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Ok, I need some tips for eating self-control


creekland
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I plan to lose weight in 2015 and ideally I'd like to do that without meds of any sort.

 

By myself I'm absolutely fine.  I have no problem limiting what I eat (thanks to the radiation side effect of never being hungry that never wore off - an awesome perk).  I tend to choose healthy and don't actually skip meals as I don't think that's healthy, but I just choose less and more healthy options than not.  Without outside influence, it's not difficult to take pounds off.

 

BUT, I'm rarely by myself.  Hubby and both of our sets of parents have no such desire.  My mom (very overweight) also tells me she needs to eat often due to her diabetes (she uses insulin now but it evolved from Type II).  ALL of the above prefer not to eat healthy options.  They will for a meal or two, esp if I make the meals, but given their own options, healthy is very rare.  When we visit either parents (or them us), their preferred form of exercise is walking from the table to the buffet and back and can easily do this daily or more often.  I had plenty of food in the house for my mom's last visit so we wouldn't need to eat out, but eating out is what happened anyway.

 

And when we eat out, it's tough for me not to eat what looks good.  Even when I choose healthier options, it's still far more than I need to be eating.  I'm not even hungry, but it smells and looks good.

 

Then I'm still trained to eat while watching TV.  It's also not a hunger deal. It's a conditioned deal, but it's still quite a real desire.  Fortunately, we don't watch much TV, so that one isn't as bad.

 

Exercise is practically non-existent when we're with either set of parents.  They can't do much and the way family dynamics work, I don't do much without them.  (I'm usually babysitting my MIL who has pretty advanced dementia and I feel guilty leaving my mom alone.)  When it's just myself or hubby and I at home we often walk or hike.  At school I'm on my feel all day most days (and don't bring much for lunch).  The way life has been is I gain weight whenever we visit and lose it afterward, but it's tough to make real progress overall, esp since I suspect my metabolism is decreasing with menopause "stuff."

 

BUT, our plan in 2015 is to spend significantly more time with our parents.  I need a plan that will work as I don't want health issues like I see in my pedigree.  Does anyone have tips I can glean from or a plan I can steal?  I doubt the eating out will change.  I need to figure out willpower.

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O.k. this may not be the best solution but what my mom does now and I do, too, at least a lot of the time, is ask for a to go container when I place our food order at the restaurant.  I then divide the food in half and put half in the container.  I only eat what remains on my plate.  We both take the rest home for a second meal the next day or the day after.  I  try to order something that is easy to reheat and will keep for a couple of days.  Sometimes I will also eat a snack that includes drinking a Boost about an hour before we go eat.  That way I am not as hungry and am not already craving food.

 

The other suggestion I have is getting a watch that tracks steps.  Don't sit.  Walk.  Walk while talking on the phone.  Walk while taking care of MIL.  I have a minimum goal I try to meet by noon of 5000 steps.  If I can make it to 5000 steps by noon then I do pretty well staying active the rest of the day.  I don't have as much fatigue and desire to just sit.

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At restaurants, it's common to set aside half the plate for leftovers. Unless you are in a super fancy establishment, fancier than any place I go to, you can ask for a to-go box with the meal and put half your meal in it. If anyone asks say you're thinking about the budget and want to set a good example for the kids. Then it's not about food because the parents don't have littles any more.

 

Nuts are a very healthy, if high calorie, fibrous snack that sate hunger.

 

 

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I eat lower carb because I have PCOS. I  am not overweight nor diabetic, but feel due to insulin resistance, carbs can quickly accelerate me toward weight gain and diabetes, since I am at increased risk for type 2 thanks to PCOS.

 

I can eat LC when out and about without too much difficulty.  We have places we find this easier, even at chain type places.  Red Robin will lettuce wrap a burger for you (and we skip sweet sauces, etc.) and allow you to sub a side salad for fries.  We do a carnitas bowl, no rice, light on beans, add guac at Chipotle.  At lots of restaurants I do two veggies or a veggie and a salad in lieu of a carb side dish.  If you ask, many places can accommodate those simple changes.  Of course, portion size matters, so consider that too.  A salad, veggie, and a simple protein (watching out for hidden stuff in sauces if you are avoiding sugar, for example) is available on most restaurant menus.  At non chain places, I have an easy time finding salmon, chicken, fajitas (I skip the tortillas), a small steak.  At the local Greek place, I get lamb gyro meat over salad greens.  Once you figure out how to adapt what's on the menu to work for you, it gets easier IME.  I can pretty easily put together something that works for me on most menus.  (Americanized) Chinese is pretty much the only one that doesn't generally work for me, unless I do steamed veggies and a protein (no sweet sauces, etc. rules out a lot), and that's just not worth eating out.  Our quick "emergency" type dinner in a pinch is a rotisserie chicken (or two if needed) a salad.  Could you do that from time to time at your parents' house?  Not perfect, but in a pinch it works for us and is less expensive and less hassle than going out or ordering dinner in.

