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really need some advice on will power

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:24 AM   #16
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This was exactly my pattern....it was like being possessed. The only thing that has worked (really well) for me is going low carb.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:43 AM   #17
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Guys. Uhm. A lot of the things that I overeat on ARE healthy things, usually. Like salad. I'll go to town on a salad. I was just explaining what happened tonight. (And I can't control everything in the house, I live with someone else. She's supportive, but at the same time she fussed at me when I asked her to keep stuff away from me. "Where's your willpower??" she says. Well, I'm having a hard time with it, obviously.)

I plan my day, yes, I really do (not writing down, but I'll think out my whole day). But that hasn't helped.

Maybe changing my routine will help.
Are you eating out of boredom? I used to do that all the freaking time. Now I drink tea, water, or diet soda instead. I may have to pee all the time but I stay within my calories!

I also keep room within my daily calories to allow for my boredom eating so I can still "indulge." I'll portion out whatever it is I want to eat and eat that ONLY and only that amount. If I have a big bag of pistachios, for example, I'll count out 25, put them on a plate and sit down and eat them. Mindlessly, if I want to.

100-200 cal set aside for a little boredom snacking/eating can sometimes save my sanity.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:57 AM   #18
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A couple questions for you:

What you are experiencing in the evenings, would you label it a "binge" or just eating/overeating?

By the time you get home, what is your calorie count? You said you weren't physically hungry and that very well may be so!!! Just curious about how many calories you've had by the time you get to that point in your day.

What made you stop exercising? Just got sick of it? Demotivated? Lost the commitment? Or did something happen?
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #19
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some of the things i've done in the past:
- junk food that is for someone else. I don't eat it. it is not there for me. if i eat it, it would be like stealing
- i don't have junk food for my kids. No one actually needs it. Yes, they do need more calories than i do, but they can eat healthy calories
- it isn't enough for me to plan out my food in my head. i have to write it down ahead of time. Then i also have to write in everything else i ate. If i have to document it (ideally right before i eat it), i am way less likely to eat off plan. There is something about seeing the list of every lick, taste and bite that helps
- i avoid getting in to discussions with myself about having it. If i start argueing with myself (eg. a few carrots will be okay, i end up eating half the bag). best to be clear the answer is no till supper time than deal with the slippery slope
- change something physically in your house. i put a chair to the entrance of my kitchen for a while. It was a good reminder i had no reason to be in there!
-re-evaluate when you eat. It may be that in the evening is a more natural time for you to eat. Maybe you need a smaller breakfast and lunch and a more substantial snack later in the day to allow for those calories you are taking in. Then make a plan and stick to it and then re-evaluate
i know when my body is about to have a <whoosh> i often feel like i want to eat and eat and eat. I think of it as the way my body is trying to hold on to that fat. If i can recognize it and ignore it, i often see s <whoosh> a couple of days later.

good luck!
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:10 AM   #20
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I have an issue with this too. It's especially bad on Tuesdays and Thursdays since I get home late, haven't eaten and just "over do it" to compensate.

I try to have lots of hot tea and coffee (black) to keep the hand-to-mouth action going without actually adding calories. Some people have issue with coffee while trying to lose weight but I definitely haven't and am very caffeine tolerant so YMMV. For me, it's just a mental thing I don't need or want to eat but I WANT to eat. Hard to explain.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:01 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by coolacrity View Post
"Where's your willpower??" she says. Well, I'm having a hard time with it, obviously.)
My DH has definitely said this to be a number of times. I have thought a lot about will power- and researched it quite a bit, as well.

Take a peek at this video clip from UCSF called, "The Skinny on Obesity"
http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=23717

One of the first thing that Dr. Lustig says in this segment is, "No one can exert willpower over a biochemical drive that goes on every minute of every day of every year." He speculates that sugar has really messed up our dopamine and leptin responses.

