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May 31, 2010 7:30 PM

I was wondering/hoping/praying if anyone has any tips to help stop grazing. I eat perfectly healthy balanced proportioned meals. But after I eat, I find myself snacking on bits of cheese, veggies, nuts, chicken, etc. It is not like I snack/graze on junk food. I have no problem saying no to things that aren't healthy, but I can almost never stop myself from eating something extra that is "healthy", regardless of whether I am actually hungry or not.

I know if I can just stop this extra eating my weight loss would sky rocket. I just need some motivation/tips to help with eating inbetween meals and especially eating after dinner!

Any advice would be seriously appreciated!
May 31, 2010 7:35 PM
Commit and be disciplined.

If you can get yourself past this point of need, everything else falls into place. After you lose the first ten, you'll look at food completely different. IT will only be there to fortify your body with nutrition, and eventually you stop eating for pleasure.

I am completely focused on nutrition. If its wholesome, and has vitamins/minerals or good fats, I don't think its a terrible thing. But if you want to blast the weight loss, eventually you will get on track. It takes time to get to know your body. It will start to tell you when it needs food and when you can fast for a bit. I find eating every 3 hours keeps me going, and motivated. Grazing doesn't give me the same feeling I get after I fill my tank with nutricious food when my body is 100% ready to refeed.
May 31, 2010 7:48 PM
i have this problem, especially at work (desk job) I want to eat all the time even when i am not hungry. I am going to not have anything convenient to eat and kinda schedule eating times to break the habit.
May 31, 2010 7:56 PM

i have this problem, especially at work (desk job) I want to eat all the time even when i am not hungry. I am going to not have anything convenient to eat and kinda schedule eating times to break the habit.

Ugh this is the reason I gained so much weight! I went from retail to a desk job... So i went from running around to sitting all day... plus there was always food at all of my office jobs! ugh... I'm trying to get a warehouse job so I'll be moving constantly again!
May 31, 2010 7:59 PM
I've started vacuum packing stuff like cheese and nuts into pre-portioned servings. For starters, it makes me think twice before getting it out, and if I do, I know the exact amount in the package, so I can easily enter it in my food diary. The food saver brand has a new hand-held pump that works with their baggies (reusable) for under $20. They work better than the battery powered ones (I think zip-lock) found in the baggie section of the grocery store. Also works great for creating pre-portioned homemade entrees to freeze and then take for lunch.
May 31, 2010 8:06 PM
I have found it really does help to MAKE yourself enter the tidbits in your food log.

For me anyway, it's a pain to have to figure out a bite of this and a pinch of that. It makes it much less a mindless grab and forget it thing, if you make yourself enter the grab and go stuff.

It seemed pointless to me at first, but it's a good deterrent for me to I know I have to enter it and then have to see what it all adds up to.

