Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Food ADD

I've been feeling frustrated lately, and not just about the quickly dying laptop.  The irony is that I'm finally getting on top of things like work and laundry, but in doing so I am falling hopelessly into a cycle of bad eating.  While I am still essentially down 45 lbs from my prepregnancy weight I see it starting to creep up rather than heading back down. 

I know that I need to exercise more and eat less but I also know that I have an extreme case of what I call food ADD.  You don't know food ADD?  Food ADD is when you constantly become distracted (ooo, donuts) by the food you know you shouldn't be eating (mmm, french fries) and despite your best intentions to eat healthy you end up coming out of a trance (Ice cream!!) and discover you've abandoned your plans for the sake of the immediate food gratification.

I exaggerate a bit, but it is a little bit.  Many days it seems like I do lose all ability to reason when food choices are placed in front of me.  So I need  to start again, but I am always prone to taking on too much and abandoning it all when I fail at any one piece so I'm going to start small but determined.  And I'd like your suggestions.  Below are three feasible but still challenging options to jump start my healthy eating and I'd like your opinion on which one I should begin with.  (It is my hope that I'll move to all of these things soon).

The options:

1. Give up soda. 

PROS - this will get rid of calories I don't need and almost certainly mean giving up the majority of caffiene in my diet as well since I'm addicted to diet coke and not really a big coffee drinker. 

CONS - itcertainly mean giving up the majority of caffiene in my diet as well since I'm addicted to diet coke and not really a big coffee drinker. :)

2. Give up sugary items - baked goods, candy (halloween included), sugar drinks, ice cream, etc.

PROS - This might make the most difference and break the sugar cycle that I've established.  And since I've been craving them a lot it could be a large calorie reduction that doesn't have a natural replacement.

CONS - I'm sure that the sugar detox will be ugly and ever since being pregnant I've had a major sweet tooth.

3. Give up the fried sides - french fries, chips (corn too), onion rings, etc.
PROS - This is a big fat part of the diet and might help me make better choices in my meals (particularly lunches out which happen too frequently) as well as shrinking the size of meals and taking away many of the foods I'm likely to munch on unknowingly.
CONS - Like the other cons there really shouldn't be except that I LIKE them and they really hit a specific salt craving that I don't have an alternative for.

Now I may not give all these things up for the rest of my life but my goal would be to make it too Thanksgiving and reevaluate depending on how 1. I felt during it 2. My eating habits changed and 3. whether I could add additional healthy eating tasks too it.

And yes, right now they have to be giving them up completely.  I just need to start SOMETHING, anything to make sure I end up heading in the right direction.  Exercise is in the works too once my cold/cough combo settles a bit.

So what do you guys think?

Gosh, reading this back makes me a bit sick.  Am I really so addicted and driven by the food, especially bad foods, that I eat?  Sadly, yes, I am.  I've got to break the cycle...here goes.  Please vote in a comment by Thursday night.  Friday is the start date.  Friday October 16 - Wednesday Nov 25.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...


whosurdaddy? said...

When I started my last diet I had 2 rules: no dessert and no french fries. Those were really shorthand for "no sweets and no fast food". It worked for me. My vote on where you should start would be no fried sides. Get your salt fix from low fat popcorn. Second would be the sweets/baked goods. I would cut back on the soda and stick with diet soda, but I wouldn't eliminate it. Good luck.

Juanly said...

I used to be exactly like you when it came to food. I found that the key is not the rules, but the mind. I came across a saying that I repeated over and over. "Decide, commit, succeed." In other words, decide what you're going to do...commit, and I mean really commit to it, and then you become destined to succeed. It's all in the mind.

For me, in my "rulebook", I allow myself one "fun" day per month, which usually means getting breakfast at Cracker Barrel and ordering anything that I want, and two "forgiveness" days per month or as I also call them "oops!" days. And that's when I just can't resist something. I've also learned that when one of my "oops" days come about, to just forgive myself and move on. I used to just keep eating.

But the KEY is the mind! Liz, until you decide that you are going to do it...and COMMIT to it, then I can tell you right now that nothing is going to work. And along with the commitment to changing your eating habits there must also be a commitment to exercise. Because then your body will be working in tandem with your mind. And the exercise can be something as simple as walking. Get one of Leslie Sansone's walking tapes and then you can walk no matter what the weather. Those tapes are WONDERFUL!!!! It is said that if a person does something for 21 days, it then becomes a habit. Liz, commit to changing your eating patterns and your exercise lifestyle for just 21 days...you can do it...and see then how much better you feel. Sorry for the long comment, but this is an area which I feel strongly about. I am almost 60 years old and I can outlast most people in their 20's. And finally, think of Edward. Which is more important? The food or being around for his 40th birthday? And listen to me talk...I'm giving you the speech that I'm going to be giving myself on my 60th birthday when it comes to quitting smoking. Forty years of smoking is enough! I've decided to quit on my 60th (I've decided to quit before, but I had never COMMITTED to it!) If I keep my committment, then I will succeed.

