Weight Loss Support - really need some advice on will power




coolacrity
02-05-2013, 09:50 PM
--because this isn't working.

Bottom line: after five in the evening, I just can't stop myself from eating EVERYTHING. I can have a marvelous day, a good breakfast and lunch, two snacks in between (like today, there were doughnuts and chips at my staff meeting that I didn't even look at, I had broccoli and carrots. YUM). But after work, BAM cheese and crackers, yakisoba, chips, pickles, salsa, etc. This sort of thing has been happening for weeks and I don't know what to do. It's really making me upset. EDIT: The worst thing is that when this happens, I'm not even hungry anyway. It's purely head hunger. And I love veggies, so the "if you're not willing to eat vegetables you're not really hungry" adage doesn't help.

I'm still pretty heavy, so my co-workers and everybody that sees me never notice water weight, but I feel the affects on me (for instance, my legs were a little swollen today) and I feel like I'm letting everyone down.

It used to be pretty easy and fun to do this, I even exercised twice a day maybe six days a week. I can't bring myself to do it once or twice a week now. I still have the same amount of free time. Heck, I'm even relearning French at the moment. So I really don't know what's wrong with me.

Anyone have any tips?

Sorry if this post is a little long-winded and badly written, I'm just upset and want to get my thought out. :(


Thistleberry
02-05-2013, 10:14 PM
Have you tried planning exactly what you're going to eat for a day before the day starts? I find that when I have the entire day planned out, every meal and every snack, I am much less likely to deviate into foods that I shouldn't be snacking on. It may seem a little pedantic, but it's worth it to try for one day. What's to lose? If you really want something, you can tell yourself it isn't in the plan and you can have it the next day if you really want it. And it's easier to talk yourself out of eating "extras" because you know that in half an hour you can eat an orange (for example) anyway. You know it's coming.

I had been having a bit of a rough go of it right after New Year's and this is what got me back in line. It is a bit more of a rigid approach than I usually take, but it gave me something to rely on, a plan of attack. I didn't have to make a choice, good or bad, because the choice was already made. I'm back to a more natural process now, but I needed that to get me there.

katrinakit
02-05-2013, 10:22 PM
I have had the same problem. I switched to low carb and still have a tendency to overeat a little bit but it is NOTHING like before. Maybe you are carb sensitive too?


April Snow
02-05-2013, 10:50 PM
Is all that stuff you are eating at night in your house? If so, can you clear it all out of your house? It's a lot easier to have will power to not eat foods when they aren't readily accesible.

freelancemomma
02-05-2013, 10:52 PM
Is all that stuff you are eating at night in your house? If so, can you clear it all out of your house? It's a lot easier to have will power to not eat foods when they aren't readily accesible.

Totally agree.

F.

Mozzy
02-05-2013, 11:57 PM
I like the idea of planning your day ahead of time.
I have a pretty set routine and it's helped me tremendously.

novangel
02-06-2013, 12:03 AM
Like the others said, don't buy it. Can't eat it if it's not in your house. ;)

Katydid77
02-06-2013, 12:07 AM
Like the others said, don't buy it. Can't eat it if it's not in your house. ;)

AND if you are in a situation where you have others that you are buying for too, then start purchasing junk food they like, but that isn't nearly as tempting to you.

I usually bring snacks to my boyfriends house, something sweet (there are 4 teenagers there) and yesterday I still did, but I brought oreos because I don't like them at all. It wasn't different to them, they still got something sweet that they like, it just happened to be something that I didn't. :)

chubbiegurl
02-06-2013, 12:25 AM
Omg u have come so far in your weightless so first off congrats u are such a motivation to many of us I am sure. Have u ever thought that maybe u r sabotaging yourself selfconciously? I am not saying u are just asking, since u r eating and not even hungry.
Is there any way u can keep that junk out of the house for a while at least?
Can u try your hardest to get out of the house if being there is a trigger.
I did really good in the beggining having junk in the house but lately as I get closer to goal I am indulging a bit
I dont want to exercise either but just do it anyway, drag yourself to do it whether u want to or not, especially let's say if u find yourself reaching for the snacks jump on any exercise machine u have or drop and give me 10. The urge might pass after a few minutes. Or at the very least it will be like the rubber u put on your wrist, that u snap when lets say u want to bite your nails. Pretty soon u associate the two and don't want to be snapped so U don't bite.