I had a thin slice of turkey in my hand today when making lunch for hubby. I had the urge to eat it but didn't as a) I didn't want to enter it b) I didn't want to see it on my food log and c) I wanted the calories for later. IOW - I wasn't hungry. So I put it down - victory for me.
May 31, 2010 8:22 PM
I find that if I plan my meals and snacks the night before, I am more likely to follow the "menu". Sometimes I don't eat the planned snacks because the meals were so filling. But always keep in mind, no one is perfect and if you slip up, be AWARE, and enter it ASAP. Grazing is usually done mindlessly....if you are fully aware, and enter it on your log, and see that in 5 weeks you will have lost less weight, maybe you will rethink the next bite! smile
May 31, 2010 8:40 PM
I used to do this every single day. I did perfect until night. But now that I'm on my Vegan plan i don't graze or crave. I also make a choice not to. I tell myself I don't want to eat something if its talking to me. But if I'm really hungry, I go and have a small bowl of beans or a big salad. I don't use dressing. I know, it was hard at first. But I take balsalmic vinegar and put a little stevia in it and put it on my salad.
I keep a salad already done in the fridge in a large container and scoop it out when I want it. hope this helps. kc
May 31, 2010 8:51 PM
Plan your snacks. I usually log in advance what I will be eating that day... and leave some calories for impulse eating too (knowing that I have a range of healthy snacks to choose from). I find myself eating every few hours... and I hear that is the best way to eat anyway. I usually do breakfast, midmorning snack if I need it (which I usually don't because I leave breakfast too late!), lunch, afternoon snack, supper, after-supper snack.
May 31, 2010 8:56 PM
i have the same problem. the grazing. i hate it! its like every time i walk past the kitchen i have to grab something...its awful. cereal and almonds are the worst for me. and it adds up quick. i just try not to keep them in reach. i put them on top of my cabinets so ill need to stand on a chair to get to them. that way if im just grazing and not actually hungry ill be too lazy to get up and get them (how sad is that?) and i try to log whatever grazing does happen. it helps to see how many calories im stuffing myself w when im not hungry....
May 31, 2010 9:07 PM
You might take some time to think about what it is you are feeling when you start "grazing." Are you bored, lonely, depressed, stressed, happy? A lot of times when people aren't eating for hunger they're eating to stifle or manage emotions. If this is the case then finding more adaptive ways to manage how you're feeling is the best way to avoid this type of eating. Maybe when you feel like reaching for food, first evaluate whether or not you're hungry and if you're not, put down the carrot stick, then think about how you feel. If you're stressed, maybe take a walk instead. Depressed? Call a friend. You get the gyst. If this sounds familiar, there's a good book called "Life is Hard, Food is Easy" by an RN,MA named Linda Spangle on the topic which I frequently recommend.
May 31, 2010 9:25 PM
I eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. It was a daunting task at first. Mostly because I'd forget to eat my snacks and overdo it at dinner time to make up for it. WRONG. So what I did was simple. I set alarms on my phone. 7:30 am breakfast; 10:30 snack; 1pm lunch; 3:30 snack; 7pm dinner. Depending on my schedule this adjust accordingly, but I get the reminder. Usually one of my snacks is a shake that's high in nutrition. Shakeology is the best for that reason! Curbs my appetite and gives me energy.

Once you start a routine and stick to it, you'll create accountability for yourself.
June 1, 2010 9:02 AM
Thank you all for your responses! I am going to try to incorporate all of your advice and just take it day by day hour by hour. Thanks to you all, I am not going to let myself graze! I am motivated more than ever before. I am new to MFP and I am just loooving all of the support!
June 1, 2010 9:11 AM
Another great way to prevent grazing is to chew gum (sugar-free, of course) which is also good for your teeth! happy
June 1, 2010 9:24 AM
I eat 5-6 small meals, about every 3 hours or so, this way I never feel like I'm being deprived. Are you eating several small meal throughout the day or just 3 large meals? Maybe that would help?
June 1, 2010 9:34 AM
If you're going to have a "dessert" (grazing), definitely begin by portioning it off. Do not eat straight from the container or else you'll go overboard.

Also, try eating sweet foods such as strawberries, bananas, etc as your "dessert" to satiate your sweet tooth and send the signal to your brain that meal time is over.
June 1, 2010 10:03 AM
like a few said above...

i do find having to add the tid bits in to my diary is also helpful because if i eat a handul of this or that, then have to look at how many calories i ate i useally feel like it was a wast of calories!!

i actually find main meals that are larger and more filling are better for me. If i am left unsatisfied i just think about when i get to eat next so i am finding the eating 6x per day or every 2 hours thing to be worsening the snacking issues. I find combining carb/protien at each meal is more food and more filling and more satisfing that eating little things here and there are leading to even more snacking.... just my personal experience/opinion. I am shooting for eating maybe 4-5 times per day(so i dont go more than 3-5 hours without eating).
Edited by unknownndoll On June 1, 2010 10:16 AM
June 1, 2010 10:13 AM
There are 2 things that cause this:

1 - you're bored. You have free time and a free hand and nothing better to do than stuff something in your face. So what to do? Do not be bored, find something to do. Organize your sock drawer, iron your towels, scrape the shampoo residue off of the lampshades,,, whatever. Just get busy.

2 - there is food available. So quit that, don't have the stuff around.

Good luck, I struggle with it too on the weekends. During the week I'm busy most of the time, but sometimes on the weekends,,,
June 1, 2010 7:42 PM
Awesome advice! It is hard est for me on the weekends too but whenever I feel like grazing I just pop on my iPod...some how music helps b/c it makes me want to move, not eat! Then I just dance my way to my room and get on MFP and it is al good! I can happily say that I did not graze after dinner today! Thank you all for all of your advice.


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