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Old 01-25-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
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Carb addict & emotional eater.... help!

When all is going well and I'm rocking the lc woe I feel nearly invincible. But then I'm hit with something upsetting and the carb monster inside gets all stirred up and all I want is to eat sugar and chocolate and any carb I come across. It's a viscous battle that I'm not currently winning. The worst part is that dh and I are dealing with infertility and if I'm not pregnant after a couple more cycles of using fertility drugs then we're going to do IVF... which will require me to be down at least 15 pounds to meet their maximum bmi for anesthesia at the fertility clinic. I really want all of this stuff to motivate me to do what I must to lose weight and improve my health... but the emotional toll just makes me want to eat junk.

So I guess this was the long way to ask HOW did you change your habit of turning to food when dealing with emotional trials?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:36 PM   #2
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Have a list of viable alternatives handy and USE IT. Also, have lots of LC alternatives in the fridge/freezer "just in case".

these are the two things I have done in the past 4 months to get past those "low" times.

My "go to" lists consists of: walk on treadmill, read a book, surf the internet for a article on LC and healthy living, talk to DH, have a 30 second dance party with kids or by myself.

My LC options I like to keep in the fridge/freezer: cream cheese clouds, fat bombs, and lots of meat -- on Sunday I will cook up to 5 different kinds of meat and store in the fridge/freezer for the week. Last week: pork roast, grilled pork chops, hamburgers, taco meat, grilled chicken strips.

HTH.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:41 PM   #3
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Maybe examine your micronutrients too. I know we tend to view a big appetite or addiction as a personality flaw but almost all of them have some underlying biology.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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I find that the busier I am, the less time I spend thinking about food. I try to exercise every day, which also motivates me to stay on track. When I am really struggling, I will brush my teeth or chew some sugar-free gum. One of my main motivations is my kids. So, when I consider eating something I'm not supposed to, I tell myself I need to be strong for my kids. I want to see them get married and I want to be a grandma someday. I am only 40 and my kids are 13 and 6 so I need to stick around a long time!!
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:23 PM   #5
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I find that the busier I am, the less time I spend thinking about food. I try to exercise every day, which also motivates me to stay on track. When I am really struggling, I will brush my teeth or chew some sugar-free gum. One of my main motivations is my kids. So, when I consider eating something I'm not supposed to, I tell myself I need to be strong for my kids. I want to see them get married and I want to be a grandma someday. I am only 40 and my kids are 13 and 6 so I need to stick around a long time!!
I'm 42 and my youngest are 2 & 7!
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:55 AM   #6
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I'm still working on it.
I'm using some strategies, and although my eating disorder is not stress-eating, my strategies might help you:

I feed myself. I have good, on-plan meals. I stay prepared so that the foods I choose are good for me.
If I get the urge to eat inappropriately for me, I pause. I look at the clock. I delay 15 minutes, because I can do anything for 15 minutes. I spend a few minutes examining the craving, noting whether it comes from actual hunger, boredom, or some other feeling. Then my thoughts may go to something else. If the craving continues after 15 minutes have passed, I go get a prepared allowed snack and I eat it.

A lot of times, after 15 minutes my mind is somewhere else and the craving is gone.
FOr me, I cannot beat it down indefinitely, so I use the 15 minute trick. Eventually I want to be able to completely conquer the feelings, but I'm not there yet.

Good luck to you.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:05 AM   #7
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yup. I am 51. my daughter is 7. believe me it was time for me to get healthy and stay this way!! retirement and college will hit at the same time, talk about stress LOL

only way to beat carb addict is stop eating the carbs. I am serious. sounds hard and is very hard to do but you got to do it. cause once eaten they make you want more and more. eat ANY LC foods you have. eat the good stuff. big old steak slathered in butter. I would take that before any carbs.

