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Cravings - Bad Food

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Old 06-21-2010, 01:54 AM   #1
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Default Cravings - Bad Food

For a long time I felt like I was unhappy with my weight, but not unhappy "enough". There was a point where I saw a picture of myself and though "is that really what I look like" and started to eat well. I worked incredibly hard at it and lost 25 lbs (about 1/2 way to where I wanted to be). This was on diet alone, and I thought I should start rotating exercise in - after all it's not all about how I look, but about being healthy.

Once I started working out, I started eating poorly. I suppose that the reasoning was that I was working out so I didn't have to eat as well and I could maintain my weight. It's now been two years...I can get on track for about 2 weeks and then I crave bad food (think cheese burgers...) and I gain and lose the same 5 pound over and over. It's interesting too because I can convince myself that it doesn't matter, eat terribly, and then I feel worse afterwords. I also feel incredibly fat, possibly more so than I felt before when I was 20-25 pounds heavier!

Any suggestions on how to motivate myself again? Or ease the cravings for terrible terrible food? A lot of times I find that it's related to my emotions, although it happens with most any type (sad, happy, stressed...)

Thanks so much for your thoughts!
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:33 AM   #2
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I don't know. I'm over 50 now. I started out with much more weight to lose than you (still have more after 50 pounds gone!). I just "suddenly" realized or accepted that I couldn't go on like I was. I don't want to be diabetic. I didn't want my knees or hips to get stiffer and sorer than they already were. If I didn't do something serious about my bad eating habits then they were going to do something serious about me.

I'm counting calories and eating whole healthy foods. But I am not denying myself things like bacon or real cheese. And I get to have cheeseburgers every now and then still. On plan. About twice a month I get together with a fellow bacon cheeseburger lover and we work on perfecting "the world's best bacon cheeseburger". We use local bacon, cheese, and beef. It's all about quality and it's a special event. Other burgers don't compare so I'm really not tempted by low quality imitations. And knowing I will get my amazing burger in a week, two weeks, *soon* makes staying on plan easier.

For me this is not a "diet" in that I'm not doing it to lose weight. This is how I plan to eat for the rest of my life. So finding something that I can live with is really important. Eating poorly is not an option. And once I get down to a healthy weight I'm not going back to my old ways.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:47 AM   #3
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I have found that eating whole foods and eliminating/reducing white carby foods/fast food/baked goods does a great job at reducing cravings.

I have also put things on a "permanent no" list. It's much easier for me to just say "I don't eat that" than to try to fit it in/work it in/fiddle with daily calorie totals. Plus, eating bad foods is often a slippery slope to eating MORE bad foods. The foods I don't eat are: fast food, sugar soda, chips, packaged baked goods. I also rarely eat fried foods or cream-based sauces. I know there are a lot of folks that consider moderation key for success, I don't handle moderation well. It's a mental relief to just say "no" to those kinds of foods.

Keeping a food journal to map your emotions to eating might also be beneficial. Coming up with new ways to handle stress will also be good - we will always have stress in our lives. I used to go right for a back of Salt & Vinegar Lay's chips (like I could find happiness at the bottom, or something).
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87 View Post
I used to go right for a bag of Salt & Vinegar Lay's chips (like I could find happiness at the bottom, or something).
Maybe the secret is finally realizing that whatever it was we were looking for was never ever at the bottom of that bag....
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:06 PM   #5
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My way won't work for everyone, I realize that and it may not be the healthiest way, but I know it is working for me.

I knew I needed to change the way I eat for life. However, I knew that forbidding myself to have certain things would spell "failure" for me. I am "on plan" 85ish% of the time. At other times, I have things I like, but not in huge amounts. I had a grilled cheeseburger with ALL the fixins yesterday. But the rest of the day, I made sure I got (most) of my water in and ate things on my plan.

So if you are the type of person who can enjoy "bad" foods in moderation, by all means....let yourself enjoy occasionally. If you aren't able to control your eating when having these sorts of things, then it is best to eliminate them.

Also, only having certain things (ice cream, candy, etc.) is really best for my out somewhere....instead of having it at the house where I might be more likely to overdo when I do choose to have these things.

I hope this helps.
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:34 AM   #6
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Thanks ladies.

I tend to eat fruits and veggies and lots of chicken or fish. I stay away from too many packaged foods or carbs just because fresh food can be so much better. Sometimes it's just easier to have something pre-prepared because I'm tired from work. Places like Trader Joes have good pre-marinated chicken that's pretty easy to cook, so I like to do that.

I don't really eat butter, mayonnaise, potato chips, candy, ice cream...and I do allow myself to cheat every so often. I like the idea of having the cheeseburger "partner" something to look forward to if it's really good and really worth it.

I think I have just been so stressed and down lately that it's been easy to slip. I'm really grateful for the support and feedback I've had here in such a short amount of time. Today on my way home from work I was stressed and tired, but I stopped at the store to buy some good food for the next few days and I told myself that it's great to be on track. I think that part of that is from feeling like I'm not alone...so thanks!
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:42 AM   #7
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It's really tough when you're basically doing this on your own. None of my friends or co-workers are making a switch to healthy eating (Eric my cheeseburger buddy is interested in the concept but he's not "there" yet; although seeing I get to have cheeseburgers and I'm still losing weight makes the whole healthy eating thing seem more do-able to him). Anyway, 3FC is really a huge help for me - there is so much experience here, so much great advice. And that has really helped me stay on plan. I sitll have to do all the heavy lifting but I don't feel so alone about it.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:30 AM   #8
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Sometimes the food cravings kill me! Pizza, burgers and fried chicken are the 3 cravings that hit the hardest. I've never really craved sweets.

I don't have any secret on how to battle those cravings though. When I'm driving to or from work I literally have to argue with myself to not stop at a fast food place or a pizza joint (and I pass at least 6 or 7), sometimes I win....and sometimes I don't
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:21 AM   #9
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Maybe you just need to give yourself permission to eat less healthy foods periodically & in moderation. My advice is to go somewhere & order OR buy a single-serving sized of whatever it is you are craving. That way, you know you CAN, but it isn't available en masse so you are eating out of control.

One other caution I would add is labelling foods as "good" or "bad". There is healthy & unhealthy, but the tendency is the transfer those good/bad labels to yourself, which is definitely not healthy for your self-esteem. Food is just food. It is fuel for our bodies, and thanfully, much of it is enjoyable as well! Taking the stigma out of certain key foods can definitely help reduce the power they seem to have over you.

Lastly, identify your true 'trigger foods', if you have any. For me, these are the things that lead me to eating gobs of unhealthy stuff for a few days, which definitely leads to weight gain. I absolute cannot indulge in baked goods. I love them, but they will make my rear end explode to its former size before I can come out of my food coma . Other foods, however, do not have that affect & I can enjoy them in moderation, but not daily.

I hope some of this is helpful to you. I guess we each have to figure out what is right for our bodies & our lifestyles.

I wish you all the best & congrats on taking on an active exercise regimen! That is awesome!

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Old 07-01-2010, 09:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombe View Post
... When I'm driving to or from work I literally have to argue with myself to not stop at a fast food place or a pizza joint (and I pass at least 6 or 7), sometimes I win....and sometimes I don't
I agree with Bombe... I have to say out loud, "Do you really want this? Are you going to regret it after that last bite? Don't do it!" etc. About 1/2 the time it works. If I said no every time it would probably (for me) trigger a binge. You have to say yes sometimes!

I feel better about a burger or pizza when I eat HALF what I'd normally eat... put the rest in the fridge.
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