Weight Loss Support - Why does this happen?

View Full Version : Why does this happen?

12-05-2008, 08:44 PM
Why do we do so well for a period of time, and then all of a sudden it feels like nothing has changed? :( Why is it I'm sitting here, full from my piece of toast & turkey burger patty w/ cheese that I just ate, thinking about those darn cookies! I don't even really like cookies! For months now, I stopped eating when I was full and then all of a sudden, I'm back to thinking about food WAY TO OFTEN! Do you guys find that if you don't eat enough, you want to eat too much? How do you guys keep the balance between eating enough, but not overeating? Does it ever go away? I know there are people here who have lost 100+ lbs and even some that are already maintaining, do you guys still get these feelings?

12-05-2008, 08:50 PM
The feelings don't really ever go away (at least not yet, more than 1 year post-maintenance). BUT...the ability to handle them becomes almost automatic. So, while I always look at a plate of cookies and think "hmm, I really want a cookie!", turning it down HAS become easier over time. Think of it like a muscle - you work it so it gets stronger.

In terms of the balance between not eating enough and overeating, I use a three-pronged approach.
1. Recognize that my body needs good quality fuel to power it through the day, and that if I don't get that fuel, I feel like garbage.
2. Recognize that, if I just ate whatever I wanted, I'd not only have way too MUCH fuel, but wouldn't be eating the good-quality stuff that improves my quality of life.
3. (and this is the big one) - Plan meals, snacks, and beverages that meet my nutritional goals while providing me with the correct number of calories, then eat only those foods.

12-05-2008, 08:56 PM
3. (and this is the big one) - Plan meals, snacks, and beverages that meet my nutritional goals while providing me with the correct number of calories, then eat only those foods.

Do you honestly plan out a whole days worth of food? How do you do it? Do you plan & then shop? Do you plan for a whole week or a day at a time? I'm curious because I hear a lot of people say plan, plan, plan! But I'm not exactly sure what that means or what it entails... And what do you do if you just simply don't feel like eating that days menu? :D

12-05-2008, 09:09 PM
I have found in the last few weeks of really staying OP, if I plan what I am going to eat, based on foods I've preshopped for, there is little to no guess work. I have points written down for most foods I eat regularly (would work to for calories) I know what I am eating for all 3 meals and both snacks with 3-5 points (estimated 100-200 calories) left over for something to eat later if I need to or not if I don't feel the need.

No pre-planning to me has meant a free for all. I tend wait to think about what I'm going to eat when I am ravenous. I make horrible choices when I am starved. I usually listen to the "I'm starved, eat high fat, high calorie" voice in my head.

The days that I don't plan, I overdo it. If I don't have my lunch packed for work, it is easier for me to drive through somewhere OR hit the vending machine. If I don't have a snack & lunch packed to eat when I first feel the hunger pang, I wait until I am starving and make really shi*** choices. Then when I've already made 1 bad choice, it's easier to make the 2nd, 3rd, 4th.

I try to roughly preplan 1 weeks worth of meals and then pre-plan the night before for the next day right after I journal in the evening about how that day went.;)

12-05-2008, 09:12 PM
Yep, I honestly plan a whole day's worth of food. Here's how it goes.

1. I plan dinners weekly. Mine all fall into a fairly small calorie range per serving (350-450 total) I write up my dinners for the week, then the groceries I'll need to make them.

2. I plan a couple of breakfasts and snacks that are around the same number of calories. So, for example, my two breakfasts right now are protein-fortified oatmeal with a diced apple cooked in or an english muffin toasted with pizza sauce, light cheese, and canadian bacon. They're both around 200-225 calories. Then a get a bunch of snacks that are around 100 calories (a little more, like popcorn, or a little less, like an orange...it's all good, we're just averaging there). Add the stuff you need to eat these breakfasts and snacks to your grocery list.