Julia Ross, MD in her book, "The Diet Cure"- speculates the same thing:
http://www.dietcure.com/aminoacids.html
When I read the introduction to her book, it absolutely changed my life- and spoke to my very soul:

Almost everyone who has ever come into my office has felt like a failure. “I just don’t seem to have the willpower to stay on a diet anymore” or “I can never stick to the maintenance part of the plan.” Mostly, this is because they crave sweets or starchy carbs and can’t do without them for long. They start with “just a little” and end up eating a lot more than they feel they should. Often their spouses or other family members criticize them, saying, “Why don’t you just try harder?” “If you’d just limit yourself to one . . . ,” which only serves to make them feel even worse about themselves. “I guess they’re right,” they say, “I just don’t have enough self-discipline.” Yet oddly, these same people are usually doing well in every other aspect of their lives. They are effective at work, they keep the bills paid and the checkbook balanced, they organize their children’s lives beautifully. They are actually models of willpower.
We point this out. We remind them that they have lost weight—dozens, sometimes hundreds of times. Truly, there is nothing harder than dieting. Most of those critical spouses and family members could never stand the course of even one diet.

So if it’s not lack of willpower, what is wrong with you? Are you an emotional basket case who can’t get by without comfort food? If you had more strength, could you power through your problems without overeating? Should you feel ashamed of yourself for needing emotional sustenance from foods? No! I hope to help you understand why you are using food as self-medication. It’s not because you are weak willed, it’s because you’re low in

certain brain chemicals. You don’t have enough of the chemicals that should naturally be making you feel emotionally strong and complete.


Can anyone else relate to this? I know I could!
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #22
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@LockItUp At that part of the day, I would say that I've probably had 1200 calories? It depends on the day. If it's after work, I've probably had that or less, if it's the weekend I've probably had more.

@sontaikle Totally eating out of boredom. I usually eat during the one TV program I watch per night during the week, so it's pretty frenzied boredom. I stopped the recording schedule for it this morning, really hoping that'll help.

Also, I weigh every morning, so I do NOT like drinking anything I don't have to in the evening. But I think I may have to fight the urge not to drink and weigh once a week. I dunno. I hate the thought, though.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:34 PM   #23
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@sontaikle Totally eating out of boredom. I usually eat during the one TV program I watch per night during the week, so it's pretty frenzied boredom. I stopped the recording schedule for it this morning, really hoping that'll help.
If you find you are going crazy cutting out boredom eating entirely, it might help to do as I suggested. I find that managing it instead of trying to eliminate it completely has kept me on track.

Trying to eliminate it completely just drove me insane. Maybe it's better and healthier to not boredom eat at all, but not for me. That means my eating will be completely off track otherwise.

It's very easy to take a 100 cal bag of almonds and just sit there and eat, not having to worry about going overboard (I sneak them into the movies) or eat a piece of fruit in front of the TV, etc.

Sure, I may not get the satisfaction as if I were sitting down for a meal and paying attention to what I was eating, but at least I didn't polish off a whole giant bag of something!
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:37 PM   #24
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Drop breakfast and snacks and eat more in the evenings
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:51 PM   #25
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Guys. Uhm. A lot of the things that I overeat on ARE healthy things, usually. Like salad. I'll go to town on a salad. I was just explaining what happened tonight. (And I can't control everything in the house, I live with someone else. She's supportive, but at the same time she fussed at me when I asked her to keep stuff away from me. "Where's your willpower??" she says. Well, I'm having a hard time with it, obviously.)

I plan my day, yes, I really do (not writing down, but I'll think out my whole day). But that hasn't helped.

Maybe changing my routine will help.
Bottom line - it has nothing to do with willpower. On some level of your brain, for some reason, you are giving yourself permission to eat these foods, in these quantities, regardless of your plan or hunger cues. You need to get to the root of it and CHOOSE to stop.

It isn't something mythical or mysterious, it is a conscious choice your mind is making based on some rationalization. If your plan suits your lifestyle and body, so that the impulse to eat isn't physiological in nature or due to a deficiency/blood sugar swings/etc, it isn't willpower that is required but saying no to yourself and refusing to give in. Will makes the case sound moral and it isn't - it is a rational choice, one that can be made regardless of our emotional state. The food isn't prying your mouth open and you're not so starving that the physiological compulsion overrides all else. Thus, use your brain and say NO to yourself on whatever level you've permitted laxity. If you're not willing or able to so that I'd say it's a pretty firm signal you're better off maintaining until you are. Because without that choice, this will be an ongoing struggle for you.

