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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

How can I eat healthier and still be happy?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10277 points ) April 1st, 2012 from iPhone

Ever since I gave birth to my son 6 months ago I have been struggling with my body and self confidence. I was about 100 lbs soaking wet before I got pregnant. The dr’s told me to gain weight. I started to eat a lot more than I usually would. By the end of my pregnancy I was up to 140 lbs. 6 months after the fact, I still weigh about 135. I’m only 5’1 so although 135 doesn’t sound like much, it’s clear that I’m a little heavier than I should be.

Regardless of what everyone thinks a “healthy” weight should be, the point is that I’m unhappy with myself and need to make a change. My question is how can I stop stuffing my face with junk and still be happy. I associate eating with feeling good. When I’m bored, I grab a snack. When I’m stressed, I grab a Twinkie. When I’m happy, I celebrate with a bag of chips. Not to mention I never know when to stop. I eat until I’m stuffed. How can I make my mind stop associating food with happiness? How can I tell myself I’m not hungry anymore? Are there any tricks to help with this? Should I start looking at myself naked daily until I’m so disgusted with myself that I will choose not to go grab the carton of ice cream?

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11 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

You have to deprive yourself of the goodies for a few weeks, and then you will shrink your stomach and get out of the habit. Not completely deprive yourself, I don’t mean never have a sweet all week, but not as a regular part of your day. Plan your meals, make sure you eat regularly so you don’t get so hungry you grab anything fast and easy.

It sucks once you have learned to overeat. When I was young the idea of eating an extra bite made me feel sick to my stomach. Once I learned to eat past the point of being full, I was forever able to do it, to overstuff myself. But, I do go for months sometimes where I eat very healthy and lose my desire to eat huge portions. Those months don’t happen on their own, I have to kick start them by just forcing myself to be good.

john65pennington's avatar

This helped me, but it may not work for you and it’s very simple.

I allow myself one Atomic Fireball twice a day. One in the morning, eat dinner, and one at night.

The key is it’s very hot and you will drink water. Water will carry the fat off of you and also help to curb your appetite, along with the Atomic Fire Ball.

I have only found them at Cracker Barrel Restaurants.

This sounds a little awkward to lose weight, but it helps me to curb my hunger for food.

DandyDear711's avatar

watch the movie Forks Over Knives. A real life changer.

We changed our eating dramatically 6 days a week. We eat freely on Saturdays.

Sunny2's avatar

1. Stop buying snacks. Any. None. Zero. No ice cream and other high calorie desserts.
2. Drink lots of water or other non calorie beverage. At least 36oz per day.
3. Eat sensibly. you know what that means.
4. If you need sweets, have a “good” cookie or low calorie treat (non fat Jello?)
5. Weigh yourself weekly until you get your weight down to where you want it. Then weigh daily.
Never forget that you are the one who decides what goes in your mouth. And say YES I CAN a lot.
Also ask your doctor if you may be having a post partum depression. If so, it can be treated quite easily.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It’s an incredibly difficult process, let me tell you that. You really do need to work at it and ask others for help. This is a common problem and everyone thinks everyone else has it and perhaps that’s true…but it doesn’t make it any easier on the person dealing with it. I’m struggling with my overeating for years and years and I’ve tried many different things. Until you no longer associate food with feeling good, not much will change. And I haven’t yet changed. And it’s not about seeing a psychiatrist or dieting or exersizing or whatever. I don’t yet know what it’s about but I know that it starts with explaining to others that it’s a much bigger issue than they think it is. I know everyone says they’re struggling with these things and the very sad thing is that they are. Many in our society struggle with food and their relationship to food. And it’s certainly an issue for almost every new mom as well.

tom_g's avatar

When you touch a hot object, your body tells you that it’s bad (discomfort, pain). You don’t have to wake up every morning asking, “How can I resist touching the hot burner on my stove?”. You are immediately and constantly aware of the relationship between your actions and how your body will feel.

This is possible with eating. You can achieve a state where you can feel what food does to your body. And if you can keep the awareness, you will not be troubled by nagging desires to fill yourself with food that will make your body feel uncomfortable.

There are many different paths to achieving this. The first time I experienced this was doing a modified phase 1 of South Beach diet. Diets are nonsense, but I was able to really work this into an experience of knowing exactly how I felt when I ate a certain food. If I ate sugar for breakfast, I was a mess.

Good luck. It is possible. In summary, my opinion is that if you can be mindful of the exact effects of every bite of food you put in your mouth, your entire relationship to food changes.

dabbler's avatar

I like @tom_g‘s answer on this, intentionally develop a correct appetite.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

You can make it a goal to lose the weight but that does not mean that you are eating healthy- so first you should decide your goal- be thin or be healthy. Now with that being said, you can be healthy AND thin but that requires learning about how what you put into your body affects it, the myths of processed “health foods”, and learning about nourishment in general so that you can make the proper food choices.

When your mind isn’t clouded with insane chemical/sugar/fat cravings you are better able to determine when you have had enough, you will be truly satiated, and you will naturally stop over eating.

If you just want to be thin it doesn’t matter what you eat- you could eat paper if you wanted to- just count your calories and make sure you are burning off more of them then you are taking in.

serenade's avatar

Let go of passing judgement. It’s less useful to judge than to observe, so make a habit of simply observing your behaviors. Your eating habits will improve over time if you practice observation without judgement. If you metaphorically “black out” and stuff your face, then return as soon as you can to observation.

Eat more at breakfast and lunch and get 25% of your breakfast calories from protein. You should end up less hungry in the evening when you are more likely to have less self control.

Figure out what the least painful positive change is that you can make and do it today. Seriously—think small. Think micro. Keep up that little change until you’re ready to add another change and then add in the next change.

deni's avatar

You can start tracking what you eat and your caloric and nutrient intake on sites like caloriecounter.com…..I used that for a while and it opened my eyes.

JLeslie's avatar

I just saw on 60 minutes a report about how sugar is addictive. All sugar, including high fructose corn syrup. The scientist on the show sais there was no real difference between sugar and HFCS, and I agree. He said the more sugar we eat, the more we become tolerant to the happy effect it gives us, just like hard drugs. Sugar releases chemicals in our brain like when we do cocaine, and other drugs, but if we eat a lot of sugar daily we need more and more to get the same release of chemicals. They do brain MRI’s to measure these things when people eat the sugar, it is not guessing.

So, basically, to me that means withdrawal is going to suck, we just have to accept it.

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