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Old 07-12-2009, 10:02 PM   #1  
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Unhappy Cannot stop eating! Stress eating!

I recently lost ten pounds and was very happy with myself. However, I have since starting college and have regained five of those pounds in 4 weeks! I need help because I am very stressed with school and fear I have come an emotional eater to temporary relieve my stress. I go on binge episodes where I have four or 5 bowls of cereal or trail mix. My friends also have a lot of potluck dinners with fatty foods that I find so hard to resist. Please help get me back on track!!
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:18 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by jerzeegirl View Post
I recently lost ten pounds and was very happy with myself. However, I have since starting college and have regained five of those pounds in 4 weeks! I need help because I am very stressed with school and fear I have come an emotional eater to temporary relieve my stress. I go on binge episodes where I have four or 5 bowls of cereal or trail mix. My friends also have a lot of potluck dinners with fatty foods that I find so hard to resist. Please help get me back on track!!
Congratulations on the weight you've lost thus far. Now you've got to cut out that "bad" behaviour so that you don't gain back any more then the 5 you've put back on. Glad you're catching this now.

But unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) only YOU can get you back on track. No one else. It's up to you and you alone. The good part about it, is that it IS within your power, your hands, your control.

Cereal is one of my worst overeating foods. I just can't do it. My history has shown me that time and time again. So for me, I find it better off to just not start eating it. You can't eat too much of it if you're eating NONE of it. Set up some rules for yourself. Some boundaries and food laws for you to adhere to. Let them be your guide as to what to eat and what not to eat. Those potluck dinners? Bring along some healthy foods. Stay away from the others. Don't even look at them. You find them hard to resist? Well then you're just going to have to resist harder! You don't have to eat it just because it's there and just because you "want" it. Remember what it is you want the MOST. The very, very MOST - some over in two minutes fattening foods that make you feel icky? - or some yummy healthy lower calorie foods that tastes good and makes you feel good and provide you with a healthy body.

Find some other stress relievers, since eating causes more stress then it relieves. Studying, exercising, reading, journaling, cleaning, sewing, chatting with friends, etc.

Get back on track. You CAN do this. Take it one day at a time. By the time you get to day 3, I bet you'll be back in a groove, feeling marvelous, relieved and firmly back on track.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:32 PM   #3  
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Robin is right. If there is something, as in your case cereal, that you cannot or are not willing to measure out in healthy, weight-loss friendly portions, then it may be best to stay away from it from awhile. Maybe even forever if it truly was the downfall of your weight gain.

Cereal is ok for me because I have coffee with it if I happen to eat it for breakfast, but I always, always, always measure it out. And I probably always will. But I bet if it weren't for the coffee, it would definitely not fill me up and I would be starving for another bowl. Try to replace that cereal with something more filling. I am sure that is very difficult for you and your new schedule. Cereal is so fast and easy, you can sit and read/study and eat it almost mindlessly.

And as Robin also pointed out, you can do this!! It may take you just as long to take it off as it did to put it on, but you can do it!
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:43 PM   #4  
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Cereal is a no-no food for me as well. And dont even get me started on trail mix. Trail mix was invented as the original energy food by hikers who needed calorically dense energy. It should not be eaten unless you are on a strenuous hike. (That goes for all energy foods, drinks etc. unless you are actually engaged in strenuous activity for extended periods of time they are worse than candy - just as caloric and not nearly as tasty. Plus people have this vague idea they ate something "healthy")

Get as much of the mindless eating food out of the dorm room/apartment. Fill the space with carrots and celery and veggies. Plan for the potlucks. Plan how many days a week you can actually manage something like that.

Last edited by ennay; 07-12-2009 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:36 PM   #5  
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First things first - I have to agree with the others. If a food is a trigger food for you, you need to get it out of your house for a while. Why tempt yourself with things that you don't have control over, at the moment? Even now, periodically I find myself unable to have a certain food in the house and having to take it out for a while, and find that other things that I didn't do well with before are find to have now. You have to manipulate the environment so it works for you.

You also need to develop some non-food ways to eliminate stress. When I was in college, my biggest stress-killer was also eating, and my weight at the end of college showed that! Now, when I hit work stress and want to go to my cabinets, I exercise...really! You'd be surprised what a few sets of pushups can do for your stress level (not to mention your arm muscles!). I am also a big fan of the 10 minute cardio break...I often go jump rope. It's INTENSE and by the end, I'm ready to focus again.

Potlucks are another story, but luckily, it's a POT LUCK, right? So you need to develop some awesome, party-worthy low calorie dishes you can bring. The more tempting your healthy dish is, the more you'll want to dive into THAT instead of diving into the unhealthy stuff. Experiment, find some great recipes online, and get cooking.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:16 AM   #6  
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I would encourage you to try and figure out if this is new behavior because of school or is this one way you've handled stress in the past? If this is new behavior, I would try very, very hard to put the brakes on IMMEDIATELY. If this is a more long standing issue, you've probably got a longer term solution ahead but if this is just a new circumstance with a new reaction, you have the chance to totally nip this in the bud and good for you for recognizing it.

What's stressing you out? Are you overwhelmed with class work? Are you having trouble with one or more classes? Not organizing/managing time well? If you can start to name some of the stressors, I bet many, many of them have constructive, accessible solutions. The beauty of a school setting like a university is that there are TONS of resources built in. Tutoring, study skills advisors, advisors, classmates, tons of ways that you can get assistance that will be much more effective than cereal. If you aren't in that type of setting, maybe we can help you find some ways.

Potlucks can certainly be challenging. I agree with the idea that you take something YUMMY and healthy. You might then need some other strategies. For instance you could decide that you will only take one plate and at least 2/3 of that has to be veggies (that you might have to bring!) or you will start with a salad and eat it slowly. You might decide no dessert or 1/2 a serving. You might choose to have no-cal beverages. If there are too many in a short period of time, you might choose to come late so you get the social aspect w/o the food.

HTH some! Come back here often and post. You'll start to work through things with a community that understands!

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Old 07-13-2009, 09:13 AM   #7  
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We've all been there and it's scary. Everyone knows that dieting is a mental game. When your head is in the right place, nothing else matters. No amount of stress or temptation is too great. Sustaining that powerful feeling though is so elusive. I read a book once that made an impact with me. The author said, "Are you interested in losing weight or are you committed to losing weight?" The difference between those two words (interested and committed) is huge. When you're interested, you'll diet until something better comes along. When you're committed, nothing gets in the way of your goal. You can read more about it here if you're interested, http://www.easy-weightloss-tips.com/...ight-loss.html but I really try to remember that during the toughest times.

The fact that you're so aware and concerned is positive. I'm beginning to think that just "being aware" at all times is a major key to weight loss/weight maintenance, etc. Anyway, good luck!
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