What my Psychologist told me

Hey guys,

I started seeing a psychologist when I lost a loved one, had the hardest time in the world accepting it and began questioning life. He's been a huge help. We also discussed how I use food as a coping method. Not any food, just the sweet fattening crap. I told him that I have tried moderation many times and most of the time it leads to binging.

His response was " Never eat it again. Do I really need to have it? Will I really miss it?"

That was last week. I haven't done it yet as it got me thinking. Is this really the best way?

Is anyone else in this predicament where you binge on certain foods? Have you given the food up completely?


  • kenthepainter
    kenthepainter Posts: 195 Member
    For me giving up something completely works best, I love doughnuts, they have great ones at a convenient store where I get coffee and gas. I had to stop eating them completely . Occasionally I will have one cookie or something "bad" I haven't done it very much so it is working for me. I want to get to my goal weight and stay there for the rest of my life, will I avoid all sweets forever ? no ! That kind of deprivation will cause me to fail eventually.
  • prattiger65
    prattiger65 Posts: 1,657 Member
    I have no point of reference to this. I just wanted to say that I hope you get better, life is awesome and I hope you learn to live it to the fullest! Good luck.
  • merisaOct3
    merisaOct3 Posts: 197 Member
    First off, I am very sorry for your loss and wish you strength and energy in your recovery.

    It's not due to a binge, but I have excluded a food because of the way it makes me feel. I discovered that I am gluten-intolerant in early 2009, before it went mainstream, and before everything in the world was available in a "gluten free" variety. It was not as hard as I thought it would be to exclude all wheat, gluten, and rye.

    I have never once wanted to "cheat" (though my willpower has not been tested for beignets at the Cafe du Monde), because I know that the outcome is not worth eating the food.

    Is the resultant guilt, setback, and frustration worth eating that food? If the answer is no, you'll be fine. Maybe eventually you'll be able to enjoy the treat in moderation, but total exclusion may be a good way to start.
  • maybeazure
    maybeazure Posts: 301 Member
    I don't think that's the best way to deal with a food addiction. Is it really going to be reasonable to NEVER have a piece of birthday cake or chocolate again? No cookies at Christmas? I think that kind of all or nothing thinking will just lead to binging and guilt.

    I think it is reasonable to tell yourself that you are abstaining from trigger foods for awhile...but eventually you have to learn to eat them in moderation.
  • motivatedmartha
    motivatedmartha Posts: 1,108 Member
    It was the only way I could cope with a nicotine addiction so - who knows - it may be the best way for you to cope. Perhaps just cut out the worst offender at first?:smile:
  • VitaVV68
    maybe it is best to abstain from your most desired "bad foods", at least until you have come to a place in your life where you feel more in control of your actions and can use moderation and are better able to employ healthier ways to cope with stress.
  • scubasuenc
    scubasuenc Posts: 626 Member
    I agree with maybeazure. I too have certain trigger foods. I am choosing to avoid them for a while to break the habits of when I tend to reach for them. I want to be aware of the craving moments and make a conscious choice not to eat the trigger food and do something else.

    However I won't tell myself I can never have that food again. When something becomes 'forbidden' we actually give it more power over us. It becomes special and there is something in our nature that makes us desire it more.

    An example is potato chips. I could easily demolish a family sized bag without thinking about it. I don't keep them in the house at all. I have given myself permission to have a snack sized bag if I walk to the store to buy it, and I can work it into my calorie goal for the day. I haven't yet had the craving survive the 1 mile round trip walk. :)
  • tracywintn
    I can't eat chocolate or most sweets in moderation.I have tried and other than sweets I do a great job with moderation and portion control.so I try to avoid all sweets. I do have them and won't say I can NEVER have them again, but for me I can't just have one piece or even one portion. I bought candy on Valentine's day and told my husband I was going to have one piece and freeze the rest. SEVEN pieces later I finally admitted it was a horrible idea and gave them to the kids and told them not to tell me where they were......I am out of sight out of mind with sweets. So guess that was my long way of saying I agree with the doctor.
  • wild_wild_life
    wild_wild_life Posts: 1,334 Member
    I don't think there is a "best" way, there is only the way that is most useful to you in any given situation. If you think this might work, try it. Sounds like you stand to benefit more than you have to lose. Despite the fervent moderation crowd around here, there is nothing wrong with avoiding any given food for as long as you need to.
  • JesterMFP
    JesterMFP Posts: 3,596 Member
    I've found it more helpful to get my head around why I want to overeat, how overeating (in general or certain foods) makes me feel, what feelings I'm covering up or avoiding with overeating etc. For me, overeating in order to cope with unpleasant emotions is a habit that I learned in childhood and practised for 20+ years, so it's not something that's going to go away easily, but I have been able to change things with time.

