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Old 08-26-2012, 11:26 PM   #1
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Default Chewing food then spitting it out?

Okay, before you get all crazy and think I'm doing this on a consistent basis, I'm not. Today, I baked brownies for my husband's buddy because he fixed my brakes on my car for me for free. When I got home, I grabbed a small piece of a brownie, chewed it up, then spit it out (gross, I know). I really just wanted the taste. My husband saw me do this and got immediately concerned. I told him it wasn't a big deal. This is honestly the first time I've ever done this, I really just didn't want all the calories. Big deal or no?
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:47 PM   #2
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This practice is seen sometimes in people who have eating disorders. Some even consider it an eating disorder. Google "chewing and spitting food".

As a social worker, I have seen clients with various eating disorders engage in this activity, so I can see why your husband was concerned.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:49 PM   #3
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I don't know if it's something to be concerned with. If you are doing it all the time, then I would say, yeah it might be a problem. But, you're not. You got the little taste you wanted. I know several people (myself included) who have done it a few times. Did it make me want to binge or throw up? No. It actually curbed binges in the past because I got the taste of what I really wanted. I can count on one hand how many times I did it in the past decade. Don't let it become routine and you'll probably be just fine.

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Old 08-27-2012, 12:05 AM   #4
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I should clarify that I wasn't saying you have an eating disorder or are at risk of one-only that chewing and spitting is a behavior seen in eating disorders.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
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ERK! I learn something new every day. I never would have associated the practice with an eating disorder.

I don't know anything official or medical, but I am smiling because I think you are doing what all the rest of us do - trying to think of creative ways to enjoy treats.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:28 AM   #6
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That is not healthy food behavior, don't go there! If it was truly a one-off, might I suggest next time waiting until you are either hungry and eating a bite fully, or just smelling the brownies and being satisfied with that? Even the desire to chew a food but then expel it signals a relationship with food that isn't balanced (that you are better off just getting the taste and spitting it out than consuming one bite - as though the one bite were forbidden/dangerous/intolerable/etc).

And the problem with behaviors like this, or purging after a big meal, is that once the behavior has been enacted with no perceived negative side effects, it becomes easier to justify it again in the future. That's a bad road to go down, even if it seems harmless and justifiable right now.

Next time - either eat the brownie bite or abstain. Either is a perfectly sensible option. Halfway between the two is not. A single, decent sized bite of even incredibly rich brownies is not going to be more than 50 calories. Moralizing 50 calories as bad or too much isn't a good mindset to get in, especially as an infrequent choice of food.
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Last edited by Arctic Mama; 08-27-2012 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:17 AM   #7
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You've written that it was a calculated one-time thing, so no, personally I don't think it's a huge deal. Would it be better for you to find a different way of indulging or abstaining? Sure. Otherwise what a waste of a perfectly good brownie!

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:26 AM   #8
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I totally get where you're coming from, but if someone I cared did that it would definitely set off alarm bells. In my honest opinion, you say you wanted the taste without the calories - but I don't think it's a particularly healthy way to go about it. That kinda food comes with the calories, incorporate it into your eating or don't. If you justify it as being ok, it might slip into your thoughts every so often and you'll create an unhealthy association with certain foods.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:20 AM   #9
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I'll second that. It happened once, OK, but it's one of those slippery slopes towards eating disorders. Better not start considering it as a viable option. It could also lead to worse.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:08 AM   #10
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As somewhat of an aside to the ED discussion; Your body also begins digesting food in your mouth, so even though you chewed and spit it out, you DID absorb at least a good portion of those calories that you had intended to avoid.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:22 AM   #11
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I did this a couple times when I was first changing the kinds of foods I eat. It was more of a 'I changed my mind, I don't want to eat this junk anymore' type deal though, so then I spit it out. As long as you don't keep doing it, I don't see this being a big deal.

ETA...have you tried Extra dessert gums? So yummy and you get that taste of dessert in your mouth. My favorite is rootbeer float and mint chocolate chip icecream. :-)

Link to before and after pics

Last edited by KatMarie; 08-27-2012 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kery View Post
I'll second that. It happened once, OK, but it's one of those slippery slopes towards eating disorders. Better not start considering it as a viable option. It could also lead to worse.


and on that note, I'll add that I myself, in the past, have done a great many stupid, unhealthy things in the name of weight loss. A lot of us have. (of course in my case, spitting out food is a usual sign that I don't like what just went past my lips!) But there comes a time when you realize that to lose weight & keep it off AND to be healthy while doing it, you just have to commit to the good old fashioned diet/exercise thing. There are MANY ways to do it! - you can find one that's right for you.

You CAN have ANYTHING you want,
but you CAN'T have EVERYTHING you want!
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:37 AM   #13
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As others have said, it's a slippery slope and be careful.

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Old 08-27-2012, 09:40 AM   #14
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I just want to say that if you go a really long time without sugary sweets you will eventually quit craving them, and the taste of them would actually be too sweet for you. At that point if you did take a bite of that brownie you wouldn't want the rest of it. This happened with me and bread. I am not supposed to eat much bread because I'm type II diabetic, but I love bread. I dream of making a loaf of home-made bread and eating the whole thing still warm from the oven with a stick of butter. About a month ago I quit eating bread altogether. It was hard at first, especially when we ate out and they brought that wonderful bread or rolls to the table. But now I am at the point where I just don't think about it anymore. I do know that if I indulge I will probably start the cravings all over again.

Having said that, I don't think eating one brownie would make that big of a difference with your weight loss. You can always balance out the calories somewhere else and as long as you are in control and don't inhale the whole pan of brownies it's OK. Or, you could set the brownie aside for 30 minutes, and then if you still want it, eat it, enjoy it, and go on with your day. This whole weight loss journey is about moderation, and a plan that you can live with the rest of your life.

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Old 08-27-2012, 10:04 AM   #15
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I had no idea it was eating disorder related. I don't do that particularly, but sometimes I will eat a piece of pasta I'm making for the family to make sure it's done..usually I don't spit it out (I figure one freaking penne isn't going to ruin my goals once a month), but I have. I can't imagine doing it for the "taste" would be "calorie free" because you did chew some of it.
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