Weight Loss Support - The semantics of eating




View Full Version : The semantics of eating


TornadoSiren
11-20-2010, 05:07 PM
I was reading through some posts yesterday, and came across a post that literally made me drop my jaw and say, OMG. The way it was worded made me realise something. I have always said that I got heavy because I love food. But in that instant, I realised that this was a complete falsehood. It is true that I love food, but I didnt get big because I love food. I got big because I loved eating. A 6 ounce steak? Perish the thought. It would be gone too quick. I wanted to keep eating. Gimme a 12 oz one. 1/2 cup of rice? Oh no way. Gimme a cup and a half. I want it to last.

Without even realising what I was doing, as I have worked on my weight loss, I have taught myself to only love the food, and not the eating of it. I can love a 4 oz steak now, with as much enjoyment as a 12 oz. I can love 1/2 cup of ice cream, and not feel that the experience was too short.
Now, if anyone asks me, I can look at them and honestly say that I got thin by loving food. :D


seagirl
11-20-2010, 05:38 PM
That is so cool! Lots to ponder. I love to eat ,too. And I love food.

callmeKaty
11-20-2010, 06:06 PM
I would love to hear how you managed to change your attitude about the 4oz steak....because I am still struggling with the "It's gone too fast!" mentality.


WildThings
11-20-2010, 06:10 PM
The love of eating is what made me fat too. I always want the biggest piece of something, or two candy bars instead of just one. I'm am identical to you with the steak. I don't just want to eat good stuff, I want large quantities of it. If I didn't get the biggest piece, or the extra candy bar, I almost had a panicky feeling because the satisfaction wasn't going to last as long.

I'm working on it. I think it will take a lot of practice and time to change that habit of always wanting as much as I can get my hands on. I think I can change this behavior though. Like you, the realization of what I was doing is a huge step in the right direction.

LiannaKole
11-20-2010, 06:25 PM
I'm totally with you, OP! I love to eat. I love how it tastes, feels, smells - all of it. I don't want it to end, either. That's my issue.

I'm working on teaching myself that yes, I can have "bad" foods, too, but just eat what I REALLY want of them, not what my cravings say I want. And I can always have more later; no need to eat it all right now.

I eat the more unhealthy stuff slower now. I savor the taste and feel and smell. I eat healthy stuff with regular bites, but things like cheesecake I take my time with.

I'm learning to strike a balance, I guess.

rockinrobin
11-20-2010, 06:33 PM
I would love to hear how you managed to change your attitude about the 4oz steak....because I am still struggling with the "It's gone too fast!" mentality.

I think it helps to think of it as "staying within your budget". I have a calorie budget that I must adhere to in order to stay at my optimal. I desire greatly to be my best and that means I have to do my best.

For me, I do indeed like volume, so that's why I opt for larger quantities of less calorie dense food.

It is true that I love food, but I didnt get big because I love food. I got big because I loved eating.

^^ I really get and like this. ^^

Shmead
11-20-2010, 06:39 PM
I love to be full. Sated. Replete. Like I had all that I wanted. The aftermath of a good meal is like the aftermath of good sex. It's the one thing I can't really replicate--even pounds and pounds of veggies don't do it--and I do miss it. But I can live with it. I'd rather be thin.

FatPantsSkinnyJeans
11-20-2010, 06:49 PM
Oooh yes, I totally know what you mean.

Your new outlook is going to be so successful for you in the long run. This is why there aren't nearly as many morbidly people in Europe.... they eat full fat Brie, drink lots of wine, and do NOT consume aspartame-laden yogurt. The reason they aren't nearly as overweight is because their portions are much smaller.

It's a hard lesson for me to learn, too. Lately the idea of staying on plan in order to enjoy "bad" foods has been working, especially when I put it together with consuming normal amounts of these foods--not going crazy and having a ton because I think I'll never get enough/have it again.

Do you all struggle with your eating speeds, too? I have to consciously fight to make myself sit in the chair and wait to feel if I'm full before going for more.

Either way, sounds like we're all on the right track!

cherrypie
11-20-2010, 06:49 PM
I used to think it was love of food. But I realized it was obsession not love. Half the crap I shove in my mouth I don't even like let alone want.

KenzideRhae
11-20-2010, 06:53 PM
I used to eat the same way too, huuuge portions because I wanted it to last. Now I just eat slower so I can actually taste the food AND it lasts awhile, so I'm satisfied, but the portions aren't insane. :)

TornadoSiren
11-20-2010, 07:26 PM
Do you all struggle with your eating speeds, too? I have to consciously fight to make myself sit in the chair and wait to feel if I'm full before going for more.


