will-power...where does it come from????

I can't stop eating- well snacking really. I'm fairly successful while I'm at work- I typically bring my lunch and I don't eat anything else, and I'm also pretty good on the weekends as we're an "on-the-go" family and keep pretty busy. My challenge is from 5p-8p. And for the most part it's not dinner that's the problem- it's about an hour after I get home from work and am fixing dinner and helping the kids with homework. During this period of time I graze. Some chips here, crackers there, chocolate, cookies- anything I can get my hands on. We don't keep really unhealthy food in the house, but we do have a few snacks that the kids take with lunch to school- and why should they not have a goodie or two available to them just because their mother has issues with self-control?...but I can't seem to stop myself. It's almost done unconsciously. 500-600 calories a day in snacking is an issue!!!

Any other grazers out there? How did you break this habit? I'm also an ex-smoker so I'm not sure if maybe it's partially that hand-mouth thing. I know there will be some replies like "just stop" but I would like to hear some real, concrete strategies that worked for others. It feels so compulsive and I just don't want to feel like I don't have control over it anymore.



  • Phoenix_Warrior
    Phoenix_Warrior Posts: 1,633 Member
    Plan some for your evening in your calorie budget, then put them somewhere inconvenient to get to. Maybe s high shelf that requires a ladder or shoved back behind things do they're not as easy to reach for?
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,494 Member
    Will power comes from CONSISTENT DISCIPLINE and structured routine. Usually people who commit to being consistent with their eating won't have too many issues with will power. If one is ALWAYS saying "oh this won't hurt" or "I'll start again tomorrow", they will always fight the battle with the bulge.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • stfuriada
    stfuriada Posts: 445 Member
    It comes from looking at jeans that you want to fit in!

    ... or the mirror when you see that you look like a sausage that's about to burst in your clothes.
  • RachelRuns9
    RachelRuns9 Posts: 585 Member
    Gum is the ONLY way I've stopped that habit. I'm chompin on gum all day.
  • MissMormie
    MissMormie Posts: 359 Member
    Make sure you buy the exact amount of snacks for your kids that they eat in a week and do not buy new ones. Then if you are eating one of their snacks, you're not just snacking you're actually taking that snack away from your kids who then don't get anything. And I'm sure you wouldn't do that, would you?
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    Tell yourself you're going to have dinner soon and to hold off until after dinner. You'll probably have more self restraint after.

    And log it all BEFORE you eat it. It usually does the trick for me once I log it... that's something you have control on. Log it first. Look at your calorie total... then ask yourself if it's really worth it.
  • KristinNicole82
    KristinNicole82 Posts: 164 Member
    you are probably bored. drink water. Whenever I have too much down time I tend to snack. I also don't keep food in the house that I cant resist. My motivation has been the results I have seen. I just want to see more.
  • theopenforum
    theopenforum Posts: 280 Member
    well you kinda answered your own question with the EX-Smoker sentence. It takes a similar willpower to resist the temptation.

    Oh and I also chew gum lol but its mostly to get the sugar edge off. Works very well :)


  • Chevy_Quest
    Chevy_Quest Posts: 2,012 Member

    1. Log everything and anything you eat without fail - you will find patterns
    2. From those logs you will find out what foods "fill you up" and reduce cravings:

    For me:
    1- Chicken Breasts
    2 -Oatmeal
    3 - Egg Whites
    4. - string cheese
    5 - Apples
    6 - Grapes

    3. Start a regular working out program even if it is walking. For some strange reason the more I exercise the less I binge and do strange things.

    4. Do NOT deny yourself anything - I eat Pizza, Ice Cream etc. on a regular basis.. I just plan for it

    hope this helps! :smile:
  • alpine1994
    alpine1994 Posts: 1,915 Member
    I used to have that problem too. I've gotten into the habit of having a good afternoon snack at work (greek yogurt around 3:30 or 4pm) and working out as soon as I get home. Usually my boyfriend gets home sometime during my workout and starts dinner, so dinner is just about ready when I'm done with my workout. When this doesn't happen, I start dinner after my workout and it's REALLY hard to not munch away while I'm cooking, but I just force myself. I eat a good dinner and then usually a little something before bed. It's hard, but that doesn't mean you can't do it. It's really mind over matter. Force yourself not to snack before dinner for one day. The next morning when you wake up, you will feel like a rock star for sticking to it, so force yourself to do it that day too. What's better than daily rock star status?! :)

    Today...NO snacking before dinner! Force yourself! You can do this!! (But make sure you eat a good afternoon snack so you're not starving!)
  • msf74
    msf74 Posts: 3,498 Member
    Willpower is a mental exercise and like any exercise the more you practice it the easier it becomes. Sometimes you will slip but that's part of the process.

