Weight Loss Support - Bogus diet tricks




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Wannabeskinny
02-24-2014, 02:07 PM
Any diet tricks that you've recently uncovered or particularly dislike?

I don't like the apple test. Where they say that if you think you're hungry but the thought of an apple doesn't appeal to you then it means you're not really hungry. That's such a load of turnips. Apples are one of my least favorite fruits, why should I wait for that apple to appeal to me when I'm craving something else entirely?

I also don't think you can satisfy a craving with something so different than what you're craving. If I'm craving chocolate I can't fool myself with a carrot. I will still want the chocolate!


freelancemomma
02-24-2014, 02:41 PM
I don't like the apple test. Where they say that if you think you're hungry but the thought of an apple doesn't appeal to you then it means you're not really hungry. That's such a load of turnips. Apples are one of my least favorite fruits, why should I wait for that apple to appeal to me when I'm craving something else entirely?

I think the test might make more sense for someone who likes (but doesn't necessarily love) apples. I agree with you that cravings can be specific, but my experience has also been that true hunger broadens the range of foods that appeal.

F.

kaplods
02-24-2014, 03:00 PM
The apple test (taken literally) doesn't work for me either, because I LOVE apples and they always appeal to me, even if I've just eaten three.

I do use the apple test (in spirit) to guage my hunger and to distinguish between hunger and the desire to eat for other reasons. I choose a borderline food. Something I will eat, but don't particularly like.


For example, several months ago, I bought two WW Smart One chicken oriental dinners to try, because they were on sale. Blegh, not very good. Very bland, and almost no flavor. Not bad enough to throw away, but not good enough to eat.

It has become my "apple test," a hunger litmus test. I ask myself, would I eat that dinner, if it was all there was. When I finally say yes, then I eat (but because there ARE other options, I eat something else).


I also use craving substitution (especially for binge trigger foods), but I wouldn't substitute carrots for chocolate. However, I will substitute dark chocolate. In a way, this is both a craving substitution and an "apple test" for me. I truly dislike dark chocolate and and while I like milk chocolate, I only love and crave it during pms/tom. Milk chocolate has WAY too much sugar and fat to be weight loss friendly, and it only makes me crave very unreasonable amounts of milk chocolate. Then I discovered that dark chocolate wasn't so terrible (if I was desperate enough to eat it, and I had to be desperate enough).

I now keep a package of Dove dark chocolate squares in my pantry. They're only appealing when there's no other option, and I won't overeat them, because I don't like them enough to eat more than one square. I also have reduced calorie hot cocoa mix for the same reason. I have to be craving chocolate pretty badly to be bothered with making hot cocoa, and I never crave a second cup.

For craving substitution to work, the substitute has to satisfy some aspect of the craving. What aspect of the craving is most important? If I want strawberry shortcake, will homemade strawberry sorbet satisfy (frozen strawberries and low-cal sweetener, blended in a magic bullet or food processor).

These both work for me, when I use them, but I don't use them often enough. Too often I decide that I have to have exactly what I want, when I want it, not acknowledging to myself that I can't live that way and lose weight.


Wannabeskinny
02-24-2014, 04:11 PM
I think the test might make more sense for someone who likes (but doesn't necessarily love) apples. I agree with you that cravings can be specific, but my experience has also been that true hunger broadens the range of foods that appeal.

F.

I would say that I like them, but I don't love them. Rarely do I crave them and so I can't make sense of the whole litmus test. Other times I may be extremely hungry, but I'm still not willing to eat tripe for example, I don't like it and I won't eat it and I prefer to go hungry. Anyway, I was just saying that the apple thing does not apply to me in any way. I guess I'd rather be hungry than eat an apple. My mother would say this to me all the time "if you were really hungry you'd be eating this apple" and then I'd go out and binge.

Funny thing about the chocolate, nothing will do in its place. Because I need chocolate but I wouldn't say I love it, I'm fine with a little tiny piece of dark chocolate every day and that's all I need. I have no need for double fudge chocolate cake with chocolate mouse filling, drizzled with chocolate ganache and topped with chocolate shavings. I literally take one bite and I'm done. I don't go near milk chocolate. The other day I was out with friends and everyone ordered a molten lava chocolate cake - I had one bite and was so satisfied but I couldn't stomach anymore. People go buckwild for chocolate!