Juanly said...

Hi! I'm back again with the link to Leslie Sansone's website. For exercise, if you just do her walking program, you really don't need anything else. Much cheaper than a gym and actually fun! You and Chris could even do it together! And when Edward gets older he can join in.


Songbird said...

As a person with a sweet tooth, I find the salty cravings usually come as part two of overdoing on the sweets. If you can give up those salty things, it helps break the cycle. Then before you decide to give up sweets, add more fruit instead. I always have a better day with more than one fruit serving (not that I do it every day, don't want to sound superior!). Good luck!

Becky B said...

I'm going to vote for giving up the sweets. Save them for a special occasion - that way they'll taste even better when you do get to have them.

For what it's worth (this coming from a big girl who has never been successful with losing weight), I've found that when I work out regularly, I crave healthier foods, like fruits and vegetables. If I were smarter, I'd listen to those cravings. Maybe it'll be the same for you - once the workout routine is established, maybe the rest will fall into place.

Valerie said...

I would definitely give up the sodas, but I would work on making small changes to everything else.

Here's the thing, soda is full of sugar! Plus, when I drink a soda that's when I'm most likely to crave fast food. You're used to having soda with just about everything. What happens when you have the soda, but don't have something else to go with it? Plus, like I said, it's full of sugar, so cutting the desserts won't do much unless you completely cut the soda too. That seems like a lot at once.

You can, however, make changes to the other parts. Other people have commented on little changes. Fruit instead of a candy bar. Low-fat (and low-butter) popcorn instead of french fries. Actually, Orville Redenbacher makes a great 100 calorie pack. Also try pretzels. They're a delicious salty treat. If you like ice cream, try having yogurt. And I don't mean frozen yogurt. I mean something like Dannon. I've found it's often the dairy I'm craving. Sometimes I'll even settle for a glass of milk! Oh, and if you get some with fruit mixed in you have a little extra texture which is nice.

As far as exercise goes, it's important of course, but trying to add it in right now may be overwhelming. Not all is lost, though! I'm sure you spend time with Edward on a regular basis. Use that time with him for fitness. Do peak-a-boo stomach crunches, push-up kisses, scoop-up squats, or airplane arm-lifts. I won't explain the moves in detail here, but feel free to ask questions. Use your time with him to keep yourself moving. As he gets older you can do more with him, but I assure you he'll wear you out.

I won't make this comment any longer, but good luck!

Anti-Supermom said...

1- Soda, could never do it but I drink diet and caffeine free, so it's lose to water, right?! LOL
2- Same thing, couldn't give it up, sorry.
3- Yes, this I could do, I only need the occasional fry.

I'm horrible come afternoon snack time, so I build up my day. Do great for breakfast and lunch, then slowly fail - but the calories tend to work out this way... not that I'm suggesting you do this, but this is what works for me. (I workout a ton too, because I love too, yes... I'm crazy.)

Good luck, Liz!

Rebecca said...

I like #1. Giving up soda is HUGE. Also, then when you do have it, it's an awesome treat. This is from a former Coke (capital C) addict.

Valerie said...

Sorry to post again, but I have a few more tips. As for a caffeine substitute, mint tea always made me feel a little more lively. It's actually caffeine-free but packs a punch. Other teas, however, may also work well for you.

Below are a few fun links. I'm looking for one more in particular, but I thought you might enjoy these.

For the new mom:


For the inner geek:


Amelia Sprout said...

I've had pretty good luck by starting with really simple small changes. For me, doing too much too fast just made me want to be a rebel.

Diet soda can cause issues with blood sugar, especially if you are already overweight, so avoiding all soda is best. I still have my latte in the morning, which got the OK from my dietician because it has calcium, which is good for weight loss, protien, and less caffine than drip coffee. I cut out fries (I order a sandwich, no fries, no soda, when I just have to have a burger).

The other thing, harder now that it is getting cold, is that most adults need 8-10 servings of fruits and veggies. More like 5 of each, not 5 total. You work hard to add in that many veggies and fruits to your diet, and you have little room for anything bad.

For me, walking was great exercise, before it SNOWED. But I like the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. 20 minutes of intense exercise, but then, when you think you're going to die, it is done. At my heaviest, I struggled, but it didn't take long before I was doing the pushups.