shcirerf
02-06-2013, 12:44 AM
Change your evening routine! Shut off the tv, take a walk, take a bubble bath, find a hobby, like crocheting that keeps your hands busy, phone a friend, paint your nails, scrub your toilet, start a window herb garden, take a class on something at a local community college, go to the gym, volunteer at an animal shelter, post lots here!:D

Take a good look at your evening routine and the space you are in and work on changing the routine and the space.:hug:

luckystreak
02-06-2013, 12:49 AM
saame problem. its the damn boredom. i drink tea all the time so i dont have to put food in my mouth lol!!

ADL
02-06-2013, 02:10 AM
This might be a little unorthodox but when I first started dieting I purposefully made myself bloated so I would be too full to overeat. For example, I would have a ton of diet soda and air popped popcorn, or a large plate of raw vegetables with salsa as a dipping sauce, or a lot of pickles or tea etc... I wanted to feel full without eating a lot of calories and so feeling bloated (which normally made me feel gross) at that point in my diet was useful. If you really just can't stop eating then this would be a better alternative. Of course this has the potential to lead you down a bad road but it's worth a shot if you feel like your only alternative is just to binge on high calorie foods

ShrinkingPrettyGirl
02-06-2013, 02:25 AM
Yeah, I simply don't buy things that I would regret eating. I also will plan my day and write it down and then log it on loseit that night. On days that I don't plan, it's a mess!

coolacrity
02-06-2013, 05:49 AM
Guys. Uhm. A lot of the things that I overeat on ARE healthy things, usually. Like salad. I'll go to town on a salad. I was just explaining what happened tonight. (And I can't control everything in the house, I live with someone else. She's supportive, but at the same time she fussed at me when I asked her to keep stuff away from me. "Where's your willpower??" she says. Well, I'm having a hard time with it, obviously.)

I plan my day, yes, I really do (not writing down, but I'll think out my whole day). But that hasn't helped.

Maybe changing my routine will help.

Marniadec
02-06-2013, 06:20 AM
You can either have separate shelves in the pantry/fridge, etc, or you can do what I do: get too lazy to get up and eat most of the time. :p

You can also find ways to keep yourself busy or get different kinds of low/no calorie stuff like tea, soda, veggies etc, but this has never worked for me, to be honest. But if veggies work for you, just add way more vegetables with way less sauce. I mean, you weigh 258 lbs. You can still enjoy your food so do it because it's all downhill from there. :p

Another thing you can do is make a signature, chart, whatever and note down all the times or days that you managed to not binge. For some reason it's rewarding to see that you managed to not binge for even one day and that could give you the motivation to keep doing so. You can even set goals and rewards or do whatever you want.

marigrace
02-06-2013, 06:24 AM
This was exactly my pattern....it was like being possessed. The only thing that has worked (really well) for me is going low carb.

sontaikle
02-06-2013, 06:43 AM
Guys. Uhm. A lot of the things that I overeat on ARE healthy things, usually. Like salad. I'll go to town on a salad. I was just explaining what happened tonight. (And I can't control everything in the house, I live with someone else. She's supportive, but at the same time she fussed at me when I asked her to keep stuff away from me. "Where's your willpower??" she says. Well, I'm having a hard time with it, obviously.)

I plan my day, yes, I really do (not writing down, but I'll think out my whole day). But that hasn't helped.

Maybe changing my routine will help.