Lovely13
02-24-2014, 05:34 PM
I have no need for double fudge chocolate cake with chocolate mouse filling, drizzled with chocolate ganache and topped with chocolate shavings. I literally take one bite and I'm done.

Boy do I wish I were that person!!! I'm the type who doesn't think there is such a thing as "too much chocolate!" :devil: Too much chocolate to me just means I need a cold glass of milk to go with it to cleanse my palate (and then on to more chocolate)!

lin43
02-24-2014, 05:37 PM
. . . but my experience has also been that true hunger broadens the range of foods that appeal.

F.

Ditto for me on this. If I'm not really hungry but just craving something fattening, I automatically reject most of the foods in my fridge. If I'm really hungry, though, at least a few of those foods will appeal to me.

freelancemomma
02-24-2014, 07:40 PM
The other day I was out with friends and everyone ordered a molten lava chocolate cake - I had one bite and was so satisfied but I couldn't stomach anymore. People go buckwild for chocolate!

I can eat up to a half-pound of fine Belgian milk chocolate or Nutella in one sitting with no side effects except bliss (but haven't done it for a long time).

F.

krampus
02-24-2014, 07:46 PM
Too tuned in to how my body and reptile brain work to be able to trick myself. I know what is physical and what is mental hunger and what is a hollow sugar crash after too many carbs.

It's will power and weighing pros and cons of given choices for me.

kaplods
02-24-2014, 09:11 PM
Too tuned in to how my body and reptile brain work to be able to trick myself. I know what is physical and what is mental hunger and what is a hollow sugar crash after too many carbs.

It's will power and weighing pros and cons of given choices for me.


I wish I could always and easily distinguish between all the different variances and nuances of hunger, appetite, cravings.... they usually all feel like hunger to me.

On an entirely whole food, quite low (but not too low) carb, semi-paleo diet (there are a few non-paleo foods I won't give up such as cultured dairy), my willpower and experience of hunger is a lot more reliable, but still not foolproof. I can still easily overeat without hyper-vigilance and a structured plan. Weighing pros and cons in the moment, is rarely a good choice for me, because my judgement gets too easily clouded in the moment.

I really embody the adage that "failing to plan, is planning to fail," and yet I have great difficulty planning ahead, because I have a very spontaneous, in the moment personality.

I was complaining to hubby the other day that my diet ADHD was inhibiting my further weight loss success, and hubby reminded me that my distractibility and inability to plan and focus was inhibiting a lot more than just my weight loss.

He's absolutely right, I just don't know how or if it's even possible to change the fundamental way my mind works.

alaskanlaughter
02-24-2014, 11:12 PM
I do a similar hunger test with salad...I actually love salad but get burned out on it really fast....so if i'm not sure if i'm truly hungry i'll ask myself if I want to make a salad and if I do, I actually usually DO make salad....and if not, I try to hone in on what i'm needing - a craving, something to warm up like slippers, something to drink, a stress break....etc

laciemn
02-24-2014, 11:42 PM
I've found that most diet tips do work if they are applied correctly. Of course, instead of munching on veggies or salad, you could just as well not eat anything. However, you can avoid a binge by eating a lot of veggies or salad or something just by filling up your stomach with low calorie food.

carter
02-25-2014, 07:16 AM
Sometimes on this site (or others) I'll see an ad that says something like "Cut belly fat just by avoiding these five foods" or "Cut belly fat with this one weird trick." I've never clicked on these but I'd wager they aren't particularly effective diet tips.

The thing about diet tips is that any tip might work for some people (or at least help in a small way) but as we all know so well from reading each other's posts at 3FC, there is no such thing as a tip that will work for everyone.

Have you ever known someone who dropped 25 pounds just by cutting out sugar soda, without making any other changes? It's a great tip - for someone who drinks enough sugar soda that cutting it out without making any other changes will create a calorie deficit for them.

