General Diet Plans and Questions - Diet-breaking foods to avoid on intuitive (or normal) dieting?

12-03-2009, 01:32 PM
Hey girls,
I've been using "nearly-intuitive dieting" (roughly but not completely aware of calorie amounts, stopping when full) mostly because I don't have much of an option -- I eat in dining halls as a college student on meal plan -- and have found that it works for me, but sometimes I still fall off the wagon when I eat certain things. And I have a feeling that it happens to everyone else too!

I'm not talking about temptation foods or "empty calories" -- but about foods that make me feel gross or are a "gateway" and mean I no longer eat intuitively later, or start to binge on unhealthy things:

- Fudge/chocolate brownies. This is a biggie...
- Cappuccinos. I LOVE coffee with milk and sugar but if I have it, I'm likely to go off-plan... so I drink it black.
- Turkey. I know this is a superfood for other people but it makes me sleepy and gross-feeling... or at least I found this out over Thanksgiving when pressured to eat it (I'm vegetarian).
- Cheesecake. Need I say more?
- Potatoes. Other carbs fill me up and make me feel great, but somehow potatoes (fried, grilled, whatever) make me feel both gross and ready for dessert... yuck.

Looking back on this list, most of these are "unhealthy" foods anyway -- but I find them particularly treacherous because even in small portions, they kill my self-control! On the other side, I have: apples, couscous, grilled vegetables, broccoli, spinach salad, cucumber, carrots and tons of other things that help me feel great and enable me to watch my roommates load on the steak and dessert cookies without envy.

So what about you girls? What foods tend to open you up to temptations and get you off-plan, and what foods help you fight those cravings?

12-03-2009, 01:41 PM
For me, I think it's not so much the type of food itself, but my mental state and the way I eat it. For example, if I realize I'm not hungry and I'm really just bored, and I eat anyway, that pulls me off track, regardless of the food. Or if I'm eating healthy food, but eat past that perfect point when I first feel satisfied - it's like it turns my hunger back on.

Which is not to say that things like brownies, granola and chips and guacamole don't require extra care!

If there's any food that helps bring my appetite and palate back to a healthier place, I think it's bitter tastes with no sugar - like a nice dark green salad with real vinaigrette (no sugar). Not so much because it's filling (although it is), but because of the type of flavors in it.

12-03-2009, 01:52 PM
Great point -- the worst thing is to stick around at mealtimes when other people are eating dessert. Even if I'm full, I want it too. :(

Another thing I've found is that is a gateway is really strong-tasting drinks (that is, very sugary): soda, of course, but also diet soda (!), juice, etc. I need a non-water beverage with my meal, but if it's too sweet, I start looking for stronger flavors (more sodium, more fat, etc) in my food.

My solution was to mix my own beverages: a nearly-full glass of carbonated water with a shot of cranberry or orange juice. It's really the carbonation that is so delicious in soda anyway, so this way I really love drinking what I'm drinking and have just a tingle of fruit sweetness to fool myself - and other people I'm sitting with - into thinking it's juice. It only comes out to 20 calories or so, so I give it to myself "free" and it cuts down on the soda envy. :D

12-03-2009, 02:00 PM
lackadaisy, that's true too! Diet soda does mess with my palate and appetite.

12-03-2009, 07:55 PM
I find that ANYTHING with wheat in it is uncontrollable. There's no such thing as a "taste" or a "little bit" for me. If I'm not eating more of whatever the wheat food is, I'm eating something else. It just pushes me over the edge. It also, perversely, makes me gain weight hand over fist (the calories NEVER line up with the pounds gained) and I bloat like a balloon. Ugh. SO not worth it!

Fried food, but I don't know if it's because of the wheat breading or the frying itself.

Sugar to a certain degree, waaaaay more so if it's in a wheat-containing food. For example, I can totally handle a sugar cube in my cup of tea. (Artificial sweeteners make me gag!) I don't go looking later for that "sweet" taste. But cake...oh, god. Cake is my nemesis.