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Old 02-15-2011, 12:13 AM   #1  
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Default What do you tell yourself to stop from cheating?

I have been having cravings lately and I have stopped counting calories. I want to start again. What methods do you use top stop yourself from cheating? I have seen so many succeful women on this forum so if anyone has any advice for me please help me before it is too late
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:27 AM   #2  
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for me, i say yeah i want that, it taste so good...but i want to be under 300 pounds, that will feel better than something that is in my mouth for a few seconds...so far its working pretty decent, and if i think i have to have something, i just allow it in my calories for that day
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:32 AM   #3  
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"Cheating" isn't part of my vocab.

I'm either eating to maintain today or eating to lose today. Most of the time, I'm trying to eat to lose. Sometimes, I just want to eat to maintain because it's my kid's bday or it's a wedding or... you know. Life stuff.

I've got a long journey ahead, and I'm not going to stop living my life just because I want to lose weight along the way.

So I try to take the attitude of planned breaks, usually on Sat or Sun because that's usually when the social function or date night with DH happens. It also helps during the week when I can tell myself "It can wait til Sat/Sun. I'm not going to die if I don't have it right now."

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Old 02-15-2011, 12:47 AM   #4  
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Right now I have a big bag full of sugar-free candy that I got for Valentine's Day and I got my shipment of three free Atkins bars earlier. Both are known to cause stalls on Atkins, so I'm going to try to limit myself to 1-2 pieces of sugar-free candy per week. I had 4 pieces tonight and I'd like to eat more, but losing weight is more important to me. I can have another piece next week, and the week after that, and the week after that.

If you want a treat, work it into your plan and your calories occasionally and you'll be fine. Once you lose a decent amount of weight you won't even want those foods anymore. You'll feel so happy and energetic and no amount of food is worth being happy with your body.

Last edited by Linsy; 02-15-2011 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:47 AM   #5  
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Being one of the older members at 66 years of age when tempted to cheat
I think about what my cardiologist told me.

He said "Look around. You will not see any old fat men. I looked around, he was right" That stops me from cheating. I figure this is my last chance
to choose and I choose life.

If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one. ~Cavett Robert

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Old 02-15-2011, 12:51 AM   #6  
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I've learned that cravings are like pain - a lot easier to prevent than to get rid of.

For me, keeping my carb intake under control is a lot more effective than any self-talk because it prevents the cravings from occuring in the first place.

If I choose to eat something high in carb, and cravings ensue, I try to remind myself that I just have to ride it out. It will go away, my blood sugar will stabilize, I just have to wait it out. But this "white-knuckles" approach isn't always successful. But preventing the cravings always works a lot better than trying to tame them.

But if I do end up with cravings, even if I end up indulging them (I don't use the word "cheating" or "being bad" because it puts my head in a bad place), I try to remember that a slip doesn't have to become a nose dive. In the past, any small slip would be justification for a monster binge.

For me, getting on the scale helps, ideally before "cheating" or if necessary as soon as possible. It's counterintuitive to common weight loss wisdom, but for me it puts the indulgence in perspective.

Sometimes I'll do the "math" and decide how much weight the wanted food is going to add. Sometimes that can backfire, because I'll think "this candybar is only going to hold me back by 2 ounces. That's not bad.

And it isn't, if I only ate that one candybar, but the candybar usually inspires another craving (and I'll do the math again).

For me, journaling is key. Even if I indulge cravings, even if I eat off plan, I usually lose, and almost never gain that week. It's when I decide not to document the off-plan foods that I end up stalling or backsliding.

Writing everything reminds me that every bite matters. It keeps me conscious of what I'm eating.
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:49 AM   #7  
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I find that trying to tell myself things to stop me from cheating hasn't worked for me. I've learned to prefer using various systems instead. Which has worked wonders for me.

A common approach I'd use to curbing a craving for example is this:

1. Drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes ...
2. If I still have the craving, eat a large salad with lite dressing just for flavor
3. wait another ten minutes ...
4. If I still have the craving at this point I'll just let myself have it

Doing this removes most of the cravings and does it without me walking away feeling low. Sure, some slip by, but doing this brings me to be doing it less and less over time.

I find that I progress faster by letting myself gradually move into it. If I try to shove myself too hard, I just backlash. What I mean is, when I shove myself and try to just bully myself into eating right, it just usually falls apart one day and I fall back to where I was and regain some weight.

Now that I've learned to progress forward a bit slower, I actually get far more results overall, because all of my results usually just disappeared every time I fell apart.

The best side of this of all is that I don't have so many emotional downs. I can progress with a smile. The value of that really is important to me.

Maybe try some alternative ways to get yourself to eat healthy. Relying on sheer willpower alone is often very painful.
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:51 AM   #8  
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Like earlier posters have said, I don't think of it as cheating. Every single thing I eat will absolutely impact my weight and health, no matter what I want to believe. Unlike cheating on a test, which you may or may not get away with, you are 100% accountable for every "cheat"- or decision you make eating.

Every urge to "cheat" is instead, in my opinion, opportunity to make a decision- will I eat something detrimental to my hard work or supportive to my hard work that will get me further than my goal?

I don't restrict myself from any food, or view any food as good or bad. I can eat anything, I just have to ensure that it is part of a sensible diet. Eating one piece of pizza for lunch every now and then is fine, as long as my breakfasts and dinners are lower in calorie and fat than usual. Having a piece of cake for dessert is fine, as long as it's a small portion and the rest of my diet that day has been on track.