 

Can you switch eating to drinking tea or a hot beverage while watching TV?  I am not big on eating while watching tv because I wasn't conditioned that way, but I like to have a lot of tea on winter evenings.

 

Walking while babysitting MIL, but can you do some strength training?  Even 10 mins of lifting weights or using your own body weight can help with insulin sensitivity.  Squats, lunges, working with resistance bands, reps with some weights or household stuff with some weight, step ups on a home built "step," etc. are all inexpensive options that can be done in small increments.  If you aren't sure on form, just be careful and consider working with a personal trainer.

 

I know you were having some issues with your upper extremity nerves, so I realize upper body weights may not be an option for you right now.  But squats, lunges, etc. are quite portable.

 

Is your balance okay?  I know you have been through a lot health wise, just trying to remember if you have limitations with balance, etc.

 

for me, balancing protein and fat at meals is really important.  Especially early on when you are making changes IME, it is helpful to make sure you have a solid, low sugar, moderate protein, higher fat type of breakfast vs. starting the day with something sweet or just generally carby.  Eat often enough to keep the cravings for sweets and carbs at bay, and it is easier to make healthy choices.  For me, starting the day with a bagel has always meant I was ravenously hungry an hour later, to the point I would be tempted to steal food from a  small child ;)  It took me years to realize that's because I get a big insulin spike from the carb load, which then in turn crashes my blood sugar, leaving me ravenous and grumpy and ready to find food wherever I can.  It didn't make sense to me until I read up on PCOS and figured out what I was dealing with over a decade ago.  With diabetes in the family, consider whether you have some level of insulin resistance, because it is quite likely, even if you aren't overweight.

 

 

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I like Suzanne Bowen's streaming exercise (be sure to start with easy workouts!). You can do basically all of them within a 5'x5' space - a large bathroom or next to a dresser in a bedroom, and they range in length from 5 min to 60 min.

 

If you can't get out of the house to exercise, you can at least decide to grab 5 min here and there for a bit of exercise. And for me, once I've decided to exercise well, I am less likely to eat junk.

 

Follow the "no-s" rule at the buffet - no seconds, no sweets. Eat with your eyes first (what is most delicious out there) and then serve it up. If I go to Chinese food, for example, I skip rice because it is boring. Skip rolls and carbs at the buffet (they are only there to provide a cheap source of filler). Put down your fork and put your hands on your lap after EVERY.SINGLE.BITE. You'll have eaten a reasonable meal while everyone else has overeaten. If you need to slow down even more, sip water after every bite.

 

I liked the knit while watching TV idea!

 

Good for you for working to improve your health. It is worth the hard work.

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You may find that the problem is not actual that you eat, or even that you overeat, but the types of foods you eat create a need for MORE.

 

It may not be "self control" but actually your body working against you. I'm guessing you probably have lots of "self control."

 

It is possible that a diet of adequate protein and good fats will satiate the cravings if "carbs" (grain based, refined, dairy) are minimized.

 

If a spiritual assist (not Christian, but well within a liberal Christian framework) would be attractive to you. let me know.

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When going out to eat, try to see if the restaurant has a menu online.  Choose exactly  what you are going to order and stick to it.  Use an online food tracker like Myfitnesspal.com to enter in the ingredients to make sure you understand the nutritional values.  When you arrive at the restaurant, don't even touch the menu, just stick to what you've chosen.  Talk to the waiter about how the food is prepared.  Ask for veggies without butter, get non-breaded meats.  Watch out for salads, they can be sneaky!  Stay out of the bread basket!  An order of food at a restaurant is usually two servings or more, so asking immediately for a to-go box and packing up half your food is a great way to portion control.

 

When you're going out and about, have a cooler full of healthy, prepared snacks that you can eat rather than grabbing something convenient out of hunger.  

 

For mindless, night time snacking popcorn is a tasty treat.  Veggies and hummus.  Fruits.  Have a good stash of healthy snacks that you can fall back on when you need to munch.

 

Keep "naughty" foods out of the house all together.  When I belonged to Weight Watchers they talked a lot about portions.  For me, there is no such thing as a single serving of Oreos.  If there is a box of them in the house they will be eaten.  It's just easier for me to completely avoid some of my personal danger foods than to try to stick to one serving.  Cause that just ain't gonna happen!!

