Weight Loss Support - Impulse eater needs help!

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02-09-2007, 07:51 PM
I have realized lately that I am an impulse eater. If it's there, I can't keep my hands off of it. I hear this voice in my head screaming at me- "Leave it alone! You don't want to eat that!" and yet... my hand still makes that trip to my mouth. Once again, I am disappointed in myself, and the guilt has set in. How, How, HOW (!) do I control this?! I can't keep up this circular motion of guilt, eating, exercising & depriving myself like crazy.

02-09-2007, 08:07 PM
keep stuff out of the house! You can do it, it is just hard!!

02-09-2007, 08:16 PM
clean house- no junk available until you get this under control
log your food, even when it is "bad" this will gradually help
dont beat yourself up about it, just move on
eat frequently so you arent too hungry

02-09-2007, 08:20 PM
Maybe try a program like OA?

I know it can help with all sorts of food-related issues, but I'm not familiar enough with it to say whether or not it helps impulse eating.

I echo what Miss ennay said. Log all your food, good or bad. Try and avoid keeping those trigger foods in the house. Don't get down on yourself, just acknowledge the slip and go on with your day.

02-09-2007, 08:35 PM
Try getting into a hobby that keeps your hands busy - needlework, etc. It is much harder to munch doing something like that than when you are watching TV or reading.


Miss Honey
02-09-2007, 09:01 PM
When I wanted to go on my diet. I fasted for 2 days. and it help with food control.

02-10-2007, 11:37 AM
I agree with what eveyone else said. One thing that I would consider though, is have you paid attention to your emotions or your mood at the time the urge strikes? When you feel such a lack of self control, (and we all have ;) , that's why we're here) could it be due to stress or something? If you can understand why your urge is so strong, or what causes it, you might have an easier time changing the behavior.

02-10-2007, 01:36 PM
Hi Marianne,

I was doing the same or very similiar thing! (minus the exercise part) and it is, was, very mentally painful! The guilt, frustration, and depression got to a point where I couldn't stand it anymore, something had to change (sounds like you may be at this point now? don't despair, your ready for that change and that's how it all starts : ) ).

I will share a few things that really helped me to change this (beginning mid january) and are currently keeping me on track.

First and foremost, it started with a decision to change my plan of attack! I was hardly eating anything all day or trying to restrict my eating way to severely! The end resut: eating anything I could get my hands on at night and yes, I know for a fact I was emotionally eating on those occassions). After doing this time and time again, I developed bad eating habits and totally through my metabolism off. I was pretty well versed in nutrition and proper eating habits but I was IMPATIENT, just wanted that quick fix. So for me the first step was to change my eating pattern.

step 1 - For a couple of weeks, I made sure to eat during the day (I literally had to remind myself, i was so accustomed to not eating at that time). I made sure to eat lunch and healthy snacks inbetween (whenever I felt a little hunger coming on, waiting until your too hungry is a danger zone).
I then made sure to eat dinner within a certain time frame (not to early, not to late). If i eat too early, I am hungry after. (for me now, it's typically anytime between 6-7). I would eat a good substantial dinner, enough to satisfy me but not push my fullness over the edge. I focused on not eating after dinner but would get a bit hungry andWhen I got hungry at night,
I would snack on watermelon, fruits, carrot sticks, etc. As for the dinners, I didn't change much though I was more careful with butter and fats of that nature. My main change here was in eating structure. I still ate pretty much the same except for reaching for healthy snacks inbetween meals.

step 2 - after 2 weeks of doing this, I didn't lose any weight but I was now eating on a schedule and had structure to my eating habits. I then began my "diet" on Jan. 29, basically replaced the higher fat dinners, etc with healthy low fat protein, salad, and or veggies. I upped it a level, added more strictness. I cannot tell you howwwww much easier it was this time around! because I had already worked on and had an eating shedule in place made a world of difference! My body had begun adapting and I didn't get so hungry anymore after dinnerand when I did and do, I snack on fruits and veggies. Having a pre cut veggie tray or fruits in the fridge really helps. As for the emotional component, just the change in the eating structure and habits helped eliminate most of that emotional eating. I began exercising again too, walking mostly......which is the easiest way to start! That really helps me.

I am on just about 2 weeks now and it's going super. I don't feel deprived at all and that's a biggie too! I eat whenever I am hungry (all the fruits and veggies i want). I get this f.f veggie dip i love. Also, I tailored my meals to foods which are low in fat andhealthy but which I enjoyyyyyy and I cut myself some slack too, I enjoy a free night or an occassional something I want (within moderation). Emotionally, I am a different person! sooooo much happier. THat in itself helps eliminate that night time emotional eating. It really works!

IN a nutshell, some key components which helped me:

PATIENCE - not looking for a quick fix, disgusted with cycle (as you mentioned) and that it takes time. Willing to give it t ime as not only to change but make it into a lifestyle.

change eating structure

walking, ex. and signing up for feb. ex challenge to help keep me in line

posting everyday (regardless of how the day went, there will be good and bad days, and the bad days are all part of the journey.

drinking a lot of water

Not weighing myself too much ( a disaster for me) 1x a week only

keeping my attitude in check, not letting discouragement get in my way:

taking it day by day: if i have a bad day and feel down, I say tomorrow is a new day and put that energy or focus into making my new day a good one.

