100 lb. Club - Addiction to fast food...




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mechell81
08-20-2010, 08:55 AM
Hey everyone. I usually lurk.

I am trying to get back on the wagon and get this weight off. But I realize I am so addicted to fast food and all the bad foods in general. And it doesn't even make sense! I feel horrible after eating it! And I even have gallbladder issues from the extreme fatty foods! I also have major issues with consuming way too much regular soda! Its scary to see how many calories are in a large coke from a fast food joint!

So I guess my question is how do you really get into eating healthier? I hope that makes sense. I feel like the hardest part for me is to stick with it. And it totally does not make sense why I stop eating healthy! There are so many benefits! I feel fuller. More satisfied. Save lots of money! Feel in control.

But then I find myself getting tired of it all and eating all the bad stuff again. I realize a lot of it is an addiction and emotional eating.

How do you make it stick? Just keep pushing through? Of course its easier said than done.

How do you break the addiction? Or the extreme cravings for that junk?

I am very tired of this cycle. And it really bothers me that I am choosing disgusting food over my happiness...


shannonmb
08-20-2010, 09:18 AM
Hi mechell! Glad you came out of lurkdome to post! ;)

I truly believe that fast food, sugar/empty carbs, etc, are ADDICTIVE. I have been eating very well for the past several months, and I absolutely LOVE the food I cook and have been eating. But no matter how much I LOVE what I am doing now, I know that if I stepped back for a few days and ate McDs a bunch, I would be right back at the beginning with the cravings. I have no idea what the mechanism is, why it is that way, but for me at least, it just IS.

In my very humble opinion, you just need to go cold turkey. Some would say just make one small change at first, like switching to diet pop. I personally feel that just cutting out all that junk right off the bat is the way to go. It was a little painful for me at first, but it really didn't take much time before the very WORST of those physical cravings went away. Just get through that part, while working on making exciting, delicious menus that WILL make you feel SO much better FAST! In my experience, you really don't even have to lose much weight before you start to feel a LOT better after giving up that nutritionally void, really awful food.

Cold turkey, that's my advice! Hopefully some others will chime in on their thoughts for you! Good luck!!!

cherbear
08-20-2010, 09:55 AM
I agree. I had a big problem with FF for a while. I was stoping for McD's breakfast everyday. I tried to say, twice a month, but that just started me escalating and I'd be back where I was.

One day I just decided I'd set my goal for one month without FF, no exceptions (well, Subway, but that dosen't count, right?). It's been 5 months now with no McD's. I don't even really think about it anymore.

So, I agree with Shannon. You just have to pull up your big girl panties and do it. You can, you just have to decide to.

Good luck!!


Trazey34
08-20-2010, 09:56 AM
HI. My name is Tracey. I was a fast food addict. It has been a year and a half since I've eaten a McDonald's double cheeseburger & fries. OK it's not exactly on par with A.A. kind of addiction, but it felt real at the time. I was addicted in my MIND, the instant "ahhhhh" of fat and salt and easy and cheap. Sigh. I don't know WHAT would have made me stop, if anything. By the end, I swear I was having the double cheeseburger & medium fries 'value meal' about 3 or 4 times a week, and I was feeling really really bad. I watched that documentary "Food Inc." and WOW, it turned my stomach and I never went back. Weird, but I LOVE THAT MOVIE now, finally something turned me off of it! It was painful for about a week, then I forgot about it and never really thought about it again. I can even go back to mcdonald's and get one of their salads when i'm in a rush. IT CAN BE DONE.

cfmama
08-20-2010, 10:44 AM
How did I do it? Well... three days of being totally clean and on plan started me off... and three WEEKS of being on plan took me the rest of the way. it was hard. And it sucked. But I knew that once I got over the sugar demons and broke the HABIT of eating there that it would get better. And it did.

You CAN do this. Find other things that taste just as good. Make homemade stuffed burgers and yam fries. YUM!!!! I had to find ways to make and still eat the foods that I craved without breaking the calorie or mental break in the process :)

Lyn2007
08-20-2010, 10:52 AM
Two thoughts. To me there are two separate issues in your question, and in success:

1) getting off fast food. I would tackle this as a separate issue. You can get OFF fast food 100% even if you are eating stuff like chips and candy at home. This is a matter of making a rule you refuse to break. I will NOT eat fast food, period. It takes a couple weeks driving past to get over the habit but then it is easy. I have been fast food free for almost a year now... and I have five kids who were raised eating fast food. I used to drive thru several times a week. My actual breaking point was finding a dead fly in my McD's ice cream cone. That woke me up and I just said, "I deserve better than this!!" and I never ate fast food again. (You can get through the first tough weeks by having baked fries and lean burgers at home when the craving hits).

