30-Somethings - Binge eating getting the best of me

02-21-2011, 10:18 AM
So I was doing so well for two weeks and then this weekend it seemed I couldn't control my eating at times. Once I get a taste of sugar or anything not healthy, I can easily just grab something else to munch on, after I already had a bowl of ice cream or something crappy. This has ruined my diet and of course all the crap has made me gain 4 pounds of water weight. I know I can get it off this week but I don't know why I do this to myself. I know its when I am home alone and bored usually but in those moments, its hard to stop. Any advice to help me change this pattern? I am back on the wagon today and started off with a good breakfast of plain oatmeal w/ blueberries so at least that's something. Sorry, just in a funk today about the whole situation and need some positivity to keep going.

02-21-2011, 11:42 AM
Thanks for the idea! I appreciate it!

02-21-2011, 11:51 AM
Mitza ~ I know exactly where you are coming from. I do what mrsmatt mentioned above: I do something, anything to distract myself. I chew gum, exercise, gargle with mouthwash to get the thought of food out of my mind since I'll just be tasting minty-ness, clean, and I also like to hop onto 3FC. Reading boards when I am having a bad almost-close to binging day has really helped me remember why I am doing this weight loss journey. Good luck to you!

02-21-2011, 06:23 PM
I feel your pain! I'm beginning to realize I have the same problem. Back in the pre-mommy days I think I was still a binge eater, it just didn't stick to me like it does now. Frustrating, because while I feel like I haven't changed my eating patterns over the last 10 years, my body is telling me differently, or at least my body can no longer handle my eating patterns from 10 years ago and I can't seem to change them. :dizzy:

Anyway, here's to a fresh start! The weekends are hard for me as well, and I had good intentions for this morning until my routine was thrown off by having to take DS to the school bus (which DH usually does). I also need to figure out how to adjust my food plans on the fly!

02-22-2011, 12:13 AM
Mitza24-- (and also 130orbust--) I'm just like you, we're almost the same weight and height. I have binge problems. I'm taking each day at a time. Seeing how long I can go without binging, and beating it each time.

Example: 1 day without binging.
2 Days without binging.
4 days.
8 days, and so on.

My tips:

For me, ACCOUNTABILITY is so important. A few people on this board are my support / weightloss buddies. I report to them my weight, goals, food, struggles, etc.

I have an uncanny ability to workout long periods of time, like 2 or 3 hours at a time. But the food binges destroy everything, and I feel defeated. Knowing how many calories I'm actually binging on helps me understand the amount of exercise it takes to compensate for it, and feeling the pain from the exercise helps prevent the binge next time. It will make me think twice before I hit a bag of junk food.

Here's one that I'm going to try this week, if I feel a binge coming on, I'm going to journal my feelings. Often the binges are due to my emotions, so keeping track of and being aware of these things will help me prevent it next time.

Here's a weird one...If I'm going to binge / overeat, I will try to stuff my belly with 2-3 glasses of water or celery/carot sticks first. This sorta helps me from eating too much of the junk food.

I used to try this one...but it takes a lot of restraint... just take 3 bites. One to taste it, the second to just have another, and the third bite to say "that's the last bite." Then throw the rest away. Better in the trash than on your thighs.

This one works a lot for me... wait 20 minutes before eating. If you're still craving for the food, wait another 20 minutes. I learned in one of my biology classes the the hormone ghrelin (which sends signals to the brain about your appetite/hunger) stops working after 20 minutes without food.

Cravings can be a signal of vitamin deficincies. Take your multivitamins every day.

Don't let binging / overeating take over your weight loss goals. It can be stopped! :)

As you can see from the above, I struggle quite a bit with binging. Hope any of this helps!

02-22-2011, 02:23 AM
Keeping busy and distracting yourself really helps with the cravings. I also drink water when I feel the cravings start. Hang in there and good luck.

02-22-2011, 05:26 AM
I've got this same problem. What helps me is to stay away from the stuff I like, period. That means absolutely nothing with sugar, added salts, or too fatty. At first I thought I'd die... lol, but it gets better with time. Not to mention, you start finding tricks to making food satisfy you enough without all that stuff.

For example, I use raisins and cinnamon in my oatmeal and it's just sweet enough while being savory at the same time. I even eat it when I get munchies for sweet stuff.

I also keep frozen bananas on hand and when I really want something naughty, I blend the bananas and add whatever flavors I want (a Tbsp of carob or cacao, some fresh coconut, or strawberries to name a few) and I've got a healthy ice cream in just minutes. It really is like ice cream too, I'm addicted! lol

I eat a handful of almonds or walnuts everyday after lunch to hold me over until dinner (at least it makes it so I'm not hungry, which makes it easier to avoid the snacky foods)

I'll eat popcorn and fruit any old time I feel like eating, period. (air popped popcorn)

When you're eating all this stuff, there is no room for additional snacking LOL!

