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Why can't I stop looking at food?

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Old 07-31-2011, 03:16 AM   #1
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I have a strange problem. I started my diet about 2 weeks ago and it's going fine,I am losing weight and I am not hungry. weird thing is that I seriously can't stop looking at food, I spend hours searching for recipes, watching the food network and fliping through recipe books looking at the pictures. I have never done this before I started to diet and I don't understand what is going on with me. Anyone eles have this problem or anything like it?
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:44 AM   #2
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Hi, May!

What kind of plan are you on? "Losing weight and not hungry" is a great way to be, but it's possible that you aren't eating enough and it's expressing itself through a preoccupation with food. That preoccupation is one of the things that a bunch of guys who volunteered for the Minnesota Starvation Experiment described.

On the flip side, it might not be a problem at all. I'm describing it as one because you phrased it that way, but it's also possible that you're just becoming more conscious of your eating habits. It's not problematic to become more keenly interested in food when you start paying attention to it a little more. It never took me any conscious effort to throw cheez-its down my throat, but I'm pretty aware of food in general now.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:24 AM   #3
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Its interesting..i myself have a similar issue..Every single time i go on a diet plan...i cant stop thinking of food..and its not because im hungry..but its more like "okay..im going to eat this and this..and this and this later"...its like..almost being obsessive about being prepared or planning ahead...its like..im always thinking about what im going to make or what im going to eat..or what i have eaten already..i find it funny in one sense and stupid in another..im thankful that its not a severe enough obsession to overtake my life..but it sure makes the dieting process feel a lot longer to goal.
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:36 AM   #4
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i think this happens to people when they're being more aware of what they're eating.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:13 AM   #5
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One of the things I have always HATED about having to be more conscious about what I eat (aka "dieting") is that I become semi-obsessed with food. I'm telling you, that alone has often made me give up on a diet plan. Even if it's a "healthy" plan---e.g., 1500 calories a day, nutrient-rich food, etc.,---I still become overly preoccupied with food when I diet.

Honestly, I think this is a natural reaction, though. I've done a lot of reading about dieting, weight gain, etc. (haven't we all!). A couple of books I've read are about intuitive eating, and one common thing they say is that dieting itself causes this preoccupation. Unfortunately for me, I've tried intuitive eating and other non-calorie-counting plans, but I cannot stick to them. So, I'm stuck with counting calories and living with being semi-obsessed with food.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:44 AM   #6
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I can sympathize with this. I am probably more pre-occupied with food now, but it's because I try to plan meals and snacks ahead in my mind so that I'm less inclined to just have "whatever" is available, making me more likely to go off-plan. I'll enter things in my calorie logger (I use fatsecret) ahead of time, to confirm the macro-nutrient balance and calories before I make food/buy food, and tweak as necessary later. I end up shopping more, coming up with new meal ideas to make eating healthy more interesting, stuff like that. In the past, I would have just been thinking "well let's just go to McDonalds for dinner" without thinking too much about it at all. For me, being more pre-occupied with food is still working out for the better, so long as I'm staying on plan and it results in me being more conscious of what I am eating.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:07 AM   #7
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I do this too - I love food, I love to cook, I'm always thinking of recipes - I just can't stop eating it though!

My recommendation is to switch your focus to another energy - is there anything else you enjoy? I love weightlifting so I prefer to focus on that instead.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:10 AM   #8
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I do this all the time, as well! I think it's because I LOVE food. It doesn't bother me. I try to focus on looking for healthy recipes that my whole family will eat. But I also save recipes that I want to try when I get to a better weight. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, as long as you're not EATING all kinds of food. But if looking at it makes you really hungry, maybe you should shift your focus elsewhere. Lol. Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:27 AM   #9
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This is so interesting because I was the exact opposite when I first started! I had to absolutely avoid looking at food as much as possible. I had to stop watching the food network, stop watching commercials on other channels, stop reading the recipe section of magazines, stop walking through the kitchen, leave the room if someone else got a snack etc. I was such a constant grazer- I would consume TONS of extra calories outside of my regular meals. I realized that even just seeing food made me want to eat all the time! The less I think about it the better .

Even now, I have a handle on most of these triggers, but I know it's not a good idea for me to be perusing recipes mid-afternoon when I'm the hungriest. Although, now I see where I get it from. If my mother sees someone eating, she WILL start eating too, even it's just a piece of gum or a mint in the car.
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:03 PM   #10
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Same thing happened to me. Never use to watch the food network channel, and while I was on a strict diet and losing weight I became obsessed with all of the cooking shows, day and night. When I went off the diet I stopped watching the food network...now that I've started back on the diet, here I am again, watching the food network channel. Strange and funny. I also notice that I've started telling my friends about the food channel and this or that show they must watch. haha Nutty. I think maybe I am just substituting all the yummy foods on tv for the foods I'm missing...it's like, I get to have my food and not gain weight from just watching it on tv. Sounds nuts. I watch the food network while I'm on my glider/exercise equipment. I don't care, as long as I keep losing the weight.

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Old 07-31-2011, 07:32 PM   #11
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Thanks so much to all of you. I am glad to hear I am not the only one who has gone through something like this.

I am not really on a plan I am just cutting out all the bad stuff(cake, chips, candy, pop,...) but still eating plenty so I don't think it can be due to starvation interesting to read about that experiment though.

It might just be me becoming more aware of my eating habits as several of you suggested.

Anyway, lots of great advice here for how to deal with so thanks again.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuende View Post
This is so interesting because I was the exact opposite when I first started! I had to absolutely avoid looking at food as much as possible. I had to stop watching the food network, stop watching commercials on other channels, stop reading the recipe section of magazines, stop walking through the kitchen, leave the room if someone else got a snack etc. I was such a constant grazer- I would consume TONS of extra calories outside of my regular meals. I realized that even just seeing food made me want to eat all the time! The less I think about it the better
Watching the food network is like food porn to me. I purposely don't watch it because I start getting hungry. I wish it were as easy to "shut off" the thoughts of food.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:35 AM   #13
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I do this too, But i've always been preoccupied with food. (Food blogs, TV shows, Recipes...As we speak im watching a episode of No Reservations!) as long as it doesnt drive me to shoving food in my face, Im okay!
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