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Don't "treat" yourself with food. Find other activities, interests and rewards that do not involve food.
Don't buy things that you should not be eating.
It is really pretty simple if you decide that you actually want to do it.
Dances: salsa (standard/LA), casino, rueda de casino, cumbia Colombiana, bachata, mambo, cha-cha-chá, merengue, reggaetón.
Currently learning: Mexican cumbia, danzón, Cuban rumba
Dances to Learn in the future: flamenco, tango Argentino, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, ballroom rumba
For me, It's best if I just don't start. Sugar triggers me to want more and more, and it's hard to pull myself away. I do much better if I just make my own treats from ingredients that I know won't trigger me.
"Optimism is an act of bravery."
"Choices, not sacrifices."
TERESTRIFE1, it seems the most important thing is to take care of your health. It's great that you gave up fast food, and it's great that you're feeling better. You should be very proud of yourself for the good things you've done so far. Feeding yourself nutritious food sounds especially important in light of your illness.
Can you stop buying the wholesale bags of chocolate? There's no way you're going to eat one or two when you have that giant bag around. That's got to go.
As for whether or not you need to go cold turkey or can gradually have just a little, that's a highly individual thing. You've gotten great suggestions below. I'm not sure what the answer is for me. Sometimes I can have a little chocolate and be fine, but last week I ate half of a giant brownie sundae on Saturday, and I ate too much chocolate the next day and the next day as well. There's something about sweets that definitely creates an appetite for more and more.
Good luck to you.
"I owe everything you see here to spaghetti."
Fast food was easy for me to give up, it wasn't even about losing weight, once I found out more about what's in it I was just disgusted by it. Watch Supersize Me if you want to see what I mean. It's been years, and now it doesn't even look, or smell appetizing, it's like quitting cigarettes, you look back and wonder "what did I even enjoy about this?"
Certain treats I can't eat, I'll lose control too easily. Even healthy foods like mixed nuts aren't good for me to have around unless they're in pre-portioned packs. Come to think of it, try the 100 calorie packs of Emerald's Cocoa Roast Almonds, they're so good, and can help your chocolate fix while providing some protein and healthy fats.
The best thing you can do is learn to make healthier treats instead, along with (some) pre-portioned snacks if you can stick to just one of them. Be careful with pre-portioned snack packs though as many aren't very satisfying. I only mentioned the almond one because almonds are more filling, and it's great for some cocoa.
There's also a blog called Chocolate Covered Katie, and she makes all kinds of low calorie (and healthy) chocolate snacks. All vegan too for anyone else who may be reading this and interested in healthy vegan recipes. Here's the link to that.
Also, you can get a jar of popcorn kernels, and use an air popper or pop them in a brown paper bag in the microwave for a low calorie snack that you can eat more of. It's great for if you like to feel like you're eating more without actually eating a lot of calories. Not to mention this method of making them means you can choose the amount of butter you want (if any), or mix things up by flavoring them with spices. I love garlic powder popcorn myself, and there's more ideas on here:
Highest: 178lbs Current: 128lbs
Goal: Maintaining & Toning.
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” ~Margaret Thatcher
put only low to carb snacks in the house
Since you want to make changes that you can keep for the rest of your life, then maybe you might want to consider looking at things in a different way, and start looking at ways to redefine what "treats" means to you.
While cutting out or restricting "treats" works really well for some folks, that wasn't something that I wanted to consider for myself, so I chose to find ways to build healthier "treats" in to every day. Since they are always there, and are built in to my calorie range, I have found that I don't have any feeling of restriction and am quite content that I can live with these changes forever.
I have found that my tastes are changing, so I prefer things much less sweet than before, but I don't feel any overwhelming need to cut out sugar completely. I do prefer to use maple sugar, maple syrup, honey, or blackstrap molasses as sweeteners - mostly because I enjoy their flavour, and partially because they actually have some micro-nutrients as well.