Are you eating out of boredom? I used to do that all the freaking time. Now I drink tea, water, or diet soda instead. I may have to pee all the time but I stay within my calories!

I also keep room within my daily calories to allow for my boredom eating so I can still "indulge." I'll portion out whatever it is I want to eat and eat that ONLY and only that amount. If I have a big bag of pistachios, for example, I'll count out 25, put them on a plate and sit down and eat them. Mindlessly, if I want to.

100-200 cal set aside for a little boredom snacking/eating can sometimes save my sanity.

LockItUp
02-06-2013, 08:57 AM
A couple questions for you:

What you are experiencing in the evenings, would you label it a "binge" or just eating/overeating?

By the time you get home, what is your calorie count? You said you weren't physically hungry and that very well may be so!!! Just curious about how many calories you've had by the time you get to that point in your day.

What made you stop exercising? Just got sick of it? Demotivated? Lost the commitment? Or did something happen?

cestlavie22
02-06-2013, 09:26 AM
some of the things i've done in the past:
- junk food that is for someone else. I don't eat it. it is not there for me. if i eat it, it would be like stealing
- i don't have junk food for my kids. No one actually needs it. Yes, they do need more calories than i do, but they can eat healthy calories
- it isn't enough for me to plan out my food in my head. i have to write it down ahead of time. Then i also have to write in everything else i ate. If i have to document it (ideally right before i eat it), i am way less likely to eat off plan. There is something about seeing the list of every lick, taste and bite that helps
- i avoid getting in to discussions with myself about having it. If i start argueing with myself (eg. a few carrots will be okay, i end up eating half the bag). best to be clear the answer is no till supper time than deal with the slippery slope
- change something physically in your house. i put a chair to the entrance of my kitchen for a while. It was a good reminder i had no reason to be in there!
-re-evaluate when you eat. It may be that in the evening is a more natural time for you to eat. Maybe you need a smaller breakfast and lunch and a more substantial snack later in the day to allow for those calories you are taking in. Then make a plan and stick to it and then re-evaluate
i know when my body is about to have a <whoosh> i often feel like i want to eat and eat and eat. I think of it as the way my body is trying to hold on to that fat. If i can recognize it and ignore it, i often see s <whoosh> a couple of days later.

good luck!

XLMuffnTop
02-06-2013, 10:10 AM
I have an issue with this too. It's especially bad on Tuesdays and Thursdays since I get home late, haven't eaten and just "over do it" to compensate.

I try to have lots of hot tea and coffee (black) to keep the hand-to-mouth action going without actually adding calories. Some people have issue with coffee while trying to lose weight but I definitely haven't and am very caffeine tolerant so YMMV. For me, it's just a mental thing I don't need or want to eat but I WANT to eat. Hard to explain. :?:

lunarsongbird
02-06-2013, 11:01 AM
"Where's your willpower??" she says. Well, I'm having a hard time with it, obviously.)


My DH has definitely said this to be a number of times. I have thought a lot about will power- and researched it quite a bit, as well.

Take a peek at this video clip from UCSF called, "The Skinny on Obesity"
http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=23717

One of the first thing that Dr. Lustig says in this segment is, "No one can exert willpower over a biochemical drive that goes on every minute of every day of every year." He speculates that sugar has really messed up our dopamine and leptin responses.

Julia Ross, MD in her book, "The Diet Cure"- speculates the same thing:
http://www.dietcure.com/aminoacids.html
When I read the introduction to her book, it absolutely changed my life- and spoke to my very soul:

Almost everyone who has ever come into my office has felt like a failure. “I just don’t seem to have the willpower to stay on a diet anymore” or “I can never stick to the maintenance part of the plan.” Mostly, this is because they crave sweets or starchy carbs and can’t do without them for long. They start with “just a little” and end up eating a lot more than they feel they should. Often their spouses or other family members criticize them, saying, “Why don’t you just try harder?” “If you’d just limit yourself to one . . . ,” which only serves to make them feel even worse about themselves. “I guess they’re right,” they say, “I just don’t have enough self-discipline.” Yet oddly, these same people are usually doing well in every other aspect of their lives. They are effective at work, they keep the bills paid and the checkbook balanced, they organize their children’s lives beautifully. They are actually models of willpower.
We point this out. We remind them that they have lost weight—dozens, sometimes hundreds of times. Truly, there is nothing harder than dieting. Most of those critical spouses and family members could never stand the course of even one diet.

