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RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
12/7/13 1:25 P

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.

good luck!

12/6/13 10:06 P

I agree that gum can be helpful. I have to say that there are A LOT of different flavored gums available. It can be fun to try some that may sound strange (right now I have raspberry vanilla cupcake gum).

ADARKARA Posts: 2,273
12/6/13 8:18 P

I second both tea and gum.

Also - if you really feel you need to eat, you can eat, but eat something really low calorie, like celery or radishes. Just make sure you eat them without dip! =)

12/6/13 8:08 P

Oh yeah. The hot tea is another idea I use. Or, in my case, low calorie hot chocolate. Your hands are "full" and doing something so it fulfills that desire. Because the beverage is hot it takes a while to drink. By the time I am done with a mug of hot chocolate my desire to eat has usually past.

AMSTERDAM10 Posts: 36
12/6/13 7:07 P

I use the gum idea too. I also grab a cup of hot tea in the afternoon when I start to crave food, and after dinner in front of the TV. It helps most of the time, when I remember.

12/6/13 5:11 P

Thank you PEEKINGLEMER! That's exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. I will pick up some gum the next time I'm at the store. I never chew gum, so I didn't even think about that.

12/6/13 4:38 P

I have found that chewing minty sugar free gum helps when I have the urge to eat and I am not hungry. Extra also makes a "dessert" gum with fun flavors like Apple Pie and Mint Chip that I love. I feel like I'm indulging even though I know I am not.

Bubble baths also help me at night. Sometimes I think stress makes me want to eat and the bath relaxes me. So the bath takes the place of eating as a stress buster.

Good luck. You can do this.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (200,180)
Fitness Minutes: (299,303)
Posts: 27,333
12/6/13 3:36 P


It's only the first week. I give all new members 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. Don't label your day as good or bad based on how you eat. Remember, you're trying to change habtis 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.

That's why Spark People encourages its members to start with some simple changes first. Don't try to do everything at once or you will end up frustrated. You do want to make sure you have some healthy snacks on hand for times when you get hungry. And there will be plenty of times when you get hungry during the day. You shouldn't go for long periods of time between meals. That does set a person up for a binge later.

Since you're not used to eating healthier snacks just yet. Why not start by setting some simple goals. Example, why not set a goal to eat one piece of fruit for a snack each day for one week ? That's an achievable goal that you could try. If you're not used to eating 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, set a goal to eat 2-3 servings each day for one week. If you're not drinking 8 glasses of water, set a goal to drink 2-4 glasses each day for one week. Once you've achieved these goals, then you set new ones.

Setting simple goals, taking baby steps, is how we change habits learned over a life time. Because if you try to do too much too soon, you will end up frustrated. Slow and easy really does win this race.

12/6/13 3:34 P

Yes, I have healthy snacks and I've already had one. I'm really not changing drastically, just being smarter. My problem right now is I know I'm not really hungry, I am just so used to eating right now I feel at loose ends. I cleaned the kitchen, knowing I won't want to mess it up again to make a snack. And I brushed my teeth, because who wants to eat after you brush your teeth. I haven't given in to the urge yet. And, Hubby will be here soon so we can go run errands. I am just afraid this will be my trouble time of day on a regular basis, so I just need tips on how to distract myself until I get over the mid-afternoon hump.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (200,087)
Fitness Minutes: (195,485)
Posts: 15,865
12/6/13 3:25 P

Online Now  • ))
do you have healthy snacks planned into your day and available in the kitchen? Are you trying to change everything about your diet and feeling deprived?

12/6/13 2:59 P

This is my first week. So far I have just focused on getting some exercise in each day and tracking everything I eat, but not changing my diet yet. Today is my first day trying to be good with my food. It went great all morning, but this is the time of day that I normally just mindlessly snack. I know that I'm not really hungry, it's just habit....but, all I can think about out is eating everything in the kitchen. I've tried putting my mind on other things, I've picked up the crochet project I've been avoiding and I still can't stop thinking about food. What do I do? I need some tips, quick!

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