At no time in my life, not even when I was at my highest weight, did I drink sugar soda more than once or twice a year. This tip would never have worked for me.

By the same token, my number one most essential tactic without which I could not have lost the weight I lost, has been rejected outright by others on the board as something that absolutely in no way could possibly work for them.

Wannabeskinny
02-25-2014, 08:28 AM
By the same token, my number one most essential tactic without which I could not have lost the weight I lost, has been rejected outright by others on the board as something that absolutely in no way could possibly work for them.

Now I'm curious I gotta know, what's your tactic? :)

Yes I suppose bogus might not be the right word because people love to do what they do. I suppose no fruit works for me as a snack because all fruit makes me hungry. I must be sensitive to the fructose or something. If I do have fruit it must must must be accompanied by protein. Eating an apple makes my stomach churn in 10min flat. Eating an apple with peanut butter is quite satisfying.

A trick that has actually worked out for me is drinking tea in the late afternoon. I drink a very heavily spiced cinammon tea that is so gratifying that it literally qualms my late afternoon munchies. To someone else this will definitely not work.

I have a friend who's "trick" is to sit down at a restaurant and promptly divide her meal into 2 and box half of it right away.

Mrs Snark
02-25-2014, 09:00 AM
Wannabeskinny - The tea thing works for me as well. Tea often does duty as a dessert, as a snack, as "something to do with my hands while watching a movie"... I was never a tea drinker before (too busy eating pretzels and brownies!), but now I really like it.

BigChiefHoho
02-25-2014, 09:09 AM
Have you ever known someone who dropped 25 pounds just by cutting out sugar soda, without making any other changes? It's a great tip - for someone who drinks enough sugar soda that cutting it out without making any other changes will create a calorie deficit for them.
I know it's stupid, but that one makes me so mad! Even at my highest weight, around 200lb, I never drank anything but water. I get irrationally jealous of people who can lose weight just by cutting out drinks.

Cleanses are generally pretty bogus, IMO. You might lose a couple pounds, but it'll all come back as soon as you start eating again, and there's honestly no reason that any person with a functioning liver should have to "flush out toxins." Seriously, people, we have organs for that.

BigChiefHoho
02-25-2014, 09:14 AM
Oh, and I think the 'always eat breakfast' tip is bogus, too. I'm not much of a morning person and often don't feel like eating until lunch time. If I force myself to eat breakfast when I'm not hungry, that just adds to my calorie total without actually affecting my appetite for other foods throughout the day. Wasted calories, for me at least.

ReNew Me
02-25-2014, 09:21 AM
Drink water to curb hunger, or it's alternate, drink water when hungry in case you misunderstand your body and are actually dehydrated. Pfffft. If you already drink enough water being hungry is being hungry and drinking water to curb hunger does nothing but make you pee in 30 to 45 minutes.

I occasionally have a taste for chocolate and for me keeping large bars of really, really high quality chocolate around (I'm talking Green & Black, Theo, Endangered Species, etc.) is the best cure. About two or three squares of super dark chocolate, consumed mindfully, and the craving is totally satisfied.

When I was younger I will say sometimes my carb cravings would be completely insane ... I've since learned that estrogen and serotonin are linked, which makes complete sense (estrogen drops = serotonin levels drop; carbs increase serotonin, i.e., eating cake before your period is self medicating).

carter
02-25-2014, 02:02 PM
Now I'm curious I gotta know, what's your tactic? :)

Haha, I had a feeling someone would ask, but my post already felt too long. It's nothing all that exciting really - I just cook a lot on the weekend so that I have a healthy, on-plan main dish waiting for me when I get home during the week. At most, I'll have to cook an extra vegetable in the evening which takes about 15 minutes. But a protein - fish, chicken, dal, whatever I cooked during the weekend - is always there waiting for me. This is huge for me, because the worst state for me to be in is tired, hungry and thinking "hm, what sounds good for dinner? Maybe I'll just order in...."

