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 Post subject: Help me control my eating ?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:57 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 40
Okay, so I am not obese, or overweight even, but I do have some fat to lose. I know what I need to do, but....
I cave in to eating things I shouldn't. I eat vegan, but sometimes I cave in and eat crap vegan. Any tips or things
that you guys do to fight off the urge or craving ? I try to think of my end-goal, that hardly works lol. Thanks for
any tips you can give me.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me control my eating ?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:49 pm 
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Elephant
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Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 1074
Location: in the Vortex
There are two kinds of food cravings, physical and mental/emotional. The physical one is fairly straightforward: you are dehydrated, so you want beverages; your body lacks Vitamin C, so you suddenly crave oranges. These cravings are usually easily satisfied by simply supplying whatever element the body wants, then the cravings end, never to return unless the deficiency returns. If you have favorite vegetables that you cannot seem to get enough of, research what those veggies are high in, nutrient-wise. Chances are, your regular diet is low in something they provide. We don't crave things for no reason.

Sometimes the reason is all in your head, pun intended. Such mental cravings are a little more complex. When you "want" food that you have mentally decided is not good for you, then by definition you are acting against your best interests. You are making a choice that you believe will hurt you. Why would anybody do this? Easy: the food behavior is triggering a chemical rush in the brain...and you taught your own brain to do it.

Mental/emotional connections to food rapidly form when you constantly associate a feeling with a food, they can even happen overnight during an event of high stress. When I was eleven, I had major surgery, the first time I was ever in a hospital, and needless to say, I was anxious. The nurses brought me buttered toast, one of the few foods I was allowed, and I associated the care giving with the taste of hot buttered bread. There are now certain days I could go through an entire loaf of six grain bread and a tub of Earth Balance spread, easy. The weird bond between certain foods and certain emotions isn't your imagination, it's a hard-core chemical connection in your brain. You really feel like you need that food. It feels almost addictive but the emotion is the trigger, not the food. Studies have revealed that the same dopamine rush that controlled substance addicts experience is evident in binge eaters during a junk food free-for-all. The brain has learned that there's something out there it can use to get "high," thus alleviating whatever negative emotion has it by the tail. Trick is, no amount of that food will end the need because the emotion can be sustained by the brain indefinitely simply by ruminating over it. The physical body, by comparison, must throw in the towel after a certain point. You can only eat so much buttered bread before you want to puke.

Will power is not going to do it, in fact applying force to the situation actually just reinforces the brain connection. Drug therapy, a form of force, is another dead end, often literally. Throwing a lot of money and unnatural chemicals at a perfectly natural process is ludicrous. You have far more control over the trigger--the emotions--anyway, and that's free. You've got to identify the situations that lead to the emotions and then substitute an alternative behavior that will trigger the same chemical cascade in your brain. If you already feel good, you don't want the "bad food," you literally, chemically, do not need it. Ever notice how you only crave crap when you FEEL like crap? There you go.

Here's an example: Let's say you typically come home at the end of the day tired, a little frustrated, and with low blood sugar. Your body's first priority is survival, so it signals hunger to take care of the blood sugar situation. But you're tired, you don't want to waste any more energy, so you start thinking about what you can get right now. The frustration factor is why you reach for junk food: it's a treat, it's something you don't allow yourself except on special occasions, and it's insanely delicious. I won't go into how certain combinations of sugar, salt, and fat have been researched and manipulated by companies to help your brain want them even more. In a nutshell, you're reaching for the frozen vegan pizza rolls because it feels good to be satisfied on so many levels so quickly. Do that enough times and your body and brain will associate every crappy day of work with gooey vegan pizza rolls. Try making it through the supermarket at 7 PM, tired and hungry. Go ahead, try it.