So if it’s not lack of willpower, what is wrong with you? Are you an emotional basket case who can’t get by without comfort food? If you had more strength, could you power through your problems without overeating? Should you feel ashamed of yourself for needing emotional sustenance from foods? No! I hope to help you understand why you are using food as self-medication. It’s not because you are weak willed, it’s because you’re low in

certain brain chemicals. You don’t have enough of the chemicals that should naturally be making you feel emotionally strong and complete.

Can anyone else relate to this? I know I could!

coolacrity
02-06-2013, 12:24 PM
@LockItUp At that part of the day, I would say that I've probably had 1200 calories? It depends on the day. If it's after work, I've probably had that or less, if it's the weekend I've probably had more.

@sontaikle Totally eating out of boredom. I usually eat during the one TV program I watch per night during the week, so it's pretty frenzied boredom. I stopped the recording schedule for it this morning, really hoping that'll help.

Also, I weigh every morning, so I do NOT like drinking anything I don't have to in the evening. But I think I may have to fight the urge not to drink and weigh once a week. I dunno. I hate the thought, though.

sontaikle
02-06-2013, 12:34 PM
@sontaikle Totally eating out of boredom. I usually eat during the one TV program I watch per night during the week, so it's pretty frenzied boredom. I stopped the recording schedule for it this morning, really hoping that'll help.

If you find you are going crazy cutting out boredom eating entirely, it might help to do as I suggested. I find that managing it instead of trying to eliminate it completely has kept me on track.

Trying to eliminate it completely just drove me insane. Maybe it's better and healthier to not boredom eat at all, but not for me. That means my eating will be completely off track otherwise.

It's very easy to take a 100 cal bag of almonds and just sit there and eat, not having to worry about going overboard (I sneak them into the movies) or eat a piece of fruit in front of the TV, etc.

Sure, I may not get the satisfaction as if I were sitting down for a meal and paying attention to what I was eating, but at least I didn't polish off a whole giant bag of something!

krampus
02-06-2013, 12:37 PM
Drop breakfast and snacks and eat more in the evenings

Arctic Mama
02-06-2013, 12:51 PM
Guys. Uhm. A lot of the things that I overeat on ARE healthy things, usually. Like salad. I'll go to town on a salad. I was just explaining what happened tonight. (And I can't control everything in the house, I live with someone else. She's supportive, but at the same time she fussed at me when I asked her to keep stuff away from me. "Where's your willpower??" she says. Well, I'm having a hard time with it, obviously.)

I plan my day, yes, I really do (not writing down, but I'll think out my whole day). But that hasn't helped.

Maybe changing my routine will help.

Bottom line - it has nothing to do with willpower. On some level of your brain, for some reason, you are giving yourself permission to eat these foods, in these quantities, regardless of your plan or hunger cues. You need to get to the root of it and CHOOSE to stop.

It isn't something mythical or mysterious, it is a conscious choice your mind is making based on some rationalization. If your plan suits your lifestyle and body, so that the impulse to eat isn't physiological in nature or due to a deficiency/blood sugar swings/etc, it isn't willpower that is required but saying no to yourself and refusing to give in. Will makes the case sound moral and it isn't - it is a rational choice, one that can be made regardless of our emotional state. The food isn't prying your mouth open and you're not so starving that the physiological compulsion overrides all else. Thus, use your brain and say NO to yourself on whatever level you've permitted laxity. If you're not willing or able to so that I'd say it's a pretty firm signal you're better off maintaining until you are. Because without that choice, this will be an ongoing struggle for you.

