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11/15/14 10:13 A

Sugarless gum

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
11/15/14 12:50 A

If you are going to succeed, you have to make real food as convenient as junk food. That means planning and prepping ahead of time so that when you get hungry, you CAN grab something good and not be stuck with junk as your only option.

There is nothing wrong with tracking ahead of time and then changing things if your plans change--I do that all the time. You could also prep/plan breakfast, lunch and a snack and let dinner be more free form. Even if dinner is awful, you would still be doing better than you are now.

BETTER is the key thing. You don't need to be perfect, just focus on improvement over time.

COLUMBINE2 Posts: 2,306
11/14/14 11:01 P've received a truckload of really, really good advice! I agree with all them. And I have a couple ideas:
1) If you crave an unhealthy food, drink a big (16 oz) glass of water. Then leave the kitchen & preferably, leave the house. Go for an energetic walk or play with the dog or clean out your car, or a closet or a messy drawer. Call a friend & talk about her (not food). GET involved doing something that distracts you away from food. Eating is frequently triggered by boredom or lack of activity. Get away from the kitchen & get your mind busy.

2) Did you know that a lot of junk food is created and designed with ingredients that actually trick your brain into thinking it's hungry when it really isn't? That's why you want some MORE. So do everything you can to avoid the first cookie or the first M&M or the first taste of soda. Don't let these food manufacturers manipulate you into eating more junk food...YOU are in charge of your eating, not some chemical! Keep some healthy items that you like on hand that you can have instead of the junk food, so when you hit a craving, you have a BETTER choice right at your fingertips.

3) When someone told me they don't eat fast food, my jaw dropped to the ground. Then I started SP and realized how really, really hard it is to eat healthy at a fast food place. Even the salads have twice as many calories as you should eat. Go to the start page of SP and read several articles every day and educate yourself about healthy choices. Share what you learned with your niece. You can be a role model for HER about learning & making better choices. Take the Trivia test every day on the Spark Points section. You will learn so much about making better choices; talk with your niece about that info.

4) Don't watch TV, use the computer, read or talk on the phone while you eat. That's called mindless eating. Your mind won't even remember you'll eat more and more.Whenever you eat anything, sit at the table, put a portion on your plate and concentrate on what it tastes like, its texture and color. Take small bites, put your fork down between bites, chew , chew, chew before putting more in your mouth. By slowing down & making a meal last 20 min or so, your brain will tell you you've had enough. There's a great article called Portion Distortion that is one of the best. Educating yourself is the key!

If you haven't used the SP start page, upper right, there's a tab for "getting started" or something like that. Follow the first steps; do exactly what they suggest. Choose 2-3 very small, easy, achievable goals. Keep it simple & don't rush ahead to "I wanna lose weight fast!" SP has developed a life-style change strategy that will work for you IF you follow each step exactly as they present it. You'll experience success and that will motivate you to take another baby step at which you'll succeed, and that's where you learn how motivate yourself. You can do it, but don't ignore the highly proven success of SP. It'd be like trying to drive a car without a motor, steering wheel, brakes or accelerator. C' can do this & will feel so much happier and proud of your success! It will truly change your life!

Edited by: COLUMBINE2 at: 11/14/2014 (23:08)
BHENDRICK2 Posts: 1,211
8/13/14 5:42 P


BESTAGIRL SparkPoints: (939)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 14
8/13/14 1:51 P

I totally agree with you 2014TODAY - great advice... when I eat clean, whole foods (veggies, nuts, lean protein, etc.) I eat less and have no cravings... When I allow myself "some" junk in, the cravings begin. I also agree that not all calories are created equal -- 200 calories of broccoli will be processed way differently than a 200 calorie candy bar, I am starting to learn not to watch the calorie intake (since when I eat clean, my calories / carbs / etc.) are much lower than "SP" reccomends but rather use it as a guide to know to add more "healthy" calories and fat -- more protein, avacado, olive oil, nuts, & fruit... Your reply has helped me to think back to basics, as this week has been rough with treats (It's both my & my daughters b-day week) so I have been eating "more" junk than ususal myself...

Anyone struggling with cravings -- I strongly suggest doing a "detox" of sorts and eat nothing but whole foods (cut out ALL sugar, processed foods, gluten, & dairy) for 5 - 10 days -- I am telling you, it will excellorate your metablism, weight loss, and you will lose all cravings within 48 hours... I did this for 10 days in July and dropped 11lbs... It also helps you to focus on clean eating -- after the 5 -10 days, add back in low fat dairy (yogurt, milk) and try and keep your carbs to whole grain rice, pasta, potatoes, & bread. I am not saying never "treat" yourself, nor am I trying to be a food preacher -- just adding to 2014TODAY'S comments and how it has helped me!! emoticon emoticon BEST OF LUCK!!!