If you're talking about what to tel yourself when you do want to take that second slice of pizza or grab a piece of cake after having a candy bar at lunch, then like kaplods said, take a minute and think. For me I require myself to take 5 breaths before I make a decision like that. Breath in and out 5 times and think to yourself if this is a decision you want to make. Think of how hard you've worked and how well you ate earlier in the day. Think of the last good workout you had. Think of how cute you look or will look in your favorite pair of jeans. Sometimes- this may sound a little weird- I'll put my hand on my waist or thigh or another body part I've worked hard to reduce- and remember what unhealthy food will do to that part that I'm so proud of. Is it REALLY worth it? Usually in 5 breaths I'm able to remind myself it isn't.

But the craving isn't squelched if I go a step farther and replace what I was going to eat (pizza) with something else (small piece of toast with low-fat bruschetta topping). There are lots of low-calorie/lo-fat foods you can nibble on if you are really craving something you don't think is right for you at that time. Light hot chocolate, popcorn with a little salt, frozen yogurt, etc. It's not about restricting yourself, it's about providing yourself with better alternatives to old habits.

Good luck!

Last edited by indiblue; 02-15-2011 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:03 AM   #9  
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ok, what they said, and remember it's never too late. you don't have to throw the rest of the day, week, month, out the window because you 'cheated'.

just educating myself about which foods have what kind of calories and fat (i need to eat fairly low fat, but healthy) helps me realize what i SHOULD be eating compared to my 'normal' foods which weren't that bad, but could use some improvement. being careful about measuring oil, or learning to use it less helped me alot. tons of foods you can learn to switch in for the flavors you want, but healthier. like they were saying above.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:07 AM   #10  
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You've gotten some excellent advice. The only thing I could add is a technique I learned here from another poster. She would simply tell herself, "I don't need to eat ___ right now; the company that makes them will still be in business in a week or a month or a year. I may have one later, but not today." It's something I used often earlier when I had more of a taste for foods that don't fit well into my calorie allotment.

I don't "cheat." I've banished the notion of cheating from my mind because there is really no such thing. Anything I eat will affect me; I can hide it from my journal or pretend like I didn't eat that order of beignets, but I can't make my body pretend they never happened. All food counts, whether I actually count it or not.

Are your cravings happening more because you're just bored with your plan? If so, there might be other things you can eat that you'll enjoy, but that'll still be novel enough to you that you aren't thoroughly sick of them yet. I know that sometimes, it does get a little old; you might just need to shake things up with a few new foods.

One thing's for sure: you look healthy and happy and beautiful thanks to eating well lately. I actually did a double-take at your screen name now that you changed your picture--you look really radiant! Keep up that good work; it's paying off.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:31 AM   #11  
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I don't think I get "cravings" the way some other people talk about them, where I have to have one particular taste and nothing else will do. But, I do get tempted, often - both to overeat at home, and by various treats in my environment.

What I try to tell myself when temptation strikes is, "This is not the last _____ you will ever get to try." That works great for the regular temptations like the bagel spread or cookie spread at work, because I can always say "eh, not today" - it will be back next week. It also works for things like the snacks put out at my condo meeting the other night - they were nice, but they were "just" nuts, plantain chips, and ginger cookies from Trader Joe's - nothing I'd never seen before, nothing I'd never see again.

I suppose there are some truly extraordinary eating opportunities where this technique is a little more challenging, but if I am very discriminating and honest with myself, those are very few and far between. For example, at my department potluck a couple of weeks ago, there were many items present that, taken literally, it would have been my only chance to try. So, I had to look at them very critically and ask, is it worth not losing weight this week just to eat some of that? Most of the time, the answer is no.

Sometimes, very rarely, it is worth slowing my loss that week for some truly unique opportunity to eat something. Making room in my plan for truly special eating occasions has been part of my plan, and part of my success - even though it sometimes means I don't lose as fast as other people. (Sometimes being the key word there!) Otherwise, when it's just a garden-variety temptation, I just tell myself "eh, not today."

Last edited by carter; 02-15-2011 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:42 AM   #12  
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1. Work it into my calories for the day if I really want something.
2. Drink water and have some fruit or raw veggies.
3. Chew gum.
4. Really think about my emotions. Am I hungry, or am I angry/lonely/stressed/etc? If I am anything but hungry, I will find something else to do to get my mind off of it and the craving usually goes away. If I'm really hungry, I'll allow myself to have something "healthier" that meets my craving (Popcorn if I want salt/crunchy, fruit or sugar free pudding if I want something sweet, for example).
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:52 AM   #13  
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I can usually talk myself out of it rather than resorting to a replacement...usually, but not always.

I will tell myself that it is SOOOOO not worth the guilt OR the extra work needed to "make up" for that mistake. I see so many people say they will just workout harder or "reorganize" their calorie limit for the week (take those calories from tomorrow to make up for today's mistake). Ummm, no thanks! I hate exercising as it is and for me it just isn't worth messing up what I've already planned for the day/week to eat or workout schedule.

If I MUST have something, I might do a swap like no dessert after dinner in exchange for eating x,y,z now. But I don't like doing that, I am a stick to the original plan type person.

It takes practice and patience, but you will get there!
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:00 AM   #14  
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I remind myself of how many minutes of hard exercise it will take me to burn those X calories in whatever_it_is_I'm_craving.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:07 AM   #15  
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Stop. Take a breath. Tell yourself "I am in control of what I put in my mouth"

Drink some water.

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