have LC foods everywhere in your house ready to go!
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
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I have issues with stress and emotional eating. After gaining and losing so many times I have changed my approach. I am finally examining my urge to eat and what causes it. When I know I am not physically hungry (it is not time for a meal) and I want to eat or when I think about eating lots of carb laden food or I want to go through a drive thru and binge on craptastic food, then these are my cues that something is up. I stop and think about if I am stressed or if there is some emotional feelings I am not wanting to face. I then sit with the uncomfortable feelings and just think about them. I exam the stress or emotion and try to feel it and figure out how to calm myself mentally. I also review with myself that eating something off plan will only make me feel worse and will cause me to want to eat even more until I am in a binge and hating myself. Once I have gone through the emotions and feel calmer I try to stay busy. If it is time for a meal, I will eat my favorite LC foods and will carefull portion out only what I know my body needs, not what my mind might want at the time. I will eat slowly and mindfully to not gobble down my food. If the feelings pop up again I go through with sitting with them and reviewing them. Eventually the urge does subside. The feeling of victory and accomplishment is especially sweet knowing I have started to conquer a lifetime habit of using food to smother and soothe my emotions.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phranquie View Post
I have issues with stress and emotional eating. After gaining and losing so many times I have changed my approach. I am finally examining my urge to eat and what causes it. When I know I am not physically hungry (it is not time for a meal) and I want to eat or when I think about eating lots of carb laden food or I want to go through a drive thru and binge on craptastic food, then these are my cues that something is up. I stop and think about if I am stressed or if there is some emotional feelings I am not wanting to face. I then sit with the uncomfortable feelings and just think about them. I exam the stress or emotion and try to feel it and figure out how to calm myself mentally. I also review with myself that eating something off plan will only make me feel worse and will cause me to want to eat even more until I am in a binge and hating myself. Once I have gone through the emotions and feel calmer I try to stay busy. If it is time for a meal, I will eat my favorite LC foods and will carefull portion out only what I know my body needs, not what my mind might want at the time. I will eat slowly and mindfully to not gobble down my food. If the feelings pop up again I go through with sitting with them and reviewing them. Eventually the urge does subside. The feeling of victory and accomplishment is especially sweet knowing I have started to conquer a lifetime habit of using food to smother and soothe my emotions.
Dearest Phranquie,
Will you please live in my head?
Will you commit this post to a melody and sing it?
I want to be this sane about food.
I so admire your POWER. I am sure you worked long and hard to earn it. I envy you but mostly I admire you.
Bless you!!
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:15 PM   #10
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I'm still working on it.
I'm using some strategies, and although my eating disorder is not stress-eating, my strategies might help you:

I feed myself. I have good, on-plan meals. I stay prepared so that the foods I choose are good for me.
If I get the urge to eat inappropriately for me, I pause. I look at the clock. I delay 15 minutes, because I can do anything for 15 minutes. I spend a few minutes examining the craving, noting whether it comes from actual hunger, boredom, or some other feeling. Then my thoughts may go to something else. If the craving continues after 15 minutes have passed, I go get a prepared allowed snack and I eat it.

A lot of times, after 15 minutes my mind is somewhere else and the craving is gone.
FOr me, I cannot beat it down indefinitely, so I use the 15 minute trick. Eventually I want to be able to completely conquer the feelings, but I'm not there yet.

Good luck to you.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #11
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:35 PM   #12
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I'm a binge eater and I'm struggling with this too. It's a vicious cycle. I have to keep trigger foods out of the house, which is a challenge with the kids. I'm trying to change their foods too... If its not healthy for me, why should I give it to my kids?
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:03 AM   #13
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I am pretty sure that a majority of us struggle with this. It stinks!! I just came off of a two day binge, but I am determined to end it today. I can barely walk because wheat and sugar makes me hurt so bad. I will be having lots of fat today
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:02 AM   #14
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I am pretty sure that a majority of us struggle with this. It stinks!! I just came off of a two day binge, but I am determined to end it today. I can barely walk because wheat and sugar makes me hurt so bad. I will be having lots of fat today
Respectfully, if it is an eating disorder, sheer determination might not be enough.

In my experience, I need to manage my eating throughout the day to keep myself from getting too hungry/empty/off-track. I need to prepare foods so that a healthy choice is immediately available. I need to have a list written out of what optional foods are part of my plan when I want something for snacks instead of at meal times.

I wanted to share this with you because I don't want to see you beat yourself up if "muscling through it" turns out to be insufficient to keep you on your path.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:55 AM   #15
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Respectfully, if it is an eating disorder, sheer determination might not be enough.

In my experience, I need to manage my eating throughout the day to keep myself from getting too hungry/empty/off-track. I need to prepare foods so that a healthy choice is immediately available. I need to have a list written out of what optional foods are part of my plan when I want something for snacks instead of at meal times.