But you wouldn't have needed the pizza roll medication if you hadn't already been on the ropes. The trick is not to get into that situation in the first place. You'll be surprised how much fewer your cravings become when you tend to your own brain chemicals first. If you are tired at the end of the day, instead of going directly home, take a few minutes to sit in your car or outside and do deep breathing. Stretch a little, especially your neck, back, and legs. Walking is good, it does all of that. Do a little self-massage on those areas, especially the hands, neck, and shoulders. Close your eyes and visualize something that gives you relief. Relief doesn't mean nirvana, it just means "better than before." So, if you're angry, plot revenge in your head (don't actually act on it, just enjoy the possibility). If you're frustrated, remember a great vacation, workout, or party you experienced lately. Think about your furry pet waiting for you at home. If you are lonely or anxious, go for the mental porn. Sexual fantasies do amazing balancing acts with your brain chemicals, especially in rush hour. People will look over and wonder why you're grinning in the next lane. All of this releases the chemicals your brain was looking forward to with the pizza rolls.

When you get home, immediately drink a glass of water. This will give your stomach something to do for a minute or so while you direct your thoughts towards dinner. If you need more than that, a piece of fruit will prevent hypoglycemic meltdown. You've just bought yourself 10-20 minutes to prepare the dinner you will feel proud of. If you're really smart, you'll get it ready in the morning or prep a whole week's worth in advance. After the meal, relax on the floor with light stretching and/or yoga. Self massage your feet now, and your back by rolling over tennis balls on the floor or a balance ball. The point is, you're teaching your brain to anticipate all this good feeling stuff in the evenings, and more importantly, to associate the soothing actions with the aftermath of a good meal instead of junk food. Keep the TV off during this time, it will hijack your neocortex and screw up your efforts. Music is okay.

It will take time, but it will work. Don't worry about setbacks, just keep at it. It takes about 30 days for the brain to literally rewire itself with neurons along a new path of behavior. Once it's wired, it's in there good. That's why switching from the old behavior takes so long and why willpower is just stupid. Willpower doesn't rewire anything, it doesn't teach you anything but suffering and sacrifice, it just accustoms you to beating your head against a wall and then giving yourself credit for how much pain you can withstand. Stupid. Consider this new phase of self-teaching, of positive brainwashing, as just another exercise routine in your bodybuilding repertoire. You can apply the same concepts to any behavior you want to change. There are dozens more tricks than the ones I mentioned here.

Now, what are you going to have for dinner tomorrow?

Baby Herc

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 Post subject: Re: Help me control my eating ?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:55 am 
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Elephant
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:10 pm
Posts: 2357
Location: Bakersfield, CA, USA
I can't help you all that much, although I have done plenty of research in order to help reduce my dependency on junk foods, but I haven't succeeded yet. One great book for me was Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. If you aren't into any of the tenents of Buddhism then it might not be as useful though.

http://www.amazon.com/Savor-Mindful-Eating-Life/dp/0061697699

There are also a few good Stoic texts on eating modestly, but again, if you aren't into the underpinnings then you might not find motivation in the ideas....

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 Post subject: Re: Help me control my eating ?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:55 am 
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Manatee
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:16 pm
Posts: 267
Location: Lexington, South Carolina
Eating starches such as potatoes will curb your appetite without giving you any permanent weight gain. Since you have recently been on a fast and lost weight your body is probably still in starvation mode so some initial water gain may appear. Be patient it will level out.

That has been my experience after I have gone from 191 to 165 in recent months (actually started when I joined this forum). I upped my calories slowly, eating only starches and now that summer is here binging as much as I want on fruits (I am a melon addict!!) and the only gains I got were about 5 lbs of water around my waist that is now gone again. I'm now up to 167 and my muscles are getting fuller and fuller (still with striations) and that is from increased ability to store more glycogen.

Anyway that is just my .02. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Help me control my eating ?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 40
Baby Hercules wrote:
There are two kinds of food cravings, physical and mental/emotional. The physical one is fairly straightforward: you are dehydrated, so you want beverages; your body lacks Vitamin C, so you suddenly crave oranges. These cravings are usually easily satisfied by simply supplying whatever element the body wants, then the cravings end, never to return unless the deficiency returns. If you have favorite vegetables that you cannot seem to get enough of, research what those veggies are high in, nutrient-wise. Chances are, your regular diet is low in something they provide. We don't crave things for no reason.

