Weight Loss Support - Automatic Eating




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blondebombshell
05-23-2011, 12:48 PM
Does anyone else have this problem? I am a nanny and the kids I watch have a pretty awful diet. Mainly grilled cheese and Mac n cheese. I've been watching my diet much more closely recently, so as I was making their Mac n cheese today I kept repeating in my head "do NOT eat this Mac and cheese, your salad is waiting for you at the table, you are stronger than the Mac n cheese!"

Then I got distracted. My conscious stream of "don't you dare do this!" was broken by a 2 yr old asking a question. Next thing I know, My mouth is literally crammed full of Mac n cheese and I have no idea how it got there. Obviously I put it there, because I had to pull the giant spoon out of my mouth. I looked down in the pot, I had definitely eaten more than one spoonful.

Like i said, I'm a nanny and my attention is generally monopolized by 2yr old twins and I'm not capable (and honestly, I don't want to) obsess over every second of my life and diet.

Has anyone else struggled with this before. I've found this happening a lot. Which I'm pretty sure is a contributing factor to my weight.


lackadaisy
05-23-2011, 01:17 PM
YES. I used to study at night near cereal -- and of course more than one portion would be ingested while I was looking at a paper or problem set. My solution was just to keep myself from automatic eating opportunities.

Since you can't avoid prepping food, you have to train yourself to be conscious of food when you're around it. Everyone has distractions; you can't let the kids be your excuse (sorry). When you're prepping food, be aware of it and be aware that it is not food for you, it is a task for someone else. It takes some mental jujitsu and reminding yourself that the food is not for you, it's for the kids; for you, it is not food. Now I cook & bake for other people without a problem and happily eat my pre-planned nutritious meals (veggies, legumes, real things).

mandalinn82
05-23-2011, 01:24 PM
One word: Gum. Seriously. It's an easy fix to a common problem - if you're cooking something you don't want to eat, make it impossible to eat by popping in a piece of gum.


LisaP916
05-23-2011, 01:24 PM
Why not make healthy food for the kids? A diet of grilled cheese or Mac & cheese isn't healthy for them either!

aimeebell
05-23-2011, 01:29 PM
You don't even recall eating the food, so obviously the calories you spent eating the macaroni were not calories well-spent. I have a limited number of calories to use each day, I want to be mindful and enjoy all of them. I don't eat foods I don't love. I don't pick at foods, I portion them out and then eat them. Of course, there are blips along the way and I try to use them to learn. I was camping this weekend and had an open bag of Chex Mix in my hand. I mindlessly ate at least half the bag, 4 to 5 servings. After the first serving, I no longer tasted it and was just eating it because I had an open bag in my hand. Lesson learned. To try to do away with automatic eating, make a point to put all of your food on a plate or in a bowl, then sit down and enjoy it. Slow down, be present in the moment, and be mindful of your actions. With three kids, I have to remind myself of this all the time.

Arctic Mama
05-23-2011, 01:42 PM
One word: Gum. Seriously. It's an easy fix to a common problem - if you're cooking something you don't want to eat, make it impossible to eat by popping in a piece of gum.

Amen to this. I am prepping food for children and my husband literally 5-6 hours out of every day, as I have to cook everything from scratch for every meal, and picking off my kids' plates or excess 'tasting' when cooking adds hundreds of calories. I cannot stop the baby from crying, toddler from asking questions, or preschooler from running around. I can't use that as an excuse or reason to eat. I have to be PRESENT during food prep and eating, fully aware of myself and the food.

Gum is a huge help to me. The other one is logging my own food BEFORE making their meal and either eating my own while making their or consciously saying NO to anything I didn't write down. It's not like I can't have food, or even the stuff I am feeding them, but that I have to PLAN for it.