2) Not eating junk. This is a bigger step. I find it is easier to focus on what you WILL eat rather than rules about what you won't. If you spend your time trying to make sure you get in at least 6 servings of veggies and 3 of fruit per day, as well as including healthy fats, fiber, and enough protein, you don't have much time to worry about the other stuff. And if you focus on eating healthy foods you don't have as much stomach space left for junk.

At any rate, keep trying. It can take a lot of tries to get it right for YOU! You can do it :)

shannonmb
08-20-2010, 10:56 AM
By the end, I swear I was having the double cheeseburger & medium fries 'value meal' about 3 or 4 times a week, and I was feeling really really bad.

Sadly, I'm kind of impressed that you were having the double chee and fries -- I would be known to have a big mac value meal with a filet-o-fish for an appetizer before I even got home. :o :o :o

You can do it, mechell!!!

Rosinante
08-20-2010, 11:15 AM
What I did this time was start low carb. I meant to carry on low carb but it made me ill and my doctor advised me to come off it and look at low GI.

However, in the 5 weeks I was on low carb, I ate food that felt "decadent", as "wicked" as fast food but not processed in any way. I mean pork chops and roasts, steaks, that kind of thing.

By the time I had to come off low carb, the fast food addiction had been broken but I hadn't felt deprived, because of all the other "devilish" food I'd been eating.

As I transited into low GI, I brought up my carbs and lowered my fat. I still eat the same tasty meats but not as often and not in as big portions. The pattern had been broken, and a good pattern set up, and without pain.

I'm not in a position to say whether what I did was medically sensible, I'm no health expert, but it's working for me.

Good luck!

Hyacinth
08-20-2010, 12:35 PM
What worked for me was to start by modifying fast-food choices. I'd crave fast food, but I found most french fries (except McD's) to be not very good. I also can easily pass on the drink, so I'd just go get a burger. I'd then supplement it with fresh veggies from home and water or maybe milk. A lot healthier (and cheaper), but still saving time. Cutting veggies up at home is also a time-consuming activity, so some days I'd just grab a raw carrot or cucumber, wash it really well, and eat it just like that. I found it to be a pretty good compromise.

Other times, I've only been able to get away from it by doing cold turkey.

And watching movies like "Food, Inc." DOES really curb the appetite for factory food!!

VickieLou
08-20-2010, 12:48 PM
Mechell I have this problem too. I especially have a hard time giving up regular soda. So I need to try not to drink it. It's like I'm addicted to it. If I drink it I crave it more. As for the fast food, can you maybe try a healthier choice like maybe sub sandwiches. Or try a new receipe at home of some food similar to what you like to buy. You can buy organic french fries that you bake in the oven. They are very good.

pinkflower
08-20-2010, 01:03 PM
I was addicted to Fast Food. I couldn't figure out why I kept going back. It made me sick and then I'd be hungry again in just a couple hours and wanting more and more. I knew it was bad, but it wasn't enough to make me stop. I watched Food, as others mentioned. It really opened my eyes. It took me a few months and then I watched SuperSize me. Then I read Superfoods RX 14 Foods that will save your life.

I've been eating healthy for a few months now. I feel great. I have tons of energy. My skin and hair look so much better. I feel full, happier, more content. I have eaten fast food once or twice since I started. It made me violently ill. My stomach hurt, I felt so sick, bloated etc I can tell you that right now, I will not touch a fast food burger or fries with a 10 foot pole and I will continue to make those choices. My wallet is also happier!!

I couldn't just stop it even though I knew it was bad and unhealthy. I had to understand the reasons behind it. I don't know what the heck they put in there that make it so addicting, but I honestly think there is something..... I also had to understand what the alternatives were and the Superfoods RX book helped immensely.

stephnms
08-20-2010, 01:07 PM
I have a huge problem with fast food, but instead of cutting it out completely, I've just started making better choices. Whole wheat instead of white bread, chicken breast instead of burger, etc. It's making a difference. :)

caryesings
08-20-2010, 01:30 PM
Two thoughts. To me there are two separate issues in your question, and in success:

1) getting off fast food. I would tackle this as a separate issue. You can get OFF fast food 100% even if you are eating stuff like chips and candy at home. This is a matter of making a rule you refuse to break. I will NOT eat fast food, period. It takes a couple weeks driving past to get over the habit but then it is easy. I have been fast food free for almost a year now... and I have five kids who were raised eating fast food. I used to drive thru several times a week. My actual breaking point was finding a dead fly in my McD's ice cream cone. That woke me up and I just said, "I deserve better than this!!" and I never ate fast food again. (You can get through the first tough weeks by having baked fries and lean burgers at home when the craving hits).

2) Not eating junk. This is a bigger step. I find it is easier to focus on what you WILL eat rather than rules about what you won't. If you spend your time trying to make sure you get in at least 6 servings of veggies and 3 of fruit per day, as well as including healthy fats, fiber, and enough protein, you don't have much time to worry about the other stuff. And if you focus on eating healthy foods you don't have as much stomach space left for junk.