I also give myself a day off a week.

You can do it, but start with small things, add something new every few weeks, and eventually, you'll be there.

Kristie said...

If you want to start with one thing start with soda. I just went to a class on healthy eating at work and the nutrionist said that if you gave up one 20 soda per week for a year you would lose 27lbs in that year.

I gave up soda and it was easier than I thought. I did sort of wean off of it but by the 2nd week I wasn't drinking any. I do have one on occasion now but it's rare. I feel so much better without it. I was having a lot of stomach/digestion type issues and most of that went away once I stopped drinking soda.

Like you, I want to give up all the same things but I think doing all 3 at once is overwhelming. I say start with one and work into the others by starting to limit how much sweets and fried sides.

I will work on it with you!

Tiffany said...

My vote is fried foods. And here is my reasoning. It sounds like this will be the easiest thing for you to do. Like you said, you just really like them. I think you will be most successful at this. Giving up soda, while helpful, is your caffeine source so you will be actually giving up 2 things at once which might make you more cranky. Let me compare it to a rewards program for a child, you want them to feel "rewarded" right away to get them hooked. I think you this will be easier for you to do and you will feel rewarded at Thanksgiving when you have succeeded in this and then you will feel good about your new habit that you may feel more empowered to tackle the others. Just a thought!

Soupy said...

Hmm, not sure what to say. I've recently joined a biggest loser challenge on a message board and my motivation is the $$ pot at the end..........I've completley gotten myself off Coke the past 2 weeks - not easily - but I allow myself one home made chai latte at home in the AM (small one). I drink a TON of TEA. I heard that cinnamon can help w/sugar cravings---maybe weaning off the pop to teas w/flavor?
I've also read that Diet Coke/soda is awful for you. It does mess w/your blood sugars, etc., and can cause your body NOT to lose weight- crazy, huh?
So I say- start w/the soda. Go from there to the sweets, Then the fried food.

A friend of mine mentioned this book:
The Beck diet solution : train your brain to think like a thin person / Judith S. Beck ; foreword by Aaron T. Beck.

Apparently she LOVES this book- our Dakota county library system has it :)

I've also went on a diet that makes me eat proteins/veggies in high volumes, w/a small amount of complex carbs for breakfast and one snack. On the 3 day - I add in starch for that day. I've noticed tremendous changes in just 2 weeks in my energy levels (other than sleep deprivation).....and I'm feelng "leaner".
Do you still go to Lifetime?

I applaud you efforts and keep your eyes on the prize
I think that book might help- it helps your train of thinking - which sounds like you - the "ADD of food eating" you mention...........

Sorry I'm rambling..........you are on your way, mamam!!!

liz said...

My experience with food and weight loss has been that if I try to cut out a food group entirely, I will feel deprived and wind up rebelling by eating more than I ever would have anyway. That's why I love Weight Watchers, which I started doing to lose my pregnancy weight. You can eat absolutely anything you want, you just have to be honest with yourself about portion sizes. So if you want donuts, french fries, ice cream, you can have them. I wouldn't want to live without eating bread or sugar or even fried foods sometimes. So for me, portion control is the key, not cutting out any one group of foods. You may be able to deprive yourself of something temporarily, but it won't give way to a permanent lifestyle change... at least it wouldn't for me.

Kate1024 said...

Okay, I started the Monday following last Thanksgiving and here was my plan: CUT DIET COKE. this was hard. I have a cup of coffee every morning, but I try to avoid soda of all kind. have had about ten total diet cokes in the past year. have use seltzer water (like club soda) when i need bubbles, but otherwise cut it out.
the other thing i did, and this was HUGE for weight and, more importantly, energy levels, was to cut wheat and gluten.
this means no bread, no pasta, etc- unless you can find non-wheat stuff (rice pasta is actually really good- you can also find quinoa pasta, and quinoa is a "super food" which is even better) and these really taste like "the real thing."
the beauty of this is that you eat a lot less processed food- automatically better for you. and cuts calories big time. i highly recommend. the increased energy (esp. in the afternoons) is so fabulous.

scrubmama said...

I didn't read all the comments, but my vote is to NOT BUY what you don't want to eat (chips, soda, whatever). If it's not in the house, you can't eat it, and then it's a special treat when you're out.

Also, I've had good luck giving up sweets for Lent (maybe advent, too?)--I have an excellent reason to turn down goodies, and the ugly deprivation always ends up being a lesson in sacrifice. ;)

Also, for some reason, sipping tea keeps me from overeating (usually). Maybe that might help?