That's my best advice as someone who has been there :hug: And I second low carb, that has helped me immensely in terms of satiety, but boredom/emotional eating is still it's own hurdle that needs managing regardless of the plan you're on.

forreal
02-06-2013, 01:10 PM
Ask yourself "What Gives?" According to your ticker you've lost 120 pounds. WOW!!! What has changed? What were you doing before that you're not doing now -- Or what weren't you doing that you're doing now?

Have you been "out of control" before while you were losing the 120 pounds? Why, or why not? Something has changed.

You have two choices -- don't eat in the evening, or plan ahead to eat. If you're going to continue the eating, allow x number of calories and then eat that many calories -- sugar free pudding or sugar free jello with lite cool whip, or popcorn, or fruit, etc. Myself, I drink tea, and drink tea, and drink tea. If I'm craving sweet, it's the sugar free pudding. If I crave salty, it's the popcorn.

You obviously have demonstrated that you can succeed in losing weight. Are you suddenly getting compliments and has that maybe scared you a bit -- that sometimes happens. Your loss is an inspiration to me -- I've lost about 70 pounds and have a way to go -- it's great seeing others on this site that have been successful like you.

Hang tough - you'll get past this bump in the road! :hug:

JohnP
02-06-2013, 01:43 PM
Drop breakfast and snacks and eat more in the evenings

That's certainly worth trying.

Batou
02-06-2013, 02:11 PM
I also have an issue with eating out of boredom. I've found that I mainly want to chew or munch on something at those times I want to eat when not hungry. A couple years ago I was told by a relative that had lost a lot of weight (over 200lbs.) that she avoids doing the same thing by chewing gum. I've started doing that and it works for me. I think the term is "oral fixation" for the issue that causes some people to overeat, chew their nails, and some people to smoke or chew tobacco. Chewing gum doesn't really fix the problem, but at least all you are doing is chewing gum and not using tobacco products, biting nails, or overeating.

coolacrity
02-06-2013, 03:36 PM
@Arctic Mama it isn't willpower that is required but saying no to yourself and refusing to give in.

Not to turn this into a debate about Free Will...but I'm not sure how that ISN'T the definition of willpower that most people use and struggle with. It's the sticking to the 'NO' that's the problem.

@sontaikle Heh heh, I'd love to just be able to manage, but I'm pretty trigger happy. And by that I mean I can have a 100 calorie pack of almonds (YUM)....but then have two more. And maybe some fruit and cheese. And before long I'll have a whole meal's worth of calories for a snack. It can be pretty terrible.

Also, your icon cracks me up. XD

I don't think I had enough calories and should eat at home today (grr, hope I don't binge), but I'm going to try to pack enough to not have to at home tomorrow. Good luck to me, and thanks for the suggestions. I've got quite a few options.

BeachBreeze2010
02-06-2013, 04:29 PM
I'm not sure what it causing your after work problem specifically, but I can touch on a few things.

1. So, you eat as soon as you get home - when was the last time you ate prior to that? If it was 5 or 6 hours before, maybe it's simply time to eat again. Having healthy foods at home to eat is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with coming home and eating veggies. My guess is that somehow your blood sugar has dropped. I know that when I eat too many simple carbs during the day, my blood sugar (I'm not diabetic) goes crazy and I get that "I HAVE TO EAT" feeling. Maybe try to eat more protein throughout the day - you said you snack on carrots, so try adding some greek yogurt or hummus with them?

2. Try eating something before you leave to come home from work. I keep oatmeal at work to eat before I leave. It's still kind of tied to the blood sugar thing, but I'm not ravenous when I get home that way.

3. Change your routine. Go for a walk as soon as you get home or immediately jump into a project you want to do or don't go straight home from work. Whatever it is, change that cycle of coming home starving.

