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Old 11-28-2004, 02:38 AM   #1  
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Location: Portland, OR
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Default Introduction and basic question?

Hello, everyone--

I've been reading the board here every now and then, and I think I posted once long ago. You all sound like such an interesting group that I should get over my reluctance to post, but I tend toward being quiet. No offensive is meant.

I have been struggling with a basic question for some time now, and I was wondering what you all might make of it. The reason I call it basic is because it deals with a pretty fundamental component of any program: not eating when one isn't hungry. Lately, I've realized that's my biggest problem; I'm rarely hungry when I eat. When I do manage to not eat when I'm not hungry, I'm always shocked at how little I actually need to feel satisfied and I nearly always lose weight. But, after a few weeks, I start eating when I'm not hungry. I know I'm doing it, but I can't seem to stop--I guess that's why they call it compulsive eating.

So, my question is what can I do to keep myself from eating when I'm not hungry? Are there any strategies that you use? What recommendations might you have? I mean, everyone knows "do not eat when you're not hungry," but, saying that to a compulsive eater is like saying "do not clean the house when it is not dirty" to a compulsively neat person (I'm rather the opposite of that, myself ). Obviously, I shouldn't eat when I'm not hungry. But how can I go about stopping?

Sometimes, distraction works, but too often it doesn't. I realize that my problems have deeper, emotional roots, and I spend a lot of time trying to work through the fears that perpetuate my current overweight state. But thinking about those dilemmas or trying to take my mind off food doesn't help much.

I would appreciate any advice.


SW: 300 lbs
CW: 280 lbs
GW: 160 lbs
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Old 11-28-2004, 09:22 AM   #2  
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i'll start!!! it's a daily battle, but it does get easier. first step: when that munchy urge strikes, DRINK SOMETHING WITHOUT CALORIES. you might very well be thirsty. in fact, most of the time i AM thirsty and not hungry, but i've managed to confuse the two.

and the second thing is to keep track of your emotional 'temperature.' often, we're munching in response to some trigger or other. and the unpleasant thing about this is that the trigger may have happened a couple of days earlier. some folks keep a food diary, and that might be a good idea for you to do for a couple of weeks, so that you can see what you're eating and when. and if you add the emotional issues as well, you might be able to see some patterns.

and post more!!!!
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Old 11-28-2004, 09:40 AM   #3  
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Default Study on Chewing...

Gosh I could have written that post myself. That is what I do as well. And yes, when I am really hungry it takes little to satisfy me. But once I start eating compulsively I cant stop, it feels like there is no end to the food I can fit in there.

A frined told me that there was a study done on eating and feeling satisfied. They found that it isnt the actual food landing in your stomache that makes you feel better but the chewing and tasting. The recommendaiton was gum. You should buy many flavors of gum. ALso flavored coffee has actually a minute amount of sugar, so it will not disrupt your calorie intake. I was never a gum chewer, I am now and it is helping.

I dont want bypass surgery but I am considering it as I wonder if that will stop my hunger and end the daily battle. In the meantime gum is helping.

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Old 11-28-2004, 09:40 AM   #4  
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Hey there and welcome!

Do you plan out your food for the day? If you have breakfast, a mid morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner etc planned out its easier to not snack in between. (because you always know that you don't have to wait long!!!)
What you eat will also make a difference - wholewheat bread makes you feel satisfied for longer than white. Lean meat and other protiens at every meal also help you feel fuller. Regular meals will keep your blood sugar levels constant so you won't have a physical craving to nibble - it will also help with the psychological/emotional aspect too.
Have some healthy snacks ready, cut up veggies and dips, low fat yogurt, rice cakes, veg soup etc for when you can't resist.
Know your worst times - mine is when I get in from work and in the evening so I make sure I keep busy. I read, come on to Fat Chicks, have a bath, exercise, clean out a cupboard etc, make my lunch for the next day. Some people knit and do other things with their hands.
I also make sure I have a treat for the evening - a glass of wine or a mini choc bar or something - it helps to know I have that waiting.
I struggle with portion size and eating too much at other times, some of it is habit and YOU CAN CHANGE HABITS! When I've had a horrible day and i want to 'comfort' eat I tell myself that it isn't the only thing that will comfort me - talking to a good friend, having a lovely hot bath (a little obsession of mine), buying a magazine and reading it with a low fat/low sugar hot choc drink, putting on a face pack, posting here and loads of other things will help.

