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5 Nutrition Experiments to Prevent Binging

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wow, it's been a long time since I've blogged! I know I am supposed to do one every week, and I feel bad that I've been slacking.

Today's subject is some nutrition ideas I'm implementing which I hope will stave off any binging or compulsive eating. I've thought a lot about what kind of events or behaviors tend to lead to this guilt-ridden habit, and hopefully if I plan ahead and rectify some of these things, I should kick the habit for good.

In no particular order...

1. Up my carbs. I tend to eat pretty low (under my ranges) on carbs -- though I still get plenty of fiber. I'm not talking low-carb diet here, but in the low 100's (which is overall, not net). Since most of the foods that I binge on are carb-heavy, I'm guessing sometimes its a reaction to being low on carbs. So I need to learn to not be afraid of them. However, the carbs I incorporate, I'd prefer them to be grains and whatnot, as opposed to something sweet. While I do get my fruits in, they are sweet and too many sweet tastes may lead to consuming something less healthy and sweet. So I don't want to pack on lots of extra fruits (since I already get enough) and instead should concentrate on grains and veggies.

2. Add more "munchy" or "snacky" type foods to my plan. I always feel guilty if I'm at home and I don't make something fresh to eat. I consider snacky type foods (like trail mix or granola bars) to be more of a convenience food when I'm on the run, something to throw in my purse in case I get peckish later. However, these are the type of foods I tend to compulsively eat, so I think if I plan one of my snacks to be something along these lines, I won't feel the need to binge on them, since I won't be depriving myself.

3. Pre-portion. Whenever I buy "loose" snacks (like trail mix or nuts), I need to automatically portion it out into little plastic bags. Otherwise I will keep munching straight of the bag without any idea how many calories I'm consuming (and somehow manage to convince myself that these calories don't count simply because I don't know how many there were). Plus the bags make it easy to grab and go, and they also mean that if I do get the urge to munch off-plan, I won't be able to lie to myself - I'll know exactly how much I ate by weighing what's left over.

4. Eat more earlier in the day. Partly this involves planning my meals ahead of time as much as possible. That way I know exactly what fits into my calories and ranges and I can eat ration out each snack at various points in the day. When I'm eating as I go along, I tend to err too much on the side of caution and undereat or restrict myself during the earlier part of the day. Party I'm not good at judging how many calories I have left, and partly I'm worried that I'll binge later, or even get hungry later when I have no calories left, and thus I'll go over. But what I have to remember is I'm more likely to binge if I was undereating during the earlier part of the day. I have to trust that if I eat more during the day, I will avoid this binging at night. And if I do get legitimately hungry later, then I should just eat, even if it means going over my calories (which usually isn't even the case). If I am hungry, that means my metabolism wants food.

5. Deal with random goodies accordingly. There are a lot of times when sweets pop up that I didn't expect, especially since pretty much every time my mom passes a coffee shop/bakery/grocery store/etc she has to buy a jumbo chocolate chip cookie or sometimes even something more decadent like cake. And of course that can be heard to resist. So here's the plan. First of all, don't even bother with hard cookies (as opposed to chewy/soft or any other dessert that I don't even like that much (overeating foods you hardly even like is the worst!). Try to think about clean eating and nutrition as much as possible - most of the things she picks out are made with white flours and sugars -- if they were more wholesome it might be a different story. If that doesn't deter me, then have one bite to see if it really tastes amazing. If it actually is the most incredible thing I've ever tasted, then that's worth indulging perhaps -- I don't want to completely deprive myself. In that case, though, chew slowly and really savor. If it's not (more likely), think clearly and rationally before taking another bite (think: How did I do today on food? Do I have room for this? How will this make me feel afterward? Will this negatively effect my mood or blood sugar? Am I willing to do extra exercise to offset some of the calories?). Before I can take another bite, I must consciously say to myself, "I know I am planning to take another bite. I am willing to deal with whatever consequences and am making a conscious decision to do this because of _____ despite the fact that I usually feel guilty about this." One caveat: No matter what, do not compensate with changing the rest of my food for the day. Do not undereat later or the next day. This leads to a vicious cycle. If I want to eat that goodie, then I have to deal with the consequences rather than trying to find a shortcut like cutting out the foods that actually are nutritious.

Of course I'll let everyone know how these things work out for me!


Post Binge Regret Blog

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I need to write down how I'm feeling right now, because whenever I overeat I always tell myself to remember how I'm feeling the next time this type of situation arises -- and yet I seem to magically forget when the crucial moment comes. So maybe actually writing it down will help.