    I have to look at the payoff - what is it that I'm getting out of reaching for the chocolate or biscuits every time I'm upset, bored, lonely or whatever. What am I getting out of overeating, and what other ways can I deal with those emotions instead of overeating? For me, cutting out all the foods I tend to overeat would not only have created cravings for those foods, and made it 10x harder for me to change my lifestyle permanently, but it would also have given me an excuse not to look at the real reasons for me overeating, and address those.

    I still love food, all different kinds, and it's something that brings me a simple pleasure in life, you know, along with music, and walking in the sunshine, and gardening, and drawing. I still use food to cope in some ways. Sometimes, a cookie makes you feel better, just like a cup of hot tea, or a hug, or watching your favourite film. And yeah, sometimes for me, I still rely on food a little too much to cope, but thanks to calories counting, and healthy eating in general, it's under control. The vast majority of the time I can now enjoy foods in moderation along with a healthy lifestyle and much healthier coping mechanisms.

    I truly believe that if I'd given up eating chocolate, biscuits, ice cream, cake etc etc that I would have lasted a few months at most before caving in and giving up. Either that, or I would have just found some other unhealthy way to cope. I have learned to eat in moderation, and to do that, I've been forced to address the causes of the need to overeat.

    So, that's just me, and what has worked for me. Ultimately, you have to do what works for you, and for some people, that does mean making drastic changes to their diets. There are others that find it helpful to cut out certain foods for a period of time, while they work on healthier habits, and at a later date reintroduce those foods. (When I started on MFP the one thing I did cut out for a while was Nutella, as I found it too hard to control my intake of at first. I introduced it after a few months and to be honest I rarely eat it now, even if there's an open jar, as my tastes have changed a bit.) I would hope that if you're seeing the psychologist for any period of time that he would help you deal with the underlying causes instead of just encouraging you to avoid certain foods.
  • SharonNehring
    SharonNehring Posts: 535 Member
    For now, it works for me to eliminate certain foods, potato chips and donuts are 2 of them. Will I ever eat them again? Yes, on occasion but not right now.

    I gave in to the chip craving and bought a bag 3 weeks ago, telling myself I just wanted a little and hubby could eat the rest. Nope, I ate some every day until the bag was empty. The problem for me isn't the calories, it's the sodium and carbs that mess up my plan due to fluid retention and diabetes.

    The next time I'm in NOLA though, I'm not skipping the beignets. LOL
  • kristarablue2
    kristarablue2 Posts: 386 Member
    YEP....Sweet things especially chocolate is my nemesis. If I have a little there is like a flip that gets switched in my brain and I lose my damn mind and begin binging on anything and everything...but prefer to binge on sweet stuff, like baked goods. I can't even replace it with artificial sweetener because it will do the same thing for me.

    Ok so this is my struggle. I have up all sweeteners of all types when I first began to lose weight...the longer I gave it up the less I cared about it. I would not even eat jelly, cereals, drinks with sweetener of any kind in them, I mean nothing (unless hidden in food like pasta sauce or I allowed myself protein powder / bars)....anyway...once I began to eat it again, I thought this is no big deal I can handle this and for a few months I could until I was eating sweets everyday and felt I could not go without them. So I had to stop again.

    At this point I vacillate between thinking I need to stop fully again and think about how realistic it is to not have anything sweet for the rest of my life....sure I can do it, but how realistic is it....don't know...I know it is a daily struggle and I seemed to struggle a bit less when I was really strict on them however getting to that point is so incredibly difficult and I have tried so many times again.....WOW all of those words to just say I have no idea right now.
  • Jen800
    Jen800 Posts: 548 Member
    I think you should listen to your doctor for now, and quit completely. Go cold turkey. Honestly, that was the best way for me.
    Later on I was able to reintroduce the foods I used to take for granted/binge on and eat them in moderation, because a little went a long way after not having it for such a long time. Once it's all gone, you truly savor it when you enjoy it again.

    I do think he is correct though, to break a habit you must go a while without relapsing into said habit. Gradually re-introduce those foods you enjoy over time as you heal from your pain and gain more control, and you should be fine :)
  • CyberEd312
    CyberEd312 Posts: 3,536 Member
    Well when I started at 560 and worked with my therapist to understand and get a grip on my emotional issues that was leading me to bury them with food. My therapist told me that in the being abstaining from those trigger foods was probably a good idea but at some point, we had to get a handle on my depression and then have to come to an understanding of what is behind my overeating then we will need to work on my relationship with those foods because there is no way you will get through life completely avoiding those foods.... So learning moderation and self control was the more viable option long term...... This advice help me overcome my additions to said foods and in the process lose a few pounds and keep them off....... Just my 2 cents.... Best of Luck
  • YesJessYes
    YesJessYes Posts: 18 Member
    I'm very sorry for your loss.

    There are certain foods that I used to binge on, and I don't keep them in my house. Fortunately, I'm too lazy to go out to the store just to get something to eat when there is healthy food here.

