Can't seem to stop eating

Hi all!
I am having a very hard time with understanding how to control my hunger and my cravings. I have been overweight all of my life, and it seems that at the end of the night, I get most hungry, even if I've eaten during the day regularly. I just don't know what to do to stop myself from shoving food in my face.
I know I am overweight because I eat too much food. How do I stop?
Thanks.
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Replies

  • gary241069
    gary241069 Posts: 255 Member
    It's more important to find out what you are eating, rather than how much at this point.
    Take it one step at a time and make better choice with what you eat rather than trying to stop.
    If you concentrate on you protein foods, your good veggies and your fruits, rather than the original bad foods
    Then within time, you may just find your body taking the next step for you.
  • SharonNehring
    SharonNehring Posts: 535 Member
    There's no magic answer. You, and you alone, control what you put in your mouth. You must develop the self control to resist eating more. Use distraction, remove high calorie foods from your house, keep healthier snacks available, make a list of all the reasons why you want this and hang it on the frig to remind you very time you go to open it.

    As for motivation, we can give you all kinds of suggestions but motivation must come from within. Losing weight is hard, and unless you are ready to dedicate yourself to making this lifestyle change, then it won't happen. If you aren't ready yet, that's ok. It took me 25 yrs to get to the point that maintaining the status quo was more uncomfortable than making the changes needed to get healthy.
  • brenn24179
    brenn24179 Posts: 2,144 Member
    I think you stop when you realize you have to take care of yourself and quit doing this destructive thing. Love yourself and make yourself look good and visualize yourself wearing the clothes you want. I tell myself No setting boundaries with myself. Food is good but overeating is being mean to yourself and who wants those consequences.
  • j6o4
    j6o4 Posts: 871 Member
    You can try snacking of veggies and lean meats throughout the day to get in your micros and protein, and then use the rest of your calories to satisfy your cravings at the end of the night.
  • love8383
    love8383 Posts: 169
    sugar and carbs are kind of addictive and like any addiction your body will crave them because it's used to them. I used to crave certain foods all the time at first so i cut out sugar all together and only ate low healthy carbs. then after a couple of months i didn't crave them at all. Now i can eat them in moderation without the constant cravings.
  • bwogilvie
    bwogilvie Posts: 2,130 Member
    A few questions to ask yourself when you feel hunger/cravings at night:

    - Am I really hungry—in need of food because my stomach is empty and growling—or do I just have a craving because food brings pleasure?

    - If I'm just having a craving, can I ignore it until it goes away? (Drinking a glass of water often helps at this point.)

    - If I can't ignore the craving, will a low-calorie, bulky food satisfy it—a pickle, some raw broccoli, etc.?

    - If a low-calorie food won't suffice, how little of something else will I need to feel satisfied? If I crave ice cream, will one soup spoon be enough? (I owe this last question to Dr. Yoni Freedhoff's recent book The Diet Fix, which is well worth reading.

    The way to deal with this issue in the long run is to learn to distinguish real hunger from cravings, and learn to ignore cravings. It's easier to ignore them if you find something to distract yourself from them. Cravings and boredom go hand in hand. I find that pursuing my hobbies in the evening, instead of vegging out in front of the TV, is a great way to cut down on cravings for food I don't need.
  • aedreana
    aedreana Posts: 979 Member
    You don't want to lose weight as much as you want to eat. Unless and until you get to the point where being thin is more important to you than food, there is no point in trying to diet. No need to feel guilty about it. Enjoy your life as it is, because if food means that much to you that you feel you are not even in control of what you eat, you would be absolutely miserable being thin. Many people live to eat. They should resign themselves to being overweight. Thinness isn't the right choice for everyone.
  • aprilgicker
    aprilgicker Posts: 395 Member
    You may need to find other ways to eat. if you are a grazer and have no set time to eat meals and snacks try eating your meals and snack only at certain times. If you eat at certain times you may need to be a grazer. Either way make sure you get you proper calorie intake and that you try to eat good for you foods.
    Other ways to get rid of hunger that may be false signals is: drink water or a cup of tea, brush your teeth, chew a piece of gum, do 10 crunches or 20 jumping jacks, if it is at night and not too early just go to bed.
  • TheFrugalFatass
    TheFrugalFatass Posts: 58 Member
    Hi there.

