Jump to content

looking for advice on how to beat my demons


Recommended Posts

below is a blog i posted on sparkpeople.com, the website i use to track my nutrition, exercise, and overall weight-loss efforts. i'd really love some advice from people out there that have had similar issues.

i realized something last night as i thought about the prospect of weighing myself this morning for my weekly weigh-in (still 153 btw). i realized that there are a few things in my diet hindering my weight loss. and they keep getting in the way. every day. every week. i look at my nutrition tracker and i can attribute my overages to the same foods and the same pitfalls. over and over again. so here they are:

1) not drinking enough water.

2) eating junk late in the afternoon (usually candy)

3) eating too much at dinner or not healthy choices

4) eating sweets after dinner (mostly ice cream)

i'm really tired of the scale not moving. so i'm thinking it might be time for some changes. but it seems daunting to say "i will not eat junk." so i'm trying to decide how to do this.

should i take the big plunge and say "no more junk"?

or should i make it more specific? "no more ice cream or candy for 30 days"

but how do i deal with the cravings? literally every day i crave sweets. and i've been giving in. how do i get those to stop? will they stop on their own? or do i need to do something more?

any advice is really appreciated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me at least, negatives suck. My forebrain says "No more junk food" and my hindbrain just hears "junk food" and whee, it's off to the ice-cream aisle! "More awesome fruit" works: displace the bad habit with a good one. Count off the five-a-day, too (that even works for schoolkids).

YMMV. People are funny like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I seriously couldn't do it without Aspartame!

A jug of sugar-free sweetened water is vastly better for you than not drinking enough.

A diet soda or two also has a fair bit of sodium, but is vastly better for you than sugar snacks.

Also, can you start with keeping things clean Monday through Friday and get a bunch of that stuff out of your home?

Ideally, we'd all be eating that protein goo from the Matrix, but life is too short to live like that. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Get the bad stuff out of your house. If it's not there, you can't give in to it.

Make it a challenge: "I will get through one day without eating something with white sugar in it." Then two days... three days... and so on.

Make a plan for GOOD things you can eat. If you miss the plan, it's not the end of the world; you can make that another challenge, to see how many meals (or days) in a row you can hit it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

i was under the impression that aspartame was like... bad for you... you know like thalidomide bad? (ok maybe not but its the first thing that came to mind)

The poison is in the dose.

Scientists pumped an absurd amount of it into rats (basically equivalent of sticking an IV full of it into you) and got an increased rate of cancer. No reason to think it's unhealthy for humans in sane doses.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would take it slow, like maybe replace your late night snack with yogurt, carrots, something healthy that you like. After maybe a week or two of that try and eliminate junk food. Eventually it will be a habit and you will just have to change your whole ways because you eventually start to care about your health and body without realizing it. Nutrition is the hardest thing to get down though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not replace one negative food choice with another. Diet soda might not be full of sugar and calories but that doesn't make it good for you.

I would start by taking it out of your house and not bringing it back. And make your goal to cut back. Cold turkey doesn't work for a lot of people so set small goals and work towards them. You'll have cravings but you'll need to work through it. They go away once you start eating better food. Start eating whole, natural foods and your body will no longer want the crap nearly as much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

i definitely do the diet coke thing - but i try and limit it to 1-2 per day. it does help at times.

as for getting the junk out of the house, i actually don't have too much bad stuff in the house. for months, i refused to keep junk in the house and, instead, told myself "if i'm reeaaallly craving ice cream or something sweet, i'll go to the store and buy a single serving." that worked well for awhile but then i moved to a place where a convenience store is only a block away. so i let myself start going to the store most nights...it made it too easy. recently, i've tried having SOME sweet stuff in my house (a tub of ice cream usually) with the agreement with myself that i'll only have a small amount each day...or a larger amount a couple times a week. but, unfortunately, it's become too hard to resist and i've let it get a bit out of control.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did it in steps. Instead of ice cream after dinner, lemonade popsicles. Then instead of lemonade popsicles, home-made juice popsicles without added sugar. Then instead of popsicles, a square or two of dark chocolate. Then instead of dark chocolate, three clementines or a bowl of grapes. Each step took about four weeks, though, so this was a slow process of adjustment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

General advice is that slow change is the best. (I know you see this on SP all the time.) Baby steps are key. Smaller portions to none, different choices, even limiting your options to consume (reward for 10,000 steps per week/## pushups/## miles is a single serving of very good something) make it a habit instead of a kneejerk change that you're not likely to stick to in the long run. Five days with no sweets. One week with 1 good dessert. Ten days with less than a Coke a day.

That said, baby steps don't work well for me - cold turkey is better for me initially than letting myself 'step down.' Everything out of the house that I can get out, and no allowances for x amount of time. The first two weeks are the hardest, but once I get over the sugar cravings, I find I don't want sugar as much, if at all. Things are too sweet, so I can't drink/eat as much as I used to.