Today was my sister's birthday and I had a lot of cake. I want to be able to have just one piece, enjoy it, and move on with my life. But so far I've never been successful at this. I licked every single bowl and jar clean while we were making it, had one and a half slices at dinner, and then proceeded to compulsively pick at it while I was putting away. I knew I'd be having cake so I tried to eat on the lighter side during the day (still eating every few hours, but eating less) to compensate. I just don't think I'm one of those people who can do that. My body gets so hungry during the day and it's not like it knows I'm banking my calories for that night. It doesn't care. It wants energy pronto, or it feels crappy. And then goes nuts when it seems something like cake.

I think it's important to budget your calories so you don't go over and gain weight. But I don't seem to be able to do this. Which means either I go over, or I can never have special occasions that happen at night. And you know what? Life has special occasions. I need to be able to make them work.

This week has been terrible though, even without special occasions. My mom made brownies twice in four days, and I ate about half the pan of both. She also bought some pound cake, which I ate half of in one day, and I don't even like pound cake that much! What is wrong with me?

I don't want to gain weight back. If anything I'd like to become more fit, tone up, and maybe knock some more fat off. I know this rationally, but this doesn't seem to stop me from sabotaging myself.

I know I can't give up sweets completely, like some people advise if you want to get rid of the cravings. It simply doesn't work for me, and I go nuts when I finally have some sweets in front of me. So I need to figure out something else that works for me.

Hopefully this blog will help. I can look back at it and remember: Don't give in!! It's almost more satisfying to know you have willpower!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGGIRL2082010 3/9/2009 6:33AM

    First, pat yourself on the back. Why? Because, even as you indulged, you WERE aware of what you were doing. You cleaned out the pots and pans - but you *always* do that. You nibbled as you put away the cake - that's probably a normal thing, too.

And seriously, it WAS cake. Birthday cake at that. There were all the emotional and social-eating triggers to foil your plans to "be good".

Where you succeeded most was the fact that you only one and a half slices! AND you'd already been budgeting your calories for the day.

So, pat yourself on the back for staying as much in control as you could. Plan some pattern interrupts for yourself for the next time you get such a temptation. You know life keeps happening. All you can do is be prepared for it.

You say you can't just give up sweets. Okay, fair enough. Maybe you can do something almost as good. Right now, and probably all your life, you've been telling yourself how GREAT a dessert tastes. Try something slightly different.

The next time you eat something yummy, enjoy *every* bite. Seriously. Look at the presentation first - isn't it gorgeous? Take your time, really savour the treat that is *almost* in your mouth! Now, bring a spoonful up to your mouth. Inhale. Can you smell it? Take your time.

Now eat that first bite. REALLY focus on the flavour. Hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before you begin to chew. Let the flavours really permeate your taste buds. Chew - but slowly, like you're eating something rare and precious. Chew until it's really mush before you swallow.

Okay, that was a fabulous bite. Now do ALL of that again - admire it on the plate, inhale the aroma, really savour the bite.

And again. And again. And again. :)

Yep. If you take it slow and don't just wolf it down, I am pretty sure you'll find that you are completely satisfied after only a few bites. And since you didn't allow guilt to flavour the treat, you're not going to beat yourself up about it - the treat IS a part of life, not something forbidden.

Try it. It will work if you truly decide that a treat IS part of your life. You've made the choices to be healthy, you've lost the weight, and the occasional treat definitely is NOT going to totally undo all that effort!

You are all right, and you WILL be all right!

Congratulations on a job very well done!

Keep up the good work!


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VANESSAANN83 3/9/2009 6:16AM

    Life does indeed have special occasions, but they don't have to revolve around food. I either have to say no to all of it, or I can't stop eating. It's all or usually I go for nothing. I don't calorie count on Thanksgiving or Christmas though (or my bday), so I DO have my own special occasions.

I'd do like the others and advise you to just say no. Bring your own sweet treats, like sf pudding, or some low cal ice cream. Just a suggestion :) Good luck!

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CHRISTFIEND 3/8/2009 11:44PM

    Journaling about your feelings is a great way to stay in check with what triggers the over eating!! Good Luck!!

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GRAMMYSKIDS58 3/8/2009 9:54PM

    Writing how you are feeling is a great idea. Sometime finding the right combination is the hardest part of loosing weight. You CAN do this... you just have to keep trying and find what works for you. Good luck!