    But I can't have cookies, nuts, chips of any kind, and some other things in the house. That doesn't mean I can't ever have them again, it just means if I do it will be thought out or at a social setting where eating more than a little would embarrass me anyway.

    So, while I don't know if all or nothing will work for you, banning certain foods from my house has really helped me.
    RUNNING_AMOK_1958 Posts: 268 Member
    Nacho cheese doritos. I love all kinds of chips and doritos were one of my favorites. But not nacho cheese. I liked the sweet chili flavor better. One day I bought nacho cheese and I was hooked. Couldn't stop eating them. Whatever size I bought, that's how many I ate. Even giant Costco size bags. I had never been addicted to a food like that before. It was like food crack or something!

    One day I had just started a Costco size bag and was totally disgusted with myself. Then I became angry. I took the full bag into the kitchen and literally pounded it with my fists until it was a bag of crumbs. To ensure I wouldn't eat the crumbs I dumped them into the kitchen sink and soaked them with water. Boy did they smell bad!

    I have never had one bite of nacho cheese doritos since that day. It's been almost a year. I still have 'danger foods' that I'm tempted to binge on. If I can have them without binging I eat them. The first time I binge on them, I don't allow myself to eat them anymore.

    No matter how good that food may taste, it's not worth it to have food have that kind of power over me. After all, it's just food.
  • dpwellman
    dpwellman Posts: 3,271 Member
    Is anyone else in this predicament where you binge on certain foods? Have you given the food up completely?
    Yes. Yes I have. And this is how I do it: I simply dont buy it. If its not in the house, car, desk at work, I can't eat it. I dont "eat out" either. Does that mean I don't have given up completely? No. I save for special occasions, like an overnight relay (I'll burn so many calories during Ragnar I could conceivable eat 12 doughnuts and still have a net deficit); or the one or two times a year someone gives me some (in the case of Reese's peanut butter cups); or I seek out much healthier alternatives (Unreal bars are pretty good). I used to make all my beautiful sandwiches with this lovely Cuban bread I get locally, but I've switched to Flatout wraps.
  • sloth3toes
    sloth3toes Posts: 2,212 Member
    In, for the inevitable argument over sugar / sugar + fat and food addiction.

    OP, you might want to check out this book, and the term 'hyperpalatable foods.'

  • AKcanookie
    AKcanookie Posts: 230 Member
    my condolences on your loss, and congratulations on seeking out and getting help from a psychologist - good move! and not always the easiest - i can relate

    a few years ago, i was so frustrated with my weight loss I decided to try hypnotism
    i found a reputable psychologist who specialized in hypno-therapy and went for 3 sessions - he had me write out what I wanted help with on a subconscious level .. items on my list were, to lead a happy healthy life, get fit, and give up chocolate
    without really realizing it for some weeks afterward I had not eaten any chocolate - and it went on that way for approximately a year (this was a pretty dramatic change to my lifestyle as i can honestly say I'm sure I was keeping several corner store shops lucrative soley by my chocolate consumption!) :wink:

    while that helped me out for a year, it has taken me a fews years yet, to get to this point - i will call it my AHA-moment - when I guess all of the planets have aligned, my mind is clear, and I am ready willing and able to make the lifestyle changes I need to reach my goals

    one of the biggest changes was giving up processed foods - primarily anything containing PROCESSED SUGAR
    without the processed sugar i can control my blood sugars so easily and the weight has started coming off, very satisfactorily
    sugar to me is like heroin to an addict .. my cryptonite!
    one way i've chosen to look at it; i am deathly allergic to tree nuts .. if I put sugar in the same category (subconsciously) as the tree nuts.. i choose to make it an allergy .. (ok, just think of it as an allergy) but it helps, a lot
    another bonus to giving up sugar is that, in part because my blood sugars are so good now, is that i rarely get depressed, no more foggy headedness, i have energy to spare, started exercising and am up to nearly 5 miles walking a day + yoga + pilates,
    my memory is much better and i feel like i am making great strides in being able to cope with stress and the obstacles life puts in my way :blushing:

    my meal planning comes primarily from the DASH plan for reducing and controlling blood pressure
    I've taken good advice and read up a lot, including books from Dr Sandra Cabot regarding Fatty Liver Disease
    Diabetes Without Drugs
    and incorporate a 5:2 fasting plan until I reach ONEderland

    we all have a crutch .. or a trigger .. that can lead us into the landslide of poor eating and exercise habbits
    retraining ourselves, getting educated, taking proper medical advice - all adds up .. if only we listen and put those changes into practice

    cheers :drinker:

    Marni (Canookie) Alaska
  • Kimbie500
    Kimbie500 Posts: 388 Member
    Give this a read and see if it resonates: http://www.gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2012/05/quiz-are-you-an-abstainer-or-a-moderator/

    I choose to abstain from certain foods simply because I have a hard time eating them in moderation - they can be binge triggers - so it's easier on me mentally and physically to not eat them.