Bottom line: do what works for you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

i was under the impression that aspartame was like... bad for you... you know like thalidomide bad? (ok maybe not but its the first thing that came to mind)

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. Aspartame is definitely useless and shiny; it may join the other sweeteners in triggering sweet-food metabolism without taking on the calories (last I heard, the jury was out); but it definitely does not score "thalidomide bad". The clue is -- just like mobile phone cancer -- the complete lack of additional cancer cases in the hospitals of the world.

Top tip: if the person you're reading uses the word "toxins" more than once in their article, they're a woo merchant, not a scientist.

Link to post
Share on other sites

yh i over-exaggerated (as a brit i see it as my duty to do so :P) with the 'thalidomide bad' thing but i just thought it was preferably avoidable and i just remember a bit of a furore about it a while back

My theory is that while it may not cause cancer it's still some unholy creation that my body won't process as well as a limited amount of more natural sugar. So, like in all things, I try to eat sugar in as pure a form as possible. And that's what I recommend in the long run to people making these changes. Probably not going to get there right away but yeah... why bother with a ton of sugar free processed stuff? How is that much better for the average person? I don't think it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the advice, ya'll. i've decided to take it slow and make this manageable. first goal: avoid ice cream/yogurt and candy for 30 days. hoping to kick these sugar cravings in the ass and see where that takes me. after a month i'll re-evaluate and go from there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is what works for me:

I have a bunch of meals pre-cooked and pre-portioned in the refrigerator. My life is too chaotic to have too rigid of a meal plan.

I target 3-4 tupperwares a day. Some have brown rice, others don't. I go for the meals w/o the rice later in the day. If I eat a meal out (I do this 2 maybe 3 times/week), then I count it as 2 tupperwares and do my best to keep it clean/sane. When I'm hungry I grab a tupperware. I also don't eat my first meal until I'm hungry, usually around lunch time.

In addition to my target, I do a milk + whey shake after lifting heavy to help with recovery and sometimes will throw in a individual sized pack of peanuts for a snack at work.

Every couple weeks, I do a cheat day or two where I eat a bunch more to boost my metabolism, but try to keep it clean.

That keeps my food pretty clean and so far I haven't had a problem running a caloric defect that way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

beek, i'm curious about your comment. is it really better for me to be eating sweets than carbs? that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. also, i'm not trying to cut out carbs. cut back, yes, but mostly because they are a bad bang for the buck calorie wise. i have been trying to substitute white for wheat and such as well.

also, i'm aiming for 1200-1550 calories per day. the hardest time for me is at night when i tend to want to let myself do whatever after a long day. this month, i'm less focused on calorie total though so long as a i don't eat those two food groups. working on day 3 now. days one and two were easy...but i think that's because i was having girl issues and not feeling great.

i love the idea of pre-portioning meals out. when i cook, i make more than i need for the meal. if i make pasta for the bf and i, i'll make the whole box. after dinner, i'll portion out of the leftovers into tupperwares for 2 or so more meals. same thing with other stuff.

btw, i think i'm gonna cook an awesome healthy meal tonight - really excited!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ebm, I think you're on the right track. I would focus on figuring out the sweets issue first. If you're making the move to cut out refined white flours by moving to whole grain then that's awesome and exactly what you should be doing when eating starchy carbs like that (it's what I do, too mmmm wheat bread... btw if you are anywhere near the YDFM in Atl I highly recommend getting the whole grain wheat bread from there-it's bread of glory).

Curious, where did you get your calorie numbers? That's a rather large range. 1200 is the absolute minimum for women set by the American College of Sports Medicine. I recommend sticking closer to the 1500 range. You're pretty tiny but if you're active you need to fuel. Going too low can set your body in starvation mode and you won't see progress. I know from experience. It suuuuuucked.

Yay dinner! What are you thinking?

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks laura! is that the dekalb farmer's market? i haven't been yet but i'd like to check it out. i moved near piedmont park fairly recently and went to the farmer's market there a week or so ago. i got some squash which i think will be part of dinner tonight (probably gonna do some chicken and veggies - something simple but yummy). the calorie range i got from sparkpeople.com which they calculated based on my height, weight, and goals. i'm 5ft 4 or 5ft 5 (depending on the day) and i'd like to end up weighing around 125-130. truthfully, i don't really care about my weight...it's more the body composition and overall aesthetics that will tell me if i'm where i want to be. i like to eat so i do tend to be at or above those calorie limits. truth be told, i think numbers are important for weight loss but i also don't think anyone gets fat eating carrots and apples. if i eat 2000 calories of healthy stuff i doubt it will have any negative effect on my weight loss efforts.

i think i'm rambling a bit here but yeah :) i appreciate all the advice!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...