South Beach Diet - New habits

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03-12-2010, 07:12 PM
If you were an emotional eater; a stress, tension, anger, _______ (fill in emotion of your choice) eater before what do you do now? I'm still working my way through this one and I doubt I'm the only one.

Lately I've had my share of work related stress and health related stress and intense frustration. Sadly even after 2.5 years my immediate instinct is to reach for food. Luckily my brain does kick in now, so I usually don't run for a cookie or chips. I'm still experimenting though, looking for that thing that will get me through the bump. Exercise is great except when exercise exacerbates the initial problem.

So what do you do now in situations that would have been chocolate emergencies before?

03-12-2010, 07:24 PM
By late yesterday afternoon, I already knew where my emotions were leading me. DH sick and crabby, leaving me alone and irritated. I really thought it through, and made a list of things in the house that were acceptable to eat. That was the first time I'd done that, and it worked pretty well. Now 24 hours later, I'm chewing on some raw cabbage after a great day of exercise and good eating-it's great to reflect and be happy I didn't go to the store for donuts!

03-12-2010, 07:24 PM
As strange as it seems, I'm finding a mug of hot tea very soothing and comforting during stressful times. And believe me, this past week has been extremely stressful.

03-12-2010, 07:38 PM
I find that most my cravings are gone with SBD diet. BUT when I get emotional I want something sweet. So first I try sugar free jello; if that doesn't work onto the sugar free fudge bar.

Sharon (

03-12-2010, 07:49 PM
As strange as it seems, I'm finding a mug of hot tea very soothing and comforting during stressful times. And believe me, this past week has been extremely stressful.

I read this, and made a cup of tea to relax with. DH is going through the pre-dinner snacks like a wild man, and I'm totally enjoying my tea.

03-12-2010, 08:21 PM
We've had a really stressful week here too. Hubby lost his job of 25 years unexpectedly. I caved last weekend and ate crackers, ice cream, etc. Felt heavy & puffy afterwards. So not worth it. My plan this week is to eat when I feel like it, but fill up on Greek yogurt (I eat 2 cups some days). Hard to eat anything after that. I also have been eating a lot of the crack slaw. One night I consumed 3/4 of the recipe. Also carrots & hummus are a godsend, even if I overeat the hummus.

03-12-2010, 08:28 PM
Exercise if I can, drink hot tea (which I never used to do and is amazingly soothing), chew gum and work my stress off with my jaw! Oh - vent on here or on my blog!!!!

I just read higher and got to all the tea comments:)

:grouphug: Hugs to all.

03-12-2010, 10:02 PM
I go outside, get coffee and breathe. I also climb ALL my escalators when commuting now. Helps me not bring the aggression home ;)

I also try to really plan. Today I wasn't prepared and I made a few bad choices...

03-12-2010, 10:46 PM
I chew a lot of sugar free cinnamon gum now. That gets me through the initial "I want to eat to feel better" phase without actually eating. And then as soon as I can I hit the treadmill or take a really fast walk to get rid of some of my stress/anger/physical tension.

One thing that I'm really, really happy about now is that for the first time in a long time, I am used to not being overly full. And I notice when I'm eating more than I need to. I still have to make that choice to STOP eating, (I don't always :( )but 6 months ago I didn't think about how much I was eating until I was ready to explode.....

03-13-2010, 03:09 AM
Anne, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband losing his job. I hope he can find another one soon!

Heidi, you cracked 160! FOUR POUNDS LEFT!!!

The other day when I got really upset with the kids, all I wanted to do was clean. Afterwards I realized that is usually the time when I'd be scrounging through the cabinets looking for chocolate. It didn't even occur to me to find something to eat.

Pre-emptively to stress, I know that when I get my exercise in in the morning, my mood is definitely better throughout the day. Also, when I have a plan for what AND when I am going to eat I am definitely more in control. Making sure I have enough protein in my day keeps my belly feeling full longer, so I'm not scrounging for snacks. Also, preportioning out "dangerous" snacks like nuts helps me be able to indulge without going overboard.

Lately, my irrational and ridiculous cravings (white pasta with butter, chocolate chip cookies, etc.) have been hitting in the evening when I'm already upstairs anyway. I brush and floss my teeth and just stay upstairs so I can't get to any of the food. It helps me to put boundaries on my house - no kitchen after 7:00 p.m., etc. For some reason, when I have a "rule", I find it easier to stay on track.

03-13-2010, 08:53 AM
I've been having terrible munchy/sweet/salty cravings lately. Mid-late afternoon is when I get hit with it. I have found that Bigelow brand decaf Chai tea w/ a splash of FF 1/2 and 1/2 and splenda is a good (and tasty) way to curb the cravings.

03-13-2010, 09:10 AM
When I get my late afternoon slump, I'm learning to make a cup of herb tea which is a little ritual that takes me away from crackers. While it steeps, I slather on hand cream.

03-13-2010, 09:40 AM
When I am stressed I tend to turn to either salty or sweet. If I am stressed I have a glass of milk with a bit of sf choc syrup. This helps curve any need for sweet.

When I feel stressed and would turn to "bad" for me foods I now have a talk with myself. Do you really want that snickers. Do you want to possibly damage all the good you have done. Do you want to make it to your goal?

I ask myself all of the above questions and usually I don't want to turn to the food. I have found that cleaning really helps when I stressed or angry. A hot bath will help too.


03-13-2010, 03:05 PM
I'm almost 100% an emotional eater. Hunger is very low on my list of reasons for eating, so hungry/thirsty check is first. A therapist I know suggested this procedure when I find myself eating. Stop and think about what was going on at the time you got an urge to eat. Who were you with, what you were talking about, what were you doing/saying/watching tv (one of my big things that triggers emotions). For me, once I define the emotion, that's enough to keep me from eating. If I'm still feeling "in danger", I just write in my journal. Sometimes the most amazing stuff comes tumbling out. Most of time this works for me. I know the emotion, what started it, written it all down - and don't have the urge to eat again. The other thing is, when I start this process, I always promise myself that if I still need to eat when I'm done, I will (but try to eat things that don't damage my body) and not beat myself up about it. I don't always make it all the way thru without giving in to food, but I having more successes than failures. And I've learned quite a bit about what triggers me.

03-13-2010, 04:00 PM
Ruth, I like the hand cream idea! I need to use more of that anyway and no one wants to snack with lotiony fingers!!!

Jerie, what an interesting approach! South Beach has helped me tremendously with physical cravings, but I still struggle with emotional cravings.

03-13-2010, 04:44 PM
My savior was nuts, but my life has been super stressful as of late and I'm looking for substitutes, because I'm sure I eat waaaay too many.

I also have a HUGE issue with taking things personally, so lately, when the actions of others make me feel this way and I want to eat, I tell myself over and over again that it's not about me. So far, repeating that and not reaching for food seems to be helping.