8/13/14 12:12 P

There's a team here at SP called 'Living Binge Free' that I found very helpful.

As long as we're young we can afford to eat junk. Once you get older and get health complaints because of overweight and unhealthy habits, it's a different story! Change your habits now that you're young!

Edited by: CHRISTINA-TODAY at: 11/18/2014 (11:25)
BESTAGIRL SparkPoints: (939)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 14
8/12/14 3:37 P

Not that I should talk since I am struggling today with junk too, but it usually helps me if I track it, before I eat it... Once I see what the calorie / fat impact is on my day, I can either put the cookie down or at least limit to 1... Hang in there... emoticon You will get there as long as you don't give up!!

8/12/14 2:23 P

Is it easier to eat the junk food or spend the required exercise time to take it off?

Put another way, look at what you want to eat and associate it with x amount of time doing y activity. If you would rather do the activity and eat the food then have the free time then by all means indulge...or if you can say you will honestly put in another hour of running that week....

PFERG66 Posts: 2,300
8/12/14 11:33 A

I just read through all the posts so far and I hope you take the time to really think about what the long-timers are saying.
If you think of today as a starting point in "learning to swim", for example, you would not go to the deepest part and throw yourself in. You would start at the shallow end and put one toe in, then a foot, then two feet, etc.. Baby steps. You will get to the other end of the pool but you need to learn a lot in order for "swimming" to become a lifetime habit.

ENJOY your eight glasses of water a day. Keep a full glass wherever you might be working or playing and drink it down. Refill it. At the end of the day you will have done something very, very good for yourself. My experience now after 8 months is that I miss my water when it's not available. Unheard of back in January!

When "yes, but" is on your lips, log in to Spark People and explore. Right then. There will be a team or a message board that catches your eye. Go for it! You're a college student! Add these new things to your daily study time!

AND. We love and respect you. Every single one of us has been where you are.

emoticon --Priscilla

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (199,897)
Fitness Minutes: (298,793)
Posts: 27,307
8/12/14 9:53 A


I give all new members and anyone who will listen to me one piece of advice and it's this,"Don't look at good health or weight loss with an all or nothing mentality". If the only healthy thing you did for yourself today was drink 8 glasses of water, that's still a step in the right direction.

Remember, you're trying to change habits learned over a life time. that's not going to happen overnight, a week, a month or even a year. Change takes time. Thus the need to be patient with yourself and your body.

In short, stop beating yourself up because you're not perfect. NO ONE ever became a healthy eater over night. it's impossible. that's why SP encourages its members to start with simple changes first. Don't try to do everything at once or you will end up frustrated. Set a simple goal. If you want to increase the amount of fresh fruit and veggies you eat, don't start out by eating 6-9 a day. Instead, set a goal to eat 2-3 servings each day for one week. Each week you add one more serving until you are eating 6-9 a day.

It really does take time to change habits. So, no more beatings. the beatings must stop. Take baby steps, literally and figuratively.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
8/12/14 8:45 A

You need to break the cycle of reaching for junk food. It's part addiction/part habit, so the behaviors can seem complicated, but when it comes right down to it it's not that hard, when your head is in the right place.

Get the tempting things out of the house. If you absolutely can't do that (you have other people in the house who want them there), put them in a cabinet of their own out of your sight, at least, and tell yourself they are not for you. For as long as it takes for you to get junk food into its proper place in your life (whatever that may be for you; for me, it's "rare" and "small quantities" both), you have become a person who simply does not snack on junk food. Believe it.

If you need the release valve, tell yourself that if you really, really desire any given single item at a particular time, you can go to a store and buy a single serving as time permits. But no bulk packages, no vending machines (if those are around you somewhere), etc. Allow it, but keep a barrier between yourself and impulse. Often you'll find you don't actually want it.

The first several days to a week or so will be white-knuckle on the temptation; just accept it and know it'll pass. You can get through it and you won't always be feeling that way.

If you can, set yourself up with plenty of appealing, but healthier treats and tasty meal options for when it is time to eat and you're hungry. This isn't strictly necessary if you've done everything else, but it helps a lot.

After the beginning it becomes less about physical cravings and more about solidifying good habit. So resist the temptation to dive right back into the sweets (or to relax your "preventive" techniques) once you wake up in the morning one day and realize you're no longer consumed by the thought of them. It takes time to get to the point where avoiding the junk food is almost second nature even when it's right there in front of you. You need to give yourself that time.