3. I don't have the time or inclination to plan lunches, so I always (unless I ate out the night before) eat leftovers for lunch. I'm cooking for two, so I just cook 4 portions of everything...two onto plates for dinner, two into tupperware for the next day. It makes it easy, and I know that if my dinner was nutritious, lunch will be too. Plus, I have a really bad habit of having small lunches so I can splurge on dinner, which ultimately ends up with me BINGING at dinner because I'm hungry. Doing the dinner and lunch calories the same prevents this problem.

So all of that got you a grocery list (and once you're used to it and have some dinner recipes to swap in and out, this takes about 15 minutes a week, plus the grocery shop. That's it! Just list the dinners, figure out the ingredients, add on your breakfast/snack items, and go). Now you've got all of that healthy food in the house.

The night before, I go into FitDay and start plugging in my breakfast, lunch, and dinner for that day. Once I've done that, i see how much calorie budget I have left for snacks. If I have a lot, I may do some snacks that are more than 100 calories...if I am a little high, I may do some snacks that fall lower on the calorie scale (like an orange, or veggies and light dip). Again, this is another 10 minutes a day, the night before...I think of it like brushing my teeth, it just gets done.

So for example, yesterday I planned the following for today:
B - English muffin pizza w/ canadian bacon
S - Orange
L - Pork tenderloin, couscous, and steamed broccoli (leftovers from last night)
S - Popcorn
S - Instant Oatmeal
D - Sausage and Lentil Soup
S - NSA Ice Cream Bar (I have one every night. Dessert is important to me!)

Now, I didn't feel like having the oatmeal come snack time. It just didn't sound good. So I swapped out another snack that was about the same number of calories and had that instead.

If I'm going through the day and my dinner plan just doesn't sound good, I can always swap it with one of the other dinners planned for that week. (Earlier this week, I had a stirfry planned and I just wasn't feeling it, so I swapped it with the burgers I had planned for Thursday). Since you already have all of the groceries, it's easy to do, and it ensures you have healthy meals and backups.

If something comes up last minute (like friends wanting to go out or getting caught out and about), I have a backup plan. I'll get something healthy wherever we are (salad bars are our favorite), then use some of my "stash" for my lunch the next day. The stash consists of a few lean cuisines always in the freezer, a few cans of tuna in the pantry (put that on the bread I use for breakfast, with some of the cheese = tuna melt!), etc. Then I move whatever the planned dinner was for that day to another day.

I know this sounds overwhelming all typed out, and it DOES take some time initially when you're figuring out the calories for your recipes, figuring out different breakfasts and snacks, etc. But after the first few weeks, you're talking 15 minutes a week to write a menu plan and grocery list, plus about 10 minutes a day to record the next day's food. Hardly any time at all, really, particularly if you do the 10 minutes a day while you do something else (like watching TV, which is what I do).

12-05-2008, 09:35 PM
Even normal skinny people have cravings for foods. They just handle them better than those of us here on the board. :) My mom used to crave sweets every once in a while. Or crave junk food. The difference is she could open a box of Oreos and have 3 of them and that would satisfy her craving. Or she could pour out about an ounce of potato chips into a bowl and nibble on them and that would satisfy her craving. Me? I'd eat the whole bag and contemplate going to the store for more. :)

As far as planning ... I'll be honest, I don't understand how someone *doesn't* plan - especially if they have a family. How do you grocery shop if you don't have some idea of what you're going to eat when you go to the store?

For me planning is almost automatic; you decide waht you're going to eat over the course of the week and then you buy the groceries you need to make those things. I did it when I was unhealthy too - I just bought snacks like chips and cookies, and I planned for cooking hugely fattening things like alfredo and mashed potatoes with cream and so forth.

But yes, I plan a weeks worth of meals at a time - including snacks. I have an excel spreadsheet that I chart it out in, but you could easily do it with paper and pen. I posted it here once before ... here it is:

You can see that I list out every meal and my snacks for the days and then I create a grocery list based on what I plan to eat. When I go grocery shopping, I shop from that list. If something is on sale, then I can make a quick substitution while I'm shopping, but mostly I stick to the plan and the list.

