Reaching Out...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I recently realized my 1st Spark anniversary is next month. I have not lost a great amount of weight, only 7 lbs. I certainly would have liked to have lost a whole lot more but what I have not lost in weight, I have gained in knowledge about myself and tremendous insights to the reasons behind my weight issues. That being said, I find myself envious of others who have achieved their goal weight in the amount for time I've spent struggling.

Honestly, I do know that using the nutritional tracker is one of the keys to success, however, as I've previously mentioned in other blogs, I absolutely HATE tracking. I feel like its a punishment. Like "extra homework" and it puts me in a diet mentality. Ok, I'm stubborn about tracking. I've tried baby steps. Only tracking breakfast to start, then breakfast and lunch and that's as far as I get. Then I tried tracking the whole day but only for two days. Still not successfully completed. Isn't it possible to loose weight without tracking every bit of food???

I've made an attempt to journal the time of day I eat and what I was feeling. I figured it's not "traditional" tracking but I'm trying to find what works for me. So I actually stumbled onto something, and here's where I need some help from my fellow Sparkers. I discovered that while I make good food choices all day, and have successfully added in regular exercise, the moment I walk in the door after work, I suddenly get the munchies. Boy can I do a lot of damage between 4:30 and 6:00, which is dinner time. I don't understand where the sudden urge comes from. I've had some thoughts about it, and one thing I realized is when I get home I have a lot of anxiety coming in the door to face the demands of kids, husband, making dinner, etc. I'm not completely sure that's the trigger or not. Sometimes I think it's just a habit, cause I'm not hungry, I want junk food. So please don't suggest having a salad, that's not going to work. Perhaps, I'm turning to food to try to relax??? I just don't know the answer and I don't know what to do to correct this behavior. I need to do something different because I'm sabotaging my weight loss efforts everyday.

Please share your thoughts, comments, suggestions.... Thanks.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Barb, I find I don't mind tracking my food, but I do have the same problem you do with eating too much during the transition of my work life and my home life. I can't seem to figure out why. I'm going to try some of the ideas other Sparkers have suggested in response to your blog. Good luck to finding something that works for you. Congratulations on losing 7 lbs. Like someone mentioned earlier, most people are gaining 7 lbs a year.
    2401 days ago
  • no profile photo BAMAJAM
    You have been given lots of ideas here. I thought about suggesting the chewing gum as you get home from work, but see that DMANN already mentioned that idea. Your problem is very common, and I am always wanting to eat as soon as I get home too. Often I consume enough calories to equal a meal--before I sit down to eat supper.
    Bad habits are hard to break. We have to have a "hard talk" with ourselves to realize that we cannot "cheat" on good health.
    Years ago I was a fingernail biter. It was a terrible habit. I would chew off my nails to the point of pain. Why did I do that? I have overcome that bad habit, and NOW I need to conquer my bad eating problem. I am cheating myself of good health.
    Sparkpeople give lots of support, and I truly appreciate this! Hugs to you!
    2403 days ago
    Hi Barb, I am sorry you are struggling . But 7 pounds. Most people gain that in a are turning the tide. Good for you. A couple of suggestions I have read but never tried..I'm a stay at home mom. Find something that signifies you are home..change of shoes..light a candle...I don;t know and spend five minutes doing nothing when you get home in order to change mindsets and decompress. Lots of great suggestions about food to eat when you get home, but could you be missing enough food the rest of the day and be truly hungry. I use myfitnesspal app on my phone. Also, are you not giving yourself enough calories so you are avoiding tracking. Try changing the goals to losing less weight. Sounds like you got a lot of this figured out. I wish you all the best. emoticon
    2404 days ago
    I bet it's a combination of being tired after work, anticipating a hectic evening, and wanting food for comfort/relaxation. I know you said not to suggest eating salad, but you basically only have two options: don't eat at all, or eat a healthy snack. I don't know which you will find easier, whether it's brushing your teeth as someone suggested and not eating anything, or maybe you can just snack on a cup of cold grapes (about 60 calories and so sweet you might think you're eating a dessert!) or a cup of tea or something like that. Maybe you can practice coming home and just taking a few minutes by yourself to do some deep breathing, maybe some stretching, and THEN you can go about your evening feeling recharged and snack-free. It's just a matter of either replacing the junk food with something healthy and low calorie, or replacing the activity (eating) with an entirely different relaxation activity. I hope you find what works for you!
    2404 days ago
    I hate tracking, too. I find it takes too much time in my busy day. I use the Quick Track and it seems to help. It is on your Start page and you might find that you like it. I also journal my food and the number of calories. Takes a lot less time and still keeps me "honest". It is surprising how easy it is to forget the little nibbles we have during the day.
    I think that one idea for your afternoon munchies is to plan a really good snack for as soon as you come in the door. Make it something you really enjoy with some protein in it to hold you until dinner. For me this is a chocolate protein shake. I add frozen zucchini to it so that it is the consistency of a milkshake and I drink it very slowly to enjoy every drop. (You don't taste the zucchini--it just is like a nutritious ice cube.) Keeps me going until dinner! emoticon
    2405 days ago
    Yeah I don't like tracking but have found it essential to losing weight - as much as fitness contributes I think! Obviously it's better to healthy food but it's difficult to judge how much we actually eat! It's so easy to snack mindlessly and let things slip through without realising. I find having a small notebook in my bag helps so I can write down what I have eaten and also found planning the day ahead is useful. If you snack more during the evening, have a relatively lighter lunch and have 2 small meals in the evening. Or maybe try an eating clean diet - eating 6 small meals a day really helps me keep my blood sugar in check and helps prevent eating junk food when I know I'll have another nutritious meal in an hour or so. It does take time tracking what we eat and planning meals but it definitely will help you to lose weight. All the best!