And finally -- if you screw up, shrug and move on. At worst you have to white-knuckle another day or two of unleashed cravings, but there need be no further consequences to your lifestyle if you don't let there be.

Good luck!

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,299
8/12/14 7:52 A

Sometimes I need to just remind myself that one is too many, and a hundred isn't enough. So it's best to just NOT get started at all. For example... instead of getting out 2 cookies for yourself and your niece... just skip the cookie idea completely, and snack on some of those vegetables you'd just prepared. Even if you ate every last bit of them... it would have been a better choice health-wise and a whole lot less calories. I've never felt even a bit of remorse, after eating a Mt. Everest of low-starch vegetables. Niece doesn't like vegetables? Get her to help you prep them (that way she's got something invested in the food and is more likely to eat some of it), and try putting a little peanut butter on that celery, try a low-fat ranch salad dressing for a dip.

It took me quite a while after I started on Spark, before I could eat some things in moderation. So I just avoided eating them completely. Didn't swear them off forever-- just told myself, someday I'll be able to eat that in a reasonable-size portion. Today, however, is not that day.

STDWYNWEN SparkPoints: (11,748)
Fitness Minutes: (4,601)
Posts: 577
8/12/14 7:34 A


"What I need to work on is my will power, and avoiding binge eating."

Now that you've decided on a habit which needs changing, you need to take action to help you break the habit.

What I would suggest is do a search for 'will power' and 'binge eating' here on this site.
Gain as much knowledge you can about both, so you get to a place where you can take control of your actions.

I think it's pretty smart in realizing you'll always have access to what's keeping you from reaching your goals. The course of action is changing how you react to it.

Good luck to you - I'm sure you'll be a success on getting those cravings under control.
(btw - when I started my weight loss I was 196 and the junk food queen; now I'm 135 and have been for a few years.)

Edited by: STDWYNWEN at: 8/12/2014 (07:39)
JPAULINE Posts: 56
8/12/14 6:19 A

I wish I could, I'm a college student that still lives at home. Also, in the past even if I didn't have junk food in the house, I would still have the ingredients for making junk food.

What I need to work on is my will power, and avoiding binge eating.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (199,401)
Fitness Minutes: (194,898)
Posts: 15,862
8/12/14 5:33 A

I would start by ridding your house of junk food.

ELECTRA7D SparkPoints: (18,798)
Fitness Minutes: (14,595)
Posts: 872
8/12/14 4:20 A

The reason you end up craving more sweets or junk food is that it's very easy for your body to break them down into energy, which is released as glucose into your blood stream. Then your body releases insulin, which lowers the glucose in your blood stream. That makes your body think it's hungry again, which is what triggers the craving for more junk food.

If you eat things that take longer to digest, like protein and some fat, then your body doesn't get that instant rush of energy and doesn't demand more right away. So it might help to eat your junk food after you've eaten some healthier food.

JPAULINE Posts: 56
8/12/14 3:32 A

I have tried planning out my day in the past, and I've found that doesn't always work, since sometime the family dinner isn't decided on till dinner time.

Also, I did limit myself to to cookies at first, and then right after that I was craving more. I have noticed if I'm eating a snack food, or junk food item, I crave more of what I just ate.

Using candy for example, if I just had M&Ms, I would be craving those, and if I had just had a kitkat, that is what I would be craving more. Unfortunately this does not work on healthy food.

ELECTRA7D SparkPoints: (18,798)
Fitness Minutes: (14,595)
Posts: 872
8/12/14 3:12 A

Do you track your calories? If you do, next time plan out your day and include the junk food that you're going to eat. Then you know how much you can have for the day. If you try to eat some protein along with your junk food, it will help you not to be as hungry as quickly afterwards.

There are some things I know I can't stay away from, so I don't buy those things anymore...malted milk balls, frozen pie, that kind of thing.

I think sometimes we plan to give up everything we like and that kind of plan is doomed to fail. It's better to allow a few good things than to cut them all out. Then the good things feel like a reward, instead of the diet feeling like a punishment.

JPAULINE Posts: 56
8/11/14 10:00 P

I told myself last night that today was going to be the start of a new day, that I would cut down on the amount of junk food, and increase my intake of healthy food.

After making a vegetable tray to leave out for everyone, I got 2 cookie for my self and my niece, and put the cookies away. Less then five minutes later I was getting the cookies out again, and in less then 20 min, the cookies were all gone.

Now here I am, having eaten nothing but junk food today, hungry, but have already exceeded my calories.

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