A few examples:
- morning snack of a home-made buckwheat crepe, with 50g ricotta cheese mixed with 1/2 tsp of maple sugar, 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, and covered in 100g of sliced fresh strawberries with a sprinkle of cinnamon (if I want higher protein, then I put it on a plain egg-white omelet instead of the crepe)
- afternoon snack of plain yogurt mixed with 1/2 tsp of maple syrup, 1/2 tsp of almond extract, 10g of pistachios, some cardamom and cinnamon, and 100g of raspberries (the possibilities are endless, so I play with the spices and adders to match whatever I'm in the mood for that day)
- evening snack of hot cocoa (1.25c of skim milk, 1 tsp maple sugar, 2 Tbsp cocoa powder) along with 10g of really high quality dark chocolate
- home-made banana, pumpkin, carrot, or apple muffins loaded up with steel-cut oats, oat bran, nuts, dark chocolate chips, raisins, or currants, and sweetened with a bit of maple syrup and blackstrap molasses (these are fairly small, run from 110-150 calories each, but are super filling because they are high fibre)
- maple syrup with ginger glaze on pork or chicken, or a blackstrap molasses / hoisin sauce with them is well worth the few extra calories, as the play of sweet and savoury is really satisfying (try a cocoa-crusted pork roast with a dark cherry burgundy sauce --- fabulous!)
This may not work for you, but for me the mixing of chocolate, spices, fruits, nuts, sweet, and savoury totally satisfies my sweet tooth. I always have a good mix of fat and protein and fibre with each "treat", so it is quite satiating and I have no desire to eat more "just because". My appreciation for the subtle interplay of flavours has left me with a strong dislike for any standard store-bought treats, since all I can taste with them is *sugar* - and frankly, that's far too boring for me to be interested in.
In my mind, it is no different from when you cut out fast food and you replaced it with healthier, home-made foods and found that over time your taste buds changed so that your home-made foods taste better to you. I found that it worked the same way with replacing my old "treats" with healthier, home-made ones.
There are a lot of us long-winded folks here, as you can see! I hope that you are feeling better, and that we've all given you things to think about.
Start weight: 240 lbs
Goal weight: 155 lbs (reached March 7, 2014)
Revised Goal weight: 150 lbs (reached May 27, 2014)
Afraid of a colonoscopy? Believe me - they are much less frightening than surgery and chemotherapy.
Colonoscopies allow polyps to be removed before they can become cancer, or let cancers be found before they are too widespread. If you are 50 or older, or have any symptoms, please don't let fear stop you from covering your butt.
Besides the great tips you have already received, I also wanted to suggest that you join a group like:
Sometimes it is much easier when you have others to connect with who are also experiencing similar situations.
Your SP Registered Dietitian
some is this is fairly obvious, but it helped me. one of the biggest things i did in curbing my sweet tooth was cutting back/out added sugar. i was putting 2 Tablespoons in every bowl of cereal i ate and every cup of tea i drank. and i drink a lot of tea. so i set about cutting back to 5.5 teaspoons. then five teaspoons. over the course of a year, i cut back to the point where i can have tea or cereal without any added sugar. plenty of foods i eat have sugar on the ingredient lists, but cutting out the sugar i was putting on top of things helped fruit actually taste sweet. if you can do it cold turkey, by all means do so, it's much faster. but if you can't, slowly scale it back. i know the "it took a year" part seems awful, but that year was 2005 or 2006 and it's something that's easy for me to keep up. and the best part is that i can have a teaspoon or two of sugar in my tea if i really want it. and i haven't gone back to the 2 Tablespoons or anywhere near there again.
if you do buy a bag of chocolate, keep it the back of a cabinet, behind some stuff in a spot that's hard to see. out of sight, out of mind doesn't help all the time, but it can help a lot with the mindless grazing because it's there. when i put a bag of baby carrots in the spot that i vaguely stare at in my fridge when i can't decide what to eat, i ate an extra serving of vegetables a day because i would grab a carrot or two while i was deciding [hint, measure the bag daily so you can account for the calories. or premeasure the containers of other chopped veggies so that you know it's a half cup of peppers and you can easily track it once it is eaten]. i have a spot in my cabinet that i have to squat down and peer over the stuff in the front to see, and that is where i keep the stuff that i don't want to inhale. if you're buying little pieces you could also seed them in twos in the freezer. it's easier to eat more of them if they are all in one place. you could even divide them out into envelopes numbered with day on them. that way if you want more, you have to go get them from somewhere else that 8is clearly labeled with not now. it's basically making mental speedbumps and giving you time to rein yourself in.