Keeping a food journal is a good way to keep track and see where you want to change or make progress the following week.

REPLACE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS WITH POSITIVE THOUGHTS - ex. I did bad today but hey, its natural to have sidetracks, cant be perfect all the time, im going to kick butt tomorrow!
as for the mirror business - I tell myself that's okay, it's just temporary! and envision your new figure.

These things are what helped me and so I wanted to share in the hopes they help you and others as well. Keep your chin up girl, YOU CAN DO IT. :)
keep us posted. have a great weekend all.

02-10-2007, 09:31 PM
thanks for the encouragement. I need to hear it from someone who is not immediately in my life! From them, it just seems to sound like pity! I am going to do this! I can do hard things! :smug:

02-11-2007, 08:37 PM
Hi Marianne!

Sounds to me like you aren't eating at regular intervals and are waiting until you are so hungry that you grab whatever is there. As others have said, get the high-calorie stuff out of the house! Try eating something nutritious that has some fiber in it every three hours. Oatmeal is good in the morning to get you started. Apples are great as snacks, and with a bit of peanut butter can be really excellent to fill you up AND give you fiber which keeps you feeling full. Watch out for empty calories (sugar) that don't help you or your body. Drink enough water which also fills you up and takes the edge off hunger. Be sure that you are eating enough protein. That helps, too.


Beach Patrol
02-11-2007, 08:46 PM
Something you said just JUMPED out at me:

"I hear this voice in my head screaming at me- "Leave it alone! You don't want to eat that!" and yet... my hand still makes that trip to my mouth."

You sure are negative to yourself. Maybe TRY being positive instead? Ask yourself WHY do you want that? If you are not TRULY HUNGRY... why do you want to eat that food that is in front of you? Be honest with yourself. You don't have to answer to anyone else - JUST YOU. Is it because it tastes so good? Is it because everyone else is having some? Is it because you had a bad day? Because you are bored? Angry? Depressed? Our feelings are directly tied to the hand-to-mouth activity.

To handle it positively, instead of saying "you don't want that!" (don't is a negative word) say "I would like an apple instead." Or simply "I choose to pass on that food." Walk away from it. Keep your hands busy. Brush your teeth. Pick your nose. WHATEVER IT TAKES. Remember - it takes aprx 21 days... THREE WEEKS... to break a habit. And that's what it is... A HABIT.

And remember... BE KIND TO YOURSELF! - BE POSITIVE! - I tend to look at junk food as a poison, now. I taught myself to view it the same way I view cigarettes. BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH; NO GOOD VALUE AT ALL. :hug:

02-11-2007, 09:45 PM
Pick your nose. WHATEVER IT TAKES.
For some reason, I just got a good chuckle outta that one. http://www.techtrek.com/Hold/nosepick.gif

02-12-2007, 08:10 PM
my weekness is sweet. Ooooh how I love sugar. I love to bake too. So when I make a cake, cookies, or especially brownies, I eat one or two then take the left overs to work and let everyone else gobble up the rest of those calories! I also have sent them with my hubby to work. Outta sight, outta mind. But if I really have to have something bad, I try to pick out foods that are the "lesser of two evils" Like if I want a candy bar, I'll get a 3 musketeers. Yes it's a candbar but its does have less fat........ :p

02-12-2007, 09:23 PM
Thank you "Beach Patrol" for your encouragement. :hug: Thank you ALL for your encouragement! I must admit that my most detrimental quality is how hard I am on myself. I let the guilt get to me when I slip up. I am trying to focus on the positive part of what I am doing. I read above that I should view my current self as temporary and imagine **positively** about my future self!

I can give myself a big hug for today! I ran/jogged/walked for 1 1/2 hours! Then I came home, took an ibuprofen and drank a bottle of water and laid down to rest!:D The Arizona sun is rough all year round when you work outside. I ate in regular intervals, and ate lots of protein to keep me full, as you suggested and I kept my hands busy- I haven't tried picking my nose yet, but... we'll see what the future holds! HAHAHA

I am actively pondering my "need" to eat. I am not really a binger, just someone who loves food and eats food for comfort. Comfort for what is what I am pondering. I can love food and enjoy what I eat in a healthy way... for example- I totally LOVE a good salad. What I have to work on is what I eat after that salad.

Thanks again for all your encouragement and gentle chastising- each comment takes me closer to my goal!:hug:

02-13-2007, 12:41 AM
I've been struggling with the same issue, Marianne. I love food. I love to cook it. I watch the Food Network way too much. I'm a foodie - I love trying new restaurants.

But, I'm realizing that perhaps being thinner and in better shape would be something that I love even more than food, because I love my life and family and friends, and I don't want to lose any time with them.

So, I made a deal with myself - I can only fix the ooey gooey cheesy chocolately creamy fried battered breaded dipped stuff when we have company for dinner. And then, I have to make one simple, healthy vegetable and fill half of my plate with it.

The rest of the time, I'm sticking to the insulin resistance diet. It's the first time ever that I've "dieted" and actually felt like I could stick with it several days in. I even <gasp> exercised! I don't like it, but I have to do it.