    I am a compulsive overeater and have learned that I must absolutely, 100% abstain from certain foods because if I eat them, I cannot stop eating them. Those foods include potato chips and all sweets. There are also foods that are on my "watch list." These foods are snack crackers, white pasta, and white bread. If the balance of my diet consists of these foods, I tend to be hungry and have cravings all the time. I try to limit these things to one serving per day.

    YMMV.
  • Chunkhotep
    Chunkhotep Posts: 16 Member
    HI Hannah,

    I know how you feel. I had the same problem. At the end of the night, I would suddenly just want to eat ridiculous amounts of food. For me it was chips, pretzels, peanuts, anything salty. Once I started, I was in a groove and literally could not stop.
    First, I started tracking everything, and I mean everything. After a particularly massive amount of peanuts one night while watching TV, I actually went through the empty shells and attempted to count how many I ate. When I tracked it, it was over 1500 calories! And that was after eating regular meals all day. And I didn't even feel overly full! I now know that I simply can't have them in the house. Once the easy "bad" options are removed, it becomes a heck of a lot easier to resist them. I'm not going to drive to the store at 11pm just to eat crap. Now, I've finally trained myself to be more in control. But I still try to not keep lots of those foods in the house as a rule. You can do it, but you really have to want it more than the food (as was mentioned earlier). It took me more than a few years to actually realize this. Good luck.
  • fatcity66
    fatcity66 Posts: 1,544 Member
    Two things:

    1. Get the things that cause you to binge out of the house. Chips, cookies, candy, whatever your trigger foods are; don't buy them and don't have them on hand. If you're really hungry, eat some raw veggies, nuts, or cheese sticks. If you do EVER buy these foods, buy ONE single serving package at a time only.

    2. Go to bed early. If you're asleep, you can't eat. If you can't not eat while watching TV, force yourself to workout while you watch, or do something that keeps your hands otherwise occupied. I find it difficult to eat while reading, and it also helps me wind down before bed.
  • itsbasschick
    itsbasschick Posts: 1,584 Member
    agree that it's best to keep trigger foods out of the house.

    and find an obsession. whenever you want to munch, come here and read threads. or if you're into fitness, look up fitness reviews - go crazy, let it replace the food thing. into photography? same thing - just find something that really interests you and spend time reading about it, researching it, looking up stats.

    btw, i save a couple hundred calories per day so i can have something tasty before bed. in fact i just finished a bowl of cereal :D
  • KarenJanine
    KarenJanine Posts: 3,498 Member
    1. Start logging everything you eat, weighing portions with a food scale whenever possible. Being honest with yourself and being accountable is the first step.

    2. Have realistic expectations. You say in your profile that you want to hit your goal by the time you're 21. You're already 20. With 110lbs to lose that's perhaps rather ambitious. Healthy, sustainable weight loss should be at a rate of around 1 lb per week. You may lose more earlier on but this should be slowed as you get nearer your goal.

    3. Make sure you get a balance of protein, fats and carbs. Note that fats are essential to the body, as well as helping with satiety. Many people cut fats too low and experience increased hunger. Also make sure you get adequate fibre intake.

    4. Find exercise that you enjoy and will keep doing long term,be that walking, swimming, cycling, etc. etc.

    5. Incorporate some form of resistance training to ensure you preserve muscle mass while you lose fat. This will result in a lower BF% leaner body when you reach your goal.

    6. Read this for more great info for beginners: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/1080242-a-guide-to-get-you-started-on-your-path-to-sexypants
  • MKEgal
    MKEgal Posts: 3,252 Member
    I agree with most of the advice so far:
    drink lots of water
    log everything, no matter how embarassing
    learn to distinguish hunger from boredom (just managed this myself recently)
    eat what you like, but in moderation; having forbidden foods only makes you want them more
    that being said, don't buy the trigger foods, or if you do buy just a little bit (until you get it under control)

    Set realistic goals.
    Use a BMI chart to find a healthy goal weight. For starters, aim for the highest number in the healthy range.
    Losing 1-2 lb per week is realistic and healthy. That means dropping 500-1000 cal per day.
    Eating 10x your goal weight for calories is realistic and healthy. (My goal weight is 165, so I'm aiming for no more than 1650 cal per day.)
    Here's a blog post I did about setting goals:
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/MKEgal/view/setting-goals-667045


    Eat a large breakfast (about half your calories), medium lunch, and small dinner. Several studies have shown that pattern to be linked with greater weight loss than the usual American pattern which is the reverse. Here's a post I did which discusses several weight loss studies (with links to them so you can read the evidence yourself):
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/MKEgal/view/2014-06-10-some-studies-about-weight-loss-667818

    If you can, exercise before breakfast, because you'll start burning fat faster. You've been running all night on the glycogen, so there's less of it available, and your body will have to pull from the fat stores more.

