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Portion Control



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EXOTEC
EXOTEC's Photo Posts: 2,585
9/29/13 9:07 P

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I so agree - limiting portions of foods we *really* like or crave can be a big challenge. I make portions ahead of time, too. If you search restaurant suppliers, you will find a variety of disposable souffle cups, and lids to go along with them. They're unbelievably cheap - like about 5 cents for the combination. The ones I use are 5.5 oz, I think. The nice thing about these is that, in many cases, a "portion" is a quarter cup, or a half cup, or 4 oz... and you can see that more clearly in a cup of known size. I can use them a few times before I feel like I need to just toss them. Even if I tossed them after one use, it's less than 5 cents! so what?!? LOL

So far as having trouble not eating up half the bag of goodies while making portions - I wait until I've eaten a full meal. I'm not hungry. Then I go somewhere where I'm being observed! THEN I make my portion cups. I'm not always able to get through it without sneaking a bite, but it's not handfuls, at least. Put a glass of water beside you. When you want to snack, take a drink!

Beyond that, it's just sheer perseverance of will. But it's only for the portioning. Once you make it through that, you can eat your whole portion on snack and not go overboard. Unless, of course, you *choose* to pilfer the entire hoard! LOL

...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis


 current weight: 214.0 
 
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SANDRACOLATO
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9/29/13 4:50 P

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Thanks! all those advices are great! It is a fight for everyone and thats why we are here :) so lets keep going!



 current weight: 136.0 
 
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IAMJOYFUL2
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9/29/13 1:54 P

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Chips are a trigger food for me. I once made eating one chip a meditation. I so enjoyed that one chip.

A week later I binged on chips, didn't enjoy them as much and sure felt crappy afterwards.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.
Drop judgment and pick up love.
If you can move a grain of sand a day, eventually you will move a mountain.
Crappy choices bring crappy feelings.
Can'ts are joy limiters.


 current weight: 137.4 
 
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KNUCKLES145
KNUCKLES145's Photo Posts: 12,997
9/29/13 11:41 A

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I think there is a difference between a forbidden food and a trigger food. I know I have trigger foods that if I eat them, chances are I will go on a binge. and while these foods are not "forbidden" for the rest of my life, I am severely restricting them right now so they don't trigger a binge.

All the so called "secrets of success"will not work ... unless you do.




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NIRERIN
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9/29/13 11:21 A

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while i ultimately agree that having a list of 40 forbidden foods is something that makes me want them more, i don't think that you can just switch to moderation from not. particularly the more of them you suddenly spring moderation on at a go.
there are two ways to do this. i would say that rather than doing everything at once, you pick one thing to really focus on, dedicate the time to reforming your habits and then move on to the next thing on your list.
option one is to cut back. i'll use chips since that was the example you gave. if you usually eat chips a 9oz bag serving at a time [i do this too, it's one of the only things i just can't keep in the house. funnily enough tortilla chips usually go stale before i can finish them though], don't try to cut out 8/9 of what you usually eat at once. so moderation for the short term would be eating 8 or 8.5 oz of chips instead of that 9oz. and give yourself a few weeks of eating with that last half ounce to an ounce left in the bag and then cut out another half ounce to an ounce, so you're eating 7.5-8 oz of chips instead of the whole bag. again, keep at that level for a few weeks and cut back again. eventually you'll get to the one ounce portion point. this is what i did when i cut back on sugar. i used to put 2 Tablespoons of sugar in every cup of tea or on every bowl of cereal [and i drink a lot of tea]. so one summer i started to cut back. and yes, for me at that time cutting back was using 5.5 teaspoons instead of the full two Tablespoons. it took me about a year to wean down to nothing. but the nice thing is that i cut it out. and i did so in a way that didn't make me want it because i wasn't allowed to have it. that's also the point where i could actually start to taste the sweetness in fruit. and the nice thing is that i can have sugar in my tea [i usually do about a teaspoon when i use it now], but i don't have to have it. and for me that was key. because i can be happy with my black tea, but i occasionally can have a cup of sweet, milky tea. and it's a long term fix. i started to cut back in 2005 or 2006 and it's stayed with me through today.