That's my best advice as someone who has been there And I second low carb, that has helped me immensely in terms of satiety, but boredom/emotional eating is still it's own hurdle that needs managing regardless of the plan you're on.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:10 PM   #26
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Ask yourself "What Gives?" According to your ticker you've lost 120 pounds. WOW!!! What has changed? What were you doing before that you're not doing now -- Or what weren't you doing that you're doing now?

Have you been "out of control" before while you were losing the 120 pounds? Why, or why not? Something has changed.

You have two choices -- don't eat in the evening, or plan ahead to eat. If you're going to continue the eating, allow x number of calories and then eat that many calories -- sugar free pudding or sugar free jello with lite cool whip, or popcorn, or fruit, etc. Myself, I drink tea, and drink tea, and drink tea. If I'm craving sweet, it's the sugar free pudding. If I crave salty, it's the popcorn.

You obviously have demonstrated that you can succeed in losing weight. Are you suddenly getting compliments and has that maybe scared you a bit -- that sometimes happens. Your loss is an inspiration to me -- I've lost about 70 pounds and have a way to go -- it's great seeing others on this site that have been successful like you.

Hang tough - you'll get past this bump in the road!
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:43 PM   #27
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Drop breakfast and snacks and eat more in the evenings
That's certainly worth trying.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:11 PM   #28
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I also have an issue with eating out of boredom. I've found that I mainly want to chew or munch on something at those times I want to eat when not hungry. A couple years ago I was told by a relative that had lost a lot of weight (over 200lbs.) that she avoids doing the same thing by chewing gum. I've started doing that and it works for me. I think the term is "oral fixation" for the issue that causes some people to overeat, chew their nails, and some people to smoke or chew tobacco. Chewing gum doesn't really fix the problem, but at least all you are doing is chewing gum and not using tobacco products, biting nails, or overeating.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:36 PM   #29
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@Arctic Mama it isn't willpower that is required but saying no to yourself and refusing to give in.

Not to turn this into a debate about Free Will...but I'm not sure how that ISN'T the definition of willpower that most people use and struggle with. It's the sticking to the 'NO' that's the problem.

@sontaikle Heh heh, I'd love to just be able to manage, but I'm pretty trigger happy. And by that I mean I can have a 100 calorie pack of almonds (YUM)....but then have two more. And maybe some fruit and cheese. And before long I'll have a whole meal's worth of calories for a snack. It can be pretty terrible.

Also, your icon cracks me up. XD

I don't think I had enough calories and should eat at home today (grr, hope I don't binge), but I'm going to try to pack enough to not have to at home tomorrow. Good luck to me, and thanks for the suggestions. I've got quite a few options.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:29 PM   #30
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I'm not sure what it causing your after work problem specifically, but I can touch on a few things.

1. So, you eat as soon as you get home - when was the last time you ate prior to that? If it was 5 or 6 hours before, maybe it's simply time to eat again. Having healthy foods at home to eat is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with coming home and eating veggies. My guess is that somehow your blood sugar has dropped. I know that when I eat too many simple carbs during the day, my blood sugar (I'm not diabetic) goes crazy and I get that "I HAVE TO EAT" feeling. Maybe try to eat more protein throughout the day - you said you snack on carrots, so try adding some greek yogurt or hummus with them?

2. Try eating something before you leave to come home from work. I keep oatmeal at work to eat before I leave. It's still kind of tied to the blood sugar thing, but I'm not ravenous when I get home that way.

3. Change your routine. Go for a walk as soon as you get home or immediately jump into a project you want to do or don't go straight home from work. Whatever it is, change that cycle of coming home starving.

4. Check in with your head. If this is a new problem for you, when did it start? Are there other stressors going on for you right now? Food isn't the problem and therefore isn't the answer. Something else might be causing your anxiety or boredom. Tap into that. Solve that problem and you might be back to your more successful routine.

5. After you finish that are you still hungry? Maybe you just ate dinner.

6. If for right now, this beast is too hard to tame, are there other areas that you can adjust to accommodate it? In other words, if this meal is usually about 400 calories, can you adjust the rest of your day to fit it in?
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