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I don't know how to control cravings

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Old 02-18-2014, 12:37 AM   #1
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Default I don't know how to control cravings

I'm having a serious hurdle in my weight loss right now. I have lost 50 lbs over the past year...but recently it has been so hard for me to stay on program recently. I gave in to cravings a few times and now I find it SOOO hard to control my cravings. I'll be doing good for a few days and then I'll get a craving for chipotle or pizza or especially pasta (carbs) and it's like all I can think about until I eat it.

I sometimes feel consumed by thoughts of food. I wish I could be one of those people who can take 1 small slice of pizza of control myself but I find it nearly impossible. (

I would love some tips or people who have overcome something similar.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:00 AM   #2
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Hi there,

It sounds like you may need to figure out whether you're better off limiting your trigger foods or fully abstaining from them. Some people can learn to have just one slice of pizza, while others find it so challenging that it's easier to part ways with pizza altogether. Trial and error, combined with some soul searching, should point you in the right direction. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Old 02-18-2014, 01:09 AM   #3
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If you can put together a streak of two or three days without simple carbs like flour or sugar it can help your cravings diminish. The first couple of days you will crave them, and then the cravings will lessen. Don't start eating the pizza, chipotle, etc. again, or the cravings will start again. Make yourself some healthy versions of those foods at home.

Last edited by Valkyrie1 : 02-18-2014 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:08 AM   #4
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Read Brain Over Binge. Seriously. And then read The End of Overeating.

Then practice.

http://www.amazon.com/Brain-over-Bin...ain+over+binge

http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Overea...+of+overeating

Many of us struggle in this area, but there's no magical solution. Sometimes the obvious - removing the hormonal food cues that trigger most of our voracious eating cycles - can solve 90% of the issue. That's the way it is for me, when I am low carb. It's freedom from so much of the head and physical food cravings I would get, and absolutely worth it.

The last 10%, though, is strategy, purposeful balance of treats with normal daily diet, and plain old exercising the mental 'no!'. There's nothing else for it, I've found.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:52 AM   #5
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I just think of cravings as a need for something other than food. Because I've tried to satisfy my cravings but they never go away. Which to me just means that they're not about food to begin with. So if I'm craving cookies and then my craving doesn't go away after I have a couple, and then I eat a bunch and feel "calm" but then the next day I'm craving them all over again. Sound familiar? I just figured out that it's not the cookie's fault. I'm just trying to supress a feeling that doesn't have anything to do with food. And ultimately restricting yourself for too long will make those cravings pretty intense.

Real hunger goes away once you give it food. If it doesn't go away or it comes back asking for the exact same thing then chances are it's not real hunger. I've been learning to sit with my feelings and have noticed that a bunch of feelings do come up when I'm supposedly "hungry" - like anger, loneliness, boredome, frustration, unhappiness etc. Once I do that letting go of the food has become easy - now on to the hard part and dealing with those actual feelings hehe.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctic Mama View Post
Read Brain Over Binge. Seriously. And then read The End of Overeating.

Then practice.

http://www.amazon.com/Brain-over-Bin...ain+over+binge

http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Overea...+of+overeating

Many of us struggle in this area, but there's no magical solution. Sometimes the obvious - removing the hormonal food cues that trigger most of our voracious eating cycles - can solve 90% of the issue. That's the way it is for me, when I am low carb. It's freedom from so much of the head and physical food cravings I would get, and absolutely worth it.

The last 10%, though, is strategy, purposeful balance of treats with normal daily diet, and plain old exercising the mental 'no!'. There's nothing else for it, I've found.
Bump.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:25 PM   #7
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Congrats on the 50 lbs gone, that's awesome! It's really fabulous, IMO, that you've done it over the course of a year - to me that means that you've been truly learning the skills to get you through the rest of your life.

Having said that, I've experienced the same thing during my journey. I started in January 2011 and for me, the best strategies have been to:
  1. Change things up. At first, I used WW Online and weighed weekly to stay motivated, but when I felt like slipping, I would start weighing every day, or I'd stop weighing altogether and make my goal to work out 5x per week, or something else. This year, I canceled WW and started using MyFitnessPal (which tracks calories instead of points) and it has really helped me. Just having something "new" to do helps me a lot.
  2. Give in, but only a little. I'm a binger, so when I just can't resist anymore, sometimes I just give in; but instead of my "old binges" I work to "lessen" the after-effects. So, I still buy "high-desire" food, just MUCH less of it. It's the difference between a 4,000 calorie binge and a 1,000 calorie binge. And NO GUILT afterwards, I gave myself permission. Can't kick myself about it later!
  3. Work out a little more. Sounds silly, but it's the ultimate way for me to redirect my cravings. If I still feel a craving after a workout, then I'll give in (again, working to lessen it), but knowing that you just burned 500-600 calories makes the binges smaller, at least for me. Plus, it's way easier to forget about it afterwards because I worked out and burned extra calories already.
  4. Just say no. I read an article about a scientific study regarding addiction that stated the ability to "just say no" actually strengthens over time, with more practice. Just knowing that helps me because I know the more often I can just resist, the easier it will become.
Hang in there! I read a lot of books, articles, etc. when I'm feeling like giving in, anything to strengthen my resolve. It won't "just happen" - I have to work hard at it, but it's really worth it.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:22 PM   #8
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I agree exercise can help.

