Why eat free junk food that I'd never buy???!

As I'm battling another challenging week of yummy candy and cookies at work I wonder at the psychology behind eating food that was gifted. I would never even be tempted to buy this candy, or make/ buy the cookies. So why do I find it so difficult to not eat them? Why is free good more tempting? Why have I gained 2 pounds on free food and gone over my calorie count for most of this week? This happens to me at Halloween too.

Replies

  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,225 Member
    It's more to do with accessibility. It's there, it's easy. I find that planning on having just a little makes it easier to say no to more. Pre-logging works for me.
  • shadowfax_c11
    shadowfax_c11 Posts: 1,942 Member
    This is really a question only you can answer for yourself. Why do you eat those things?

    Better yet. Why don't you eat them, buy them for yourself, and enjoy them within your calorie goals?
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,575 Member
    I've just been thanking people, taking a bite and then not having the whole treat. I want to taste but I really can't be eating every cupcake or muffin that is gifted to me. I wouldn't have room for my dinner and pre-logged desserts that I prefer.
  • SuggaD
    SuggaD Posts: 1,369 Member
    I'm a sucker for free food.
  • fiddletime
    fiddletime Posts: 1,864 Member
    Today was a "just say no to all of it " day. But I didn't. Yesterday I prelogged and started with two pieces then overrate. If I could master this, my weight issues would be over as I can lose weight most of the year (until Halloween). Any other ideas that have worked?
  • jenathp
    jenathp Posts: 92 Member
    Being in the office is the worst for me, because I work from home most of the time. Whenever someone brings in donuts or something I have them put as far away from me as possible and then I go for a walk around the building. If that doesn't work I hop online here to MFP and look for motivation. Where I get into trouble is when I'm traveling for work or traveling to see family. :) Then I can't say no.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    I went to a wedding with buffets for 2 days and received cookies in the mail and probably gained 3 pounds this month. I wish I had an answer but you're not alone!
  • ryry_
    ryry_ Posts: 4,966 Member
    I tend to do it just because its easy. I walk by and see the goodies and grab it.

    I've found trying to create a healthy boundary around that has helped a lot.

    Instead of just winging it I've just internalized to myself..."You are trying to maintain a calorie deficit and have planned your daily calories for breakfast and lunch time. You don't need these extra calories right now and if you really want something you can plan it out and have it at home."

    A little simplistic but I've found if in my mind if I make my decision more permanant to myself there is really no temptation at all because its not on the spectrum of possibility.

  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,069 Member
    fiddletime wrote: »
    Today was a "just say no to all of it " day. But I didn't. Yesterday I prelogged and started with two pieces then overrate. If I could master this, my weight issues would be over as I can lose weight most of the year (until Halloween). Any other ideas that have worked?

    There are plenty of environmental influences on food seeking behavior as well as internal factors.

    To illustrate a point:

    I'm going to suppose that you enjoy brownies. If you don't, replace this food with something else.

    You come home from work after a long day. You're low on sleep, tired, and you had to make a lot of stressful decisions. The smell of brownies hits you in the face.

    You enter your kitchen and on the counter there is a plate with a large chocolate brownie. There's a scoop of ice cream on top and the ice cream is just starting to soften because the brownie is fresh out of the oven and still warm and gooey. There's a fork, a napkin, and a glass of milk along with it.

    The moment you enter your home you are forced to think about the brownie. Even though the moment you pulled into the garage before entering the home, you may not have even considered eating a brownie, you are required to make a choice once you are aware of the brownie. And you're not in a good position to say no in this example.

    If the brownie were already made but in an opaque container, you might be less likely to choose it.
    If the brownie were already made but in an opaque container and you were well rested and not stressed out from work you may be even less likely to choose it.

    And if you came home after a great day at work, are well rested, and you had brownie mix and ice cream but you were out of eggs and had to go to the store to get the eggs, then go back home and make the brownies, you would be even less likely to end up eating a brownie.

    These are just examples but hopefully it illustrates a few things.
  • ryry_
    ryry_ Posts: 4,966 Member
    SideSteel wrote: »
    fiddletime wrote: »
    Today was a "just say no to all of it " day. But I didn't. Yesterday I prelogged and started with two pieces then overrate. If I could master this, my weight issues would be over as I can lose weight most of the year (until Halloween). Any other ideas that have worked?

    There are plenty of environmental influences on food seeking behavior as well as internal factors.

    To illustrate a point:

    I'm going to suppose that you enjoy brownies. If you don't, replace this food with something else.

    You come home from work after a long day. You're low on sleep, tired, and you had to make a lot of stressful decisions. The smell of brownies hits you in the face.

    You enter your kitchen and on the counter there is a plate with a large chocolate brownie. There's a scoop of ice cream on top and the ice cream is just starting to soften because the brownie is fresh out of the oven and still warm and gooey. There's a fork, a napkin, and a glass of milk along with it.

    The moment you enter your home you are forced to think about the brownie. Even though the moment you pulled into the garage before entering the home, you may not have even considered eating a brownie, you are required to make a choice once you are aware of the brownie. And you're not in a good position to say no in this example.

    If the brownie were already made but in an opaque container, you might be less likely to choose it.
    If the brownie were already made but in an opaque container and you were well rested and not stressed out from work you may be even less likely to choose it.

    And if you came home after a great day at work, are well rested, and you had brownie mix and ice cream but you were out of eggs and had to go to the store to get the eggs, then go back home and make the brownies, you would be even less likely to end up eating a brownie.

    These are just examples but hopefully it illustrates a few things.

    Hi buddy. What would your recommendation be for someone who may have a food work environment like me.

    I get out of my cube, and to use the restroom , go to a meeting, talk with my boss, get a drink of water, etc. I have to walk by the "Goodie Table". Which is currently featuring the cookies from our cookies party we had. It's a situation where my environment is out of my control to a large extent.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,069 Member
    ryry62685 wrote: »
    SideSteel wrote: »
    fiddletime wrote: »
    Today was a "just say no to all of it " day. But I didn't. Yesterday I prelogged and started with two pieces then overrate. If I could master this, my weight issues would be over as I can lose weight most of the year (until Halloween). Any other ideas that have worked?

    There are plenty of environmental influences on food seeking behavior as well as internal factors.

    To illustrate a point:

    I'm going to suppose that you enjoy brownies. If you don't, replace this food with something else.

    You come home from work after a long day. You're low on sleep, tired, and you had to make a lot of stressful decisions. The smell of brownies hits you in the face.

    You enter your kitchen and on the counter there is a plate with a large chocolate brownie. There's a scoop of ice cream on top and the ice cream is just starting to soften because the brownie is fresh out of the oven and still warm and gooey. There's a fork, a napkin, and a glass of milk along with it.

    The moment you enter your home you are forced to think about the brownie. Even though the moment you pulled into the garage before entering the home, you may not have even considered eating a brownie, you are required to make a choice once you are aware of the brownie. And you're not in a good position to say no in this example.

    If the brownie were already made but in an opaque container, you might be less likely to choose it.
    If the brownie were already made but in an opaque container and you were well rested and not stressed out from work you may be even less likely to choose it.

    And if you came home after a great day at work, are well rested, and you had brownie mix and ice cream but you were out of eggs and had to go to the store to get the eggs, then go back home and make the brownies, you would be even less likely to end up eating a brownie.

    These are just examples but hopefully it illustrates a few things.

    Hi buddy. What would your recommendation be for someone who may have a food work environment like me.

    I get out of my cube, and to use the restroom , go to a meeting, talk with my boss, get a drink of water, etc. I have to walk by the "Goodie Table". Which is currently featuring the cookies from our cookies party we had. It's a situation where my environment is out of my control to a large extent.

    That's a really ugly scenario honestly.

    The two immediate things that come to mind, in order of likelihood that you could do them:

    1) Keep as much physical distance from the food as you can. For example, not walking by the cookies when you can help it, taking an entirely different route if that's an option.

    2) Not likely an option but I've seen examples like this before, if the cookie tray has a lid, put the lid on. If it's a very small company and you have any say in where the cookies get placed, move them. I do realize this may not be an option.

  • ryry_
    ryry_ Posts: 4,966 Member
    SideSteel wrote: »
    ryry62685 wrote: »
    SideSteel wrote: »
    fiddletime wrote: »
    Today was a "just say no to all of it " day. But I didn't. Yesterday I prelogged and started with two pieces then overrate. If I could master this, my weight issues would be over as I can lose weight most of the year (until Halloween). Any other ideas that have worked?

    There are plenty of environmental influences on food seeking behavior as well as internal factors.

    To illustrate a point:

    I'm going to suppose that you enjoy brownies. If you don't, replace this food with something else.

    You come home from work after a long day. You're low on sleep, tired, and you had to make a lot of stressful decisions. The smell of brownies hits you in the face.

    You enter your kitchen and on the counter there is a plate with a large chocolate brownie. There's a scoop of ice cream on top and the ice cream is just starting to soften because the brownie is fresh out of the oven and still warm and gooey. There's a fork, a napkin, and a glass of milk along with it.

    The moment you enter your home you are forced to think about the brownie. Even though the moment you pulled into the garage before entering the home, you may not have even considered eating a brownie, you are required to make a choice once you are aware of the brownie. And you're not in a good position to say no in this example.

    If the brownie were already made but in an opaque container, you might be less likely to choose it.
    If the brownie were already made but in an opaque container and you were well rested and not stressed out from work you may be even less likely to choose it.

    And if you came home after a great day at work, are well rested, and you had brownie mix and ice cream but you were out of eggs and had to go to the store to get the eggs, then go back home and make the brownies, you would be even less likely to end up eating a brownie.

    These are just examples but hopefully it illustrates a few things.

    Hi buddy. What would your recommendation be for someone who may have a food work environment like me.

    I get out of my cube, and to use the restroom , go to a meeting, talk with my boss, get a drink of water, etc. I have to walk by the "Goodie Table". Which is currently featuring the cookies from our cookies party we had. It's a situation where my environment is out of my control to a large extent.

    That's a really ugly scenario honestly.

    The two immediate things that come to mind, in order of likelihood that you could do them:

    1) Keep as much physical distance from the food as you can. For example, not walking by the cookies when you can help it, taking an entirely different route if that's an option.

    2) Not likely an option but I've seen examples like this before, if the cookie tray has a lid, put the lid on. If it's a very small company and you have any say in where the cookies get placed, move them. I do realize this may not be an option.

    @SideSteel Tell me about it. I am on the far row with only one exit and entrance point lol. It is literally the only way to go. My desk is about five feet from the stuff but not in my line of sight which is good.

    And I have definitely come over and put the lids back on and covered them with foil whenever possible but its not always feasible. A couple of posts above I kind of outlined how I've been dealing with it which has been about as effective as I can get.

    Also I was trying to do IF for a while but being hungry and within close proximity to food was a disaster so I've been focusing on gettting good high protein breakfasts and lunches in which also helps.
  • MarziPanda95
    MarziPanda95 Posts: 1,318 Member
    I'm a student. I can't afford to say no to free food ;)
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 21,096 Member
    1) I have been exercising more last month and this month ... burning off any extra calories I might be tempted to eat.

    2) At lunch, I leave the office and go for a long walk so that I don't see the food or smell the food.

    3) I look at trays of goodies left in the kitchen or wherever as "not mine". I wouldn't grab someone else's yogurt out of the fridge, therefore I'm not going to eat whatever is on the tray because it belongs to someone else. It is not mine.

    4) At potluck morning teas ... I bring nothing, therefore I eat nothing. Again, the food is not mine.

    5) And I made myself a "rule" when I started with MFP. I was going to eat ONLY foods I like. Therefore, if the goodies on offer aren't something I would go out and buy for myself because I feel sort of "meh" toward them, why would I snack on them if they were free?
  • fiddletime
    fiddletime Posts: 1,864 Member
    Machka9 wrote: »
    1) I have been exercising more last month and this month ... burning off any extra calories I might be tempted to eat.

    5) And I made myself a "rule" when I started with MFP. I was going to eat ONLY foods I like. Therefore, if the goodies on offer aren't something I would go out and buy for myself because I feel sort of "meh" toward them, why would I snack on them if they were free?

    I try to keep this in mind. That I wouldn't have bought the food that's now ten feet from my desk at work all day. I don't want to "have" to exercise the calories off as I like exercising and don't want it to be a negative or sort of punishment thing. But, it's just suck it up time I guess.

    @SideSteel. I read a bunch of your blogs last night and actually went to bed an hour earlier last night because of that!

  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,069 Member
    fiddletime wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    1) I have been exercising more last month and this month ... burning off any extra calories I might be tempted to eat.

    5) And I made myself a "rule" when I started with MFP. I was going to eat ONLY foods I like. Therefore, if the goodies on offer aren't something I would go out and buy for myself because I feel sort of "meh" toward them, why would I snack on them if they were free?

    I try to keep this in mind. That I wouldn't have bought the food that's now ten feet from my desk at work all day. I don't want to "have" to exercise the calories off as I like exercising and don't want it to be a negative or sort of punishment thing. But, it's just suck it up time I guess.

    @SideSteel. I read a bunch of your blogs last night and actually went to bed an hour earlier last night because of that!

    Awesome!
  • kar328
    kar328 Posts: 4,068 Member
    Machka9 wrote: »

    5) And I made myself a "rule" when I started with MFP. I was going to eat ONLY foods I like. Therefore, if the goodies on offer aren't something I would go out and buy for myself because I feel sort of "meh" toward them, why would I snack on them if they were free?

    This is a biggie. I've been reminding myself of that when I'm at work and it's helpful. This week I'm working the nights of the 23rd and 24th. Someone is setting up a dessert night on the 23rd and a potluck (I just typed potlick lol) on the 24th. I'm skipping bringing something for dessert night, so my rule of not eating if I don't participate will stand. I will do something for the 24th, and bring some food for myself as well, so what's there isn't my only option. I'm eating with family on Christmas and if I'd rather go over the calories then.

  • robingmurphy
    robingmurphy Posts: 348 Member
    I have this problem, too! I've decided that I work best when things are black-and-white for me and I'm going to implement a rule that I just NEVER eat free food at work. That will make it easier - I will just avoid the table where they set free food out and make a hard rule never to go by the candy dish. When it's a grey area I can always find an excuse to go eat some in the middle of the afternoon when I'm bored.
  • kar328
    kar328 Posts: 4,068 Member
    Bumping to say this thread helped me the first time around and last night (reread it in the parking lot before work) - coworkers organized a pizza and ice cream party - two of my favorite food groups. I'm a transplanted NYer/pizza snob - so I could get around the big chain pizza since it's not worth the calories and macros, but the ice cream was tempting. Rereading this thread helped me stay away. I make room for my ice cream at home, enjoy what I do eat, in a relaxing setting. I talked myself out of eating it at work, even though I had the calories, - not my favorite flavors, eating on the run etc and reminded myself that I don't have to eat it simply because it's there and it's free. I managed to get myself into the normal weight category last week (although still at the point where eating a meal puts me into the overweight category again) and I don't want to mess up that progress with what was in front of me.

    So, thanks for all the wise words. They helped.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited January 2016
    Oh, just noticed it was old. Never mind! ;-)