    Having said that, it is far easier not to have to use willpower in the first place so if you can change your environment to minimise or avoid exposure to the thing you are trying to resist then do that.
  • bcattoes
    bcattoes Posts: 17,299 Member
    Will power comes from seeing the big picture. Seeing beyond the instant gratification of food to the results beyond the current moment.

    If you want to snack while your cooking, then either leave calories for your current high calories snacks, or keep lower calories snacks at the ready. Keep a container of pre-cut veggie sticks in the fridge. Sip on a glass of low-fat chocolate milk or V8. String cheese. Whatever you enjoy.
  • I chew almost a pack of gum a day to keep myself from putting food in my mouth when I am not hungry. Also I brush my teeth a lot. It seems to help.... good luck!
    I also save almost all of my calories for the end of the day between 5-10pm as that is when I am up at home and feel hungry.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
    "Good plans shape good decisions. That's why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true." ~ Geoffrey Fisher
  • featherbrained
    featherbrained Posts: 155 Member
    I don't know if I believe there is such a thing as will-power. I think it comes down to desire. Which do you want more - the food itself, or the benefits you reap from not eating said food? It's difficult because the food instantly gratifies your desire for it. The results of restricting that food delay gratification, and often it's so far from reach that we just go for the feel-good, instant gratification of the food.

    But that's just me! :)

    Intermittent fasting, even just doing it short term, will greatly aid you in breaking habits/addictions. Kind of like quitting food cold turkey for a few hours a day/week ;)

    Best of luck to you!
  • cwrldpc
    cwrldpc Posts: 20 Member
    I wish I knew where will power can from, I've been looking for it for 20 years! I get inspired and movtivated then lose my groove and go back to old habits. I eat out of boredumb and habit, not hunger. If I keep busy I am not craving anything because nothing is available to me. My big problem is that I am a stay at home mom, so staying away from my home in a Minnesota winter is not possible.

    Anyway, I ramble. I do better if I log my whole day right away so I know what I have to look forward to during the day.
  • thoshowski
    thoshowski Posts: 135 Member
    I would say eat something more than just lunch at work. Some days, if I am saving calories for dinner, then I won't eat my morning snack, but I always eat my afternoon snack, because I know as soon as I get home, I will be starving. Eat something, like an apple, before you go home to all of the temptations. That way, you will have more will power to say no.
  • mizzie1980
    mizzie1980 Posts: 379 Member
    I hate the idea of willpower. People will say to me "Oh, I can't lose weight, I don't have willpower like you do." Like I have this magic thing that makes it easy for me. I don't, no one does. It's not willpower, it's choices. You chose what is more important to you, losing weight or the snacking. You do this every day, several times a day. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's not, but it's up to you.

    That said, if you need some help making the right choice, I'll second the gum idea. It gives you something to chew and the fresh, minty feeling makes you less inclined to eat other things. Mint also helps me to suppress my appetite, but I make no claims on if that will work for you. Another idea is popcorn, if you crave something crunchy. I like the 100 calorie bags microwavable kind (kettle corn is my favorite). I save 100 calories or so for a bedtime snack every day.
  • I absolutely have this same issue!
    I've found that drinking a full glass of water when I get home helps, but not always. It's a struggle, especially if dinner takes a bit to prepare and I've had a rough day.
    Try protein if you must have something. Roll up some deli meat (ham or turkey). 4 slices are typically under 100 calories and they're filling! If you need a crunch, red and green bell pepper slices or cucumbers work too. (Add a little salt to them if you need that salty fix!)
    I'll take ideas too!
  • KateEMD
    KateEMD Posts: 101 Member
    I know mine is only there when I hit my breaking point which was a few weeks ago. I have my husband help be keep on track when we are home but once I saw the weight start coming off... well that was enough to get me excited and keep going!