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March 24, 2013 3:40 PM
I am trying to understand why I do the things I do. Maybe if I understood I could change the way I think. I know it is possible to change your habits. I know I can keep from making bad decisions. I do well keeping within my calorie goals now that I am using MFP. I am still working on eating healthier, but it will take a while to break my convenience food habit. Is it possible to change the way you think about food? To retrain your mind? Or is it always going to be this huge internal battle of thoughts?

Last night on my way home from work I ordered a pizza from the convenience store down the road from my house. I used to do this weekly (if not more often). I LOVE and crave pizza! This is the first time i have let myself order a pizza for just me in quite a long time. I spent a while mentally debating ordering it before I even picked up the phone. Yes, I have enough calories left today to 'afford' to eat the pizza. No, I don't really have much else to eat in the house. No, I really don't want to spend the extra hour and a half driving to the grocery store after a long day at work. Obviously I ended up ordering the pizza. It didn't even taste that great. After eating about half of it I wasn't hungry any more. I even put it down and told myself to stop before I made myself sick. A little while later I realized I ate the whole thing and my stomach was really complaining. It made me wonder why the heck I did that? I made my stomach hurt by eating too much of something that didn't even taste that good. I ate it all because it was there in front of me, I had planned to eat it and had justified eating all of it. Actually eating the pizza was so much less fun than the thought of eating the pizza. You would think that the discomfort I caused myself would keep me from doing it again. Not so, I have done it many times. There are certain 'trigger foods' that I just can't seem to hep but overeat: pizza, girl scout cookies, tortilla chips and salsa, pasta, chinese food. Should I just keep exposure to these foods to a minimum to resist temptation or is there a way to train myself to stop before it hurts? I am really struggling with this and I can't be the only one out there...can I?
  15770362
March 24, 2013 3:46 PM
Do both. Keep the food to minimum WHILE you train yourself to recognize when you are full. It is possible to train your mind and body. I say this, of course, after crowing yesterday at not eating a whole box of cereal like I used to, but ate half the box in one sitting last night.

I threw out the cereal. Sometimes it takes time.
March 24, 2013 3:47 PM
Nope, your not. I do the same thing. Maybe it's the fear of succeeding, the fear of being something I'm not used to being. I don't know. I binge eat usually on the weekends and kick my butt mentally all the time. Usually not with pizza, but with chips or something worse.
  27437969
March 24, 2013 3:48 PM
I know that feeling...it takes time; i thought i had the will to restrain myself from eating certain food but the reality was that whenever available i would eat them... Keeps strong... it gets better :D
Edited by Yica83 On March 24, 2013 3:51 PM
March 24, 2013 3:53 PM
We didn't learn our habits overnight, and in fact some of us learned them in childhood. It just takes time and being thoughtful. Just like you can't lose the weight overnight, you can't lose the attitudes overnight either, because they're an automatic process. That's why it's harder to stop them; we do them without thinking. Now we have to think about it until we can set the new healthy habits and process...and be able to make those choices without thinking.
  33149700
March 24, 2013 3:55 PM
I have trouble with this same thing. My worst offender is chocolate and snack foods. It seems as though as i get closer to my goal weight i am doing it more often. Or when i get a bunch of compliments its like ok im doing good....go treat yourself to some junk. I mentally punish myself for hours afterward too. Like you said....it doesent even taste that good and it usually makes my stomach hurt.

I think because i was so restrictive for the first 6 months ( im in month 10 now and 70 lbs down) maybe. I just know i need to find it in me somewhere to get off this kick ....
March 24, 2013 3:58 PM
A craving is usually satisfied within the first couple of bites. Give it a shot and see. My big thing was thinking that I bought this, therefore I should eat it all or I'm wasting my money. Budgeting your calories is a lot like budgeting a bank account. You don't want to blow all of your money on one thing, because there is always something else you will want, and going into debt equals gaining weight. Get a "part time job" with some extra exercise so you can eat without the guilt. Find alternatives that allow you to save a little here for something else later.
  32758085
March 24, 2013 3:59 PM
What you describe is pretty common. After stress and fatigue of work, maybe we seek comfort and joy, so one of the easiest least expensive things to do is grab food we consider a treat.
But now you know, a change needs to happen. Try eliminating the trigger foods for a while and see if you can gain a better understanding of what's going on.

Like most of us, you know your body better than anyone. Find ways to feel joy, but not in junk food. I used to get donuts every Sunday, instead, I give myself a manicure every Sunday.

Later, you can do two things. First, learn to make healthier versions of the food you love (for me, that's sugarless flax brownies instead of donuts) and most Importantly learn to have just one serving. Make a homemade thin crust on a low carb/low cal wrap, and use skim mozzarella, lots of oregano, and turkey pepperoni. Rarely, treat yourself to the pizza you love most. Don't order a whole pizza though. If the store does by the slice, get one slice. If not, take it home, immediately place in bags and freeze all but one slice, then have a big salad on the side.

