For the past week I have been trying to start my diet, and after eating so horribly on impulses and cravings for the last year I'm finding it extremely hard. It seems to help more often in the afternoon. I find that I have been actually convincing myself I'm not on a diet and I give in. Then right after I eat the guilt kicks in. I know I'm not alone and I'm sure alot of others struggle with food cravings just as I do.
What are some tips and tricks you all have been using to help stay on track?
03-14-2010, 09:26 AM
Well - I think it's great you realize that you are doing this and want to stop the behaviour.
I personally have been carrying the extra weight that has crept on about 5 lbs a year for the last 13 years. I am 40 and I am sick of it. PERIOD. I have never lasted more than about a week of a 'diet' - so this time, with the help of this board I have made it 3 weeks, and I am NOT ON A DIET.........I had to make a complete mindshift/lifestyle change.
Tips of staying on track......I remind myself that I have made it 3 weeks to keep going. Come to this board for support when I feel like I want cheat.
One big thing is being a concious eater. Before I eat a snack or something NOT schedulded, I really stop and evaluate if I am REALLY HUNGRY or I am just wanting to eat just because, I can't tell you how many times I that has stopped me in my tracks.
YOU CAN DO IT - you REALLY CAN. Hang in there!
03-14-2010, 11:50 AM
Plan, plan, plan. Losing weight takes a system, an approach--it's not a matter of resolving each morning to "be good" (as I used to do) and then somehow thinking willpower will take care of the rest.
You have to come up with your system--for me, it's calorie counting, but there are others out there--and you need to spend time thinking and researching and experimenting to figure out the nuts and bolts of that plan--not just "I am going to calorie count" (say), but "I am going to start at X calories a day and these are 20 foods I really enjoy that I can eat on this plan and this is how I am going to deal with lunch at work and this is how I will deal with eating out and this is how I will exercise".
It would be perfectly reasonable to spend a month crafting such a plan before you even start, and even after you start you will be thinking about your plan all the time, tweaking and refining it. Every day you need to know what you are going to eat, where it is going to come from, what challenges you are likely to face, and how you are going to deal with them. (I literally rehearse out loud turning down food I know I'll be tempted to eat).
There is a plan out there that will allow you to lose weight without feeling deprived or miserable. I can't tell you what it is, as it varies for everyone. It's worth the time and effort to find that plan, because once you do you will be excited to start it, instead of resigned.
ETA: When you've dedicated time and energy and effort into shaping a plan, there's no way a little voice in your head can say 'oh, you aren't really on a diet. Eat that'. You're all in.
03-14-2010, 12:04 PM
If you're having a hard time getting started, make sure you have lots of low cal foods around that you really like. If you are constantly eating it will seem much less like a diet. I also find it's easier to eat very light for breakfast and lunch and then have those extra calories for in the late afternoon and evening, which is when I'm most likely to go off plan if I'm hungry. As long as I can have a big dinner and then a good snack, I don't feel like I'm on a diet at all.
It's hard for me to get started but, after the first couple of days, it gets much easier.
Good luck, sweetie!
03-14-2010, 12:09 PM
agree with Shmead, it's all about planning. I use the weekends to shop, cook and prep as much as I can so I have lots of good choices readily available.
and whatever the stuff is that you are reaching for in the afternoons? Toss it all, now. Get rid of it, don't even have it around to tempt you.
The other thing is that I don't consider myself "on a diet" so I can't fall off of it! I have made a commitment to myself to live a healthy life, including getting my body to a fit and healthy weight. I'm far from perfect, but I don't need to be, because I can't "fall off" a diet. Even if I make a bad choice, all I have to do is make a good one the very next time.
03-14-2010, 12:26 PM
Oh yes. Plan, plan and than plan some more. Eating healthy won't happen on it's own. Just as weight loss doesn't happen TO you. You've got to make it happen.