The speed thing is a big part of it I think. It's not the end all and be all answer, but eating slower does make a BIG difference. I very consciously make myself eat way slower than I used to. I am insane for peanut butter and chocolate, even the processed stuff. heh..For mother's day, my husband gave me a pack of reeses. I gave one to my son, and proceeded to eat the other. I think it was the slowest eaten peanut butter cup EVER.

seagirl
11-20-2010, 07:32 PM
I made an amazing mushroom soup tonight. But, after reading this thread and realizing that I am full, I put the rest of it in the fridge. It will be there tomorrow when I come in from a hike. And it will probably taste better, too. And I'll go to bed with a normal full stomach not one that makes me toss and turn.

rockinrobin
11-20-2010, 07:45 PM
It is this very topic that brought me to the realization that the only way I could ever get this weight off and keep it off was through calorie counting and adhering to a budget. Calorie counting is built in portion control. Something I greatly need.

Intuitive eating? I don't think soooo.

Back in the day I was overfeeding myself. There's eating and then there's' over eating. I ate recklessly, without any thought to the consequences. I don't drive recklessly, I don't run my household recklessly, I didn't raise my children recklessly; it was time to stop eating recklessly.

moon safari
11-20-2010, 08:00 PM
That's really interesting. I hadn't really put much thought into the difference between the two. It makes me think of when I go to France. I always eat out when I visit but I find that I literally cannot eat as much as I want. The food is delicious but it's too rich and if I ate as much of their food as I do our food I would be truly ill. I always look at my half full plate of food there and go "ugh, what a waste" or "man, I wish I could keep going." It is the sensation of eating and, maybe to a point, feeling like you want to have LOTS of good things at your disposal.

Rana
11-20-2010, 08:36 PM
Like moon safari, I hadn't realized the difference, but yeah, there's totally a difference! I need to think about this for myself.

I love food but I don't know if I overate because I loved eating.

Thanks for saying this!

Arctic Mama
11-21-2010, 05:22 AM
I love to be full. Sated. Replete. Like I had all that I wanted. The aftermath of a good meal is like the aftermath of good sex. It's the one thing I can't really replicate--even pounds and pounds of veggies don't do it--and I do miss it. But I can live with it. I'd rather be thin.

This is SUCH a good way of putting it, you perfectly describe my food love.

I finally had to decide I wanted to be thinner and healthy more than satiated with orgasmically tasty food. I could lose weit and still occasionally indulge, but it comes of faster and I have less cravings when I just buckle down and do without. Because, really, my physical health means more than any food experience. But I would be lying if I didn't say it took me a LONG time to get to that point, or that I didn't still miss that food experience. I just want something else, more.

shannonmb
11-21-2010, 05:28 AM
I really like this thread. I have come to a similar revelation myself. I am known as the true food lover in my circle. Everyone knows that I LOVE food. Like Lianna, I love looking at pictures of food, shopping for it, smelling it, cooking it, tasting it, going to exotic grocery stores. I love food the way some people love fashion! And when I would sit down to eat something good, I have realized that I would wolf down a big portion, THEN when I was no longer "hungry", would come the true savoring and enjoying. I really don't know what THAT is. My dad and I were talking once years ago about overeating, and he said, "the second helping is usually just lust". hahahha

I was very concerned that in order to lose weight, I was going to have to give up one of the biggest passions in my life. No room for a food ADORER in the healthy weight set. But I have found that to be just not true. Sure, I have had to make some adjustments to my portion sizes and most often what it is I'm cooking/eating, but amazingly, I don't think I've ever loved food more. You should see me at the grocery store when I'm picking out our apples for the week. I admire them and spend time looking for the prettiest, most interesting apples I can find.

Edit: I forgot to add that I LOVE how Robin talks about the calorie budget and relates it to our real budget. Yeah, I love spending money, too. There is a limit to what I can spend each day. No different! And weirdly enough, I have a much better handle on my money budget now that I have the calorie budget in control, too!

dragonwoman64
11-21-2010, 09:30 AM
this thread made me think of a King of Queens episode where Doug has a pudding cup. He starts eating it with real relish, in something of a frenzy, then gets to the bottom of the container. He scrapes the sides of any last remnants with a spoon, stops, looks at it sadly (like how can it all be gone??), and then looks at Carrie with a pathetic puppy dog face (she has her own pudding). She gives him hers, and he takes it joyfully and goes through the same routine. I could completely relate to that.

I just want something else, more.

yes. wanting to be full, and mixing up a psychological/emotional desire with a physical state.

rockinrobin
11-21-2010, 09:43 AM
I think it's that we are looking for something, and that something can't be found in the food.