You can see that I mostly eat the same thing every day for breakfast. But I also know how many calories that is, so if I really don't feel like that for breakfast, I can sub out something else in the same calorie range if I want to. Also, if you look at my lunches, a lot of times they're leftovers from dinner the night before. For example, if you look at Wednesday (I think it is), dinner was meatloaf. If you look at Thursday lunch - it's a meatloaf sandwich. So I plan to have leftovers for lunches whenever possible.

I also plan in my no-count meal and sometime that coincides with dinner out (you'll see for Friday of that week, I had dinner out with friends, so I designated that my no-count meal).


12-05-2008, 10:07 PM
Another great strategy for good planning is to use a standard grocery list that you can modify to suit your needs. When my kids were little and I was on a very limited budget, this helped me to spend my money wisely and get back from the store with everything I needed. Check this one out, it is a great list and it is a Word document that you can modify. I used to print up a batch of these and then grab one when I was ready to shop.
Good luck with meal planning! Planning menus helps me to get out of eating ruts, which lead to boredom and mindless eating. Food that is new and exciting goes a long way when the calories are reduced.



12-05-2008, 10:42 PM
The feelings are still there for me occasionally, but I haven't been doing this very long really. I just try to divert my attention to other things.

Meal planning? Nope. I would trash a plan within a day. I just eat from my standard groceries, devising whatever I feel like eating. However, I log every bite I eat right *before* I eat it. I always know where I stand throughout the day with my calorie budget.

12-06-2008, 01:50 PM
Hmm, a lot of wonderful advice there! :D I tend to shop for pretty much the same thing every time I grocery shop. And then I just cook whatever we feel like at any given point. Maybe I should start keeping a meal plan (both for myself & my family), I bet it would really help when it came to grocery shopping. Thanks guys, you're all such a wealth of knowledge. :hug:

12-06-2008, 03:09 PM
A daily menu plan that you shop from totally works for me - for two reasons: By the time I get to the store after work, I'm always to tired to even think about what I need/want/am going to make. Second, if I already have a plan setup for the day/week/month, I tend to stick to it WAY better than if I do it on the fly. Yes, it takes a little work in advance, but in my mind is worth doing as you can change up your dialy menu with a little planing ahead. I got on this habbit when I was doing LA weight loss, but found without thinking ahead, I was always eating the same thing. With making a weekly plan, I could change things up a little more, run though my daily counts before hand, make sure what I was going to have or make fit on plan, and then as long as I did not cheat (too much!) I also already had my diary tracking done as well. :)

12-06-2008, 03:21 PM
I agree with planning and making a list. I always make a list and stick to it when we got grocery shopping and I have noticed we are spending less. Im not just grabbing things to throw together, I have a plan and we stick to it!

12-06-2008, 03:40 PM
I do exactly what Photochick does-- I plan my week (usually on Sundays) in a Word document that I set up. I also cook for the first few days of the week if I know I have busy nights coming up, so that way I have no excuses-- everything is ready! (And if I were to choose to not eat it and let it sit too long in the fridge, I would be wasting money if I ended up throwing that food out.) Also, I print out my planning sheet and use it as a checklist throughout the week to keep myself on track.

12-06-2008, 04:12 PM
I just purchased a little meal tracker on this website I love. I'm going to be planning out my every days meals and snacks because that's what I need to do.

As for the cookies. I'd take control right now and pour water on them. Dump them out somewhere they can't be retrieved. Yes, it's wasting food but it's also saving yourself from indulging in something you don't want to.

12-06-2008, 04:48 PM
If I don't plan, I seriously wind up wandering the aisles of the grocery store buying things at random. I'll come home with 3 cans of black beans, a loaf of bread, 2 boxes of oats, and an onion. And then I'll realize that I've already got 3 cans of black beans in the pantry, and a bag of onions sitting on the counter from last week's shopping.

But I won't have any milk, yogurt, or fruit.

It took me nearly 6 months to get through the 4 large jars of pb that I bought last year - because every time I went to the grocery store I thought "Do we have pb? I dunno. I'll get some just in case."

I have HAVE to have a plan and a list. Otherwise I just create a situation where I go to the store 5 times a week to get forgotten items.