 

I REALLY recommend using a fitness and food tracking site like Myfitnesspal.com or Sparkpeople.com.  It helps you have concrete info on what you're puttng in your body.  A lot of those sites have mobile apps too for tracking on the go.  But if you don't have a smart phone, maybe get a special notebook for daily tracking.  That way if you lose a few weeks but then hit plateau, you can look back and see if you've started slipping in some area or another.

 

Best wishes in your journey.  You can do it.  Enlist friends and family as support and encouragement.  

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It seems like the real issue is how to deal with an existing family culture and not end up in their shoes. I think you are going to need some serious self talk to be able to go to a buffet with your mom and only eat salad and lean proteins. You probably have a lot of positive self talk to stay healthy in other ways, you should start applying it to these situations.  

 

Also, if you subconsciously feel like you have to please unhealthy people by joining them in their habits you cannot change your own habit. Ask me how I know. My MIL was very deeply unhappy when I quit smoking many years ago. It made her feel guilty. If this is part of your problem, you will have to let go of certain thought patterns before other things can change.  

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--Limit meals out to once a week. It's much healthier to eat at home. Sodium is our big issue--very easy to eat deliciously low-sodium at home, very difficult to manage this eating out.

--Don't eat at buffet places. Too much temptation to eat more to get your money's worth and just because it is there.

--Log everything you eat for at least a week using something like My Fitness Pal. I know it gets tedious after awhile, but you're less likely to snack in front of the t.v. if you make yourself enter it into MFP first. And of course you need to measure everything you eat to log it correctly. It would be great to always log everything but unless you tend to eat the same things over and over, it does get tiresome. But doing it for awhile can highlight issues you need to work on.

--Exercise first thing in the morning. Don't wait to see if it fits into your day.

 

As you spend more time with parents, try to have them follow your healthier patterns instead of giving in to their less healthy patterns. Plan a delicious, healthy meal at home instead of going out. Or if going out, head to a healthier option (no buffets, fast food, etc)--but don't go out more than once a week.

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You may find that the problem is not actual that you eat, or even that you overeat, but the types of foods you eat create a need for MORE.

 

It may not be "self control" but actually your body working against you. I'm guessing you probably have lots of "self control."

 

It is possible that a diet of adequate protein and good fats will satiate the cravings if "carbs" (grain based, refined, dairy) are minimized.

 

 

 

This is definitely me.  Not saying this is easy though because carbs are easy and everywhere. 

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It seems like the real issue is how to deal with an existing family culture and not end up in their shoes. I think you are going to need some serious self talk to be able to go to a buffet with your mom and only eat salad and lean proteins. You probably have a lot of positive self talk to stay healthy in other ways, you should start applying it to these situations.  

 

Also, if you subconsciously feel like you have to please unhealthy people by joining them in their habits you cannot change your own habit. Ask me how I know. My MIL was very deeply unhappy when I quit smoking many years ago. It made her feel guilty. If this is part of your problem, you will have to let go of certain thought patterns before other things can change.  

 

Multiquote isn't working yet, so I'm picking this one to address many issues because YES, this is it.  It's an existing family culture on both sides and I don't want to end up in their shoes.

 

By myself I'm fine.  I switched to much healthier eating (NOT 100%, but in general) since I left home and have avoided the bulk of the problems.  By my age my mom was already Type II diabetic (and had been for years).  My dad had already had a heart attack and probably more issues.  He has Type II now as well.

 

My drinks of choice are green tea for breakfast and water with lemon thereafter - plus lately a small glass of pomegranate juice 3 - 4 times per week (skipped when we have pomegranates themselves).  I will drink soda when traveling or at fast food (sometimes), but that's not a regular thing.

 

My health issues have me feeling better when I'm moving (aside from a few nerve issues), so that's only a problem when I'm visiting the in laws and MUST sit.  MIL gets nervous if people are moving around her - even if the boys play board games.  My job is to babysit her when we're there so hubby and FIL can do things.  (I'm NOT resentful about this!  I want FIL to have as much of a break as he can get - it's a major part of why we visit.)  I get to sit and endlessly answer the repetitive questions or endlessly watch TV - sometimes both at the same time.  Then we eat.  I can't change the exercise part (while there), so I need to change the eating part.  They always pick buffets or fast food.  It's not my choice.  MIL gets upset if people don't fill, then clean, their plates.  If you don't put enough on it, she will (and this can be a whole thread itself - we choose to laugh about it...).  It's easier if we fill it!

 

As I type I'm wondering if I could get away with the excuse that "My Dr told me ____" regarding food and/or some exercise.  It's not true, of course (unless I stretch it to mean Dr Hive ;)  ), but it just might work.  "My Dr. says I can't eat that" or "My Dr. says I need to do these exercises."  It might work.  It's worth a try.