    2405 days ago
    Try brushing your teeth as soon as you walk in the door. I for one won't snack if my teeth are clean and minty. Good luck!
    2405 days ago
    I hate tracking too, I really have to psych myself to do it. But it's sort of the fundamental thing to do with sparking, so if I were you I would work out why you don't like doing it. Is it the time it takes, or the disclipine it needs. Or is it that it shows you that actually you're eating more than is good of some things? On days when I know I've overeaten, I hate putting it in the tracker more than anything.

    My solution to the munchies problem is make sure you eat at least 500 calories at lunch, and have a snack just before you leave to go home in the afternoon. I used to get home and eat my way through the fridge, and this works for me. Also don't eat dinner so late that you have a long wait between getting home and having dinner.

    Hope this works for you.
    2405 days ago
    Wow! You just decribed me! I hate tracking my food and my worse part of the day is when I get home...I start the munching. I've tried to start making sure I have munching choices that won't do as much damage plus simply getting rid of food in the house that isn't good for any of us. That takes support of the whole family but it really is the best choice I've made! Good luck with finding a good solution.
    2405 days ago
    I do the SAME THING. I also can't put my finger on exactly why. Maybe it's just the release from the schedule of being at work to being in my "safe place" where I can do what I want. I don't know, but if you figure it out, let me know!
    2405 days ago
  • DMANN104
    I feel the same way. I have been working at losing weight for awhile (years really), and there's lots of times where I go without losing anything. BUT at the same time you could be losing inches (toning) which in my book is just as good. Good job for sticking it out this long!! That is something to celebrate!!

    I don't track my food. That being said, I could probably lose more faster if I did. But I too found it too time consuming. I found cutting down my portion sizes a bit at a time to help ALOT. Also finding healthy alternatives - just putting mustard on a sandwich or using just a bit of Light Miraclewhip; light peanut butter; popcorn instead of chips. Also I found cutting out most drinks and just drinking water helped a lot. Writing down a food journal is a good way of tracking too, and if that's what you are able to do right now then that's fine. I think that anything that makes us aware of what we are actually eating (and how much), is what will help us in getting healthier.

    It's great if you have found out your trigger time. Try to figure out why. But also I think it's like any bad habit to break. It just takes time to slowly change it. Drink lots of water before eating anything. Or maybe make some tea - it's hot so it takes time to sip it. Try to work at creating a good habit to take over for the bad. If it's stress related (and you have time) do something to relax you. If you have to be in the kitchen then chew gum to stop you from nibbling. I know it's hard, I have certain times like that when I have to really watch what & why I'm eating. It's just takes time to find what will work for you.

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    2407 days ago
    Hi Barb,
    I just read your blog and I am thinking about it. It is really awesome that you stumbled onto your trigger time of day. That is a huge revelation. First of all, I believe that ERIMICAM has some great suggestions. I also believe that it is important for you to find a way to limit the anxiety you feel upon coming home. You need to be able to walk in the door and be able to start decompressing (without food) as you tackle the evening demands. Would it be possible for someone else to start dinner while you take a relaxing bath or shower (instead of eating). The longer you can delay tackling the junk food, the less time you have to sabotage yourself before dinner. That's all I can think of right now. I will check back in shortly, hopefully with some more ideas. Hang in there. Remember, every little step in the right direction helps. emoticon Jackie
    2407 days ago
    I'm not sure what would be causing your junk food cravings, but I understand. I eat really well on work days because I'm out of the house all day and don't get home until late at night. On my days off, however, I'm a sloth that will happily eat her way through anything resembling junk food.

    What type of junk food do you eat? Is there a way to wean yourself onto "healthy" junk food and then wean yourself off that? For example: Instead of eating a pint of regular ice cream (which I used to do alll the time), have a bowl of ice cream. From there have a Weight Watchers or Skinny Cow ice cream bar (which are really freakin tasty). From there try to move onto something else like Arctic Zero if you can find it (the flavours are hit or miss, but some are reallly good).

    In my experience, if I tell myself I can't have something, that's all I want. I don't care why I want it or why it's a bad thing, I just want it. Not having it makes it worse and I suck at portion control. But I consider it a victory that when I want ice cream, I don't eat a half gallon, or even a pint, I reach for Arctic Zero or some sugar free hot chocolate.

    You can do it, you have to figure out what the best solution is for YOU!
    2409 days ago
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    2409 days ago
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