Good luck on your journey, you can do it!
  32807860
March 24, 2013 3:59 PM
I try to put a reasonable portion on my plate and then put the rest in the fridge before I even take 1 bite. Its just not as tempting if its already getting cold.
March 24, 2013 4:01 PM
Next time you're craving pizza, bring enough money for only a couple of slices. Get the slices and eat them there -- then when you're thinking about getting more, you won't have the money for more and you'll just have to go home. Then have a plan to keep your mind busy when you get home. If at any point you think, 'I can just go home to get money to get more pizza', just think how awkward it would be for the workers at the pizza place to see you coming back for more after you already just sat there and ate a couple of slices in front of them...
  17661696
March 24, 2013 4:02 PM
You could try to make a low cal version of what your craving, I have pizza muffins a lot. I get some wholemeal muffins and slice them in half. Top them with what you want and bake. Should be around ~300 calories and I have it with a side of baked sweet potato fries.

Alternatively, only buy 1 or 2 slices to curb the craving.
  10813361
March 24, 2013 4:04 PM
I totally understand! Im a home health Nurse so I spend a large portion of my day in the car, its so easy to go to a drive-through and grab those delicious fast foods. I had to make myself go to the grocery and stock up on things to take with me so I could snack on them. Try buying some soft tortilla taco shells and put olive oil on it and then use some pizza sauce, low fat cheese, and u can use some turkey sausage or even a few pepperonies and season with garlic powder and a dash of salt and add a few banana pepper slices or sliced black olives and onions, green peppers and bake until the cheese melts. Delicious and filling. You can prepare these in advance! Also find you some kind of low cal, low fat snack you like. I love the raw sugar snap peas with just a little dip, also strawberries, apples. These are things that taste good and hold you over to the next meal. Then on the weekend you can allow yourself 2 slices of real pizza!!! Its about moderation! Make sure you drink your water and get your exercise! No more buying a whole pizza, try buying by the slice or a personal pan pizza on those days you allow yourself a special treat! We are all works in progress! Stay motivated and positive!
  40329696
March 24, 2013 4:09 PM
Treating yourself is not bad! I have read a lot of things from people like Jillian Michaels that says have a day during the week and treat yourself. The key in that though is to not eat more than one serving. More often than not we gain by eating to much more so than what we are eating. Pizza in itself is not bad, but eating the whole thing is. Try drinking 1-2 glasses of water before eating anything. It will trick your body into thinking it is full and you wont eat as much. Water has been my biggest support so far because it helps me feel full but it also speeds up the metabolism.
This is a journey and like almost all of the ones we face in life we learn as we go!
Good Luck!
March 24, 2013 4:11 PM
QUOTE:


No, I don't really have much else to eat in the house. No, I really don't want to spend the extra hour and a half driving to the grocery store after a long day at work.


I agree with many of the things that are being said, BUT this is also a big part of the problem. You need to find a way to always have choices in your home that you will eat. There are many times when I will think about doing fast food and then think about what I have at home. Usually the at home choices win, because they are tasty!! I know you didn't want to go shopping after work, so it is important that when you do your shopping that you purchase enough to get you through your week and past your "cravings".
  36419179
March 24, 2013 4:12 PM
Pick yourself up and start all over again tomorrow. Its no big deal.
  11457868
March 24, 2013 4:13 PM
i completely agree - i don't understand why i will just carry on eating. i lost about 4 stone in 2011, then last year i pretty much gave up as i thought 'oh it was easy to lose...' my will power just went, and if i had a day not logging food, i absolutely binged as i was sort of preparing to start a diet again. worst was in december when i knew i was going to start again for new year - i ate so much each day i felt sick, bloated etc. i've now started logging afterward (the next day even) if i splurge a bit, just to make myself aware of how much i'm eating and the fact that it's undoing everything i've worked for. very frustrating - i find that i get tempted by things too easily, so if i have something in the house/at work, i'll snack.
maybe next time you crave a pizza, work out how much you can have, and bag up the rest to go in the fridge/freezer before you start eating, that way you'll feel like you've finished when you see the empty box?

sorry if this isn't very helpful, just know that it isn't just you!
March 24, 2013 4:16 PM
QUOTE:

A craving is usually satisfied within the first couple of bites. Give it a shot and see. My big thing was thinking that I bought this, therefore I should eat it all or I'm wasting my money. Budgeting your calories is a lot like budgeting a bank account. You don't want to blow all of your money on one thing, because there is always something else you will want, and going into debt equals gaining weight. Get a "part time job" with some extra exercise so you can eat without the guilt. Find alternatives that allow you to save a little here for something else later.