 

My mom picks buffets (often) too - or otherwise tasty places.  She's of sound mind, so this is where it's 100% my self control that I feel the need to join her with the tasty vs the healthy.  She's willing to join me/us on many things and we just bought her (good) snorkel gear to try to get her into the water with us when we travel.  She can walk some, but not nearly as much as we do, so I do far, far less when we visit or go places.  She'll try foods, but she definitely eats far more than necessary - although I don't know how much she can cut back due to what she says about her diabetes, etc.  She also has tried - and ditched - many healthy options, but with us she'll still do some of them.  Then again, that could be why she always insists we eat out... who knows?

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I always liked what Sally Fallon wrote in "Nourishing Traditions Cookbook:" When we eat "real" food  versus processed, we feel full longer and our bodies get more nutrition." (Paraphrased)

Her book is full of all kinds of recipes - she does not endorse vegetarianism, veganism or anything else); she is an advocate of eating a wide variety of foods, properly prepared and buying the best possible ingredients. I would start there, especially since the rest of your family would hardly notice that the meals were different, other than your food bill will go up when you start buying organic - and it takes a little longer to soak grains prior to preparing.

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I always liked what Sally Fallon wrote in "Nourishing Traditions Cookbook:" When we eat "real" food  versus processed, we feel full longer and our bodies get more nutrition." (Paraphrased)

Her book is full of all kinds of recipes - she does not endorse vegetarianism, veganism or anything else); she is an advocate of eating a wide variety of foods, properly prepared and buying the best possible ingredients. I would start there, especially since the rest of your family would hardly notice that the meals were different, other than your food bill will go up when you start buying organic - and it takes a little longer to soak grains prior to preparing.

 

See I did not care for that book.  I really don't want to make my own yogurt, sprout stuff, etc.  We do make our own sauerkraut, but not the quick kind.  I attempted yogurt and it flopped.  I can't control the temperature well enough in my house.  Although I don't eat much yogurt generally.

 

I've always made my own broth.

 

I dunno, it didn't feel like much of a cookbook to me.  But I do appreciate her take on things. 

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Hunger is never an issue (with me anyway). I could go days without eating and not feel a thing anymore.  ;)

 

With my MIL I don't think hunger is an issue.  She eats based upon what time it is.

 

With my mom - she says she's always hungry due to one of her meds and that her eyes go woozy if she doesn't eat every couple of hours.

 

Hubby gets hungry and reminds me when it's time to eat, but it's more "real."  IF he snacks, it's when I'm at work or at night when I'm asleep.  We don't have too many snacks here at home - mainly popcorn, potato chips/sticks, pretzels, and fruit.  The salty snacks I use now and then - usually a TV deal.  My salt levels are at the very bottom of the normal range, so I'm not worried about them.  Hubby's are in the normal range.

 

My college students get hungry, but they're not at home much anymore.

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Hunger is never an issue (with me anyway). I could go days without eating and not feel a thing anymore.   ;)

 

With my MIL I don't think hunger is an issue.  She eats based upon what time it is.

 

With my mom - she says she's always hungry due to one of her meds and that her eyes go woozy if she doesn't eat every couple of hours.

 

Hubby gets hungry and reminds me when it's time to eat, but it's more "real."  IF he snacks, it's when I'm at work or at night when I'm asleep.  We don't have too many snacks here at home - mainly popcorn, potato chips/sticks, pretzels, and fruit.  The salty snacks I use now and then - usually a TV deal.  My salt levels are at the very bottom of the normal range, so I'm not worried about them.  Hubby's are in the normal range.

 

My college students get hungry, but they're not at home much anymore.

 

 

These would set me up to eat, and eat, and eat.

 

Not because I don't have self control but because of the bio-chemical reality of those in my body.

 

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The one thing that helped me more than anything else, by far, was to track every single bite of food that went in my mouth. For challenging meals (for me, this was nightly dinner with DH), I would very carefully plan out what I was going to eat before I took a single bite. I did this before I would even sit down at the table. I found that if I had planned out what I was going to eat, it wasn't nearly as difficult for me to not overload my plate or go back for seconds.

 

I also had a serious talk with DH when I started losing weight (40 pounds last year). Previous attempts to lose weight had stalled, and a huge part of the reason why was I had difficulty continuing when it was so contrary to our family culture. I told him I needed him to support me in eating less, and that sometimes that would mean me eating salad with minimal dressing while he and DS ate a regular meal. Sometimes I wouldn't even sit at the table with them because I wasn't hungry and knew eating while not hungry was not a good idea for me. I told him that I had to track what I ate, measure/weigh everything I ate, and know what was in what I was eating, so if he cooked, I had to help him by weighing oils, etc. It got through to him, and losing weight this past year was much easier in the past because he didn't complain about me not eating with them sometimes, eating different foods, and taking the time to plan my food before I ate.

