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The Craving Paradox

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Old 11-02-2010, 02:05 PM   #1
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Default The Craving Paradox

After a really nice loss week before last I had the inevitable few days of no budge on the scale (so much better than a gain, right?).

I've also been craving a BBQ bacon cheeseburger and fries from the little drive thru down the road. Coincidence? Is that the little voice of failure creeping up on me?

I struggle here with the mental aspects of it. I'm on track, I'm on plan, exercising, getting my fluids in and in general I'm seeing some really good results, I have no reason to complain.
My brain tells me I'm doing what I should, don't listen to that craving, keep plugging along and the stall will end when it is supposed to end.
My body says hey! lady! gimme gimme!

I went to the drive thru yesterday. I ordered my burger and fries, ate the fries in the car (cause they don't stay hot long) then got home and had about three bites of the burger, peeled the fat side off the bacon, ate the meat part, and pitched the remainder of the burger with no remorse whatsoever (honestly, I was full at that point).

Everything in the dieting world tells me I'm going to be punished for my decision (yes, conscious decision). And how was I greeted by the perky little wii voice this morning? With a .9 pound loss.

Body - 1
Brain - 0

I think the biggest part of this journey has been the realization that the only person in control of my success is me, and unfortunately, my brain isn't always the best giver of advice. That for me it's about moderation and listening to my body tell me what it needs, and not about letting magazine articles and tv news programs tell my brain what scientifically it "should" fit and eliminate from my diet.
And I do know that I am very lucky that I can make the drive through run once every few months and not have it send me on a bender (lets not talk about potato chips).

I think it's cool that we all come from different places here, and yet we all have banded together trying to find that elusive balance in this aspect of our lives, and I truly appreciate the support, the advice, and the community here. This forum and it's members satisfy a different craving, the one my brain needs. Thank you for being a part of my journey!
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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I hate those cravings... I know there is a direct corelation with the momentum of losing weight and sticking to our plans. When there is no weight loss it seems as if there is no reason to stick to the plan.

Giving in to a little craving might not be too bad as long as we a conscious of it. Mindless eating of a barrel of french fries would certainly not be "giving in a little". But things like french fries I have marked off my list at all. I don't really like them and would only eat them out of habit.. they go with hamburgers so I get them.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:11 PM   #3
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I am right with you in the cravings/brain issue.

If I do not see a fairly steady decline in the number on the scale, I immediately start craving things and wondering "whats the point". I am ok if there is downward movement, even just a little bit, but as soon as it stops, that I KNOW it will, I am all over the cravings and failure convo with myself.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:37 PM   #4
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I am right with you in the cravings/brain issue.

If I do not see a fairly steady decline in the number on the scale, I immediately start craving things and wondering "whats the point". I am ok if there is downward movement, even just a little bit, but as soon as it stops, that I KNOW it will, I am all over the cravings and failure convo with myself.
that is exactly me!
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:45 PM   #5
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yeah it sucks!
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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I don't get cravings for specific foods, just for something sweet or some bread. And once I start eating either, I can't stop. So I try very hard not to start.
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:31 PM   #7
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What a different perspective, eh? As time passes, I mean.

For instance, you couldn't pay me to eat a BBQ bacon cheeseburger with fries. It's just a huge fat bomb wrapped up with carbs... And I can't afford the calories! Or rather, I can eat a lot better tasting food for as many calories as are in something like that.

Just don't get the idea that your "cravings" are OK to indulge in, and you'll lose weight that way. Yeah, maybe the scale will go down the next day, but let's see what happens in a week...

Jay
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:15 PM   #8
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What a different perspective, eh? As time passes, I mean.

For instance, you couldn't pay me to eat a BBQ bacon cheeseburger with fries. It's just a huge fat bomb wrapped up with carbs... And I can't afford the calories! Or rather, I can eat a lot better tasting food for as many calories as are in something like that.

Just don't get the idea that your "cravings" are OK to indulge in, and you'll lose weight that way. Yeah, maybe the scale will go down the next day, but let's see what happens in a week...

Jay
Yeah, I get the cravings, until I SEE the food. Then I think about it, and look at it and I have to think and wonder if it is going to taste as good as I remember. Usually the answer is no. I much prefer my celery and fresh ground peanut butter to a greasy cheeseburger. But sometimes, man I just want one!
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:08 PM   #9
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I've been fighting cravings all day, despite not feeling at all hungry and having a sore throat. (Neither of which would ever be a natural deterrent for me.) I promised myself it would be a different kind of evening this evening. I'm not going to home, eat, feel stuffed, then feel guilty. I am, just this once, going to skip dinner (still on track with my minimum calories), wake up really hungry and ENJOY my breakfast instead of looking at it as the first step in a downward daily spiral. If I wanted to lose 10 pounds of ugly fat, I should cut my head off! Lol!
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:41 PM   #10
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What carly said.

I think this is a *very* individual thing. For me, there's also a fine line between which situations the quickest way to eliminate the craving is to indulge it (within reason) versus when it would start the hunger/craving cycle. Knock on wood, I've been generally good at judging which will happen.

For example, I was recently in a big city with a supermarket that has a lot of items I don't usually have access to. I happened to see a package of franks in puff pastry dough, which I think of as something that I *love*. I decided to buy a package--it was about 500 calories, and I had it for dinner one day.

You know, they were pretty good, but not nearly as special as I remembered. So I satisfied the desire, and I don't think I'll have the desire again.

As long as I don't overdo the carbs otherwise, I can usually tolerate minor splurges without starting the hunger pangs. One time I had a fairly large piece of Oreo cheesecake that I figured would probably make me hungry for about a day, and it did, but it was worth it! After the day when I was sort of hungry, I was fine after that.

Since "real life" often involves social events with food, I think it can be good to experiment to find out what your limits are. Even if it works out badly, it's a learning experience.
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