4. Check in with your head. If this is a new problem for you, when did it start? Are there other stressors going on for you right now? Food isn't the problem and therefore isn't the answer. Something else might be causing your anxiety or boredom. Tap into that. Solve that problem and you might be back to your more successful routine.

5. After you finish that are you still hungry? Maybe you just ate dinner.

6. If for right now, this beast is too hard to tame, are there other areas that you can adjust to accommodate it? In other words, if this meal is usually about 400 calories, can you adjust the rest of your day to fit it in?

Arctic Mama
02-06-2013, 05:48 PM
Well, willpower gets conflated with something beyond a choice, and that's my beef. Make a different choice, or don't. There's a Yoda-ism about that ;)

Truly though, this is where so many folks fail and with good reason. It's simple, it isn't necessarily easy, but it must be done.

DoingMyBest79
02-06-2013, 07:36 PM
This might be a little unorthodox but when I first started dieting I purposefully made myself bloated so I would be too full to overeat. For example, I would have a ton of diet soda and air popped popcorn, or a large plate of raw vegetables with salsa as a dipping sauce, or a lot of pickles or tea etc... I wanted to feel full without eating a lot of calories and so feeling bloated (which normally made me feel gross) at that point in my diet was useful. If you really just can't stop eating then this would be a better alternative. Of course this has the potential to lead you down a bad road but it's worth a shot if you feel like your only alternative is just to binge on high calorie foods

I did this too and found it incredibly helpful. In addition to having nighttime munchie cravings, I struggle with bingeing, and I found that when I had several diet sodas or seltzer that filled my tummy and made me feel bloated, I had no desire to binge. It was actually one of the most effective ways I found that curbed my urges to binge.

coolacrity
02-08-2013, 12:44 PM
Thank you so much for all the suggestions, everyone! The last two days have been successful because of your help thinking outside the box.

I basically went with switching my evening snack and dinner so I wouldn't be starving when I got home in the evening and eat more than I planned to. Sure it means I have to pack at night, but that's a teeny price to pay.

Thanks again!

35X35
02-08-2013, 01:33 PM
Drop breakfast and snacks and eat more in the evenings

That's certainly worth trying.

I third this suggestion. Ever tried intermittent fasting? There are lots of ways to do it, you tailor it to what works for you. It's NOT starving yourself, it's NOT deprivation, it's simply delayed gratification and working with your cravings/hunger rhythms. There are a few pretty awesome studies on the benefits of it, but studies aside -- if it works, it works :)

For me, I like/crave three things: the ability to eat larger portions, eating in the evening, and being able to eat what I want within reason.

So, I either fast most of the day OR eat very little portions when hungry, then use the bulk of my calories in the evening. It works on so many levels. It tricks my mind into thinking I can eat whatever I want and still lose weight. It lets me have portions that are more satisfying to me, it lets me go to dinner out etc without stressing that I've "used up" all my calories. It allows me to have ice cream at 9pm without ruining any weight loss or being above my calorie levels.

It's not starvation or deprivation because I'm eating the same amount of calories I would if I'd eaten all throughout the day, just in a shorter window of time. It has actually helped my weight loss a lot.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

QuilterInVA
02-08-2013, 01:44 PM
Willpower is a myth. Losing weight is about choices. We make choices that support our goal or we choose to not do it. Planning in your head isn't enough. Write down every BLT and take pictures of your food so you can looki back and see all the food you have already eaten. As a side note, veggies, fruit and other carbs are on the bottom of the satiety level. Protein keeps you followed the longest, followed by fat, and then carbs. You might try changing up what you are eating. There will always be food around that I choose not to eat. I am not the food police to tell other people what to eat or that they can't have it. Give your roommate a separate cupboard or shelf for her food and keep healthy choices to the front of the fridge or cupboards so that is the first thing you see.