 

Good luck to you. It's hard when the family culture is against you, but if you learn the skills to lose weight within that culture, you will have an easier time maintaining within it afterward.

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1) If eating out, use online menus to decide in advance what you will order and don't let the bad stuff come to the table. I eat low carb so ask for double veggies instead of potatoes. So much easier than having the potatoes in front of me and trying to resist.

 

2) Remind yourself that you will have plenty of chances to eat out in the future. Sometimes I get caught up in the idea that eating out is special and I should get whatever I want, but the truth is, most of the time it's a mediocre place or somewhere I could easily go again.

 

3) Having traveled a lot, I try to remind myself that unless something is the best in it's class, it's not worth eating something unhealthful. The Gelatto I had in Italy was amazing, the stuff from the soft serve machine at Hometown Buffet not so much. When I was tempted to eat some Little Ceasars pizza at a kids party, I reminded myself that blowing my diet for $5 pizza was not worth it. If I really want pizza I should go somewhere good and really appreciate it.

 

Hope this helps. Visiting family is always a chore for us food wise.

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One thing that might help when at buffets with your MIL is to fill your plate with salad and other high fiber foods so that you do eat slowly and she can see that you are eating. But you might just have to resign yourself to having an argument with her every time you go out. There are family members that I CANNOT make happy unless I do what they want. I simply mentally gear up for the disagreement and then do what I need to do to be functional. My sister used to rant and rave that I did not give my kids large amounts of juice. My oldest (who is now 26) had weight issues even as a child. drinking an extra 500 calories a day would have been really, really bad for her, but sister always told me, "I am a NURSE and I know that kids need juice." We just had to fight about it, I could not give my dd an extra 500 calories every time my sister came over, lol. Now my sister does the South Beach diet and does many of the things she used to tell me were wrong, lol, but I don't see your MIL or mother being able to change. The person who will have to change is you, and you will probably have to be creative to do it. But eating to make them happy is not going to work long term.

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I find eating out the most challenging.  I'm still of the mindset that it's a special treat so I should eat what tastes good.  Thankfully we don't go out to eat much.  I find a lot of buffets with stuff like salad treat the salad as an afterthought so it is completely unappealing.  Nothing all that appealing about iceberg lettuce with some half dead tomatoes and some gloppy looking dressing that has who knows what in it.  And don't forget the fake bacon bits that taste like cat food. 

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 We don't have too many snacks here at home - mainly popcorn, potato chips/sticks, pretzels, and fruit.

 

I agree with some others--that is a lot of snacks. We do have a lot of snacks, but we try to stick to 100% fruit or veggies or legumes, with cookies as an alternative, and those only because they had fewer preservatives and fewer calories and sugar than granola bars!

 

For eating out, I say go for the absolute best salad possible and if MIL gives you a hard time just keep repeating, "I know you're trying to help because you love me but I'm doing this because I love your grandbabies."

 

Would she accept that as an "excuse"?

 

 

"I am a NURSE and I know that kids need juice."

 

Um... we have a ton of nurses in our family and none of them drink juice! WTH?

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One thing that might help when at buffets with your MIL is to fill your plate with salad and other high fiber foods so that you do eat slowly and she can see that you are eating. But you might just have to resign yourself to having an argument with her every time you go out. There are family members that I CANNOT make happy unless I do what they want. I simply mentally gear up for the disagreement and then do what I need to do to be functional. My sister used to rant and rave that I did not give my kids large amounts of juice. My oldest (who is now 26) had weight issues even as a child. drinking an extra 500 calories a day would have been really, really bad for her, but sister always told me, "I am a NURSE and I know that kids need juice." We just had to fight about it, I could not give my dd an extra 500 calories every time my sister came over, lol. Now my sister does the South Beach diet and does many of the things she used to tell me were wrong, lol, but I don't see your MIL or mother being able to change. The person who will have to change is you, and you will probably have to be creative to do it. But eating to make them happy is not going to work long term.

 

Juice is just a lot of sugar.  Since when is sugar a health food?!

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I hear what you are saying about family culture ( or US food culture in general). My family and dh view food as entertainment and love. What has worked for me:

I use the Dr said argument often with friends and extended family. They tend not to argue with that.

I avoid buffets if possible.(I realize not your choice). At fast food I get a salad with chili or small grilled chicke, it's my " rule". I also avoid sweets and snacks and seconds. I finally realized that there is nothing at the restaurant or buffet that will suddenly stop being made and I can get it another time. The exercise is harder. Possibly get up earlier to walk before dh and FIL go out or your mom gets up? You've done a good job of defining the problem now the trick is to play around to find a solution that will work for you.