That's why there is no satiation point. That's why we eat it till the box or the carton is empty. Because we're still looking for that something. But it's not in there.

And that's why we've got to look elsewhere.

But on a good note, I do believe that at some point, even if we were initially looking for something, that may no longer be the case and at that point it's merely habit and or addiction. And addictions can be managed and bad habits can be broken and new ones formed.

4xcharm
11-21-2010, 09:51 AM
Chocolate candy. Friday night I gave in to my insatiable craving for the mini Musketeers bars in the house. I ate 10 of them. I never have liked Musketeers because the filling tastes salty and sting-y on my palate. I ate them anyway. Then last night it was the mini butterfingers. I was on the second one when I realized, this doesn't even taste like chocolate. It's brown Crisco! I want to be able to savor the good stuff in small portions. My new must-reach goal.

thesame7lbs
11-21-2010, 09:54 AM
This post really resonates with me. I do love food, but it's the love of eating that gets me in trouble.

This discussion made me think of this article (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704288204575363072381955744.html). People who love food can be homeostatic eaters, but if it's the eating you love, maybe you are more likely to be hedonic.

pnkrckpixikat
11-21-2010, 09:56 AM
I definitely relate to the OP. I find with me its the taste i want, not the most quantity i can get, but in a way it is also that. If I know more is right there I feel compelled to eat it. even if i try not to and do something else it'll be sitting there nagging at me at the back of my head until I either go to bed or give in, and as soon as i give in and have a little more i feel satisfied for a little while but if theres more left the cycle starts again.

I've fixed this by not having the foods that cause this (pizza, candy, pop, chips etc) avail at my house. I only run into a problem at my boyfriends house, he lives at home while in school and his dad is in charge of shopping and only buys junk, or will bring home pizza for dinner 2-3 times a week. I tried just saying I wouldn't go over there to avoid it but i realized i need to go there to do laundry cause i dont have the money for the laundermat, now i'm going to make it a point to only go when the bf is home and not napping for work (works nights) so he can tell me no and remind me why i dont want to eat crap when its taunting me lol

dragonwoman64
11-21-2010, 10:12 AM
really interesting article! thanks for posting the link. another thread (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/100-lb-club/217836-ruby-show-food-addiction-quote.html) here in the 100 club had to do with this sort of topic

From the article:
Why are some "foodies" who get intense pleasure from eating able to stop when they're full and others aren't? Is the tendency to eat way past fullness genetic or learned behavior, and how much can it be changed?

my boss's husband LOVES to eat, he's always thinking about the next restaurant he wants to try. He loves chocolate. They buy a baguette every day. And he can pack away a meal. He also exercises rigorously 5 days a week (swimming). He's in great shape without an extra pound. He's weight and health conscious, but definitely doesn't deny himself. Interesting.

paris81
11-21-2010, 10:14 AM
What a great thread! I never thought about it, really, but the second I read what you wrote, I got it! I've always known that I love that full feeling that others are talking about, but I could never really pin that down. It's because I love eating, and eating leads to that fullness. It's true, you can't get it from eating tons of veggies, it's not at all the same, but nonetheless, I thank God for big salads these days!

JayEll
11-21-2010, 11:17 AM
When I think about it, feeling satisfied with food and feeling full are two different things.

Marvelously prepared, wholesome food that tastes delicious is satisfying. One does not need to eat until full to feel that satisfaction.

One bite of delicious food can be enough for food enjoyment and mouth satisfaction.

Wanting to keep that sensation going on and on is something else--it's grasping at the experience and wanting to make it last forever. It's driven by the mouth and the brain receptors.

Wanting to "feel full" is something else again. It's allowing "enough" to be defined by the stomach's physical state. Unfortunately, people who routinely eat until their stomach is really full end up with dulled fullness receptors, so it takes more and more food to make them feel full. Check it out.

So learning to stop before that feeling arrives is an interesting exercise. Eventually those receptors liven up again, so that you really do feel full with less food. People think this is "stomach shrinkage," but that's not the whole story.

Just some idle thoughts...

Jay

RienQueNny
11-21-2010, 11:44 AM
That's brilliant.

krampus
11-21-2010, 07:13 PM
I enjoy the sensation of eating until I don't want to eat anymore. The last bite of a great meal or dish is probably the worst part of my day on a given day. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to change my thinking on this.

I read a blurb in ELLE magazine a while back about how Americans tend to consider a meal finished when their plate is empty while the French tend to just go by physical fullness.

Well you know what? I DO listen to my stomach. And it's ALWAYS hungry.