option two is to cut out for a period of time, then reintroduce the item. in other words, right now you have a chip habit. habits take time to break because they are how you usually do something. it can take 6-8 weeks to change a habit. again, you don't want to do fifteen foods at once, you want to focus on one food. cut it out for two months. not because it's forbidden or bad for you or anything like that, simply because you need to break the habit around it. don't mark the eight week mark on your calendar and plan on buying eight kinds of chips or going to a superbowl party or anything like that. if you can let the date slip past, great. while you're in that 8 weeks, think about how you want to reintroduce the chips. don't hyperfocus on this, but do put some thought into working around the trap you usually fall in. if you're like me and most people, part of the chip problem is that you tend to eat them when you are hungry and chips are not particularly a filling food. the other big issue with chips is that they are pretty easy to mindlessly eat. so if you need something filling, perhaps reintroduce that 1oz serving of chips, but reintroduce it on a plate with celery and herbed greek yogurt, some cheese, fruit, bean and grain salad or something else that has the bulk and protein that chips lack. this way you get your chips, but you are eating them with something that actually may fill you up. the mindless workaround is packaging out the chips into portions so that you have to go back if you want more.
another thing that helps overall is buying a smaller bag. if you only buy a one ounce bag of chips at the grocery store for the week, you can't eat more than one ounce of chips without having to go back to the grocery store. same goes for if you buy the five ounce bag or the 9oz bag instead of the 13oz bag. if you don't have them, you can't eat them without making a special trip to go get them. you probably also have a blind spot in your pantry somewhere. it's that little corner where foods go to expire without you ever seeing them. store your chips in that spot. out of sight can help with being out of mind. and if you want to make it really difficult for yourself, store the chips in a ziploc bag that you put into a rubbermaid bin in that spot and then stack other pantry items around it. make sure you put it away properly before you sit down to eat and the bother of getting it all back out and away again will at least give you pause. if chips are also your go to snack food, make a better food more easily available. keep cheese and fruit and vegetables and nuts portioned out and ready to eat. if you love salad and eat a lot of it, consider keeping a big rubbermaid bin in the fridge with salad already mixed up. that way when you want a snack all you have to do is scoop some out, add dressing and eat. if you live by yourself consider washing your lettuce leaves and storing them in wet paper towels in the fridge. instead of scooping you'll have to tear and toss and add, but you won't have to wash.
you may also want to keep something on hand for your emotional binges. if you can make a really big pot of broth based vegetable soup keep that on hand as your go to when you realize that you're emotionally eating. vegetable soup is bulkier and lower in calories, so you should be able to binge with fewer calories eaten. celery or air popped popcorn would also work. and the other thing to do with emotional issues is to try to work up to doing something that would help the situation rather than eating. in other words, a bag of chips won't do anything about your boss being stupid, but you could look for a new job, go for a run, do yoga, write a funny story about your stupid boss, or even do some research that proves you know what you're talking about and that your boss was in the wrong.

-google first. ask questions later.



RENATARUNS
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9/29/13 10:18 A

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It's really really hard not to eat food that's right in front of you, just sitting there. Especially snack type stuff. It's not even a matter of willpower all the time so much as habit and well-trained taste buds.

I think the first step is just to assure that more food than you actually want to eat never is "right in front of you, just sitting there". For example, if you mean to eat only half of the bag when you purchase it, separate out what you actually want to eat before taking even a single bite of it, and put the rest well away and out of sight. (Or do what others have suggested and set out single-serving portions right when you purchase things.) Doing this removes the likelihood of sabotaging yourself and eating things you don't really want out of pure mindless habit. It can of course still happen for emotional reasons, but that's a separate issue.

And also, if taking steps like these fails to work and you still find yourself craving empty calories too much to deal with reliably, do consider actually cutting these trigger foods out (almost) completely, at least for a while. It's not necessarily going to result in insane binging or feelings of deprivation -- that all depends on your particular mindset. For me, it was just what I needed, and rarely even difficult, once I got started. I still eat what I consider to be plenty of the "bad stuff", it's just that compared to what most people eat, the amounts and the frequency are vanishingly small. And I do not miss it. It's not hard to stay away from now, not even a little bit. Again, this isn't going to be for everyone, as everyone has different issues.

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SW: 190+
GW: Originally 150. Maintaining at about 146 since June 2013.
CW: 145.0

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MLAN613
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9/29/13 8:38 A

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I actually do that with a lot of foods, not just things like chips. I portion out fruits and veggies in baggies and write the weight on the bag. After all, it's possible to over eat on the good stuff. emoticon





SANDRACOLATO
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9/28/13 10:00 P

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Thats a good idea, usually its something like: "I love this chip, I will taje another portion", it goes over until 750 cals of chips are acumulated in my stomach ... None of them specially healthy but use a bag with the calorie count might work, thanks!



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BELGIANBEERME
Posts: 115
9/28/13 8:26 P

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Have you tried portioning the snacks out ahead of time and storing in baggies? You can list the calorie counts right on each bag so you won't be too tempted to take more than one at a time.



SANDRACOLATO
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9/28/13 8:13 P

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Hi everyone! I have a really big question: I know that it is a bad idea to have a "forbidden food" list because it only makes de cravings and the binges bigger; the problem for me is that I have tried to control the portions of sweets and snacks, so that they will not backfire whit a binge (I have emotional eating problems from time to time), but for the past two weeks it hasnt worked out... I buy a bag of chips to only take a small portion and end up eating the whole bag (which ruins my daily calorie intake), so, has anyone knows some way to keep that under control? I mean it is the only reason that I cant loose weight!



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