I wanted to share this with you because I don't want to see you beat yourself up if "muscling through it" turns out to be insufficient to keep you on your path.
Agreed!
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:02 AM   #16
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Maybe examine your micronutrients too. I know we tend to view a big appetite or addiction as a personality flaw but almost all of them have some underlying biology.
Good point!!!

There are some supplements that I have found help me a lot; l-glutamine especially. It's supposed to improve insulin sensitivity. I buy the loose powder (not capsules), and put 1tsp (5g) in my water bottle several times a day. I don't lose my appetite entirely, but feel much less interested in food. Fewer cravings, so I don't snack or eat impulsively; I can take the time to make better choices and prepare on-plan food (rather than grabbing crackers or making a sandwich because I'm just too hungry to cook something better).

"Alkalizing" helps me, too. Drinking water with fresh lemon or lime. Lots of green veggies, cutting back on artificial sweeteners.
I use baking soda in water and it keeps my blood sugar very steady.

When you're stressed, you may need more of certain nutrients, like B-vitamins and magnesium.
Do you take metformin (it is sometimes prescribed for fertility issues)? It can cause B-12 deficiency.

There is a connection between carb consumption and serotonin. Carbs increase serotonin production, so low levels, depression & stress make you crave them. There are other ways to increase serotonin, like 5-htp and regulating the circadian rhythm. Also, if your carb intake is too low *for you* (of course, this varies from person to person) eating small amounts of good, nutritious carbs regularly spaced throughout the day might keep you from craving and overeating them.

Good luck, sweetie!!!!!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:28 AM   #17
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Binging sucks.

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:37 AM   #18
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Munchee-
I hope it all works out for you. I believe most people are here because we know how hard it is to daily deal with food/emotional eating. For what it is worth, my little piece of advice is to TRY (and try is the operative word) to not focus on the 15 lbs or the current relationship between fertility and weight, and instead focus on those little daily activities that will get you where you are trying to go.

I know a lot of people hate Alabama, and I am not a HUGE fan either, but there is one thing that Nick Saban says that has helped me in other areas of life... He said (copied from an article in Forbes):
"The secret to Saban’s success isn’t finding the latest and greatest blocking offensive and defensive schemes. Quite the contrary. What Saban preaches day in and day out to his players and staff is the tested and true fundamental known as process focus. Saban teaches his players to stop actually thinking about winning and losing and instead focus on those daily activities that cause success.

He encourages his players to adopt a definition of success defined not by results, but rather by effort. Instead of emphasizing scoring touchdowns, he asks players to define themselves with such things as completing each set in the weight room or completing practices with 100% intensity. Saban states: “Everybody wants to be a success. Not everybody is willing to do what they have to do to achieve it.”

According to Saban, process guarantees success. A good process produces good results. Likewise, if the process is off, the results will suffer. Focusing on the outcome is paradoxical. The more one emphasizes winning, the less he or she is able to concentrate on what actually causes success."


I hope this helps. HUGS, neeleyo
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:43 PM   #19
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muncheechee-my heart goes out to you. I, too, struggle with emotional eating and I imagine that the pain of infertility is a pernicious trigger all by itself. But, you *CAN* do this. Some of the things that have helped me:

1. Aromatherapy-try burning essential oils or putting them in a humidifier-this can o wonders for stress
2. Chew sugar free gum-it gives the illusion of eating something sweet without the calories and satisfies that anxiety-induced urge to chew something
3. Treat yourself to a bath with some nice-smelling bubble bath, lotion, etc.
4. One of my favorite treats right now is Fage full fat yogurt. It only has eight carbs/serving. I often add some vanilla/almond extract and cinnamon to it, it tastes like a dessert
5. Take a walk with a friend, join the Y, or incorporate some other kind of exercise-sometimes that helps with curbing appetite and stress
6. Just focus on one day at a time, and don't beat yourself up if you slip. Just get right back to your WOE and keep moving toward your goal.
7. It's helped me to incorporate a cheat meal once a week or so. Knowing that I can have chocolate cake or french fries once in a while makes daily cravings for those foods less intense. I tell myself, "If I still want it on Friday, I can have it." When you have your treat, share it with someone you love and really enjoy the food-don't feel guilty about it or use it to counteract a negative emotion like pain and stress.
8. Try breaking your weight loss goal into 2 or more chunks, such as, "by next month, I'll loose 7 pounds, in two months I'll loose another 7." That helps you visualize your goal as something attainable and forthcoming.