Sometimes the reason is all in your head, pun intended. Such mental cravings are a little more complex. When you "want" food that you have mentally decided is not good for you, then by definition you are acting against your best interests. You are making a choice that you believe will hurt you. Why would anybody do this? Easy: the food behavior is triggering a chemical rush in the brain...and you taught your own brain to do it.

Mental/emotional connections to food rapidly form when you constantly associate a feeling with a food, they can even happen overnight during an event of high stress. When I was eleven, I had major surgery, the first time I was ever in a hospital, and needless to say, I was anxious. The nurses brought me buttered toast, one of the few foods I was allowed, and I associated the care giving with the taste of hot buttered bread. There are now certain days I could go through an entire loaf of six grain bread and a tub of Earth Balance spread, easy. The weird bond between certain foods and certain emotions isn't your imagination, it's a hard-core chemical connection in your brain. You really feel like you need that food. It feels almost addictive but the emotion is the trigger, not the food. Studies have revealed that the same dopamine rush that controlled substance addicts experience is evident in binge eaters during a junk food free-for-all. The brain has learned that there's something out there it can use to get "high," thus alleviating whatever negative emotion has it by the tail. Trick is, no amount of that food will end the need because the emotion can be sustained by the brain indefinitely simply by ruminating over it. The physical body, by comparison, must throw in the towel after a certain point. You can only eat so much buttered bread before you want to puke.

Will power is not going to do it, in fact applying force to the situation actually just reinforces the brain connection. Drug therapy, a form of force, is another dead end, often literally. Throwing a lot of money and unnatural chemicals at a perfectly natural process is ludicrous. You have far more control over the trigger--the emotions--anyway, and that's free. You've got to identify the situations that lead to the emotions and then substitute an alternative behavior that will trigger the same chemical cascade in your brain. If you already feel good, you don't want the "bad food," you literally, chemically, do not need it. Ever notice how you only crave crap when you FEEL like crap? There you go.

Here's an example: Let's say you typically come home at the end of the day tired, a little frustrated, and with low blood sugar. Your body's first priority is survival, so it signals hunger to take care of the blood sugar situation. But you're tired, you don't want to waste any more energy, so you start thinking about what you can get right now. The frustration factor is why you reach for junk food: it's a treat, it's something you don't allow yourself except on special occasions, and it's insanely delicious. I won't go into how certain combinations of sugar, salt, and fat have been researched and manipulated by companies to help your brain want them even more. In a nutshell, you're reaching for the frozen vegan pizza rolls because it feels good to be satisfied on so many levels so quickly. Do that enough times and your body and brain will associate every crappy day of work with gooey vegan pizza rolls. Try making it through the supermarket at 7 PM, tired and hungry. Go ahead, try it.

But you wouldn't have needed the pizza roll medication if you hadn't already been on the ropes. The trick is not to get into that situation in the first place. You'll be surprised how much fewer your cravings become when you tend to your own brain chemicals first. If you are tired at the end of the day, instead of going directly home, take a few minutes to sit in your car or outside and do deep breathing. Stretch a little, especially your neck, back, and legs. Walking is good, it does all of that. Do a little self-massage on those areas, especially the hands, neck, and shoulders. Close your eyes and visualize something that gives you relief. Relief doesn't mean nirvana, it just means "better than before." So, if you're angry, plot revenge in your head (don't actually act on it, just enjoy the possibility). If you're frustrated, remember a great vacation, workout, or party you experienced lately. Think about your furry pet waiting for you at home. If you are lonely or anxious, go for the mental porn. Sexual fantasies do amazing balancing acts with your brain chemicals, especially in rush hour. People will look over and wonder why you're grinning in the next lane. All of this releases the chemicals your brain was looking forward to with the pizza rolls.