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Ups and Downs

Saturday, February 28, 2009

This past week has been not so great in terms of eating (or exercise for that matter). Lots of desserts, binges (including a half a pan of cookie dough brownies), and in general not feeling great about what I ate. Which is especially bothersome considering the week before that, I was doing fantastic, and was absolutely binge free for at least week, which is the longest I've gone in awhile. Starting tomorrow (well, technically tonight) I'm getting back on track by planning out my meals the night before. This really is the best thing for me. When I try to do it as I go along, I end up not eating enough during the earlier part of the day because I'm afraid I'll eat too much -- and not eating enough earlier is often what leads to later binging. If I plan the night before, I know that everything fits perfect in my ranges, and all I have to do is decide, okay do I want to have that meal or snack yet and after that how long should I wait before the next one? Sometimes there's a problem of trying to hold off on eating the meals/snacks in case I'm hungry later. I'm always worried about being hungry later. I can occasionally circumvent this by planning for the low end of my range so I have some wiggle room, but it's all too easy for me to go overboard.

I think part of my problems and binging stem from my subconscious just not being convinced that Spark people's ranges are correct. It just refuses to believe that in order to maintain my weight, I have to exercise like a maniac (read: more than I when I was losing) in order to have an upper limit of 2000 calories. Maybe it's because the 2000 calories a day thing was drilled into our heads all our lives, that I somehow think 2000 should be the average/middle that I should shoot for while doing moderate, healthy activity.

Don't get me wrong, I love being thinner than I was. But sometimes it seems kind of unfair that being thinner means you have to eat less calories and you burn less when you exercise.

Ugh, anyway I'm just feeling bloated and gross from the cheesecake I shouldn't have eaten (the 50g of fiber I clocked today certainly isn't helping...) It did taste good. But why do I always forget every single time how yucky it makes me feel afterwards to eat bad foods?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTFIEND 3/1/2009 12:05AM

    I hope that you can gain control of your binge eating! Although I have to say cheesecake sure sounds good!

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Spark Mini-Break + GI resource

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So I'm going away this weekend, which means no sparking - and it also means I can't get in my exercise and I'll have less control over when and what I eat. I did bring sneakers and a sports bra in case I have time to hit up the hotel gym (I don't want lack of attire to be what prevents me) and I did do some research and found out there's a Whole Foods a block from the hotel (which I'll definitely hit up for some greek yogurt). Plus I was really very good last week, so I'm sure I can't do much damage.

Thus I'm trying not to stress about it, about no logging, about not knowing what's in my calories, about not burning calories, etc. I think it will be good for me to have a little break. I sometimes get the feeling Spark underestimates my calories -- that I should be able to eat more and/or exercise less than it claims and still maintain my weight. Plus, this is just one of those life things that sometimes happens, that you have to be able to take with stride. And the reason I'm going away is actually a good thing, although very stressful (hopefully the stress won't cause undue snacking).

I also want to save this link:
It has a list of foods and their glycemic index. I'm not following any "plan" or "diet" but I feel this is useful info for me to keep on hand. I really do feel like my body reacts strongly to what I eat, so hopefully this will help me continue to make better choices.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTFIEND 2/19/2009 11:34AM

    Just remember not to overindulge. Moderation is the key to eating whatever you want!!

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Proud to be a Community Team member!

Monday, February 09, 2009

So I've decided to become a Community Team member after realizing it entailed doing a lot of things I already do (like posting in the boards) and a lot of things I'd like to do more often anyway (blogging, welcoming new members, etc.). And in the two days since I've joined, I've gotten such a fantastic, warm response from many of the other team members. I became a Community Team Member because I want to help support others even more, yet so far the biggest benefit has been how much more supported I feel!

I always kind of felt like even though I try to post helpful information and contribute to discussions in the boards, I haven't really connected as much with the community on Spark. I don't have a group or team that I continually check in with, I don't have very many friends, I don't really have anyone online here to share with and keep me accountable. I have met some really nice people through blogging and boards, and I'm hoping that will become even more frequent now that I've joined the Community Team. Especially with where I am in life right now, I could really use a community or group of friends, and I'm looking forward to that possibility here.

And regardless of that, being so warmly welcomed made me realize how good that feels - and made me want to welcome others in the same way. I consider myself a Spark veteran, insofar as I've been here a year, have basically reached my goal, know a lot more about nutrition and fitness, and have seen the same questions asked again and again as new members filter in. So I'm excited to use my veteran skills to help these members as they inevitably appear.

Plus, this means I'll be blogging more frequently!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLEMENTSUE 2/16/2009 5:04PM

    I'm new to the community team too, and just wrote a similar sounding blog. Like you, I'm looking forward to both giving and getting support. So...welcome to the team and I'm hoping that we both find it a great experience!

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LADY_DONKEY 2/10/2009 12:45PM


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CHRISTFIEND 2/9/2009 11:45PM

    Way to go on your decision!!! I think in helping others you help yourself too!

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