I don't know how I could have lost the weight I lost without this. Yet, lots of people don't feel it would work for them - some folks don't like eating the same dinner two nights in a row or have spouses who complain about this; others have a lot more people to cook for than I do and have a hard time making enough food in advance to last more than a day or two. Some folks just don't want to cook at all. But for me? It's the single most important tactic I use to stay on plan.


I have a friend who's "trick" is to sit down at a restaurant and promptly divide her meal into 2 and box half of it right away.

There is one restaurant in particular where I do this. :dizzy: The portions there are quite huge and so tasty that it is impossible for me to stop eating if it is there in front of me. So half of it gets put away before I take a single bite.



Cleanses are generally pretty bogus, IMO. You might lose a couple pounds, but it'll all come back as soon as you start eating again, and there's honestly no reason that any person with a functioning liver should have to "flush out toxins." Seriously, people, we have organs for that.

I am inclined to agree with this.

Drink water to curb hunger, or it's alternate, drink water when hungry in case you misunderstand your body and are actually dehydrated. Pfffft. If you already drink enough water being hungry is being hungry and drinking water to curb hunger does nothing but make you pee in 30 to 45 minutes.

I take your point, but this one works for me in certain circumstances - especially when I am sitting my desk and trying to hold off on a meal or a snack for just a little while. For instance, if it's an hour before I go to lunch, and I have to decide whether to eat a snack or just wait it out, drinking some water (or some black coffee, or anything) helps me wait it out.

It's not that the drink curbs hunger in any permanent way; I'm not sure what the mechanism is, maybe just giving my mouth and stomach something to do is enough to buy a little time.


I occasionally have a taste for chocolate and for me keeping large bars of really, really high quality chocolate around (I'm talking Green & Black, Theo, Endangered Species, etc.) is the best cure.

What is this "keeping chocolate around" of which you speak? :dizzy: I'm teasing - I so envy people who can do this. Any candy kept around me is candy kept IN me, unless I eat absolutely none of it at all. But the moment I taste it, it's gone.

Wannabeskinny
02-25-2014, 02:07 PM
Thanks for sharing that tip carter, I can see how that would definitely work for some people. Me, not so much! I'm a foodie, I've got a toddler and I like to cook different things every day because I enjoy cooking. I also shop every single day, it's one of my stay-at-home-mommy activities I do with my son to keep me active and I get to stare at fresh veggies every day. THIS is MY tactic that works for me but I know it will not work for many other people, aka people who work during the day.

My hubby works during the day and his tactic is to have a home cooked meal on the table every night by his wifey. Lucky b****rd!

Munchy
02-25-2014, 02:19 PM
Haha, I had a feeling someone would ask, but my post already felt too long. It's nothing all that exciting really - I just cook a lot on the weekend so that I have a healthy, on-plan main dish waiting for me when I get home during the week. At most, I'll have to cook an extra vegetable in the evening which takes about 15 minutes. But a protein - fish, chicken, dal, whatever I cooked during the weekend - is always there waiting for me. This is huge for me, because the worst state for me to be in is tired, hungry and thinking "hm, what sounds good for dinner? Maybe I'll just order in...."

Me too! I even make breakfast and lunch for two weeks ahead of time, and I definitely have cooked over 60 meals in one day. Not only does it make it easy and cheaper for me, but I don't have to cook and clean my kitchen every day :)

Arctic Mama
02-25-2014, 05:29 PM
Bulk cooking is great. And count me as one where drinking water before eating has definitely helped. Not always, but it's a good start.

Bogus diet tip? Eating small OR clearly defined meals. I do better grazing some days, eating epic feasts with long fasts others, and occasionally with equally divided and sized meals, too. There is NO rule on eating frequency or portions that has fit me a majority of the time, it varies throughout a given month based on food availability, the choices I make, my hormones, activity level, waking time, you name it.

alaskanlaughter
02-25-2014, 05:38 PM
Now I'm curious I gotta know, what's your tactic? :)

Yes I suppose bogus might not be the right word because people love to do what they do. I suppose no fruit works for me as a snack because all fruit makes me hungry. I must be sensitive to the fructose or something. If I do have fruit it must must must be accompanied by protein. Eating an apple makes my stomach churn in 10min flat. Eating an apple with peanut butter is quite satisfying.