Also do you have hidden carbs in sauces or condiments?

Are you eating enough fat? Sometimes low carbers don't eat enough fats. Coconut oil and grass fed butter are great.

Drink enough water. Going wheat free or grain free helps some with appetite.

Artificial sweeteners can hurt appetite.

Also everytime you have a processed food, there is a chance for a hidden trigger.

Last edited by diamondgeog : 03-02-2014 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyrie1 View Post
If you can put together a streak of two or three days without simple carbs like flour or sugar it can help your cravings diminish. The first couple of days you will crave them, and then the cravings will lessen. Don't start eating the pizza, chipotle, etc. again, or the cravings will start again. Make yourself some healthy versions of those foods at home.
I attest to this. I once heard a nutritionist state that if you want to give up sugar then you have to forgo it for 3 days, but you will crave it for the 3 days. After that the cravings will disappear. Well I had to try this because I love sweets. It actually works, I guess once it's out of your system your body does not crave it any longer so it makes sense with the others foods like Chipolte as well. Good luck.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Arctic Mama View Post
Many of us struggle in this area, but there's no magical solution. Sometimes the obvious - removing the hormonal food cues that trigger most of our voracious eating cycles - can solve 90% of the issue. That's the way it is for me, when I am low carb. It's freedom from so much of the head and physical food cravings I would get, and absolutely worth it.

The last 10%, though, is strategy, purposeful balance of treats with normal daily diet, and plain old exercising the mental 'no!'. There's nothing else for it, I've found.
^this^

I believe that sugar (and flour? maybe) come down to a physical addiction, just like drugs or alcohol. Alcoholics in recovery are supposed to practice complete abstinence. I believe that the same way some people can drink but never have an alcohol addiction, that others can eat sugar/flour products and never form an addiction. But just because I can drink, take it or leave it, no cravings, not alcohol abuse issue, that doesn't diminish the addictive quality of alcohol for some people. Same for sugar.

So I now treat it as an addiction. I am an addict and I must be careful. 90% of the time I am grain free, all grains and even fruits because I get cravings I have a hard time controlling. But 10% of the time, I eat "normal" stuff, like today went to a brunch and had a piece of bread. Sugar I try to stay away from 99% of the time. The white stuff, not fruits. (Those I treat like breads, like treats) Sugar I treat like my drug, and I try at all costs to avoid it because UNLIKE say oats, I will actually notice a lot effects from a sugar binge (depression, fatigue, sleepiness)...where as grains just cause an increase in cravings, but I'm ok afterwards. I save sugar treats for very special occasions. That's what works for me. Helps me keep craving away so far...
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:49 PM   #11
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This is a learning process.

What works for one, may not work for another.

I love fruit, but! It does not love me. So, I don't eat a lot of it.

But bring on the veg and protein.

As far as things like pizza, I experimented with food until I found, a recipe, that is tasty and healthy!

It took like 3 years, but so worth it!
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by shcirerf View Post
This is a learning process.

What works for one, may not work for another.

I love fruit, but! It does not love me. So, I don't eat a lot of it.

But bring on the veg and protein.

As far as things like pizza, I experimented with food until I found, a recipe, that is tasty and healthy!

It took like 3 years, but so worth it!
Would you be willing to share the recipe, or the principle of how to keep it healthy? Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:42 AM   #13
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If you go the moderation route, I find it helpful to make sure your meals are balanced and find healthier alternatives. I love pizza and still have it weekly, but I never eat pasta or pizza on its own anymore. Instead of eating three pieces of pizza with sides like wings and bread sticks, I now eat two slices with a homemade salad beforehand. I also love to cook my own pizza at home on wheat tortillas, because one tortilla is equal to one slice of pizza from places like Pizza Hut, or even less calories, if you're careful with the cheese. The salad or veggies will take up room on your plate and give you more flavors to make the meal more satisfying on less (vs. just a big plate of the same pasta or pizza which taste the same every bite, the salad or other veggies help mix it up).
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Waterbunny77 View Post
I attest to this. I once heard a nutritionist state that if you want to give up sugar then you have to forgo it for 3 days, but you will crave it for the 3 days. After that the cravings will disappear. Well I had to try this because I love sweets. It actually works, I guess once it's out of your system your body does not crave it any longer so it makes sense with the others foods like Chipolte as well. Good luck.
I wish it was as easy as 3 days. But it is not.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:54 AM   #15
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I would ask a few questions
1) Are you eating enough?
2) Are you exercising?
3) Has your craving lasted longer than a couple days?

I think I have found that we will often overeat other things instead of eating what we crave. Maybe eating the pizza would solve the craving.

I have to say that in my initial 160 lb weight loss, I ate pizza nearly ever week during the last 100 lbs or so. My husband and I would go out to eat every weekend at a pizza parlor and order a large (most times vegetarian) pizza. Initially, I could eat 3 or 4 slices but eventually, I became satisfied with 2 slices as a meal. It was the only time during the week that I ate cheese. I eventually gave up dairy completely and we stopped going out for pizza.

Also, Chipotle can be a very diet friendly meal. My normal order at Chipotle is about 350 calories. I either go with the salad (no rice) or do a bowl with brown rice and eat half the bowl. Since I don't eat dairy, I skip the cheese and sour cream.
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