Thursday, May 19, 2011

I don't think this is what they mean by 80/20

So there is this concept in healthy eating/living.  Be diligent and healthy 80% of the time and then be willing to splurge on 20%.  That isn't to say you should throw it all away but just that you should give yourself permission to still eat some of the things you love.

It is a great idea in concept, but I'm pretty sure that you are supposed to do 80% of your weekly meals healthy, rather than be healthy for 80% of the day.  The healthy for 80% of the day seems to be the route I've been taking though.  I can (sort of) eat healthily throughout the day.  3 meals, try to keep portions down, not too much fat.  I've been doing better about not eating out and choosing healthier options when I do.  All progress.


Come about 9pm I suddenly lose all control and find myself knee deep in ice cream, chips, popcorn and a variety of other "not on the diet and certainly not at that point at night" foods.  Worse, i do a lot of the shopping so that I am the one BRINGING THE FOOD IN THE HOUSE IN THE FIRST PLACE.  And it is getting to be a habit.  I think about the ice cream waiting at the end of the day.

This has to change, especially if I am going to make real progress.  The problem is that I cannot say with certainty that I can't eat past 9pm.  Sometimes that is when I get home and have a chance to eat dinner, but even with that the late night snacking has to stop.

And it isn't even a food as comfort thing, because honestly I have never been happier.  Instead it seems like celebratory food - a "life is great, have cake" mentality.  It is a great place to be, but it is a dangerous one too for me.

So no more 80/20 day by day.  I can't afford to triple my daily calories thanks to an hour of binging.  I need to reign it in - sugar and salt cravings alike.  But how?  I need some tools folks, and accountabilty and when I need those things I turn to my blog.  So how do I break this cycle and get on track.

I haven't eaten tonight (though it was a big dinner) but I feel the urge to go upstairs and rummage.  But I'm here instead, asking for your help.  What can I do?  Are their healthy snack options?  Is there a grocery store police that I can hire to guard me?  Timed locks on the freezer?  It needs to stop.  Tonight.

I want to succeed in this.  Why is this so hard?


Wendy said...

My dangerous time is 4:00 in the afternoon and I'm looking for ideas, too.

Corryn said...

What works for me is knowing that I need to log everything I stuff in my face. When I've given myself permission to not log over recent weekends, it's been bad news.

Have you tried that trick of having a big glass of water as soon as you get a craving, waiting 20 minutes, then seeing if you're still hungry? So much of what our brains perceive to be hunger is actually thirst.

How about going for a 10 min walk before snacking? Maybe you just need a distraction. :o)

Emma said...

I have always been a dessert person, so I can relate to wanting something sweet (or salty!) later in the evening. I limit myself to one small treat like a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich, an individual size microwave popcorn, or a couple of ginger snaps and a glass of milk. Also, herbal tea often helps me unwind when I get the munchies right before bed.

Misty said...

I just did a post on this...It dosent have to be so hard all the time. Find ways to make it work for you. Find healthy alternatives that even if they are bland you can spruse up a bit and make yummy excercise in when you can but find fun things you like to do so you will actually want to do it. You got this Lady! Show this journey who's boss!

Valerie said...

So, first of all, a little bit of ice cream never hurt anyone. It's the binging, not the ice cream that's the problem. Maybe you could try measuring how much ice cream / cookies / sweet or salty stuff you're eating and gradually cut back each day.

Otherwise, try finding substitutes. Yogurt with granola or fruit (or both) is great for an ice cream substitute. A handful of pretzels could easily be something salty, and they're a bit better for you than other salty items. I'm still trying to find a good cookie substitute, so if you figure that one out, let me know.

Oh, and you could always try doing some sort of exercise and "rewarding" yourself with something tasty. You know, every time you have a craving, say you'll take a short walk or do jumping jacks or something, and if you still feel like a snack afterward then that can be your reward (still a small but significant snack). Ideally you wouldn't even crave these things after the workout.

Just so you know, you're certainly not alone in this one. I wish on a daily basis that I was one of those people who could eat anything at any time and still lose weight. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with that metabolism. Good luck, and if you figure it out, let me know!

Sarah - Fat Little Legs said...

I am the same way... I'd do one of 2 things. 1 - go to bed... seriously sometimes I would. Although if I knew I still had points left (since I was doing WWers) I would buy light ice cream and cones (they are like 15 calories each) and I would make myself a SMALL ice cream cone. It takes much longer to eat the ice cream off a cone, and I truely felt like it was a treat.

This is hard... there's no magic, its about finding things that work for you, and making progress.

Corryn said...

Sarah, I LOVE your ice cream cone trick! My ice cream rule is to stick to the serving size on the package, but the cone would make it more fun!

Juanly said...

I have learned that I simply cannot bring the items that truly tempt me into the house...because if I do I will eat them. If we were alcoholics, would we buy booze and bring it home? I would hope not because the outcome would be almost certain.

That's how it is with us and food. We just CANNOT buy it and bring it home and expect to succeed.
I do love yogurt with fruit mixed in...or the WW smoothies blended with lots of ice and low cal frozen yogurt added....tastes like a thick delicious milkshake! And hot tea at night has been a godsend for me! The added plus is that if you don't buy the "bad" stuff it ends up being healthier for Edward as well. There is no law that says that we have to have non-healthy, fattening snacks available to our kids. Good luck!

EDH said...

Three things work for me: Measure out what portion you can have and put it on a plate instead of eating out of the bag (I'd eat the whole bag otherwise!). Write down every single bite you eat. And, don't bring junk into the house. No exceptions, no mercy.

I probably sound like a broken record, but WW is so awesome for finding tips and tricks :)

Anti-Supermom said...

This sounds really silly but brushing and flossing when you want to snack helps.

I also live on 100 calorie bags of kettle corn, they are my BFFs.

Casey said...

I do not buy snacks that I don't want myself to have. I just do not go down the aisle that has chips or cookies. If I do, I'll buy a couple things "for the kids" and eat them when the kids are in bed. :) Not a great plan.

My rule is that after 9 I can eat fruit or veggies or string cheese. If I need salt, I salt a cucumber. If I need protein, I eat the cheese. If I want sweet, I eat fruit (fresh, frozen, smoothie, etc.). Sometimes I put my fruit smoothie in a wine glass to make it a little more fun.

The other tool I have is that I have a list of 5 snacks that I try to have all the time that I want myself to choose. Then, when I'm hungry, I limit myself to those 5. Fruit, veggies + hummus, greek yogurt +fruit, 1/4 c. nuts, dried fruit (unsweetened). Other than the nuts I can pretty much eat as much as I want of the snacks. Lastly, drinking water (water, not pop, juice, etc.) has been so important. I found myself craving and rummaging when I was hungry.

Lila said...

I so, so feel you Liz. Last night it was Basil's Gyro Pizza at midnight with friends (oh Northfield!)....even after losing 40 pounds I still have slipups! I measure everything when I'm home now, which helps a lot, and Iog everything. myfitnesspal and sparkpeople are both great resources! I notice a big difference in my habits is that I now spend almost all my grocery shopping time in the produce section, and I only dart in the center aisles to get things on my list. I've stopped buying chips, snacks, anything I know I can't control myself around, and I now snack on veggies or fruit before anything else. Don't want to hog the comment wall, so email me if you ever want to chat more--I completely understand and would love to have someone to commiserate with!