    And you might want to consider a month of two of an appetite suppressant so your body can reset the hunger mechanism and you can learn to eat healthy foods in reasonable portions.
    This was a godsend for me. I used to be constantly hungry, now I only get a bit hungry if I don't eat, which is how it should be.
    Use all the tools at your disposal to help you succeed.
    (You still have to eat fewer calories than you burn, and you have to do the exercise yourself, but removing the constant hunger is a huge help.)
    Here's a blog post I did about prescription weight-loss meds:
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/MKEgal/view/prescription-weight-loss-drugs-679877
  • awkwardlyhannah
    awkwardlyhannah Posts: 21 Member
    Thank you guys for all the suggestions, they're really helpful.
    I can guarantee I want to lose weight more than I want to eat. I feel this is a process, as someone who has been handed food since I was an infant, to control my emotions. This is something I am battling, I don't feel that I can't let go simply over night, and I appreciate those comments from those who are willing to be kind to me. As for other comments, there is no need for rudeness or for harshness. That doesn't go very far, or well with me.
    I think learning to log everything, no matter how embarrassing, is going to help a lot. Realistic goals are also good- I haven't updated my profile in a long time. Honestly, I don't care if I only lose 20 lbs in a year. As long as I'm losing, and not gaining, I have done myself a great service.
    Lately I'm doing a bit better. I was able to get through the night last night with only an extra 70 calorie snack, and I eventually went to bed rather than eating. Luckily, my partner is willing to help me get through it.
    I have a hard time eating meat and protein, I guess I should get myself more prepared to eat lean meats throughout the day. For someone who is always broke, that can be a problem. I'm very picky about my meat, and my food in general, so I tend to have less food in the house than what I think I actually need.
    I really appreciate all of the suggestions. It's nice to hear that I'm not doing so bad.

    I also exercise every other day, for at least 30 minutes (again I'm starting out) and I don't log in that exercise because I don't want to offset my actual calories for the day.

    Again, thanks so much.
  • farmers_daughter
    farmers_daughter Posts: 1,632 Member
    It's more important to find out what you are eating, rather than how much at this point.
    Take it one step at a time and make better choice with what you eat rather than trying to stop.
    If you concentrate on you protein foods, your good veggies and your fruits, rather than the original bad foods
    Then within time, you may just find your body taking the next step for you.

    You sir are the only person on MFP that I've seen has said that and I LOVE YOU!!! this is what my health coach keeps telling me, but on here counting calories is the only way it is "the word" whatever you want to call it.
  • gary241069
    gary241069 Posts: 255 Member
    You don't want to lose weight as much as you want to eat. Unless and until you get to the point where being thin is more important to you than food, there is no point in trying to diet. No need to feel guilty about it. Enjoy your life as it is, because if food means that much to you that you feel you are not even in control of what you eat, you would be absolutely miserable being thin. Many people live to eat. They should resign themselves to being overweight. Thinness isn't the right choice for everyone.

    Go choke yourself and path off.
    This type of gung-ho attitude is not welcome here.
  • gary241069
    gary241069 Posts: 255 Member
    Thank you for your kind words Farmers daughter.
    That's the nicest thing I've heard from MFP members.
    I love you too.
    Weight loss is only 10 % of health and fitness
    There is much more to health than the numbers on a scale.
  • aedreana
    aedreana Posts: 979 Member
    What, to please you? Yeah right. I am not leaving so you may as well block me now. Many many people love food and choose to preserve their quality of life by not struggling to be thin. They need to acknowledge to themselves that this was their choice, not failure on their part.They need not sully their enjoyment of food by unnecessary feelings of guilt or failure.
  • gary241069
    gary241069 Posts: 255 Member
    What, to please you? Yeah right. I am not leaving so you may as well block me now. Many many people love food and choose to preserve their quality of life by not struggling to be thin. They need to acknowledge to themselves that this was their choice, not failure on their part.They need not sully their enjoyment of food by unnecessary feelings of guilt or failure.

    A lot of people hate food and decide to starve themselves to the point of skeleton.
    What's your advice to them. Die you Badterd!?
    Your attitude stinks