At any rate, keep trying. It can take a lot of tries to get it right for YOU! You can do it :)

Your approach sounds similar to mine when I decided I had to break my candy habit. Since the age that I could walk to the store with my allowance, I have eaten as much candy as I wanted whenever I could get it. As an adult that was nearly a pound a day. At age 45 when I decided that I had to stop I went cold turkey. But to do that I allowed myself to eat as much of any other food as I wanted. The goal was simply to break the habit. So even though I eliminated all that candy, I did not lose a single pound.

However, 5 years later when I was ready to tackle weight loss I concentrated completely on trying to get in all the recommended servings of fruit, veg, and lowfat dairy. I didn't purposely exclude treats, just was often too full to be interested. I won't say it's been easy, but with the candy monkey off my back, it has been doable.

synger
08-20-2010, 01:49 PM
What I did this time was start low carb. I meant to carry on low carb but it made me ill and my doctor advised me to come off it and look at low GI.

However, in the 5 weeks I was on low carb, I ate food that felt "decadent", as "wicked" as fast food but not processed in any way. I mean pork chops and roasts, steaks, that kind of thing.

By the time I had to come off low carb, the fast food addiction had been broken but I hadn't felt deprived, because of all the other "devilish" food I'd been eating.

As I transited into low GI, I brought up my carbs and lowered my fat. I still eat the same tasty meats but not as often and not in as big portions. The pattern had been broken, and a good pattern set up, and without pain.

I'm not in a position to say whether what I did was medically sensible, I'm no health expert, but it's working for me.

Good luck!

Lower-carb worked for me, too, in breaking me from cravings for starchy, sweet things. After the first week or so of getting all my carbs from veggies and fruits (no grains or sweets at all), my cravings completely disappeared. Now I can eat a fast food burger without the bun, and not even consider the fries, soda, and ice cream that I used to have with it.

Granted, I don't eat them every day! Too much sodium for me. But the protein and fat keep me satisfied, and my cholesterol has never been better. For me, fast food joints are easier places to find a snack than convenience stores, by far! If I have my choice between 7-11 and McDonald's, I'll be going to the Golden Arches every single time.

The nice thing about the lowered cravings is that I'm not "driven" to eat fast food like I used to. It's an option when I really need something fast, but most times, it's just not something I think about. It's been a real eye-opener for me.

What worked for me was to start by modifying fast-food choices. I'd crave fast food, but I found most french fries (except McD's) to be not very good. I also can easily pass on the drink, so I'd just go get a burger. I'd then supplement it with fresh veggies from home and water or maybe milk. A lot healthier (and cheaper), but still saving time. Cutting veggies up at home is also a time-consuming activity, so some days I'd just grab a raw carrot or cucumber, wash it really well, and eat it just like that. I found it to be a pretty good compromise.

Other times, I've only been able to get away from it by doing cold turkey.

And watching movies like "Food, Inc." DOES really curb the appetite for factory food!!

French fries were one of the harder things to give up... but now when I see them, I imagine them cold and greasy and gritty in my mouth, and imagine how my blood sugar would skyrocket after eating them... and even the littlest bit of interest I might have evaporates.

I'd much rather fill up on farm-fresh veggies and high-quality meats and cheeses.

DaughterOfVenus
08-20-2010, 05:27 PM
I've found the easiest way to break my fast food addiction was to avoid it completely. I can't "make smart choices" when it comes to fast food. Once I set foot through the door it's all over. So I absolutely do not enter the parking lot. And like someone else said, once it's out of my system, the cravings are much less frequent, although I'd like to kill whoever is in charge of putting the BK commercials on late at night during my weak point. Can't tell you how many times I've changed the channel or just gone to bed. LOL

PinkHoodie
08-20-2010, 06:09 PM
I just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. I have tried low carb. Sure the cravings are diminished, but for me personally even after month or two of not eating them, I will eventually give in.
Part of it is the living situation I am in right now, I don't have my own kitchen, which makes it hard. I think about having to lug all my food down to the kitchen, wash everything by hand after, and really at that point fries and nuggets sound pretty good.
So, as you can see, I am in the same boat. I am trying to figure out just how to limit it in my life. Like every paycheck letting myself get one fast food meal, whatever I want, but that's only twice a month...
I hope we can both figure out what will work...its hard to feel a slave to food.

kendra
08-21-2010, 12:11 AM
Like some of the others have posted, You need to watch Food, Inc and Super-size Me. Once I watched Food, Inc, i have never eaten red meat again and have never had fast food either. They just gross me out because I automatically think about those movies. As far as cutting out pop, I had to do it gradually. I cut down to one 20 ounce a day and then cut it completely out after a few weeks.
It has taken me years to get to the next step of cutting out frozen meals and trying to go to natural foods and I am still in the process of doing that.
So do what works for you. Cold turkey or step down gradually. Just start making a change somewhere. :)
You can do this!