A trick that has actually worked out for me is drinking tea in the late afternoon. I drink a very heavily spiced cinammon tea that is so gratifying that it literally qualms my late afternoon munchies. To someone else this will definitely not work.

I have a friend who's "trick" is to sit down at a restaurant and promptly divide her meal into 2 and box half of it right away.

What tea do you drink? The teas that I've tried just taste like very mildly flavored hot water :( but I'd love to find something that I like.

Wannabeskinny
02-25-2014, 05:51 PM
What tea do you drink? The teas that I've tried just taste like very mildly flavored hot water :( but I'd love to find something that I like.

It's called India Spice made by Yogi http://www.yogiproducts.com/products/details/classic-india-spice/

It's strong but sooooooo good! And it's caffeine free! I carry some in my purse too. I find it in my grocery store but you can buy it on amazon too.

magical
02-25-2014, 06:30 PM
Liking this thread :)

Looking through all the 'bogus' diet tips that have been posted here, gosh, we're all so different:


apple test - never heard of it before!
salad test - hmmm, won't work for me. Don't exactly like particular types of salads and even if I'm starving (physically hungry), I'd rather go out to buy other food.
cut out sugar soda - nope, won't work too as I hardly ever drink them.
cut out fruits - nooo.. love fruits too much to cut them out.
drinking tea in late afternoons - I actually do this but not with tea. I drink coffee with sugar and milk. Gotta have the caffeine kick.
cleanses - yeah, I was fooled by this one in my dieting days. Never again.
eat breakfast tip. I do this. But I eat breakfast because I'm hungry.
drink water to curb hunger. Drinking water is good for your skin and that's my no. 1 reason for doing so, not to curb hunger.
cook during the weekends to stock up for the week. Really good idea actually. Might try this one.
eating small or clearly defined meals. I eat clearly defined meals. I used to graze but have now changed my habits, though I must say that I go through periods of defined meals and grazing anyway.


The diet tip that I have found to not work for me - avoid artificial sweeteners as they make you put on weight round your tummy.

Well, I've avoided artificial sweeteners but still had a bit of a belly. It was not until I got to a lower weight (combined with doing heaps of crunches) that my belly became flatter.

alaskanlaughter
02-25-2014, 10:57 PM
It's called India Spice made by Yogi http://www.yogiproducts.com/products/details/classic-india-spice/

It's strong but sooooooo good! And it's caffeine free! I carry some in my purse too. I find it in my grocery store but you can buy it on amazon too.

Thank you! I will look for that when I go to the store.

LiannaKole
02-25-2014, 11:14 PM
I called bullcrap on the one where it says to visualize in detail eating the thing you want, and that that will reduce your craving for it. What a load of BS. Also, there is evidence that visualizing yourself doing something in a given situation can contribute to forming a habit of doing that thing. Not good.

Otherwise...

1. Always eat breakfast.
Nope. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I eat it when I'm hungry, though - I don't muscle through without food (which would fail epically).

2. Drink water when you're hungry b/c of dehydration
Yes! This works for me, because I do get those signals crossed. Sometimes I think I'm starving, even right after a meal. Nope, just thirsty.

3. Many small meals a day.
Most often this fails me. I get so tired of finding things to eat 6 times a day. My meals vary from 2-4 times a day, generally (more meals = smaller meals). I try to eat when I'm hungry and not just when it's mealtime. And also, a bunch of tiny meals doesn't fill me up at all - but neither can I eat only huge meals. So, it varies.

Wannabeskinny
02-26-2014, 08:16 AM
Oh yes the several small meals a day. I tried to do that for years! The only thing that has accomplished is to make me think about food all day long. I only eat when I'm hungry now and that's usually 2-3 meals a day, and maybe a snack but usually not. It's so nice to eat and then stop thinking about food for a few hours.

BettyBooty
02-26-2014, 08:45 AM
I couldn't do the 6 small meals a day, either. I found it too hard trying to come up with enough satisfying combinations and keep it around 250 calories. Three meals and maybe a snack works so much better for me.