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looking for advice on how to beat my demons


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I'll admit I've not read the whole thread, but I can give you a few tips that have worked for me in avoiding "junk food".

1. I recently figured out that artificial sweetener was actually exacerbating my cravings. I cut out soda, I drink my coffee black, and cut "no-sugar added desserts". This has actually reduced my cravings somewhat.

2. When I crave junk food, I eat a banana instead. The texture and natural sweetness is usually enough to kill off my cravings. I also do apples, but not everyone is as apple crazy as I am.

3. I used to "budget". I'd say "OK, I'm going to be good but on Friday I get pizza and a cookie". I'd know that I can't eat it today, if I want it later.

4. Don't beat yourself up when you slip up. It's a hard war - regretting every single battle lost, doesn't help you.

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I found that eating a big breakfast helps keep cravings away throughout the day, as well as drinking tons of water.

when all else fails, chocolate protein powder does the trick. Most of the time. My fav is a smoothie with a scoop of chocolate protein powder and some frozen fruit, put it in the blender with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup fat free milk. Gets the sweetness, is low cal, high protein and keeps me full for a while.

Good luck :)

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, in that i realized that my desire for sugar has not diminished nearly as much as i had hoped. the bag of halloween candy that the bf has been hiding from me was taken out and i went to town. it almost feels a little compulsive which is sad and embarassing to admit to but i think i need to realize where i am if i want to change it. others can know there is something they want just a few feet away and not care. me? i feel like it's calling my name.

so, on the one hand, i can say no. but, on the other hand, once i say yes i have a hard time stopping myself.

.

I think more people are right there with you on this then you realize. There are studies out there that show that sugar is very addictive. I could have posted this. Some people say it took a year of them limiting/skipping sugar until the stopped hearing the chocolate chip cookies call them by name. Kinda sad. But then, when you do skip the treat you can know it is a real accomplishment. I've been cutting back on sugar since mid-August, and truthfully it is still a battle. I did like you did, first just limiting one kind of sweet. This challenge I was trying to go no sugar. And I've slipped up a few times. But, I have also said no a few times. Even when people practically shoved desserts in my face. I don't think I'll ever be able to just keep chocolate chip cookies around the house and say "oh, I'd rather have bacon' but it is getting better.
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elastigirl, thanks for this. i really feels good to know that i'm not alone. it's funny, my bf and i had an interesting conversation this weekend about addiction and cravings. he's a smoker and, obviously, craves nicotine on a regular basis. but very very rarely does he crave a particular food. it's just funny how body chemisty (along with the things we put into our bodies) affect us and, in many ways, rules our actions.

i'm definitely learning alot about myself here and it's caused me to re-evaluate some of the "truths" about eating that may not be so true after all.

thanks again for the encouragement!

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elastigirl, thanks for this. i really feels good to know that i'm not alone. it's funny, my bf and i had an interesting conversation this weekend about addiction and cravings. he's a smoker and, obviously, craves nicotine on a regular basis. but very very rarely does he crave a particular food. it's just funny how body chemisty (along with the things we put into our bodies) affect us and, in many ways, rules our actions.

i'm definitely learning alot about myself here and it's caused me to re-evaluate some of the "truths" about eating that may not be so true after all.

thanks again for the encouragement!

Hey, here's an idea, maybe to get rid of our sugar cravings we should take up smoking! LOL, or maybe that's not the best plan... Thanks for posting this thread. It's been helpful to read others ideas and knowing I am not the only one struggling.

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I'm glad you're doing well with the candy! Even though it hasn't helped your overall goals much, it's still a healthier choice.

I went through the candy thing just after Halloween, I must have been eating the equivalent of 3 candy bars a day. My co-workers were ragging on me for it so I made the announcement that there would be "NO MORE CANDY CONSUMPTION!".

So, being the pains they are, the put a Baby Ruth right above my monitor to temp me, you can see it in the picture below. However, it actually does the opposite, I look to it for motivation on making good diet decisions at work. Knowing that I'm going to get called out on it at work makes sure that I'm not going to allow myself to give them ammo.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1059[/ATTACH]

post-3636-13567243195262_thumb.jpg

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Part of the problem may be protein intake. The reccomended amount to help lose body fat while maintaining and building muscle is @ 2g per kilo of bodyweight (@ 1g per pound). The protein supplies amino acids which can help with your brain chemistry which in turn can help to reduce cravings by correcting minor imbalances. It's something to think about anyway.....

And i'm with laura on the calorie intake, 1500 cals is deemed a starvation level diet by the world health organisation, and funnily enough is the level of energy of consumption that most fad diets aim for....

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Good luck with those demons ebm! People have convered some good advice, I guess you need to see what works for you though.

One thing I will add though is, use the sweet treat as a reward for your exercise progress. I think I read you're trying to reach 2 miles on a run without stopping (the distance may have changed by now?) Set yourself an intermediate goal like, if you make it to a personal best distance before dropping to a walk, you get a small sweet. This will help motivate you while running, and satiate your craving. Note, I said small sweet :P

Ok, I lied, I'll add another couple of things :D

Keep a water bottle by you always, treat it like your phone. I bet you don't go anywhere without your phone! So don't go anywhere without your water. Use it like a reward too. If you finish 2 bottles of water, you can have a diet soda (or something). You'll probably find that after 2 bottles of water, you don't even want the soda!

If you're craving junk in the afternoon, it's probably because you're hungry, so don't let youself get to that point. If you know by 3PM you're craving junk, then between 2PM and 2.30PM, eat some almonds, or a piece of fruit, even if you're not hungry. When your usual craving time comes around you won't be hungry. Though instinctually you might still crave it physcologially, just tell yourself it's a phantom - you're not hungry, you just ate, why would you be hungry. Day by day beat that demon back later and later, before you know it, you'll have made it to dinner time without your junk fix.