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Creekland,

 

My husband is a fast eater and I find that I am often trying to keep pace.  My resolution is to train myself to eat more slowly--and hope it rubs off on him.  (I think part of my husband's weight issue is due to portion size.  By eating quickly, his mind has not processed what he has consumed as he launches into seconds.)

 

I think this might work at a buffet.  Fill you plate with salad and veg, as others have suggested. Put your knife and fork down after every bite and chew more slowly.  Talk a lot.  Drink a lot of water.  Everyone can be finished and going back for seconds while you still have half of a plate of food to consume. 

 

Also, start with soup at the buffet.  Soup followed by lots of salad/veg will reduce the calories considerably.

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These would set me up to eat, and eat, and eat.

 

Not because I don't have self control but because of the bio-chemical reality of those in my body.

 

Snack foods would go bad in my house before they would get used up if it were just me eating them.  (Ditto with chocolate.)

 

I only eat them when I have a salt craving and I've worked enough salt into my diet normally.  Right now there are more snack foods in the house due to college boys being home - and then there's hubby.

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One thing that might help when at buffets with your MIL is to fill your plate with salad and other high fiber foods so that you do eat slowly and she can see that you are eating. But you might just have to resign yourself to having an argument with her every time you go out. There are family members that I CANNOT make happy unless I do what they want. I simply mentally gear up for the disagreement and then do what I need to do to be functional. 

 

An argument with MIL at this point in her life is pointless.  She can't remember anything beyond a few seconds of time.  She sees the plate and comments on it - if empty before she feels it should be - she first encourages you to put more on it and if not, she fills it with food from her plate (whether partially eaten or not).  Poor youngest ALMOST got saddled with half a sausage & egg biscuit with grape jelly added at our last breakfast.   :lol:   We will be laughing about that one for years to come, but it's a sad reality in her life.

 

Therefore, I'm hoping that the Dr argument might work.  It might not too.  She doesn't think too highly of doctors.  Time will tell.  It does help to sit out of her reach, but again, I feel my position is to give others a break...

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Snack foods would go bad in my house before they would get used up if it were just me eating them.  (Ditto with chocolate.)

 

I only eat them when I have a salt craving and I've worked enough salt into my diet normally.  Right now there are more snack foods in the house due to college boys being home - and then there's hubby.

 

When I'm behaving myself I find raw veggies almost as satisfying.  Stuff like celery sticks and broccoli.  It's nice and crunchy.  I love crunchy.

 

I think really one of the biggest issues is the fact we can't eat in our own bubble.  It's the same thing here.  This one doesn't like that.  That one doesn't like this.  If I just cooked for myself things would be quite different. 

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I find eating out the most challenging.  I'm still of the mindset that it's a special treat so I should eat what tastes good.   

 

Same here.  And when we do eat out at home, we totally skip buffets. The combo of the mindset and buffets are what I need to combat when with my families.  I can't switch the buffet part.  I need to combat the mindset.

 

Fortunately, this thread is giving me some ideas worth trying.  (More salad, Dr excuse, etc.)

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I hear what you are saying about family culture ( or US food culture in general). My family and dh view food as entertainment and love.

...

 

The exercise is harder. Possibly get up earlier to walk before dh and FIL go out or your mom gets up? You've done a good job of defining the problem now the trick is to play around to find a solution that will work for you.

 

The top line hits it exactly.  If I don't go along, then I don't love them.

 

I'll have to ponder the exercise bit.  My MIL is a super light sleeper and I've been told I can't go out while it's dark at their place due to the neighborhood.  I don't think the neighborhood is bad, but...

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I think this might work at a buffet.  Fill you plate with salad and veg, as others have suggested. Put your knife and fork down after every bite and chew more slowly.  Talk a lot.  Drink a lot of water.  Everyone can be finished and going back for seconds while you still have half of a plate of food to consume. 

 

Also, start with soup at the buffet.  Soup followed by lots of salad/veg will reduce the calories considerably.

 

I tend to be a slow eater in our family at home.  At buffets, I like this idea quite a bit.  I had been trying to keep up with them, but in hindsight, why?  Keeping up with them at buffets (vs at home) shouldn't be an issue for my MIL. Thanks!

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Have you tried counting calories?  

 

It's easy to do with apps/websites like myfitnesspal.

 

Once Iearned how many calories are in a lot of my favorite snacks, they were far less appealing.  I still have cravings, but it's a lot easier to talk myself out of them. 