19Deltawifey
11-21-2010, 07:23 PM
When I think about it, feeling satisfied with food and feeling full are two different things.

Marvelously prepared, wholesome food that tastes delicious is satisfying. One does not need to eat until full to feel that satisfaction.

One bite of delicious food can be enough for food enjoyment and mouth satisfaction.

Wanting to keep that sensation going on and on is something else--it's grasping at the experience and wanting to make it last forever. It's driven by the mouth and the brain receptors.

Wanting to "feel full" is something else again. It's allowing "enough" to be defined by the stomach's physical state. Unfortunately, people who routinely eat until their stomach is really full end up with dulled fullness receptors, so it takes more and more food to make them feel full. Check it out.

So learning to stop before that feeling arrives is an interesting exercise. Eventually those receptors liven up again, so that you really do feel full with less food. People think this is "stomach shrinkage," but that's not the whole story.

Just some idle thoughts...

Jay
^^^I so agree

I can definitely get satisfaction from taking 1 bite and then walk away without feeling the urge to have more, sometimes I just want to taste something or just have one bite and this is all I need. For me it doesn't spiral into overeating or binging (sp?) it took WEEKS for me to get that feeling but it is definitely there I just had to listen. Once I learned how to feel satisfied, I no longer craved the feeling of being full or stuffed. I actually hate being stuffed because it makes me so tired and I feel so icky so I rarely eat to the point of being stuffed or full. Also I eat slowly and taste the food and this allows me to get that satisfied feeling quicker because I'm enjoying the food instead of inhaling it without really tasting it (that might of made sense)

RoseRodent
11-22-2010, 07:26 AM
One of the biggest things I want to achieve from my lifestyle change is to move from "That was a really nice slice of pie, I must now have another slice of pie to experience that all over again" over to "That was a really nice slice of pie, thank you". A subtle difference to most people, but a massive difference to the struggling fatty inside of me.

I'm studying endorphin responses as part of my college course and it's interesting because food is supposed to produce a pleasure response in proportion to how calorie-dense it is to encourage our ancestors to survive the lean times. Some people's endorphin (pleasure chemical) response to food is similar across different foods, others have a rush of endorphins but the endorphins continue after finishing the food and gradually tails off over the rest of the day. Some of us (I suspect most here!) have a rush of endorphins in response to the tasty food, but this is followed by a crushing hideous low that makes you want to top the endorphins back up again. I find that if I eat something I enjoy I now make a special effort to think happy thoughts and do happy things straight afterwards, eat some chocolate then go hug your kids. Seems to be working for me for now, we'll see.

Meanwhile I always buy things in little packets or else get my portion out onto the plate before I start, never, never open a packet and think I'll eat half!

shcirerf
11-22-2010, 08:24 AM
Very interesting and enlightening thread.

elisaannh
11-22-2010, 09:46 AM
Interesting thread. I have recently come to understand that I really don't love food at all. When I gained all of my weight, I did so through sneak eating, and I ate junk, food I would never eat when I wanted something to eat. During binges, it was always the cheapest instant crap, mostly sweets....again food I did not normally eat. It was a punishment to eat like that, to make myself so full I felt sick. It was like a drug, a need....a way to not deal with something I should have dealt with.

This is not to say I don't enjoy eating, I do. But I loath feeling full and I loath being in such a bad relationship with both my body and my impulse to eat crap. That puts a damper on my enthusiasm to eat.

And yet....I really don't want to be a foodie. I want to get on with life and find passions for other things. I would prefer to let food be an obsession of the past and not the future.

MablesGirl
11-22-2010, 10:04 AM
Interesting thread. I have recently come to understand that I really don't love food at all. When I gained all of my weight, I did so through sneak eating, and I ate junk, food I would never eat when I wanted something to eat. During binges, it was always the cheapest instant crap, mostly sweets....again food I did not normally eat. It was a punishment to eat like that, to make myself so full I felt sick. It was like a drug, a need....a way to not deal with something I should have dealt with.

Been there, done that! The day before I "go on my big strict diet" is always the day I eat crap that I don't even like, because "I won't be able to eat it after today". Ugh.

rockinrobin
11-22-2010, 10:52 AM
We talk about loving food. Love is a strong word. Love isn't supposed to hurt or be harmful to our well being, and leave us remorseful and sick.

Let's say, I enjoy food. Yes, I enjoy food. A lot. ;)

Another point:

When I overeat, the discomfort and consequences clearly outweighs the pleasure derived from it.

What is it they say? "Too much of a good thing is not so good". In fact, it's down right awful. :(

mkendrick
11-22-2010, 11:07 AM
This is a great way of putting it.