If you feel you can't make sweeping changes. Make small incremental changes. Make each day a personal best.

How have you been going since starting this thread? Have people's advice helped you? Any new stumbling blocks that you've identifyied?

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blaizen, i think youre right that i'm not eating enough protein. my recommendations from sparkpeople have been a minimum of 60g per day and i often have trouble getting there. i'm about 150-155lbs right now (not sure on bf% but i'd guess in the 30s?) so how much protein should i be getting?

some things i've done to try and increase the protein: eat a protein bar in the morning instead of a granola bar, eat eggs a few meals a week. i'd love some advice on how to increase my protein when i don't have time to cook eggs/turkey sausage for breakfast and also lunch ideas that i can get while out doing errands or at school and can't/am too lazy to pack a lunch.

lachy, you're definitely right about that water - i don't get nearly enough. i need to invest in some water bottles and, like you said, treat it like my phone and never leave home without it. i actually just hit my 2 mile straight mark today (!!!) so that's a huge accomplishment for me. i'm thinking to sign up for a 5k (that's 3 miles right?) so that i can work towards that goal and keep myself accountable.

but overall, the advice i've gotten here has been great. no huge new stumbling blocks so far.

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5 k is @ 3.2 miles.

1 g per pound of bodyweight, so you need to be consuming @ 150 g of protein a day. I'm thinking protein shakes are the easiest way for you to do this. One for breakfast with a banana (or apple etc) to snack on, and have one for your afternoon snack. Average protein shake comes in between 22 and 30 g of protein per serve.

60g of protein sounds like a surivival level, and are you measuring that right based on your food intake? A chicken breast is usually a min of 30 g of protein if i remember rightly, so two shakes, a chicken/tuna salad for lunch and a feed of red meat for your dinner should pretty much see you covered for (most) your protein intake for the day.

Protein has the added bonus of being quite filling and is also thermogenic apparently, which means your body has to work harder to digest it, thus potentially helping with fat loss over the long term. Make sure your eating enough healthy fats as well, and with the extra protein intake, you'll have fuel for repairing and building your muscles, which should help you achieve that 5k run you want to do.

Watch the protein bars too, a lot of them are glorified candy bars with a lot of sugars and artificial sweetners and a scoop of protein powder thrown in to make it a protein bar.

my two cents :)

Edited by Blaizen
to make it more legible
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probably good advice on the protein bar. out of curiosity, how are we MEANT to get enough protein? if i was to shun any artificial foods (powders, shakes, bars) how would i get enough protein? i guess just an ass-load of meat?

Bacon. Eggs. Milk. Almonds. Not necessarily in that order, and bonus points if you combine them all in one dish.

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When I started to eat more organic foods, after some time, my cravings for sweets just went away. So I am thinking that if you did the same and ate more healthy food such as organic stuff, I believe you may experience the same results. Thus, you might have a better chance of losing weight when you are eating less sweets.

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Bacon. Eggs. Milk. Almonds. Not necessarily in that order, and bonus points if you combine them all in one dish.

French toast made with almond milk....... or normal milk with toasted flaked almonds on top. For the paleo inclined, a cinnamon and almond baked custard with crispy bacon maybe??

Eggs are supposed to be the number one protein source, but yeah i think our forebears ate bulk meat and rounded it out with veg rather than bulk carbs flavoured with meat and veg like happens now.

HenryFnord, my research indicates 2g per kg total bodyweight, couple of names to look for in refernce to that is Mike T Nelson and Susan M Kliener. Even Dr Michael Coglin reccomends at least 1.3g of protein per kg of total bodyweight depending on the amount and type of exercise you are doing.

Also just my own experience kicks in here, I ate at that level and did the begginers workout routine from You Are Your Own Gym, I lost 8 kg, dropped 4 cm off my stomach and gained 1 to 2 cm on every other major area of my body (chest, upper arms, legs etc) in 8 weeks, and my energy levels were a lot higher. So having used myself as the human guinea pig, I'm happy to reccomend it.

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well so then here's another couple questions: people always talk about "building lean muscle mass" and "do you want to gain muscle while losing weight?"

first off, is there another kind of muscle mass other than lean? i always assumed all muscle was lean. is this like saying atm machine or am i just missing something really basic?

secondly, is there anyone out there that's trying to lose weight that doesn't want to gain muscle? i mean, do i want to look like a body builder? no. but since i'm female i don't think that's really possible anyway (without steroids or something).

so, i hope that didn't come off as bitchy but i'm beginning to wonder if there's something i'm missing here. do i need to decide what i want to look like in advance or is it just enough to say "i liked how i looked more at 125 lbs than i do at 155lbs. i'd like to move in that direction?"

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first off, is there another kind of muscle mass other than lean?

secondly, is there anyone out there that's trying to lose weight that doesn't want to gain muscle?

To question 1 a sort of qualified yes. Finished meat animals have fat within the muscle, on the outer edges and in small pockets between muscle fibers and also have a lot of glycogen in the muscle fibers themselves and that is not lean. We call it marbleing in a steak and it's good, esp if it's from grass finished not grain feeding. There is a lot of fat in a well marbled piece of steak.

To question 2, my personal take is that the numbers and measuring your weight are insufficient because once you are building muscle by lifting weights they become meaningless. My best guess is that instead of "I want to be 125 pounds not 155" is that I need to go back and figure out the measurements at 125 because once I get to those measurements, if I've done it with weight lifting I may still weigh 155 pounds. If I focus on the weight that is bad.

I'm still struggling with setting personal reasonable goals as well though because I do intellectually understand that the weight numbers are inaccurate and are not good as goals but I just don't have the data to say what measurements I need to be working towards.

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