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Secret Eating vs. Willpower

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  • JeromeBarry1JeromeBarry1 Member Posts: 10,177 Member Member Posts: 10,177 Member
    For me, it wasn't 'secret' eating. It was just the bad habit of eating 5 large meals a day.
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 1,976 Member Member Posts: 1,976 Member
    Out of curiosity, do you normally follow Keto? You can tell me to mind my own business. I'm OK with that and I don't mean to pry, but if you are trying to follow Keto and cheat, that's perfectly understandable.

    I could never follow such a restrictive diet. Could that possibly be part of the reason for the secret eating? Carbs?
  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Member Posts: 8,073 Member Member Posts: 8,073 Member
    My grandmother was a secret eater but it was born out of necessity. She had 12 kids and suffered with a potassium deficiency. She had to hide all of her bananas in the closet but the kids and grandkids knew exactly where they were so she still didn't get to eat them.

    Alot of secret eaters will need to look back into their pasts and childhoods for clues about the root causes. If you're willing to plumb the depths of the closet you will find the answers, answers, answers. We carry these things forward from our families.

    It's rare that you will find a household where everyone had a completely normal relationship with food. Most of us will have some abby normal in there somewhere. Secret or sneak eating can have a bigger impact on weight as time goes on. There are kids hiding food under their beds right now as we speak.

    Theoretically, I'd love to know the why, why, why's but we can have the answers to absolutely everything and still not be able to do anything. So much of it is unexplored. I think we could talk about all of the things we discuss here for the rest of our lives. It's downright fascinating.

    I read people's theories and success stories with interest. I look for the connections and patterns that make all of us tick and why we feel the way we do about food. Food equals approval and cheering and love. Grandma said good food fixes everything but there was little to go around in that household.
  • ketoandweimketoandweim Member Posts: 22 Member Member Posts: 22 Member
    Out of curiosity, do you normally follow Keto? You can tell me to mind my own business. I'm OK with that and I don't mean to pry, but if you are trying to follow Keto and cheat, that's perfectly understandable.

    I could never follow such a restrictive diet. Could that possibly be part of the reason for the secret eating? Carbs?

    I am more low carb than Keto now (50ish net carbs per day). I feel best physically avoiding as much sugar as I can but I still can't give up my coffeemate creamer in the morning. :) I recognized my secret eating history/pattern in January and haven't done it since then. I also started low carb in January and am down 50lbs. I think I will always battle with secret eating regardless of my way of eating but less sugar helps the cravings tremendously. If I can make a few small changes and maintain open/healthy eating habits that is my goal. Strict Keto I don't see as something I can maintain long term.
  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Member Posts: 8,073 Member Member Posts: 8,073 Member
    @ReenieHJ When I left home I started living on gummy bears, licorice and chocolate covered orange jelly sticks. I told myself I was finally free, free, free to eat all of the sugar I wanted. I washed it down with quarts of chocolate milk. Then for something more substantial, I opted for cinnamon rolls. After a few days of this nitwittery, I was bouncing off the walls and I felt nuttier than a fruitcake. I was higher than a kite and it was all due to the gummy bear high. I still adore those cute lil bears.

    That only lasted a few days. Truthfully, I was homesick as a dog for my family. I missed my mother's good homecooking and everything about home. Dang, I remember that homesickness like yesterday. I'm going to go see my mother, right now. :#


    edited September 8
  • sal10851sal10851 Member Posts: 165 Member Member Posts: 165 Member
    It's a combination of everything. Ultimately you only lie to yourself. Junk food is designed to make you hungrier so if you are prone to overeating you are going to gain some weight.
  • cephlovecephlove Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    I suspect whether this could be considered an addiction will vary between people depending on why they do it. For me it wasn't an addiction - I was a chunky teenager and I was ashamed for anyone to see me eating junk food. I didn't want to feel judged/humiliated any more than I already was.
  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Member Posts: 8,073 Member Member Posts: 8,073 Member
    @AlexandraFindsHerself1971 Sneak eating and/or yoyo dieting can begin early in childhood. Leaving the comfort of the nest/home is a often a big trigger. The 20's are a vulnerable time for riding that yo-yo dieting merry-go-round. Riding it out, surfing the waves, Urge Surfing works for me and it does get easier with time.
  • LunaTheFatCatLunaTheFatCat Member Posts: 131 Member Member Posts: 131 Member
    My secret eating goes back to childhood as well. My mother did the same, I would see her in the kitchen, cleaning or preparing dinner and regularly slipping food in her mouth when she thought no one was watching. She has been obsessed with her weight for as long as I can remember. Not being helped by my very judgmental dad who would call friends and family fat, lazy, stupid.

    In work I have my own office and would easily go through stashes and stashes of junk unseen. At home, when everyone went to bed (husband goes earlier than me) and I was left downstairs on my own, I would make countless trips to the kitchen. I was even cheating on myself by not logging those trips on MFP. If it's not logged it doesn't count right?

    I am now making a conscious effort not to eat in secret. I created a fresh, and I can proudly say 100% honest, account on MFP and when I'm done eating, I close my diary for all my pals here to see. And if I still fancy that chocolate biscuit, I'll add it.
  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Member Posts: 8,073 Member Member Posts: 8,073 Member
    @LunaTheFatCat Great decisions. I have 15 aunts and 7 uncles. Those aunts taught me everything I know about food and I had to unlearn most of it. It's now been passed down through the generations and I don't see an end in sight. One of them told another family member who was going through chemo treatments, you've never looked better because they were dropping it like it was hot. That's why I'm here on MFP. No one has all of the answers. That's why we have each other.

    We had a funeral and everyone was raving about how good they looked. One uncle said, I just think they look really dead. That is all. It never ends.

    edited September 21
  • spyro88spyro88 Member Posts: 384 Member Member Posts: 384 Member
    durhammfp wrote: »
    Or maybe it's your coping method for trauma (also maybe why you eat in secret, so you don't have to admit the trauma).

    I think that is very insightful. I was thinking that, paradoxically, maybe this is a way for a child to assert control in her life--making a decision about what food to eat and when, especially if it is counter to what the adults in the room approve.

    Although, there are probably as many reasons for secret eating as there are people who engage in it.

    This was exactly my reason for secret eating and I was scrolling through the thread to see if someone mentioned it. I had a problem with binge eating McDonalds/ KFC after work, which I talked through with a therapist. I was surprised to discover that at the bottom of it was my child self saying "I can eat whatever I want and NO ONE can stop me!" Kind of a belated rebel teenage phase trying to exert control.

    You are right though that it can be for such a huge variety of reasons. The best thing to do for anyone finding it's becoming a problem is to see a professional to talk it through. I would never have reached this conclusion on my own, and although it hasn't completely stopped my problem, I am slowly managing to get through it with a variety of different support networks, including MFP which I have found amazing :)
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Member Posts: 2,838 Member Member Posts: 2,838 Member
    My mother was a secret eater. She was obese and my father shamed her for her weight before he finally left for a younger thinner new wife. When he was no longer in the picture, she still ate secretly, hiding how much she ate from us kids. She did the same thing years later with smoking. In both cases, we knew but said nothing. I decided that I would never do that, but would instead try to enjoy my food openly, whether healthy or not. When I go to the kitchen for something to eat, I always ask my husband if he wants some. I don't buy food just for myself, even when I am out on a run or hike on my own. DH isn't at all judgmental, but I don't want to get into habits that are shame based. I have no room for that in my life.
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