I preferred to just stop the habit of putting something into my mouth when I get that "I wanna eat" feeling that's not actually hunger, so I didn't do gum, or tea, or celery sticks, or anything. I had my times to eat (three meals, two snacks for me; it can vary) and with rare exceptions I just stuck to them. In my case the foods I would eat when just mindlessly snacking (along with the lifestyle of mindlessly snacking itself) were ones I wanted very badly to get out of my life and off my back, so I wasn't lacking in motivation, and after a while the habit just broke. It's pretty rare that it bothers me now, and it's never not manageable.
I think it helps a lot if you have something to occupy your mind and body that's not food. Changing your routine -- getting out of the house for a half hour walk, for instance (and this time of year planning on some hot tea with lemon when you get home, perhaps); or doing some kind of activity that is very mentally involving for you, so that an hour passes before you know it and then it's meal/snack time anyway and you actually are hungry -- that sort of thing. I've also found, if the craving to eat ever gets very specifically focused on one thing, that visualization helps. (Imagine eating that thing, in great detail. It sounds insane, but it works.) I've never tried it with the unfocused sorts of thoughts, but maybe it's worth a try.
Ultimately this is like any other bad habit, and the more successful you are at avoiding it ,the better you treat yourself otherwise, and the longer you keep at it, the easier it gets. For me that kind of mad feeling you're getting right now really only lasted a few days and was comparatively not a problem thereafter.
Finally -- never take seriously anything your brain tries to tell you when you are feeling like this, or when you are actually hungry either for that matter. At those times, your thoughts are always wrong. Stick to doing what you need to do and tell it to get back to you after you've had your next meal, and you will find it being much more reasonable then.
Height 5'8 1/2"
GW: Originally 150. Maintaining at about 146 since June 2013.
5K 4/21/11: 31:55
|40 Maintenance Weeks