I've said this before , I'll say it again - people ask me all the time how I lost so much weight and I tell them that I DECIDED to. I DECIDED to, I than committed to doing so and therefore I was WILLING to do whatever was necessary. Wanting it and willing to do it ARE two different things. You MUST be willing to do the work. You must be willing to put for the continuous effort.
Here's where the planning comes in. I NEEDED TO SET MYSELF UP FOR SUCCESS. So, I rid the home of all junk - all of it. I STOCKED it up with healthy, healthy, delicious low calorie things. I planned the heck out of my days and nights. Each and every bite. I knew EXACTLY what I was going to eat and when. NO VEERING OFF.
Cravings? Who says you HAVE to give into them. You're allowed to tell yourself no! We do it all the time with other things. Food is no different. Set yourself up some rules, some boundaries. I made "those foods" definite no's. No ifs ands or buts. That was it. They were no longer an option. After a rough 10 days or so - you just MUST get past the initial temporary discomfort - my desires for them greatly decreased. The longer I went without them, the less I wanted them. GET THROUGH IT ANY WAY THAT YOU CAN. Drink hot tea, cold water, read, write, computer, clean toilets, wash dishes, straighten closets, do puzzles, run in circles, whatever you need to do - to get past the initial temporary discomfort.
You don't have to have something just because you want it. REMEMBER what it is you want the MOST. Then resolve to pay the "price" to get it.
We all have the ability to lose the weight. We are all capable of it. DECIDE to do this. You don't have to be fat if you don't want to be. The choice is yours. Now get out there and MAKE it happen. Plan, plan and than plan some more. Get excited about the changes instead of dreading them. Challenge yourself. Push yourself. Reach. Stretch. STrive. Learn. Prosper. Grow. AMAZE yourself. :)
03-14-2010, 02:57 PM
When I started out, I sounded just like you do right now. Can I tell you how much better and easier it gets? It really, really does. You won't need to use willpower forever, just until your new habits and "new normal" sets in. Stick with it and I promise in time the cravings will barely be an issue at all.
Cravings are so often situational or psychological, so you want that food right now. One of the best ways I found to deal with it was to tell myself that if I still had the craving later, I could satisfy it then. So, mid-afternoon I would be desperate for some chocolate, and I would tell myself, "Okay, Lisa. If you're still jonesing for chocolate after dinner, you can have a Skinny Cow chocolate ice cream cone for dessert." And it worked. Half the time the craving went away and I just completely forgot about it. The other half of the time, the craving just fixated on whatever I had promised myself, but because I only promised myself reasonable options, I was perfectly able to satisfy them without feeling guilty.
Stick with it! You can absolutely do this.
03-14-2010, 05:29 PM
We sound a lot alike. I have a whole lot of excuses as to why I've managed to put back on half of the weight I had previously lost but even with medical obstacles; the biggest one has been my complete lack of planning. So listen to these smart ladies; they know what they are talking about. :hug:
03-14-2010, 05:30 PM
Like others have said...plan, plan and plan again. Know what you are going to eat. That way food thoughts don't need to spin around in your head all day. If you are craving something that's not on your plan - get it out of the house.
As for cravings -
-Identify that you have a craving. Just because you really want it - doesn't make it an emergency.
-Stand firm! - strengthen your resolve!
-You want that food....you really want that food...you are sweating and thinking alot about it. You don't think you can make it through without eating that food....but, of course, you can!
-Imagine how crappy you'll feel giving into a craving.
- Remember why you are doing all this in the first place.
Then, what I call the five D's-
-Distance yourself from that food you keep thinking about.
-Drink a couple glasses of water.
-Deep breathes...several with be relaxing and help you get through the craving.
-Distractions - get on computer, take a walk, turn on loud music and dance, play with the dog or kids, do a craft, call a friend, etc.
-Destroy the food - better in the trash than in YOU.
I certainly don't have all the answers - but, these things have been helping me when I have been willing to do so.
I have been writing all those craving 'buster' ideas every single day in my journal for a couple of months. I am trying to 'tatoo these on my brain.'