the thing that i did when i cut out fast food was to break the instant gratification cycle and then extend it. so when i wanted a burger, i made myself not go get it right then, and i made up a reason why it would be efficient to go get it tomorrow [i had to run to the bank and the good fast food place was right by the bank, i'm already settled in for the night and it would be a pain to go out, i need to do all of these other things instead.] and then went and got the burger the next day. once i was used to getting it the day after, i pushed it back another day. so i'd get the craving on monday and i'd make up every excuse in the book to hold off til wednesday. if you think you can't think of many excuses, start writing down the ones you use to skip exercising. most of those can be easily twisted into why you need to wait to have that food you consider a treat. once you can do two days, push it back to three days, then four, then five, then a week, then two, then three. as you break the i want it and have to have it now cycle, it's easier to know you want something but not rush immediately out to get it. and think about it as choosing not to have something right now, not denying yourself or other negative things. i know the minute i put something off limits, i immediately want some, even if i don't really like it. but if i choose to not have it today, that's fine because i can have it tomorrow or the next day if i want it. it seems like a silly mindgame, but how i think of things really does affect how much i want things. and i'll go for the forbidden every time. forbidding it makes me want it that much more.
another alternative would be a chocolate shop. as in the fancy $20 a pound stuff. the price will help you limit how much you get and the quality will help make it an experience. plus, if you're not keeping the stuff in the house, it's harder to overeat. so go to the chocolate shop. remember that all the chocolate shops within 100 miles of your house are not going to disappear the minute you leave this one. so you can come back and get chocolate again. no matter if there is a sale on, volume is not key here. do not be impulsed to buy more and in quantity. that is advertising messing with your brain. set yourself a limit [1/4lb, 1/8lb, 4 pieces, whatever it is] and spend time picking which option really appeals to you the most. get that, get it home [or some other location] and make an event of savoring the goody. again, this will not be your last chance to have chocolate, so don't eat it like it is.
think of an item in the 20-30 range that you normally wouldn't buy yourself, but that you would like. get a jar, label it as a fund for that item and put a picture of it on the vessel. every time you don't buy the big bag at bjs, put money in the jar towards that item. then buy the item when the funds are there. it's hard to skip the chocolate for your health [it's a vague term and there isn't anything concrete to grab onto] or something long term that it's going to take you ten years to get to. it's a lot easier to skip four bags of chocolate now to get a manicure at the end of the month or a scarf. that's something that's within reach now and concrete. as you get used to doing it you can make the goals bigger and farther away and less concrete. but when you're training yourself you want to keep the carrot within reach. and lofty, long term goals are not the way to go. keep it small so you can reach it quickly.
sort of like breaking the immediate gratification cycle would be choosing to skip a certain amount of days. like this week you would skip chocolate on friday. and once you get used to skipping it on friday, you might skip it on monday and friday. get used to that and start to skip it on monday and wednesday and friday. or skip it for two days in a row. then build up to three days. then a week. then more. get yourself used to the idea that you can skip it and manufacturers don't shut down their production and stores don't chocolate off the shelves and it's there when you get back. you eating a bag of chocolate is not preventing the apocalypse or doing anything other that cancelling out your calorie deficit for the day. chocolate will be there and you can have it, sometimes. you just have to train yourself when sometimes it.
another option could be to buy the bricks of unsweetened chocolate and to dip your fruit in it. don't buy it predone, because that defeats half the purpose. the purpose is to slow you down. individual bits of chocolate are easy to unwrap and gobble. but if you have to shave off some of a brick, melt it down, dip fruit in it, let it cool, and cleanup before you have it then it takes time. the longer it takes to make something, the less of it you eat. when you buy it premade in the grocery store, it's easy to eat like you're in a competitive eating contest. you open the container and go. when you have to make something at home, there isn't that option. eating raw flour and eggs isn't nearly as gratifying as eating a cake. and you have to take the time to bake the cake if you want it to taste good. plus, you burn a lot more calories making a cake than you do placing one in your shopping cart. that's another built in limit.
and don't apologise for being long winded. that's every one of my posts.
-google first. ask questions later.
I don't like to keep treats in the house, but it doesn't work that way (spouse, kids). I count the calories of what I eat and work them in.
I have forbidden myself to eat anything from work. If I eat one cookies I think I won't be able to say no again.
If I want a treat for ME I can get an ice cream cone. When it's gone, it's gone. A quart in the fridge will call to me every night.
1st Goal: 18lbs by June 1 - Met goal on 4/28
2nd Goal: Onederland by July 31
I feel you on the gallbladder attacks. I had to have mine removed at about the same age. It's not fun.
As for the sweets...experiment. I had success keeping small treats (like kisses) in the freezer downstairs. But for the most part---it's probably better keeping them out, period. At least for a while. The thing about empty calories is they really fuel your cravings.
Edited by: PJJJSAGE at: 5/12/2014 (21:34)
All I can say is I managed to panic myself into cold turkey, and it did work. The worst of the cravings ended in just a few days. The mental habit took a while longer to break, but when it's mostly out of sight out of mind it's not that terrible. If you want to do it you will do it.