When you get home, immediately drink a glass of water. This will give your stomach something to do for a minute or so while you direct your thoughts towards dinner. If you need more than that, a piece of fruit will prevent hypoglycemic meltdown. You've just bought yourself 10-20 minutes to prepare the dinner you will feel proud of. If you're really smart, you'll get it ready in the morning or prep a whole week's worth in advance. After the meal, relax on the floor with light stretching and/or yoga. Self massage your feet now, and your back by rolling over tennis balls on the floor or a balance ball. The point is, you're teaching your brain to anticipate all this good feeling stuff in the evenings, and more importantly, to associate the soothing actions with the aftermath of a good meal instead of junk food. Keep the TV off during this time, it will hijack your neocortex and screw up your efforts. Music is okay.

It will take time, but it will work. Don't worry about setbacks, just keep at it. It takes about 30 days for the brain to literally rewire itself with neurons along a new path of behavior. Once it's wired, it's in there good. That's why switching from the old behavior takes so long and why willpower is just stupid. Willpower doesn't rewire anything, it doesn't teach you anything but suffering and sacrifice, it just accustoms you to beating your head against a wall and then giving yourself credit for how much pain you can withstand. Stupid. Consider this new phase of self-teaching, of positive brainwashing, as just another exercise routine in your bodybuilding repertoire. You can apply the same concepts to any behavior you want to change. There are dozens more tricks than the ones I mentioned here.

Now, what are you going to have for dinner tomorrow?

Baby Herc


Woah, thanks for all that information. There is definitely some good stuff in there i will surely try. Your method makes sense. I'm going to give the massaging / relaxing / walking a go when i notice bad food trying to seduce me haha. Also replacing the bad food with a healthy food that i like makes a lot of sense also...
Thanks for taking the time to reply :D

As for dinner, i boiled some potato's, mashed um, and poured some gravy on. So i did good.. haha. One of my biggest problems is ketchup.... I use it on almost everything. I know a little ketchup is not to to bad, but I use a inhumane amount. Also, because i love ketchup, i tend to make things that go well with ketchup, which usually is fried junk... darn ketchup.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me control my eating ?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 40
HorseSense wrote:
Eating starches such as potatoes will curb your appetite without giving you any permanent weight gain. Since you have recently been on a fast and lost weight your body is probably still in starvation mode so some initial water gain may appear. Be patient it will level out.

That has been my experience after I have gone from 191 to 165 in recent months (actually started when I joined this forum). I upped my calories slowly, eating only starches and now that summer is here binging as much as I want on fruits (I am a melon addict!!) and the only gains I got were about 5 lbs of water around my waist that is now gone again. I'm now up to 167 and my muscles are getting fuller and fuller (still with striations) and that is from increased ability to store more glycogen.

Anyway that is just my .02. :-)


Yeah, like i said i just had potato's tonight. And even if my favorite food was in front of me right now i wouldn't eat it. I'm simply... satisfied. Also the water weight is surely there, but i don't mind it i know it will pass, its strange how much a little water in the body can change your body shape. Do you still eat plenty of starches ? I have been researching Dr.Mcdougall ( if that's his name ) and he says our diet should be starch based.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me control my eating ?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:35 pm
Posts: 560
Location: Boston, MA
SeventhDay wrote:
Okay, so I am not obese, or overweight even, but I do have some fat to lose. I know what I need to do, but....
I cave in to eating things I shouldn't. I eat vegan, but sometimes I cave in and eat crap vegan. Any tips or things
that you guys do to fight off the urge or craving ? I try to think of my end-goal, that hardly works lol. Thanks for
any tips you can give me.


There are a couple of methods of handling this, and which one works depends on the type of personality you have:

1) Quit bad foods cold turkey and do a clean eating plan for at least 3-4 weeks. At the end of those 3-4 weeks your taste buds, body, and even mind should adapt to the foods and the cravings should be almost completely eliminated. It isn't to say that you can't indulge on occasion, but you'll find that your desire to do so is greatly lessened.

2) Allow yourself a "taste" every so often so you don't feel deprived, but don't have a full cheat meal let alone a cheat day. A couple of fries, a bite of a chocolate chip cookie, or half of a vegan pizza won't kill ya, but eating that way on a regular basis will.