I'd also like to know how you managed to convince yourself that a 4oz steak is just as glorious as a 12oz steak.

I love the eating experience so much that I am THRILLED to give up even my most favorite foods to be able to eat. My meals are ridiculously huge, but they're generally not very exciting low-cal foods. And that is just fine with me. I don't care so much about the taste, I just want to eat. When I wonder what I want for dinner I think 1) How MUCH can I eat and 2) How LONG will it take me to eat it. My favorite snack is 240cal worth of air-popped popcorn. That's a looooot of damn popcorn, big big big bowl. It takes me an hour to eat. That's 60 minutes of constant hand to mouth action and even though air-popped popcorn gets old after awhile, I would choose 60 minutes of eating a bland food over 2 minutes of eating a really delicious food any day.

I calorie count, and I follow the philosophy that a calorie is a calorie. If I want to eat my day's calories in chocolate cake, I'll do it. Unfortunately, that's not enough chocolate cake to fill me up. I'd much rather be stuffed full of a large amount of low cal foods than still hungry after eating my favorite foods. Fortunately, low cal foods are usually good foods. Unprocessed, lean proteins, complex carbs, fiber, etc.

As it is, I don't feel too compelled to change. I'm eating healthy foods, I've found a way to compromise with myself where I can eat A LOT, and I'm maintaining my goal weight. No need to fix what isn't broken...but sometimes I do with I could simply be happy with small portions of very yummy food.

rockinrobin
11-22-2010, 11:44 AM
That's 60 minutes of constant hand to mouth action and even though air-popped popcorn gets old after awhile, I would choose 60 minutes of eating a bland food over 2 minutes of eating a really delicious food any da

I calorie count, and I follow the philosophy that a calorie is a calorie. If I want to eat my day's calories in chocolate cake, I'll do it. Unfortunately, that's not enough chocolate cake to fill me up. I'd much rather be stuffed full of a large amount of low cal foods than still hungry after eating my favorite foods. Fortunately, low cal foods are usually good foods. Unprocessed, lean proteins, complex carbs, fiber, etc

I feel precisely the same way. Which I guess goes in line with what the OP says.

She (we) oves (enjoys) eating, not just necessarily food.

Which is why when I devised my plan I knew that I'd have to initially give up the junk, sugar, flour, etc and turn to lower calorie items. I love, I mean enjoy (;)), eating sooo much, that I want it to last. I want a lot of it. I want it to take some time and not be over with in seconds.

That's why I don't do those 100 calorie packs, cheese sticks, cereal bars, etc. They're over with in a second, I feel as if I haven't eaten. I need/require/like/want volume.

RoseRodent
11-22-2010, 01:28 PM
I love the eating experience so much that I am THRILLED to give up even my most favorite foods to be able to eat. My meals are ridiculously huge, but they're generally not very exciting low-cal foods. And that is just fine with me. I don't care so much about the taste, I just want to eat. When I wonder what I want for dinner I think 1) How MUCH can I eat and 2) How LONG will it take me to eat it.

Interesting cos I am 100% the opposite, I really cannot be bothered to chow through a huge pot of cottage cheese and I feel deprived to have all this low fat dairy (=food without taste!) instead of real food. I'd rather sit down to a 2oz steak in pepper sauce than a giant salad. I try to balance the two so I don't go hungry, but for me it's the real thing every time, better two squares of real chocolate than a yoghurt.

saef
11-22-2010, 02:37 PM
One thing that clued me in that my bingeing was a regressive behavior & a way of avoiding dealing with issues was my food choices. I always wanted food that was comparatively childish. And sweet, sweet, sweet. I didn't binge on an excellent meal at a restaurant, but on stuff like cereal, those tricolor sugar wafers or Reese's peanut butter cups. Things that I ate freely without thoughts of consequences as a child. What I want is oblivion, a plunge into sweetness that narrows me down to one piercing, everlasting taste and a kind of unconsciousness. I'm not me, really. My identity nearly ceases. There is no past, no future. No consequences. I'm not thinking, I'm not doing, I'm just in this blissful state of simply BEING and TASTING.

In other words, I'm drugged out.

Which is why I keep thinking something like meditation might help me, as it seems to be a kind of not-being & existing in the present, but without using food as the agent of transport.

The other thing that helped was identifying two bad states of mind for me. One is agitation, anxiety and restlessness. I used to eat; now I find exercise burns off the overload of energy & nerves. The other is the opposite, a feeling of deep tiredness & immobility & wanting to be calmed & soothed. This is when food still calls to me.