Make sure you are drinking enough too!
Well that's all - if I think of anything else I'll tell you! Good Luck, we're all here for you!
Love Annie x
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Old 11-28-2004, 09:03 PM   #5  
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Food is a constant struggle for most of us, and that's why we're here afterall.

Annie shared some great tips and I 100% agree with everything she said. It's all about habits... and changing old bad habits into new good habits I know it can be very hard and I know I myself still turn to food for comfort.. Afterall, old habits die hard. However, as long as you're concious of why you're eating when you're eating and make an effort to acknowledge your weak moments... you will beat them. Start with baby steps, and making small positive changes... trust me, then everything else will fall into place.

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Old 11-28-2004, 09:47 PM   #6  
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You have received some very good advice. I don't have much to add to that except I can relate 100% to what you are going through. It is the same for me and I take it one day at a time. Just know that you are not alone. Try some of the tips that you have been given and see if those help. I know that drinking something when I am hungry sometimes helps. Most of the time it is a battle of the wills. Me being strong versus giving in. Hang in there!
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Old 11-29-2004, 04:03 AM   #7  
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Location: Portland, OR
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Thanks for all your advice; I'll certainly try your suggestions. I never really gave gum a fair shot, but I'll see if it works, and I'm sure that I'm thirsty more than hungry sometimes. While I wish none of us had to struggle with this, it was really great to hear that other people feel this way. Most of the people I've talked to about weight loss seem to think that all I need is to know more about nutrition--which helps but is not nearly as motivating as they seem to think. Anyway, thanks again!


SW: 300
CW: 280
GW: 160
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:21 AM   #8  
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This is probubly my biggest struggle to. I had to realize that my eating had little to do with being hungry and more about filling various "issues" in my own life.I had made a habit of pushing food into my mouth everytime I was bored,sad,frustrated,you name it.Braking this behavior pattern is a continuing challange.One tool for me has been a puzzle game for my computer for the "bored" times and 'posting here and other sites like Soapnet(I watch soaps). I am constantly serching for ways to stay away from food.
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Old 11-29-2004, 02:49 PM   #9  
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I certainly hear you on this one! I also seem to eat for emotional state or moment: I celebrate by eating; I cheer myself up by eating; I eat when I'm mad; I eat when I'm happy. Lately, I've been trying to ask myself what I really want, i.e., are you really hungry or do you just want to relax in front of the TV. It's seems hardest to keep from munching while watching TV--I'm a soap fan, too. Sadly, we don't get SoapNet where I live, so I'm relegated to using my trusty VCR. I watch GH and AMC consistently. Nice to know we have soaps in common, too!

Take care,
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Old 11-29-2004, 03:44 PM   #10  
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Hi and welcome. I eat just because I can. Not necessarily because I'm hungry. I'm worse when I'm home and bored. Instead of taking a long walk or even a long bath, I'll find myself munching on whatever—some good, some bad—but it all adds up.

You were given some great advice. Starting today (again) I'm planning out my meals for the week. I know it does help me to be more accountable when I know what I'm going to eat for that day. When that day comes and it's something I'm just not in the mood for that day, it's not uncommon for me to switch a meal with another one, as long as it won't put me over my calories for the day. As for snacks, I just put a list of acceptable ones for the day—yogurt, apples, oranges, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and pickles, etc. Then since I have access to the internet, I just plug in what I eat into to keep track of my food intake.
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Old 11-29-2004, 05:08 PM   #11  
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for susanne - and anyone else who's interested: yep... i've had the surgery. but even more important, if you have any questions or concerns about it, just holler [via pm or something here]... and you're all welcome to visit the WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY forum, where there are several waayyyy postops, new postops, 'thinkers' and supportive visitors.

Believe me, the surgery is NOT an easy decision, and it's NOT a coward's way out, and it's NOT the 'easy way,' and it's NOT a cop-out. i always tell people that they STILL have to deal with their food demons, with head hunger, with emotions. and whatever they can do before the surgery makes it easier afterwards.

remember this story of a man doomed to fail: he came to a postop support meeting 10 weeks after his surgery. he'd lost about 75 pounds. and he proudly stated that he'd eaten a dunkin donut!!! the room erupted with comments like 'WHAT were you thinking?' 'WHY would you do that?' and his answer: i bought the coffee and the donut was free, so i ate it.'

he hasn't been back to support group since, and he's obviously trying to figure out a way to outsmart the surgery.
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