 

 Now I 'save' my calories for something I really, really want (usually wine!).

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I'd ditch all snacks & count calories.

 

Just get a basic idea of how many calories you need to maintain or lose weight here: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/  You don't need to obsess about it daily but honestly, most people I know who have done the calculations have been a bit taken aback by how few calories they need.  Once you have your maintenance amount, try aiming for a reduction 10-20% as a healthy weight loss rate. Then try to familiarize yourself at least generally about how much calories are in things.  You don't need to memorize long lists - most of us eat the same stuff over & over.... I usually keep a rough tally in my head throughout the day. I tend to eat my calories early in the day.

Fruits - esp things like bananas, can tip you over. A large one can be over 100 cals & let's say you're like me & only need 2,000 to maintain, or 1750 to lose, then a couple extra bananas do add up.

You can eat pretty much unlimited vegetables though (except avocado. which I think of as a fruit but I know some consider it a veg...)

Couple other things:

Just because it's on your plate, doesn't mean you have to eat it.

Don't count on exercise. DO exercise as much as you can but unless you're doing very vigorous workouts, the calorie punch is low.  To burn that stupid extra banana I'd probably have to do 30 min of vigorous walking. Just for that one banana!

Green smoothies really help me because they fill me up. I often have one before meals & frequently, if I'm craving something, I'll tell myself I can have it after a smoothie. Sometimes I don't want the thing anymore, & other times I still have it, but I have a much smaller portion because I'm full.

Soups can work the same but watch them as I've seen some creamy soups have horrendous calorie counts.

Also, just have a look through this pictorial guide of what 2000 cal looks like. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/22/upshot/what-2000-calories-looks-like.html?_r=2&abt=0002&abg=1 Keeping in mind that I need less than 2k/day, this is a good reminder why you have to be uber disciplined in restaurants. (for me, being vegetarian helped, being vegan helps even more; there just isn't much for me to eat in most restaurants :D  )

Bottom line is to keep reminding yourself before you put anything in your mouth: Is this consistent with my long term goal?  Maybe get a nice bracelet (or one of those activity tracker bands?) or paint a thumbnail a fun color of nailpolish - something that will help bring you back into the moment & make you pause before the hand grabs the food & the food goes to the mouth?

 

 






 

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Ok so in terms of calorie counting, what do you do if you are constantly starved?  This is a method that has never worked for me because of that.  I'd feel dizzy and like passing out.  The amount of food and the types of food I could eat on a calorie restricted diet would make my blood sugar crash. 

 

Not intending to hijack here, but I just am seriously wondering how people manage to go day after day feeling starved.

 

This might be "me" though.

 

 

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I cut calories and did not feel starved.
Small frequent, high fiber, nutrient dense meals.  As I mentioned in another thread,  I need lots of small meals because my blood sugar crashing is an ugly, ugly thing. I turn into a raving lunatic woman.

No empty calories. No pop. No booze because I want each cal to count. If someone really LOVES that glass of wine, then go for it. I'd rather eat a slice of bread....

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Ok so in terms of calorie counting, what do you do if you are constantly starved?  This is a method that has never worked for me because of that.  I'd feel dizzy and like passing out.  The amount of food and the types of food I could eat on a calorie restricted diet would make my blood sugar crash. 

 

Not intending to hijack here, but I just am seriously wondering how people manage to go day after day feeling starved.

 

This might be "me" though.

I imagine you were over-restricting yourself.  That is just so miserable. It's better to go slowly and eat at a small deficit so you lose about 1/2 pound per week.

 

I find I feel great on a breakfast of about 400 calories (usually an egg 'mcmuffin' made in my kitchen), a morning snack(usually fruit), a lunch with some protein (turkey sandwich or a salad with lean meat), an afternoon snack that is more like a treat (like a cookie and cup of coffee), and a decent dinner with my family. That comes to about 1600 calories (more or less).

 

 I usually have enough calories left for some wine with my book in the evenings.  :)

 

It takes some tweaking to learn what works for each person. Maybe take a look at myfitnesspal for tips if you're interested.  

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I cut calories and did not feel starved.

Small frequent, high fiber, nutrient dense meals.  As I mentioned in another thread,  I need lots of small meals because my blood sugar crashing is an ugly, ugly thing. I turn into a raving lunatic woman.

 

No empty calories. No pop. No booze because I want each cal to count. If someone really LOVES that glass of wine, then go for it. I'd rather eat a slice of bread....

 

booze is my downfall for sure...LOL

 

I can't stand frequent meals though.  I tend to eat 2 x a day.  Lunch and dinner.  That's usually it.  Sometimes I eat breakfast, but it seems like no matter what I eat I'm super hungry an hour later.  Even if it's high protein and fat.  So unless I'm hungry when I wake up, I don't eat breakfast. 

