What do you do when....

What do you do when you continue to gain weight through self sabotaging, binge eating and not being able to stick to calories? Plan out food diary, walk lots and go to the gym 3 times a week but literally has no will power. Asking for a friend.... 🧐

Replies

  • zebasschick
    zebasschick Posts: 445 Member
    what i did was food substitution. i lost 71 pounds with food substitution and daily walking - not power walking, just walking. i dropped from 242 to 171 before i started calorie counting.

    i started eating light cheese instead of full fat cheese, fat free lower sugar yogurt (i love dannon light & fit) instead of whole or low fat yogurt, low fat ice cream instead of full fat ice cream, egg substitutes instead of whole eggs and so on. lower calorie salad dressing is out there, and some of it is way tasty. so if i binge on the same foods, it will be much lower calorie binges.

    i also found snacks i really liked that were lower in calories. i like snack pack sugar free in orange and strawberry, and each has 5 calories. there are 88 calories in a light & fit (or kroger light greek) yogurt plus there's protein. i love jello cook and serve sugar free chocolate pudding - lower in calories, super chocolatey. i recently found a no carb bread and cake mix (scotty's) that doesn't increase my blood sugar, so it's probably legit, and there's the legendary 37 calorie brownie recipe.

    and i found that eating things that really satisfy me keep me from binging as much. for me, if i eat something for convenience that i don't love, i may go eat something else for more satisfaction, where i don't eat as much if i eat stuff that i really love.

    one last thing that may or may not apply to you. if you put a pound of roasted, salted pistachios in front of me, i may stop a few times, but in a short time, i'll have eaten all of them. if i grab a 1-ounce bag of peanuts, i finish that but don't usually go back for a second bag. my husband finds the same with cookies - individual servings help him not keep eating them and eating them.

    i found walking or bicycling helped me lose weight where i didn't experience that as much with resistance training (weights, machines).

    and i figured out that i binge the most when i'm exhausted but pushing myself or stressed. i am trying to change my levels of tiredness and stress whenever possible.
  • LilithReigns
    LilithReigns Posts: 92 Member
    I personally have learned the only way I will continue to make good changes is by being honest with myself, watching how I talk to myself, and doing things when the desire and urge is present not waiting.

    If you have had an unhealthy relationship with food (binging etc) it takes time to break down the cycle and to understand why. Food is so interconnected with our emotions and experiences as women. It could be a variety of things that effect how we eat and our ability to be consistent with physical exercise. It is just as much mental.

    I find having a routine helps, meal prepping of course, I try to walk after meals even if its only 15 min, I do physical activities I find healing and fun, like dance classes and yoga. I track my weight but only once or twice a month I know it takes time and I refuse to obsess over numbers.

    some things that have also helped is tracking triggers and mood swings I am bi polar so this does effect my eating habits.


  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,744 Member
    I think others gave you really good advice above. I'm just going to mention some probably more-minor factors you could consider. For me, my willpower/motivation is a very limited resource.

    Some things that can deplete the willpower budget are non-obvious. If you can improve your sleep quality/quantity, that may help. Sub-par sleep causes fatigue, and fatigue makes the body seek energy (calories) so spike appetite, plus the fatigue itself can make it harder to find the energy to resist temptation. The same is true for stress: It can increase fatigue, so steps you can take to manage stress more directly (vs. through eating) can be helpful. Urges to overeat late in the day may be especially likely to relate to fatigue in some way, because we get more tired as we get further from our last sleep.

    On top of that, if the situation is really troubling/puzzling to you, it can be a good idea to seek out some professional help in sorting that out. There should be no stigma in that, any more than there is in going to a registered dietitian when we need help with nutrition, or a personal trainer if we need help with exercise planning. When thought-patterns are the problem at hand, professional help with those can be a big help, and it need not necessarily be a long-term thing.
  • Tattoos_and_Tea
    Tattoos_and_Tea Posts: 526 Member
    Thank you all so much for your replies.
    Its definitely a mental thing. I have been feeling very anxious and have feelings of depression, lack of self worth and self confidence. But I've known that for years. In fact, I knew that when I started calorie counting on here 14 years ago.... (yes, I really have been here that long, maybe more). I lost a lot of weight, from 15st to 8st and still wasn't happy so know its a mental thing. I'm now 10st 7lb and struggle with weight gain after spending so many years losing weight. I think I binge for that exact reason. I worry that I'll be 40 next year and I'll still be worrying about my weight even when I'm 60 and before you know it, that's it and I would have wasted my life worrying about my weight. Does that make sense? Yet I still want to lose weight, but I don't want to stress myself out by doing it, so I binge, then feel worse, then gain weight and decide I need to lose weight all over again. Vicious circle.

