Controlling Appetite

Controlling Appetite

Controlling Appetite
Controlling your appetite and controlling what you eat is not exactly the same thing. You may find that you're eating even when you are not hungry.

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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Eating in restaurants can be tricky if you want to lose weight. Restaurants cook with more fat and serve larger portions than you do at home, resulting in higher-calorie meals. To eat healthy at restaurants, look for menu items that include terms like baked, braised, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted, steamed or stir-fried. Avoid menu items with these terms: batter-fried, pan fried, buttered, creamed, crispy or breaded.
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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Consequences of overeating and following a food craving when you're not hungry include:
    • Positive consequences:
    We taste something that we like. The taste only lasts for a short time. We avoid feeling an uncomfortable feeling for the moment.
    • Negative consequences:
    The taste leads to wanting to taste more and eat more.
    We feel guilty for eating a food that is caloric and not nutritious.
    We feel guilty for overeating.
    We berate ourselves for not having enough willpower.
    We gain weight.
    We undercut our growth by not discovering the beliefs that are generating our uncomfortable emotions.
    We hide because we feel too fat and can't fit into our clothes.
    We lose confidence professionally and socially.
    We feel physically uncomfortable: bloated, nauseated, or listless.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    One way to avoid overeating when you are bored is by being present in the moment. This means that if you are bored and start munching on your favorite foods while you are watching TV or in front of your computer; most likely you will eat more than intended. One strategy that might work for you is to keep a food log in which you can write what, why, when and where you eat. This will help you recognize when you are using food to keep you distracted and when you eat more than enough. Remember to eat only when you have access to a chair, a table and a plate that way eating becomes more mindful.
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    A , Integrative Medicine, answered
    Pre-portioned whole grain cookies, crackers and baked chips are great snack options. The best thing to do is to put them in small baggies so you don't eat the whole bag. Try dry roasted nuts with no salt, sugar or honey added, fresh and dried fruits, raisins and microwavable popcorn. Dark chocolate in small quantities will satisfy any sweet tooth. For all you chocolate lovers out there, buy low-fat chocolate with the highest percentage of cacao you can find for the antioxidants.
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    A , Integrative Medicine, answered
    Not all packages are created equal. Many people assume that small packages of cookies or crackers or medium-sized beverage containers are single servings. For purpose of price, logistics, placement, trickery or whatever it may be, a packaged item may contain several servings. A normal sized bag of microwave popcorn may contain 2–3 servings per bag, yet all the nutrition facts on the label are for one serving. If your bag of popcorn has 3 servings, you must multiply everything by 3 to get an accurate account of the contents in the whole bag. The same is true for a 16-ounce soda. An "official" serving of a beverage is 8 ounces. If you drink a 16-ounce beverage, you will be drinking twice the number of calories on the nutrition facts panel, since you’ll be taking in two servings. Buyer be aware, you will need to double all the information on the label to determine exactly what you are consuming.
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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    One important step in dealing with feelings that make you overeat is to slow down the action. This can be challenging because addictive patterns make us go into "zombie" mode, distracting us and keeping us from being present in the moment.

    Set the intention and ask for help from the Wise Witness (our true self) to be present when an eating compulsion strikes. By setting this intention, you commit to your own healing and plant your feet squarely on recovery road. It's as if you're saying, "I'm ready to move on and transform my dysfunctional relationship with food."

    After you've set the intention, even if you continue to go unconscious the next 20, 50, or 500 times the impulse to eat comes up, something in you will remember that intention, and eventually you'll be able to interrupt the emotional food-stuffing response. The more often you can interrupt your usual pattern, the easier it will become.

    Just as you created the old habit of eating in response to frightening and uncomfortable emotions, you can create a new habit of awareness by slowing down the action and removing yourself from the danger zone -- wherever the food is.
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    A , Addiction Medicine, answered
    Dr. Mike Dow - Why should I avoid giving into food cravings?

    Every time you resist a food craving, you're one step closer to better health, says addiction specialist Dr. Mike Dow. To find out what to do instead of giving in to a food craving, watch this video.


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    Read: Educate yourself on the subject. It is actually fascinating. I recommend In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and The End of Overeating by David Kessler, the former head of the FDA. If you understand what makes you overeat (and what food companies know about us that we do not even know) you can start to make your own rules for yourself.

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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    If you're a big junk-food eater, start by eliminating one junky item. For example, if you like having a Coke, fries, and a cheeseburger for lunch, start by cutting out the fries. (In the beginning, don't sit near someone who's eating them if you can help it!) See how this feels. You might miss fries for the first few days, but then notice how easy it is not to eat them. If a thought about fries arises, ignore it. Don't pay attention. Think about or do something else. Pretty soon you'll notice that you don't even think about them anymore.

    Once you discover how easy this is, try eliminating the next item. When you feel ready, move on to the Coke. And after that, try eliminating the whole category of fried foods.

    You don't have to make these changes overnight. There's no hurry because we're talking about a new way of eating for the rest of your life, a new relationship with food, not just a diet.
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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    You can eat a lot of food when you're not paying attention. The Child (pleasure-seeking impulses) tricks you into believing that if you're not paying attention, what you're eating doesn't count. So you believe that calories that come from nibbling don't count. But they do.

    For a long time, I had a habit of eating while talking on the phone or cooking. I spend a lot of time on the phone, and because I do most of the cooking in our family, I'm always in the kitchen, I'm always on the phone, and I'm always cooking.

    I was so accustomed to nibbling while I did these things that it took a lot of practice to create a new, non-nibbling habit. To change this pattern, I needed to see the truth -- that on some level I was pretending that I wasn't eating. Because nibbling isn't a meal, I wasn't noticing it as much. I also wasn't losing weight. I'd reduced my calories, but because I didn't include nibbles in my calorie count -- probably because I couldn't keep track of them all -- my excess pounds stayed stubbornly in place.

    The other thing about nibbling was that it robbed me of eating pleasure. Because my attention was divided, I couldn't completely enjoy the food or focus on my phone conversation or my cooking. And that was ultimately unsatisfying.