Kery
05-23-2011, 03:43 PM
Gum advice seconded as well. Besides, if you choose gum with strong flavour, it should definitely make any food smells wafting to your nostrils lose some of their appeal. ^^

GlamourGirl827
05-23-2011, 07:08 PM
I think the gum is a great suggestion. Um, maybe I'm reading this wrong. But you are a nanny, so I can assume these aren't your kids...the way you described it (and maybe I miss read this, I'm sorry if I did), you took several bites from the spoon, so that means you put the spoon in your mouth, then in the mac n cheese, then back in your mouth?? I don't mean to be a nudge but just not "double dipping" in someone else's kids food should keep you from eating while making lunch. I liken that to me eating some of my patients lunch while setting up their tray. I'm not judging you for eating without realizing it, but I'm saying you need to nip this in the bud right away if you are sharing germs with the children you care for because of it.

mzKiki
05-23-2011, 08:21 PM
I am a new SAHM for a 2yr old and 4yr old and let me tell you this happens to me all the time. Testing to make sure the food isn't too hot or sometimes a well meaning toddler insisting that I have some. It's a bad habit and can lead to alot of weight gain. My babies love fresh fruit and celery and salad though, so this is usually a part of their meals. Are the children you care for picky eaters? If not I'm sure their parents would appreciate you incorporating a healthier menu for them.
And glamourgirl is right, can't be eating out of the pots when they aren't your babes. GUM does sound like a good idea, I gotta get some. Love the desserts gum when Im craving sweets.

Arctic Mama
05-23-2011, 08:59 PM
I think the gum is a great suggestion. Um, maybe I'm reading this wrong. But you are a nanny, so I can assume these aren't your kids...the way you described it (and maybe I miss read this, I'm sorry if I did), you took several bites from the spoon, so that means you put the spoon in your mouth, then in the mac n cheese, then back in your mouth?? I don't mean to be a nudge but just not "double dipping" in someone else's kids food should keep you from eating while making lunch. I liken that to me eating some of my patients lunch while setting up their tray. I'm not judging you for eating without realizing it, but I'm saying you need to nip this in the bud right away if you are sharing germs with the children you care for because of it.

Of all the things people do, double dipping is pretty low on the nastiness scale :lol:

I know I wouldn't get upset at a nanny or friends watching my kids and tasting while cooking, and I suppose anyone who dislikes the concept shouldn't come over for dinner at my place, because I DO taste food as I season it! There's no way around it. New utensils are wise, sure, but it just doesn't always happen. Life's too short to worry about communicable diseases (most of which are too delicate to survive heat or acid in cooking, anyway!).

GlamourGirl827
05-23-2011, 11:24 PM
Of all the things people do, double dipping is pretty low on the nastiness scale :lol:

I know I wouldn't get upset at a nanny or friends watching my kids and tasting while cooking, and I suppose anyone who dislikes the concept shouldn't come over for dinner at my place, because I DO taste food as I season it! There's no way around it. New utensils are wise, sure, but it just doesn't always happen. Life's too short to worry about communicable diseases (most of which are too delicate to survive heat or acid in cooking, anyway!).

Nope, sorry. Its gross. I don't know how that can't skeeve you out.

Arctic Mama
05-23-2011, 11:31 PM
Well, I think about how low the actual risks are, and the fact that almost everyone tastes food while cooking, including professionals, without impeccable habits with clean utensils. It's like nose picking or scratching one's genitals... Most people do it, and don't even wash their hands. Healthy humans, for carrying all manor of flora and fauna in and on themselves, are just not that gross. And I've given birth enough times, cleaned up enough vomit, and wiped enough butts that the mouths of normal people are quite copasetic on my ick scale.

If we want to deal with gross, let's discuss how few people wash their hands after using the restroom ;)

GlamourGirl827
05-24-2011, 08:09 AM
Ok so I had a whole post, and I posted it. But I changed my mind. I'm not normally argumentative on this sight. I'm usually the first one to encourage people to post anything they need to to help with their weight loss journey and to find support. I should not have picked apart the OP.
ArcticMma, I do want you to know that I am a registered nurse. I've dealt with and cleaned up more than my fair shared of vomit, poop, urine, blood, wound drainage, ileostomy BM, and any other bodily fluids out there! I don't need a lesson on normal flora. Also I'm a mother of 2, so I've given birth as well! That doesn't change that I don't sample from the food I'm cooking. And I must say the stuff I've seen as a mother pales in comparison to what I've seen as a nurse.

Arctic Mama
05-24-2011, 02:39 PM
I can appreciate your perspective as a nurse, (we have a few of those around this family, too ;)) I was not posting my frame of reference to somehow top yours, but simply to say that food and sampling doesn't bug me, even though it is obviously a huge hangup for some. I am well aware some very dangerous, virulent infections exist, including in people's mouths and digestive tracts, but that is far from average in the general, immunologically normative population.

