4 years now and that it has to come easy for me now. No way.

You are doing a great job! Keep it up, Cyndi!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 10/23/2012 8:19PM

    i have my snacks built in to my daily caloric intake.....
some days are admittedly better than others but on the whole not too bad.....
all the best with setting your base line....
blessings and hugs............lita

Report Inappropriate Comment

Decision To Redo ActiveLink Baseline

Monday, October 22, 2012

After plugging in my ActiveLink last night, I decided that I should figure out a way to redo my baseline. I played around with the software and figured out a way to do it - finally! This was a decision made after reading additional data in the ActiveLink material. At the rate I was going, with my physical limitations, this was the healthiest decision for me. I could have stayed with the original challenge but after my first 12 week challenge was over, I wouldn't have anywhere to progress. As hard as I was working out, there were days when I earned no activity points at all. Consequently, I will make a bigger effort to lower my baseline this week even if it means taking off my ActiveLink during the second half of my exercise. I was warned that this might happen but I thought I had cut back on my activity an adequate amount. I was wrong. This time I will get it right.

This is not to say that the whole "first week assessment" didn't have merit. I learned a lot from just looking at the data that was collected last week. What I said yesterday about spreading out my activities over the whole day still stands. That just makes sense to me and will benefit me in the long haul. I've had trouble with activity pacing all along. The new baseline will allow me to feel like I'm more successful because I won't be burning myself out trying to reach an unrealistic goal.

I will make an effort to change the way I've been approaching exercise, once the new baseline is established. This means shorter, more intense morning workouts coupled with a more active afternoon. Using moderation, which has never been my forte, will be key to my own success. As my Spark Friend LITA said, this is just a tool to use to help you. Like using the scale, I won't let a tool define me. It is a tool to be used to help me form new, healthy habits.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNABRIGHT 10/22/2012 5:23PM

    Sounds like an excellent plan. More info is always a good thing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 10/22/2012 9:18AM

    assessment is so important with any tool......
it s hard decision to re start..........................

this will give you a better base line......
blessings and hugs.................lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/22/2012 9:19:04 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment

ActiveLink Baseline Results - The Challenge Starts!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Drum roll, please! I plugged in my ActiveLink last night and I was surprised at my level of activity. Unfortunately, I think my baseline is too high but I'll have to live with it. I compared my activity with the Weight Watcher's average of participant's activity and mine was much higher than the average. That doesn't leave me much room to improve without hurting myself but still there is room for some improvement. I will get creative and just a little scientific.

One thing that really jumped out at me was the fact that I do deep water aerobics and water jogging at least 3 times per week. For those of you who are familiar with these activities, they are much more intense than regular water aerobics. The only label available on the ActiveLink was regular moderate intensity water aerobics. I may have to log it as lap swimming to increase the intensity level. That isn't a real big deal. I can live with this.

Another thing that jumped out at me was the fact that I do long workouts in the morning and then am over tired and have to rest later in the day. I think by decreasing the length and increasing the intensity of my morning workouts and doing more afternoon activity, I would see a larger benefit from my overall daily activity. This might increase my stamina over time and help me burn calories better over the course of the day.

The last thing that I noticed was that I do much of the same thing every day. Up until now my activity has been either water exercise or low intensity walking. Whereas both those activities give me a good activity level, I should switch it up at least once if not twice a week to use my muscles differently. Perhaps I could do high intensity walking, ride the stationary bike, do weight training out of the water or do some cardiovascular DVD workouts.

After I got over being disappointed in my baseline for weekly activity, I could see that it actually gave me some very valuable feedback. My 12 week challenge is to increase my daily activity, over time, to 4 activity points per day. On Friday, my activity level was already 4 activity points. I thought initially a daily increase would be impossible since I work out so hard already. I gave it quite a bit of thought and really, all I need to do is tweak my regular workouts a little and do some sort of activity later in the day as well. Once I reached that conclusion, I stopped being disappointed and frustrated. The ActiveLink is supposed to be a tool to help me. I may not like the reality of the data that it generates but it won't help me unless I make the decision to change. If I am honest with myself and look at the patterns shown in the data collected, there are some areas where I can improve. I'm up to this challenge!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 10/21/2012 7:44PM

    Excellent analysis. To spread out your activity over the day will undoubtedly help you. To add variety to your exercise routine has to be positive as well. Good job on the activity and planning to step it up to the next level! -Marsha

Report Inappropriate Comment
DONNABRIGHT 10/21/2012 4:38PM

    One day at a time and you'll do fine!

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 10/21/2012 12:46PM

    remember it is a mechanical tool....
so it's measurements may not be what you expect ........
only you know what you do.....
all the same congratulations on your results!!!!
blessings and hugs...............lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Day 8 Of My ActiveLink Baseline

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Today is day 8 of setting my baseline for my ActiveLink. Once I feed the USB of the ActiveLink into my computer, I should have a baseline established. The program with then design a 12 week challenge just for me. I'm very excited about the process!

Today, I did 90 minutes of deep water aerobics and 30+ minutes of slow walking. I did my walking when I went shopping. I walked the perimeter of the store inside and then went up and down as many isles as I could. Next, I did actually shopping - trying on clothes and looking for specific items. I had two coupons that I used. One coupon was a bonus coupon for $10 and the other was a $10 off coupon. The two items that I purchased were also on sale, which made the purchases that much sweeter. The first item was a top that I bought in a size that barely fits. It will be my reward for losing my next 5 pounds. The second item was something that I purchased for hubby as a reward for all of his hard work this week. I saved about $45 dollars on this shopping trip. I was pleased!

I'm glad that I packed a snack which I ate after I finished working out. I lost all track of time and didn't eat lunch until about 2:30p.m. I did get very thirsty so I was happy that I had several 20 ounce bottles of water in the car. By the time 2:30p.m. rolled around, I had already had 64 ounces of water. Pre-planning really worked in my favor today!

I can't wait to plug my ActiveLink into my computer tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing my weekly progress and to beginning my 12 week challenge.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

L*I*T*A* 10/20/2012 8:51PM

    sounds like a great day overall.......
looking forward to hearing how your active link works out!!!
blessings and hugs.......lita

Report Inappropriate Comment

Days 6 and 7 Of My ActiveLink

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 6 was a good day for my ActiveLink. I did 100 minutes of deep water aerobics and water jogging. I took off the Link when I was walking around the house tightening screws on drawers and doors because that isn't something that I ordinarily do for activity. My tracker definitely showed some big dark green bars indicating activity that was intense. The activity time was consistent with the time I spent working out in the pool.

Day 7 was complete and total overkill on my part. I was active from 7:20a.m. until 3p.m. I did 120 minutes of water aerobics followed by several hours of walking as I completed my errands. This wasn't planned; it just kind of happened. Thank goodness I had a snack and water with me in the car because I didn't eat lunch until 3p.m. I was exhausted when I got home and ate lunch. This caused me to have to lie down for almost 2 hours. emoticon I will find out later this evening what my activity looks like for today and add it into this blog. I hope my activity overload won't skew my baseline for my tracker. I worked around my tendency to over do my activity all week and am disappointed in my own judgement. Live and learn. This is the very reason I got the ActiveLink in the first place. Looking at the data in living color will hopefully help me to use moderation more often.

Tomorrow is my last day of tracking to establish a baseline or starting point. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of my first week of activity tracking. The ActiveLink will give me a 12 week challenge for activity after my baseline is established. I'm excited to start my activity challenge. At the rate I moved around today, I have a feeling that the ActiveLink is going to tell me to slow down. I certainly hope it will!!! It's a great tool for me to use to monitor myself as I exercise and live an active life.

When I plugged my ActiveLink into the computer, all of these dark green bars that indicated high intensity activity popped up. I was right about being active from 7:20a.m. until 3:00p.m. The darkest green showed during the time when I was doing water aerobics. However, a lot of activity of a medium intensity popped up in the hours after water aerobics. I'm looking forward to my last day of setting my baseline. I'm excited about getting started on my challenge!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

L*I*T*A* 10/20/2012 12:15AM

    so great that you have been able to find such and awesome tool!!!
wishing you continued success with your ``active link``
blessings and hugs...........lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 Last Page