The really hard part I think is when you have some sweets anyway (for whatever reason, justifiable or not) -- learning how to take that in and let it go without it affecting your overall behavior in the following hour, the following week, the rest of your life. Or learning how to refuse it even when your first impulse says yes, or when someone is persistent in asking you to have some more than once. That sort of thing. But overall the less you indulge the easier it is not to indulge any further.
That doesn't mean you can never touch any sweets ever again in your life; at least it didn't for me. You play that by ear, find out what sweet-related habits make your life better and which ones you're better off without. What may surprise you is that you may not want sweets like you think you do now, after a while. Some things you now love you might lose the taste for completely; others may go to 'can take it or leave it'. Still others may always present problems. You may even find yourself resenting the fact that you *don't* like certain sweets any longer; I'm so glad that one didn't last too long for me! But a a rule, don't borrow trouble, and don't assume anything. Odds are decent much of it will go better than you now think.
Not that you have to go cold turkey necessarily. I just found it easier myself to say "I don't eat that" and stick to it most of the time than to say "well, just one" and stick to it pretty much not at all. Now I actually can have "just one" of most things, though generally I don't bother. Up to you.
Edited by: RENATARUNS at: 5/12/2014 (20:51)
Height 5'8 1/2"
CW: 139.0 (trying to regain back to low/mid 140s after IBS problems)
5K 4/21/11: 31:55
lol...it's ok :)
I had to do a clean sweep! Not there, I can't eat it. I even went a few months without chocolate.
Now, I still do not keep junk food in the house - here is a great list of stuff to keep on hand: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
And yeah - the no junk food was little tough the first week - I just kept busy munching the healthy stuff - your taste buds do get used it, and then you actually crave the healthy stuff.
Chocolate - I started adding it back in for my TOM only (only!!!) I now buy 1 large bar of dark chocolate ( www.ghirardelli.com/store/shop-products/co
a-salt-soiree-bar.html ) and that's all I buy - it's up to me how I eat it.....if I eat it all at once - that's on me, otherwise I do 1/2 over 2 nites or 1/3 over 3.
If you can do the more expensive dark, I recommend it - it's more luxurious, more decadent - you do not need as much. It satisfies so much more.
I might even buy 2 bars this time...stretch them out over 1 month. The difference is that I am not buying bags of chocolate, or 15 hershey bars. If that starts to happen - I have to cut myself off again. But I've been doing good with the ghiradelli so far
The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.
A couple of years ago i went from 233lbs to 128 lbs, im 5'5". I am 29 years old and have been battling my weight since i was a teen. i lost it by calorie counting, and excessive exercising (2 hours per day, 6 days a week). Needless to say, it didnt work. I ended up with overeating issues, i would eat everything, even if i didnt want it. I quickly gained the weight back....
Unfortunately, i started getting gallbladder attacks. I spent a year with pain, and battling my overeating issues. I just got my gallbladder removed 6 months ago, the nurses said my pancreas was inflamed and my body wasnt absorbing any nutrients (i had diarrhea everyday, all day for over a month.) so i was feeling pain from both organs. it is a pain that cannot be described, and i am so thankful it is gone. But i fear so much what might be in the road ahead.... high cholesterol? diabetes? lose another organ?
Now here i am, overweight again, and trying to figure out how to permanently keep this weight off. I am making slow changes rather than just doing everything in one go. I started with juicing in the mornings, and started eating more veggies and salads. i still have trouble with eating fried foods that i make at home, and sometimes buy unhealthy foods. but i managed to give up fast food. which is HUGE for me as i used to go for breakfast and lunch.
Now i am tackling my obsession with sweets. I LOVE chocolate, i dont think its normal. lol i tell myself i wont buy a bag at BJ Wholesale store, but then i buy it and its gone in 2 days. this is even harder than when i gave up fast food. i tell myself i will eat 1-2 pieces a day, but then i start eating them like crazy.
i am getting so frustrated, a part of me just wants to quit chocolate cold turkey, another part of me doesnt think i could go forever without chocolate, and i fear going back to overeating everything, not just sweets.
is there anyway to learn to eat less sweets? or do i just need to suck it up and quit it, like i did fast food?
please only kind answers, i am struggling with my weight and desperately want to be healthy. =)
EDIT: Sorry about the long post! I just started writing out my feelings and didnt stop to look it over. 0_0
Edited by: TERESTRIFE1 at: 5/12/2014 (19:21)