We'll have to agree to disagree here, as I'm also one of those women who brushes off fallen pacifiers, doesn't use hand sanitizer unless dealing with questionable raw meat or a contagiously ill person, and doesn't always wash wild fruit before consuming. We'll just say I live dangerously :lol:

If you ever come over to dinner, I promise not to lick any spoons ;)

blondebombshell
05-24-2011, 04:29 PM
Gum has been Sooooooo helpful!!! I'm not a big fan of mint but I've been chewing it and it seems to curb cravings and make a lot of other things taste terrible. So I'm stocking up!!!

As far as the food is concerned. I was raised by a registered nurse, and even my mother knows- some things are simply unavoidable. I have caught their vomit in my bare hands, they have sneezed in my mouth, kissed me with snot covered faces, and countless other things. My spoon touching their mac n cheese is seriously becoming an argument point? Im sorry... But that is ridiculous.

They are INSANELY picky eaters and very quick pukers. Nutrition is something that I am very passionate about on the job, and I've always had charges that were fantastic eaters. I have tried very hard to expand their very small list of foods they're willing to eat. Slowly but surely :/

blondebombshell
05-24-2011, 04:30 PM
Gum has been Sooooooo helpful!!! I'm not a big fan of mint but I've been chewing it and it seems to curb cravings and make a lot of other things taste terrible. So I'm stocking up!!!

As far as the food is concerned. I was raised by a registered nurse, and even my mother knows- some things are simply unavoidable. I have caught their vomit in my bare hands, they have sneezed in my mouth, kissed me with snot covered faces, and countless other things. My spoon touching their mac n cheese is seriously becoming an argument point? Im sorry... But that is ridiculous.

They are INSANELY picky eaters and very quick pukers. Nutrition is something that I am very passionate about on the job, and I've always had charges that were fantastic eaters. I have tried very hard to expand their very small list of foods they're willing to eat. Slowly but surely :/

Arctic Mama
05-24-2011, 04:41 PM
Haha, I'm so glad the gum worked! I am not a big mint fan either, but it makes everything so much less appetizing. Just try drinking orange juice with mint in your mouth and not cringe ;)

Good luck with their picky eating! At least in this house, I tend to offer more 'fun food' main courses, like sausage, Mac n' cheese, burritos, cheese spread, etc etc, from healthy recipes, and then make sure the side dishes are fruit and veggies (usually stuff like peas, pineapple, carrots, prunes, etc etc). The rule in our home is that you have to try one bite of your main course and finish the fruit and veggies. The servings are small, maybe a tablespoon of each at a time, and you cannot have seconds of the main dish without having first eaten all the produce components. It's little enough food and tasty enough choices that even my pickiest eater complies a good 80% of the time. The other 20% she chooses to go hungry and be re-served the food every meal until she eats it ;)

That doesn't work with all kids, especially those with texture issues, but it is amazing what those little recipe substitutes can do to retrain their palates. Slowly but surely changing them is right on, I wish you the very best in BOTH endeavors :)

Chubbykins
05-25-2011, 07:26 AM
A very important rule that helps is this: NO FOOD outside of the kitchen in the house. Food should be prepared quickly, ingested consciously and then forgotten until the next fixed meal time.
The kids will benefit from less snacking and better food scedules too. They could be the fat people of tomorrow.:)

K9Owner
05-25-2011, 07:50 AM
I think the gum is a great suggestion. Um, maybe I'm reading this wrong. But you are a nanny, so I can assume these aren't your kids...the way you described it (and maybe I miss read this, I'm sorry if I did), you took several bites from the spoon, so that means you put the spoon in your mouth, then in the mac n cheese, then back in your mouth?? I don't mean to be a nudge but just not "double dipping" in someone else's kids food should keep you from eating while making lunch. I liken that to me eating some of my patients lunch while setting up their tray. I'm not judging you for eating without realizing it, but I'm saying you need to nip this in the bud right away if you are sharing germs with the children you care for because of it.

RN to RN--gotta agree with you on this one! No way I'm touching food off a patient's tray :barf:
That just screams CDIFF to me!! EWWE
:rofl: over the different opinions.

I was going to suggest Vicks Vapor Rub in the nares while making lunch or burning a Peppermint Flavored Candle--both of which are appetite suppressants! I hate gum :barf: