How do I find the willpower to break these poor eating habits?

Options
I just need to write this down so it's in the world and not in my head.. as it's doing no good in there at all. I literally think about this ALL the time.

Disclaimer: I am not overweight and never have been. Which kind of makes me feel bad for posting like this. I'm lucky that my family are tall and skinny, I know I'm fortunate. It doesn't stop me obsessing about what I'm trying to achieve.

Basically I am a shade under 140lbs and 5'8. I am 43. I'm trying to get down to 135/137, so 9.5 stone. This is a goal for me because I think that's naturally where my body should be, my clothes fit better etc.

My main issue is less about the weight, but more about controlling some pretty bad eating habits. Every morning I start out with a resolution. But every morning I am eating double my breakfast amount and still want more. The last few moments, just as I am rushing to get the kids out of the door, I had two spoonfuls of hot chocolate powder, straight from the jar. I'm really embarrassed to type that. Why do I need to do that, when I've had a full and nutritious breakfast?

I eat pretty well, I'm coeliac, mostly vegetarian, quite active and like working out. I've ditched alcohol this year. I'm eating healthy stuff. So breakfast is protein powder, nuts and seeds, blueberries, almond milk, soya yoghurt etc. Which is fine. Two or three helpings, with the addition of a couple of spoonfuls of drinking chocolate as I rush out the door, is less fine.

Within an hour of getting to work I've usually eaten most of my snacks for the day, too. Mornings are definitely my time of 'I need to eat'. Lunchtime is usually salad, evenings veg and beans. So maybe it's not so bad.

I just wish I could control my appetite/cravings in the morning and would be really grateful to hear from anyone who has struggled through similar issues, and how they dealt with it.

In low periods at work last year, to get me through the afternoon, I would sometimes eat a spoonful of sugar, which is ridiculous. I have stopped that now, so I guess I need to be grateful for the small things!

I am SO embarrassed typing this out.

xx


Replies

  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,106 Member
    Options
    Play about with your macros, breakfast doesn't sound very filling to me (although each to their own with satiety).

    If mornings are when you are hungriest, eat more then, less in the evening and factor in a snack in the afternoon?

    You just have to find what works for you. Some people find fat satiates them more than carbs, others protein. So try different combinations.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,004 Member
    Options
    Yeah, I'm your same weight and height and hunger is a thing at this point.

    That breakfast wouldn't do it for me, either. I eat about 700 calories for a first meal. Less than that and I'm snacking again within an hour. I try to keep my carbs moderate in that first meal, and a minimum of 30g protein and I always have a good deal of fat in it.

    So I'm agreeing with play around with your macros on that first meal. If I have too many carbs, I'm going to be hungrier than if I keep it balanced. I do like to have something sweet at the end, but I've learned it's better to make that a planned thing like a small piece of fruit.
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,473 Member
    Options
    To paraphrase psychologist Albert Ellis, the problem with folks and willpower is they put all the emphasis on will and none on power.

    Maybe you don’t need willpower, maybe you need a better plan. Try to quit berating yourself for struggling with a problem.

    Regardless of your fitness or weigh loss goals, the process eventually ends up being the same- trial and error. You can research and discover how others have addressed similar situations. There are very good suggestions in your thread. Try a different menu for the morning and give it a good test period. Maybe 3-4 weeks. Then take what you learn from that and adjust again if needed.

    I mix my morning protein powder into a big bowl of oatmeal topped with apple and cinnamon. When I was in weight loss mode, many days I would get up and eat an apple first thing. It kept me from going off my breakfast plan.

    Just keep working until you find something that works. Willpower is a limited resource. Just say no can be a hard road to travel.
  • WickedPineapple
    WickedPineapple Posts: 701 Member
    Options
    In the short term, perhaps keep the chocolate powder (and sugar, if that's another food item you do this with) out of your home. Or if you live with someone, have them hide it from you.
  • Claire5520
    Claire5520 Posts: 113 Member
    Options
    smolmaus wrote: »

    Is this hot chocolate/ sugar snacking done in a panicky, fast as possible, pretend it's not happening kind of way? Only asking because I will occasionally do the same thing with as many bits of bread as I can fit into myself, after a very good breakfast, and it's due to anxiety. Would explain the afternoon sugar during your stressful work times too?

    Thank you - you're exactly right. I find getting the kids out of the door in time for school, remembering everything, when I've already been up since 05:30 to fit in the gym before they wake up pretty stressful. My membership expires next month, and I have been considering whether to let it lapse, and whether the extra sleep/organisation time would have a better effect on my eating habits than trying to cram everything in. It would also reduce pressure the night before, too, because I struggle to get chores, meal prep and parenting duties done and get ready for decent bed time. So lack of sleep is always an issue.

    I've just started yoga this year, and have found that when I do a session in the morning (instead of driving to the gym, which takes up more time) and set my intention for the day, I do better.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply - really helpful.

  • Claire5520
    Claire5520 Posts: 113 Member
    edited March 2019
    Options
    88olds wrote: »
    To paraphrase psychologist Albert Ellis, the problem with folks and willpower is they put all the emphasis on will and none on power.

    Maybe you don’t need willpower, maybe you need a better plan. Try to quit berating yourself for struggling with a problem.

    Regardless of your fitness or weigh loss goals, the process eventually ends up being the same- trial and error. You can research and discover how others have addressed similar situations. There are very good suggestions in your thread. Try a different menu for the morning and give it a good test period. Maybe 3-4 weeks. Then take what you learn from that and adjust again if needed.

    I mix my morning protein powder into a big bowl of oatmeal topped with apple and cinnamon. When I was in weight loss mode, many days I would get up and eat an apple first thing. It kept me from going off my breakfast plan.

    Just keep working until you find something that works. Willpower is a limited resource. Just say no can be a hard road to travel.

    Thank you for your advice - and indeed everyone else who has been kind enough to comment. I have noticed I have a tendency to adhere to quiet an ambitious diet/exercise routine, last a few months then drop off. This time, my commitment was to take time to reflect on what was working/not working, as you suggest, and altering the plan, rather than simply throwing in the towel and eating All The Things and then avoiding MFP for the next 6 months. So now, I guess I need to reassess, and keep going.

    My partner has suggested that my calorie target is too low. I am aiming for 1200 cals a day, which is what MFP suggested. But my reaction suggests I need more. I am in a sedentary job, but usually get 10k steps in a day, and my cardio training is turbo (bike) a couple of times a week, weight training 3 times a week, and a 2 hour bike ride at the weekends as a minimum.

    Thanks again for all the comments.