 

I don't eat any sweats.  I don't drink soda.  I don't tend to snack after dinner.  I won't say never, but not all the time. 

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I imagine you were over-restricting yourself.  That is just so miserable. It's better to go slowly and eat at a small deficit so you lose about 1/2 pound per week.

 

I find I feel great on a breakfast of about 400 calories (usually an egg 'mcmuffin' made in my kitchen), a morning snack(usually fruit), a lunch with some protein (turkey sandwich or a salad with lean meat), an afternoon snack that is more like a treat (like a cookie and cup of coffee), and a decent dinner with my family. That comes to about 1600 calories (more or less).

 

 I usually have enough calories left for some wine with my book in the evenings.   :)

 

It takes some tweaking to learn what works for each person. Maybe take a look at myfitnesspal for tips if you're interested.  

 

I am glad this healthy, balanced approach worked for you!

 

It would make ME an angry, shaking, screaming mess and I would still not lose weight.

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I am glad this healthy, balanced approach worked for you!

 

It would make ME an angry, shaking, screaming mess and I would still not lose weight.

 

Same here.  It worked.  I dropped some pounds.  But I was miserable as hell.  I was eating "healthy" foods.  Even now, I don't eat stuff like cookies.  I don't even really like cookies. 

 

At this point I'd be happy to lose a pound a month.  Basically I don't mind that I'm overweight, but I don't want to get more overweight. 

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I am glad this healthy, balanced approach worked for you!

 

It would make ME an angry, shaking, screaming mess and I would still not lose weight.

The sad truth for me is that I cannot eat what I used to eat and I was not happy to have to make this adjustment.

 

 But middle age has plunked itself down on my once-sprightly metabolism and I now gain weight at the drop of a hat.  So, it's calorie counting and 60 minutes of exercise a day for this 'old' lady.  

 

The exercise actually feels great.  The calorie counting?  Not so great, but very doable.  I do miss lots of snacking.  ;)

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The sad truth for me is that I cannot eat what I used to eat and I was not happy to have to make this adjustment.

 

 But middle age has plunked itself down on my once-sprightly metabolism and I now gain weight at the drop of a hat.  So, it's calorie counting and 60 minutes of exercise a day for this 'old' lady.  

 

The exercise actually feels great.  The calorie counting?  Not so great, but very doable.  I do miss lots of snacking.   ;)

 

As I said, I am glad you found something that works in spite of a changed metabolism and age related barriers.

 

Calories in/calories out is not a model that works for me. It makes me a screaming mess AND I don't lose weight.

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I find eating out the most challenging.  I'm still of the mindset that it's a special treat so I should eat what tastes good.  Thankfully we don't go out to eat much.  I find a lot of buffets with stuff like salad treat the salad as an afterthought so it is completely unappealing.  Nothing all that appealing about iceberg lettuce with some half dead tomatoes and some gloppy looking dressing that has who knows what in it.  And don't forget the fake bacon bits that taste like cat food. 

That's why I love Sweet Tomatoes, but maybe you don't have one. Where I moved from, Sweet Tomatoes was the ONLY buffet place, but so easy to make healthy choices there.

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As I said, I am glad you found something that works in spite of a changed metabolism and age related barriers.

 

Calories in/calories out is not a model that works for me. It makes me a screaming mess AND I don't lose weight.

 

Me too.  I am someone who has always had a normal BMI, but I've eaten LC for most of my adult life.  For me, it makes it easier to self regulate, feel more even throughout the day, etc.  I have said to many, many people in my life that I feel many of those who struggle with their weight *are* truly hungry a good bit of the time, even ravenously so.  I can only imagine, because my insulin resistance is bad enough that I feel like that when I eat carby foods.  It is hard to explain to someone how a person can eat a substantial meal and truly be HUNGRY an hour or two later, but having experienced it first hand, I truly believe a substantial percentage of those who are overweight are genuinely, truly hungry a lot. 

 

In contrast, when I eat LC, it is easy for me to self regulate, I can do times of intermittent fasting without feeling hungry, etc.  As I said upthread, give me pretzels, a bagel, whatever, and I will be ravenous and (like you describe) shaky, angry, etc. an hour or two later. 

 

I am fortunate to have been diagnosed with PCOS in my mid 20s, so I've been aware of having IR despite not being overweight for a long time.  If I was not aware, I'd probably be struggling some with my weight by now.

 

I am another who believes calories in and calories out is such a gross oversimplification that it fails many people.  It can be a tool, but it isn't as clear cut as we've been told over the last 10-20 years.

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