I absolutely love this way of thinking about it. Thank you for sharing that!
March 24, 2013 4:20 PM
Most of the foods you name that tempt you are carbs. In my experience, once you get out of carb overload, you will be able to resist easier. Limit your exposure and make sure you have healthier versions of what you love in the house. I learned to make a healthier pizza with boboli wheat pizza crust, low sugar marinara, turkey pepperoni, and onions. No, it isn't pizza Inn...but it is good. Try journaling too, to record your thoughts regarding your day, stressors and food urges. It isn't easy, but you have come a long way. Don't beat yourself up now!
  33455413
March 24, 2013 4:23 PM
You AREN'T the only one. I battle the same demon blushing , but I've discovered a couple things about MY demon (yours may have a different "fuel") . I do it out of boredom - both physical and mental, I do it out of stress, frustration and anger. I do it because, ultimately, it is something I can "control" when the rest of the world seems in chaos. That being said, I have found a few ways to short-circuit the beast or at least keep it a little more sane. I make lower calorie, lower fat versions of my craved-most foods and ALWAYS have the stuff on hand to make them. I try to keep premeasured amounts of "snacky" foods that I crave (and can't recreate) in little baggies/dishes in the freezer - premeasured means no thinking about portion control mid-attack and keeping them in the freezer slows the feasting. Just for example, pizza rolls. I haven't found a way to make them TASTE RIGHT for me, but by keeping 5 or 7 in a little baggie and only cooking that package I can't eat anymore without really thinking about it- do I want to wait to cook more or is it "too much work" to go through for them?


If you still can't resist the urge to go for pizza? I agree with Sooze happy
QUOTE:

Next time you're craving pizza, bring enough money for only a couple of slices. Get the slices and eat them there -- then when you're thinking about getting more, you won't have the money for more and you'll just have to go home. Then have a plan to keep your mind busy when you get home. If at any point you think, 'I can just go home to get money to get more pizza', just think how awkward it would be for the workers at the pizza place to see you coming back for more after you already just sat there and ate a couple of slices in front of them...
  21814408
March 24, 2013 4:24 PM
I have trigger foods, if I have a bite, I eat more and more of it, which leads me to eat more bad foods then it spirals out of control for a day or two. I just can't have those foods. Instead i keep foods that satisfy that craving on-hand so I don't go overboard. Pizza- I get individual whole wheat crusts, load it up with veggies and measure the cheese. I'd love to smother it in ranch dressing, but thats a trigger food for me so I find a hot sauce instead. I'll eat an entire pan of brownies if around. So I don't make them, but instead have individually wrapped dark chocolate- not anywhere as good but I can easily stop at one piece since I don't enjoy it as much. For me, planning is key... having 'replacement' food available and going grocery shopping 3x weekly so I'm never without food and starving- which leads me to do the quick, unhealthy route.
Its frustrating when you realize 'holy crap, how did I let myself eat that!' but pick yourself up, put on a nice outfit and start all over tomorrow (when we look good we feel good!)
March 24, 2013 4:29 PM
I know what you mean. Not until I found someone (like a trainer) to keep me accountable to the things I do I started doing what I was supposed to.

At first, I would exercise a lot more and eat what I normally ate. Didn't get a lot of results, but yeah; the hardest part is letting go.
  3100459
March 24, 2013 4:32 PM
Read this book: Intuitive Eating, it will help.
I am 100 lbs down and struggle with the same things.
The retraining is possible, but it involves your actions more than your mind.
Eat like the person you want to be. Everytime you act the way you want to act
you strengthen that muscle and groove that path so it becomes more of a habit, and easier to chose that way the next time.
But the old ways will always lurk and be something you have to fight against.
They are well grooved part of your brain. But try to think of them as ruts, rather than the path you want to be following.
It does get easier though.
And yes stay away from that stuff for now.
March 24, 2013 4:44 PM
For a possible solution, when I got started on eating better, I first went gluten free (out of need), and then low carb (out of choice). I KNEW that I would give into temptations. I went on a major pantry purge. Any unopened packages of food (perishable or non) I gave to friends or local food pantries. For anything that was opened already or almost gone, I used up in one month. I let myself eat what I wanted in that last month and enjoyed it. After the month was up, everything left went in the trash (baked goods went to friends, but my flour dregs got tossed). There was nothing left to tempt me and so I had no excuses to have it in my house. This might be a little harder, since you face convenience of the food. However, if you make a point to have nothing like that left in your fridge or pantry, it's easier to avoid.

Gradual substitutions also help; terra vegetable chips or pita chips instead of potato, getting a single order of Chinese food instead of opting for buffet, keep Healthy Choice snack cookies instead of Girl Scouts.

I wish you luck! :)
  28321311
March 24, 2013 4:50 PM
We all slip up - next time you do, eat until you feel satisfied and then run what's left of the pizza under the tap so you don't eat the rest.
March 24, 2013 5:41 PM
Some of these hit home. I never thought about it, but I do tend to binge more when I've had a good week or I've goten alot of compliments. Maybe a diary would help. If I write down what I am thinking when I am eating!
  27437969

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