    Damn, that's a realisation!
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,484 Member
    I know you do lifting, so maybe pushing yourself to do that is stressing you? Perhaps change up your exercise for a bit, try something new. I used to push my exercise to get in "calories burned" for the day. I now have relaxed and just try to do something everyday--just stay active. Mixing it up has helped take the pressure off, and makes exercising fun. You need fun. A walk in the park can give you a lift mentally. Find a new hobby. Something that gives you pleasure. Good luck. You can do this.
  • cosmiccurves
    cosmiccurves Posts: 34 Member
    I think so many people have said this perfectly, it truly is the most difficult part of weight loss and our journeys, getting over the mental humps. I am very much an out of sight, out of mind person! I do most of the grocery shopping as well, so while there are snacks that my husband and our boys enjoy that I buy and sometimes like to indulge in, I keep snacks that I know I have a weakness for out of my house. Ever so often I will get it and then 'hide' it from myself but most of the time, I recognize that I am having to rewire my brain, my approach, and my habits in order to be able to enjoy the things I love without completely overdoing it.

    The other thing that helps me is tracking EVERYTHING, including if I binge. Something about seeing the numbers of a binge compared to the days I stay on track is a visual shock to me and it's the first thing I think of when I am trying to avoid self-sabotage. I do not deprive myself of ice cream once a week with the family, I just log it. But now I find I am bingeing less and less because I am tracking it and I don't want to disappoint myself by seeing my calories goal WAAAAAAAAY over where it should be.

    Not sure if that helps! You can definitely do this!!!
  • Tattoos_and_Tea
    Tattoos_and_Tea Posts: 526 Member
    Thank you all so much
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 777 Member
    I would go to therapy and address the emotional issues that are driving the behaviour.
  • brandyryan311
    brandyryan311 Posts: 2 Member
    Well I’ll admit it - I’m ‘the friend’ @Tattoos_and_Tea was asking for 😉
    That scenario and description was spot on. Thank you for putting it out there and thank you everyone for such great insight. I just finished 2 months of Optavia - I knew from day 1 I shouldn’t do it because as soon as I stopped the 800 cal diet, I’d gain it back. Guess what? I’ve gained 10 pounds in 7 days! I am a self sabotager, I get insecure when I lose the weight, I feel the pressure to keep it off and the weight of disappointment when I gain it back. My go-to stress reliever is chips, followed by regret. I like to eat on my commute to make the time go by. That’s a 1,200 cal snack. I only log when I’m in my range. I’ve deleted MFP 8,493 times.
    But I love all of this advice and I’m going to restart today and use this community more. Have a blessed day.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,744 Member
    Well I’ll admit it - I’m ‘the friend’ @Tattoos_and_Tea was asking for 😉
    That scenario and description was spot on. Thank you for putting it out there and thank you everyone for such great insight. I just finished 2 months of Optavia - I knew from day 1 I shouldn’t do it because as soon as I stopped the 800 cal diet, I’d gain it back. Guess what? I’ve gained 10 pounds in 7 days! I am a self sabotager, I get insecure when I lose the weight, I feel the pressure to keep it off and the weight of disappointment when I gain it back. My go-to stress reliever is chips, followed by regret. I like to eat on my commute to make the time go by. That’s a 1,200 cal snack. I only log when I’m in my range. I’ve deleted MFP 8,493 times.
    But I love all of this advice and I’m going to restart today and use this community more. Have a blessed day.

    FWIW: It's very probable that the 10 pounds in 7 days was not all fat, probably not mostly fat. When you go from eating a tiny amount (like 800 calories' worth) to eating more, you will see the scale go up somewhat dramatically because:

    1. You have more food in your system on average on its way to becoming waste. Putting it graphically, that's not fat, it's future pee and poo.
    2. It takes water to metabolize certain parts of foods, so we retain more water when we eat more - possibly a lot more retained water, depending on what was eaten. That's not fat either, it's part of what a healthy body needs to do biochemically to utilize the food.

    In order to gain 10 pounds of fat, you'd need to eat a minimum of roughly 35,000 calories more than your weight-maintenance calorie level, or 5000 calories more than your current maintenance calories on average per each of those 7 days. That's not impossible, but I'll bet you'd notice.

    Most of the time, it's easy for us to exaggerate in our own mind what the impact has been of an individual over-eating incident or short time period ("I've ruined all my progress!!!") and some of the water/waste effects conspire to help us do that catastrophizing. Obviously, I can't say for sure what happened in your case, but I'd bet on at least a fair fraction of that regain not being fat at all.