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Do you budget emotional eating into your diet?

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Old 09-05-2011, 01:12 PM   #1
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Default Do you budget emotional eating into your diet?

I find myself looking for snacks in the evening. I can usually tell when it's because I'm hungry vs when I'm bored or lonely (if DH is working). I told myself I needed to pick up some low calorie snacks I can eat, figure in to my calorie allowance, for bored nights... Then I thought maybe I should not do that? I mean it's one thing to have low calorie snacks on hand for when I had an early dinner and I really am a little hungry after I put the kids to bed, but I should not be trying to "fit" emotional eating into my calorie budget since that's something I want to address and eventually stop...

So do you budget in emotional eating into your diet?
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:37 PM   #2
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I have the same issue-emotional/boredom eating at night- and the same thinking about it! One side of me thinks 'Why make it harder on myself than I need to? If that's when I want to eat, I should just eat' and the other side of me thinks 'I need to use this as a time to learn not to eat when I'm not hungry and when my body doesn't really need extra energy or calories at that point.'

I decided on the latter and just lock that $hit down after my last planned meal . It's a struggle that I don't always win (espeically if I start rationalizing it by thinking about how hard I worked out, how my muscles need to repair, etc.), but I feel like it's worth it because it's something I need to learn how to control.

I make sure I hit my calories for the day in my last meal and know that I'm giving my body what it needs for the night, even if I do start to feel a little hungry. Then I start looking forward to breakfast .
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:42 PM   #3
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No. I like a snack a couple of hours after dinner, but it's because I like a snack, not because I'm bored or lonely or have PMS or whatever... You're right, that kind of eating is what you want to get over.

I'd say it's OK to budget your calories if you want, but not for emotional eating.

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Old 09-05-2011, 02:56 PM   #4
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I tend to hold off on most of my calories until later in the day. I'll eat decently for breakfast and lunch, but I make sure I have plenty of calories left for dinner plus whatever I feel I might need to eat later in the evening. If I don't budget for this, I will feel deprived and generally eat worse, or just say the heck with it and eat what I want anyway, which is destructive.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:25 PM   #5
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I do my emotional eating late at night, that's when 99% of my binges happen. At first I tried to NOT save calories for it, since in a way that's "allowing" it, but it didn't work. Not from lack of trying, but I obviously have not learned to gain control over my late night eating impulses. So now I do save calories for snacks, and it helps.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:39 PM   #6
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No. I like a snack a couple of hours after dinner, but it's because I like a snack, not because I'm bored or lonely or have PMS or whatever... You're right, that kind of eating is what you want to get over.

I'd say it's OK to budget your calories if you want, but not for emotional eating.

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Old 09-05-2011, 03:41 PM   #7
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I'd say no. It's about your mindframe, anyways. If you budget 200 extra cals, saved from earlier in the day, to enjoy a snack while vegging...that's great! But budgeting for stress-eating just sounds counter-productive.

I like calorie counting and keeping a food journal, so when I am done for the day with my count...I AM DONE. Just water from then on out.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:08 PM   #8
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Part of my problem was eating while bored, but I decided to do away with altogether. If I find myself bored and wanting to eat, I'll drink water. This helps me drink enough water for the day and stops me from wasting calories on snacks I dont really need.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GlamourGirl827 View Post
but I should not be trying to "fit" emotional eating into my calorie budget since that's something I want to address and eventually stop...

Just going to throw out there consider if this is what you want to address and stop right NOW

And by that I mean too many people strive for perfection to quickly. Is that the problem that needs focus at the moment. or is slapping a bandaid on it (planning) and coming back to it later a better choice

Also, if you PLAN and BUDGET and PRESELECT an evening snack, then it wont be emotional. Perhaps the way to short circuit the emotional aspect is not denial denial denial, but preemptive strike with a planned rational snack at a time when you might be more likely to eat emotionally. Take the emotion out of it, not the food.
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Old 09-06-2011, 02:18 PM   #10
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Would it help to budget calories, but to plan to reduce them gradually, using lower- and lower-calorie snacks? Diced cucumber sprinkled with a bit of salt makes a nice snack, for instance, and it's very low calorie indeed. You could work down to something like that, then stop the snacks altogether.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tuende View Post
'I need to use this as a time to learn not to eat when I'm not hungry and when my body doesn't really need extra energy or calories at that point.'
I vote for this.

Planning for snacks is great, but planning for emotional eating just continues to enable emotional eating. And (sorry can't remember whose sig I saw this in!) if hunger isn't the problem, then food isn't the answer.

A couple of suggestions - chew gum (cinnamon in particular seems to help with cravings) to keep your mouth busy, and find a hobby or activity to keep your hands busy.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:04 PM   #12
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I tried not allowing any cals for the night time snack I don't need but look forward too and I end up having a rice cake last night and going over by 40 cals. I think I will try leaving 40 cals for tonight so I can have a rice cake. I go to bed early so im not looking to munch for a long time like during tv watching. But I look forward to my snack ( or glass or wine) after the kids go to bed.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:19 PM   #13
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You know, what you describe doesn't sound like big-time emotional eating. You haven't mentioned feeling out of control or going on binges. If you tend to fancy an evening snack, and you can budget for it, eat something reasonably healthy and stay within your calorie budget without any difficulty, then I don't see that as a problem. Is there something you like as a small treat which is low in calories, and where it's easy to stop at one? They're good for situations like this. I have the odd bit of chocolate, and that's certainly not because I'm hungry. It's always a very small piece, 20 calories or less, and I eat it only if I have the calories to spare that day. I think of it as a small treat rather than emotional eating, and it's helped the whole dieting experience be enjoyable rather than making me feel deprived. Emotional eating is when you suddenly realise with a jolt that you're just eaten an entire packet of biscuits without quite knowing how it started.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:07 PM   #14
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I don't think there is wrong with budgeting some nighttime eating if that's when you prefer to eat. Last night, for instance, I made tacos. I only ate one (normally I'd eat two) but then I made a smoothie after putting DD to bed and that worked really well.

If you feel like you can't control yourself, though, then it's probably better to avoid nighttime snacking all together.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:16 PM   #15
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I am wanting to snack eat right now... every night after the kids go to bed I want to eat... even though most nights I am not hungry at all. I am drinking water instead...
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