ValRock
08-21-2010, 12:28 AM
I had to go pretty much cold turkey. I have huge problems with sugar/starch cravings and I'm realizing that there is no place in my diet for those things. They just make it too easy to get totally out of control.

lolcat
08-21-2010, 12:36 AM
Hi, my name is Cat, and I'm a fast-food addict....

And let me tell you, I could justify it! I ate at Icky D's at least 4 times a week. (Cheap, fast, I need a tea, I need a frappe, didn't have time to go to grocery, yadda yadda, I have dozens).
I would buy 4 mcdoubles and a tea, eat 2 and save the other 2 for my lunch at work.
One day I finally LOOKED at myself and was sickened. I looked at the nutrition info online and wept, my beloved frappe has more calories than a big mac, and everything else many more calories and fat grams than I'd imagined.
So I quit. Cold turkey. It's been 5 weeks and the thought of Icky D's sickens me. But, like stephnms a couple times now I've been with friends and had to get a little something, so I will make a healthy choice - I like the Fresco menu at Taco Bell - the chicken soft taco is lowfat lowcal. I am the kind of person that cannot have absolutes - I can't say "I will NOT eat ANY fast food" because doing that always set me up for failure in the past.
pinkflower, I think you're right - I think there IS something added, and my wallet's happier, too.

I'm already feeling better, and I lost 14 pounds in one month primarily from cutting out the fast food. I find that thinking about greasy foods nauseates me, and I like that just fine.

Natasha1534
08-21-2010, 02:47 AM
This "addiction" is exactly the kind of thing you are getting rid of when doing Phase I of South Beach. Phase I consists of 2 weeks and it's about detoxing your body from sugars. I never realized it until I did South Beach...but all those carbs and sugars are addicting. The more you eat, the more you crave them...you don't even realize it until you cut them out for those 2 weeks and your cravings disappear.

Seriously, McDonalds used to be one of my favorite drunken meals. And I'm talking a Double Quarter Pounder MEAL super-sized...that's A LOT of food!!! I haven't had McDonalds in at least 5 months now and I don't miss it one bit. As a matter of fact, just THINKING about eating a McDonalds cheeseburger right now makes me sick to my stomach.

South Beach might be something that you could use to "detox" from Mickey D's. If your physician approves, I highly recommend it!!!

mechell81
08-21-2010, 03:17 AM
Wow such great responses! You guys are awesome! Thanks for sharing everything!

I think what may work for me right now is having something out to eat maybe every two weeks. And then go to none at all or maybe once a month.

Also actually planning out a menu for the week. I think that will help to.

And, on the once every two weeks thing? I need to not go overboard! Maybe if I realize it makes me go overboard I will just stop all together.

We will see. Right now I am going to just try to calorie count and menu plan.

I will also check out those shows/books you all suggest. I think there is something in that stuff too. I mean yeah of course there are sugars and carbs like no tomorrow! But its SO addicting. Just like soda. Its sort of scary when you think about it...And I think that is why so many people are heavier now. All the fast food/soda.

Again thank you all! I feel so ready to just do this. And today was a good day! I forgot how yummy a baked sweet potato is with a little bit of cinnamon on top! YUM! :D

PinkHoodie
08-21-2010, 01:32 PM
Food Inc, Supersize Me, did nothing for me. South Beach is how I try to eat, but I always end up going back to fast food. Even after detoxing for 3-4 weeks...
I'm still trying to figure it out like I said. I think its great those of you who have loosened its grip on you, I'm just not one of them yet.
Just keep trying, and I think eventually it will click. :D

Natasha1534
08-21-2010, 03:43 PM
Food Inc, Supersize Me, did nothing for me. South Beach is how I try to eat, but I always end up going back to fast food. Even after detoxing for 3-4 weeks...
I'm still trying to figure it out like I said. I think its great those of you who have loosened its grip on you, I'm just not one of them yet.
Just keep trying, and I think eventually it will click. :D
That's the spirit!!! Keep trying and eventually it will click. Southbeach is the only thing that has EVER worked for me. I thought I'd never be able to break fast food's hold on me. I work nightshift and it was always just easier to order out. Now I take my lunch every night...I have ordered out probably twice in the past 4 months (vs. 2 - 4 times a week) and it was things like Brunswick Stew and a salad.

PinkHoodie
08-21-2010, 05:37 PM
I have drastically cut back my fast food. I think part of it is when TOM rolls around, I can't seem to control my cravings very good. But compared to the 3-6 times a week we were eating fast food which is now about once every other week, I think I'm making progress! I am hoping someday to eat there maybe once every 6 months or never...I just have to do what I can right now! I think this is a great thread though, its something I have struggled with for years! :)