If you're the sort of person if deprived of your favorite things will binge on them uncontrollably if you get exposed to them after any period of feeling like you're "missing out", #2 will be your best option. But if you're someone who if you have ANY at all that it's more likely you'll be continually tempted to eat like that, #1 is your best plan. Some people do best on cold turkey, others just need a taste every so often and they'll find their cravings far more manageable.

My sole vice is chocolate. I can give up french fries for months on end, but chocolate is a tough nut to crack. Thankfully my Vega One is tasty and chocolate flavored, it helps. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Help me control my eating ?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:48 am 
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Rabbit

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:38 pm
Posts: 92
Baby Hercules wrote:
It takes about 30 days for the brain to literally rewire itself with neurons along a new path of behavior. Once it's wired, it's in there good. That's why switching from the old behavior takes so long and why willpower is just stupid. Willpower doesn't rewire anything, it doesn't teach you anything but suffering and sacrifice, it just accustoms you to beating your head against a wall and then giving yourself credit for how much pain you can withstand. Stupid. Consider this new phase of self-teaching, of positive brainwashing, as just another exercise routine in your bodybuilding repertoire.

Baby Herc


That is very useful information! Thank you Baby Herc! ...but sooo difficult! Years and years I have just relied on willpower to curb my cravings...of course it didn't work! either I gave in and I felt crap afterwards or I didn't and I was feeling miserable and being a bitch to everybody else around...

It's really interesting what you ay about suffering and sacrifice... I think maybe because of having had an eating disorder that's why my brain (still) works like that: "I'm not good enough if I don't control my cravings" " I need to withstand pain"... Now I see how unhealthy it is, but after so many years thinking like that...can my brain be rewired? Maybe I even have cravings as a way to sabotage myself, cos I don't "want/deserve" to feel good... crazy, but I've seen it in a lot of people with eating disorders...the need to feel "bad"... I'm really fed up with that and this time I really really want to change it so I'll give your advice a try... still... willpower seems to me like...necessary.... well, sorry for sharing that much, that was kind of a journal entry, LOL...but your posting lead me here and thought it could be maybe useful for other people too....


BlueRose wrote:
1) Quit bad foods cold turkey and do a clean eating plan for at least 3-4 weeks. At the end of those 3-4 weeks your taste buds, body, and even mind should adapt to the foods and the cravings should be almost completely eliminated. It isn't to say that you can't indulge on occasion, but you'll find that your desire to do so is greatly lessened.

2) Allow yourself a "taste" every so often so you don't feel deprived, but don't have a full cheat meal let alone a cheat day. A couple of fries, a bite of a chocolate chip cookie, or half of a vegan pizza won't kill ya, but eating that way on a regular basis will.

If you're the sort of person if deprived of your favorite things will binge on them uncontrollably if you get exposed to them after any period of feeling like you're "missing out", #2 will be your best option. But if you're someone who if you have ANY at all that it's more likely you'll be continually tempted to eat like that, #1 is your best plan. Some people do best on cold turkey, others just need a taste every so often and they'll find their cravings far more manageable.

My sole vice is chocolate. I can give up french fries for months on end, but chocolate is a tough nut to crack. Thankfully my Vega One is tasty and chocolate flavored, it helps. :)


I'll try that too... Still not decided about variety number one or two...I guess the first one is safer (but I see myself in both definitions...I can be allowing myself a piece of chocolate everyday and then bingeing anyway some days after, even if I have had some the days before, so, yeah, plan #1 would be the one for me I guess... )

Like you, BlueRose, my only downfall is chocolate...oh, and ice-cream... :S as for coockies and cake they used to be but somehow they don't appeal to me that much anymore. Sure I like a piece of cake once in a while but I can have it or leave it, it's not like it used to be that not having it would turn into an obsession... I remember craving donuts one Halloween and giving in in Christmas...all that time I only had donuts in my head... and my head can be filled with more usefull things that donuts, lol!

I ordered some vega online but still waiting for it...

I hope in a while all my unhealthy cravings disappear...it would be great if I see chocolate or ice-cream and think "I can have it or leave it", like for example with pizza or fries... I like them but I never feel the "need" to have them....


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