Anyway, hang in there. ((HUGS)).
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:20 AM   #20
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This may not be the right time in your life to start a diet. But I recommend doing the induction period of the atkins diet. You can binge on a low carb veggies smothered in fat! I make up a quick creamy sauce and pour it all over steamed low carb veggies. Something like bok choy, you can pretty much eat as much of it as you want. There is no limit to calories as long as it is mostly fat that you are eating.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:48 AM   #21
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This may not be the right time in your life to start a diet. But I recommend doing the induction period of the atkins diet. You can binge on a low carb veggies smothered in fat! I make up a quick creamy sauce and pour it all over steamed low carb veggies. Something like bok choy, you can pretty much eat as much of it as you want. There is no limit to calories as long as it is mostly fat that you are eating.
Respectfully, binging is never to be encouraged. Binging is a destructive behavior, even if it's celery sticks and tap water.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:25 AM   #22
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I went to the library and checked out every book I could on emotional eating, diet changing, and changing your outlook on food. I'm working through them little by little.

I track my calories (have a limit) on my ftiness pal and have a 30, 30, 40 style of eating (I try for 30 carbs, 30 protein, 40 fat). I may not always reach my goal, but I try. It helps me to have some limits. But, I allow for some carbs because at this time, low carb is too restrictive. I feel I would binge because I'd feel too restricted. The way I eat allows me to eat the things that I like, but also makes me be inventive with those things. Meaning, I have to find new ways to eat meat and veggies without being completely boring about it.

Nothing is "off limits" per say - in my mind, I can have everything and anything I want. It takes the pressure off. But, I don't "want" to eat them at this time. I am trying to eat as much organic veggies and grass fed meat. I am trying to get my hormones back on track because I truly believe that the SAD is full of processed garbage. I believe that well-balanced hormones will lead to heath and now is the time to get serious about that belief! I'm not getting any younger! I found a great supplier of organic, non-hormone treated meats at a reasonable price - .

I also try to add veggies or fruit to everything I eat. I eat green smoothies (not much of a salad person at work, but will make them at home with homemade vinaigrette ). I order salads when I go out to eat (instead of a burger)...anything to get more veggies in. I also eat good fats - coconut, olive, butter. If I eat grains, I try my best to stick to whole grains, but don't eat them at dinner. I used to look at goodies to see what I could make fit within my diet. I don't even look anymore. The only sweet treat I get is nuts and organic dark chocolate. I have found some great ones - from plain, to almonds, to coconut. I tried the almond butter cups (blech...rather make my own), and the caramel dark chocolate, but it seemed to trigger me too much, so no more. It reinforced that I can't even look! I'm not afraid of sugar, but needed to cut way down. No artificial sugars for me - it's coconut sugar, agave, or honey. I do allow some table sugar, but try to stick to the others.

I hope you find what works for you! Good luck!
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:13 AM   #23
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I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who responded. You've offered up a lot of great advice for me to consider. I believe that intermittent fasting is not for me... at this time in my journey anyway. Although I enjoy benefits from IF I believe it also sets me up for triggering a binge when I get stressed. Today is my first day back on plan after a week (?) of stuffing myself with carb poison. I finally feel ready to take care of myself again and want to figure out how to avoid going off on a carb bender next time. You know, none of that junk I ate tasted nearly as good as I thought it should but that still wasn't enough to make me stop shoveling it in.

I'm so grateful to have you all
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:00 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriAS View Post

My "go to" lists consists of: walk on treadmill, read a book, surf the internet for a article on LC and healthy living, talk to DH, have a 30 second dance party with kids or by myself.

My LC options I like to keep in the fridge/freezer: cream cheese clouds, fat bombs, and lots of meat -- on Sunday I will cook up to 5 different kinds of meat and store in the fridge/freezer for the week. Last week: pork roast, grilled pork chops, hamburgers, taco meat, grilled chicken strips.

HTH.
I've been in a bad, bad, long, cycle...up to almost 200 pounds, unheard of for me.

Yesterday I restarted and just ate, ate, ate, and ate...all lowcarb. I figure in the early days it isn't about weight loss its about ditching cravings; period.

I like what Lori says above about stocking the house well and coming up with rewarding things to do that "feed" your brain when you're feeling uneasy....

Because I GET THAT. Feeling "off" drives me to food or alcohol, every time.
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