Hope this helps a little, or at least sparks your imagination in your own snack creations :)

One thing I know for sure is that depriving myself doesn't work so coming up with ways to keep me satisfied and happy in the food department is essential in my long term maintenance so I might as well practice now!

02-22-2011, 08:35 AM
Some great ideas here! I'm definitely going to add some of them into my bag of tricks.

I've also suffered from binges, and as someone pointed out -- man, I feel like crap afterwards. I've had long periods where I felt like I just couldn't stop. Every afternoon I'd be binging -- or at least overeating, every night I'd sleep poorly, uncomfortable and stressed out and every morning I'd wake up feeling like "Oh no. I did it again." Miserable!

A couple of things that have helped me:

I restrict myself to eating at the table, no distractions, when I'm alone. Just sticking to this one does a lot for me - no mindless grazing, no vegging in front of the TV with snacks. I'm much less likely to overeat when that's all I'm doing.

Not eating sugar or wheat has helped me a lot too. I was delighted to find, when I started South Beach, that within just a few days, I felt like a new person -- no cravings, not as hungry, better mood, clearer mind. It was a revelation. The trick is keeping those things out of my life. :dz: I've just started doing something similar and hope to hit that happy stride again soon. I got a head cold right after I started so I'm not noticing the benefits just yet.

And another approach is to watch out for those situations that make you feel like binging. Boredom, fatigue, stress, loneliness are all dangerous. So I try to make sure I've got enough fun in my life, that I'm getting enough rest. I've started to meditate and take other actions to improve my stress levels. I make a point of socializing.

This one sounds silly but I find it effective -- when I'm tempted, I pretend I've got a will power switch and I mentally flick it to on.

Last one -- I was just reading yesterday that tensing a muscle when you're feeling a craving can make it go away. Haven't tested it yet, but will.

Good luck to us all!

02-22-2011, 09:58 AM
Thank you so much for all your ideas and support. I think like bensempress said, I just need to cut out all sugar. That seems to set me off and makes it practically impossible not to want more. I wish I could have it in moderation but I really just can't. I used to be fine with eating like this when I was younger. But being 30 with a 16 month old, the body is not the same as it used to be! :) Wish me luck and back on the wagon for the millionth time today!

02-22-2011, 01:30 PM
You're going to do great! :)

02-23-2011, 07:48 AM
Hey there

Firstly, you can conquer this, honestly, you just need to find a way that works for you. :hug:

Secondly, I LOVE Arabella's willpower switch idea - that's awesome!! I'm definitely going to be trying that one today! :)

Thirdly... a few years ago I did a workshop that helped me look at so many of the reasons that I overeat, and also helped me with getting a few ways to combat. It's kind of a process (and lots of the steps have been mentioned before!) but here are the steps that I use, in case they can be any use to you at all...

1. I wait 10 minutes, and see how I feel then. Can I wait another 10 minutes? If I can, I do. Repeat. In the meantime, I ask myself if it is really hunger that I'm feeling. With me, I find often it's boredom, loneliness, frustration, or procrastination. If I can identify something else that I'm feeling, it becomes much easier to address that, and then the eating becomes less important!

2. If I decide I absolutely have to eat, I take a minute, just one, and really think about what I want to eat - often I find that I instantly assume I want chocolate or something cakey, but actually if I take a moment to really think about it (hot or cold, sweet or savoury, creamy or tart etc) I usually want something really random, like cheese or even (gasp!) veg!! ;)

3. Once I've decided what it is I want, I take a small portion (like a couple of bites - if it's something like biscuits, one, if it's crisps, 2 or 3 etc), put it on a plate and sit down at a table. I turn off all radio, TV, close my laptop etc. I try not to do anything else at the same time. I just FOCUS on the experience, the taste, the texture etc. This is NOT about hating yourself for doing the eating, but it can really help you combat mindless eating. I know myself that I can go through biscuits and the like without even really noticing if I'm watching the TV or something at the same time, and then I feel guilty and unsatisfied. I know I read that you have a 16 month old, so this might be really difficult, but I think the point is just to make sure that you're really experiencing what you're eating, and not just shoving it in your mouth in between other jobs. If you really want the food, enjoy the small portion that you're having - you'll probably find you'll be satisfied with less.

4. When I've finished, I wash up my plate and put it away. I try not to just put it in the dishwasher, as I can too easily get it out again!

5. If my hunger is still not satisfied, go back to step 1. Repeat.

These steps have really helped me - I hope they help you too. The workshop I did was by a company called Beyond Chocolate, they have a book as well - you can google them and they're on Amazon. I totally recommend it (and no I don't work for them!! ;) ) - PM me if you need any more info!

Lots of love