August 12, 2019 at 12:24 pm #307681
Hi All, does anyone have any advice they can give regarding how to break out of destructive eating habits? How to break free of the same patterns of eating or not eating at certain times of the day? I get into this horrible pattern of intermittent fasting from about 12pm or 2pm onwards for the rest of the day. This pattern is also not conducive to fostering a healthy relationship or social relationships as I understand that most people do eat dinner, and sometimes eat quite late at night and sometimes drink alcohol, etc… how do they balance these calories and not worry? Also, I don’t binge eat from the time I wake up from that cut-off time, but I am trying to find ways where I can implement a healthier way of eating more relaxedly throughout the day. I find that intermittent fasting is a convenient way to not overdo it, and I feel like I’ve accomplished something, when I realize I have accomplished nothing. I have tried to watch Youtube tutorials focusing on other people battling and overcoming eating disorders and disordered-type eating, and the steps they have taken to break free. They have been helpful. I realize it is wise to be gentle with yourself. To realize the roots beneath the disordered eating, that it may be a way of punishing oneself. I also never like it when people come into my office while I am eating, or if I get interrupted while eating. I want to try and be more laid back in this regard, I want to be okay with putting my food down and taking my time, that it is normal to take breaks in between bites and come back to it later… it’s not like it’s going anywhere…
What ways do you like to vary your eating to keep things exciting? Do you eat later at night? I am always afraid of that as I feel like it will cause weight gain. Let me know what has worked for you, what hasn’t. I keep hearing it is really liberating to let yourself free from the constraints of disordered eating, because then life can be lived fuller, as you’re not constantly thinking about food, issues with food, worry, fatigue, guilt, frustration around food, why you ate so much, etc.
Thank you!August 13, 2019 at 7:32 am #307773
I think I have it under control, in regards to being relaxed around food, but *trigger warning!* I’m fat!
The way some people do it in the city (which can be very social in regards to eating) is: If you have dinner at night, simply don’t eat breakfast and/or lunch the next day. If you have lunch out, don’t have dinner. If you have a brunch, don’t eat until dinner. You get the idea.
It sounds like you are naturally a two meal a day person. Like if you lived on a desert island and never got socialized, you would naturally eat bananas and coconuts in the morning and not fry fish on the fire at night because you weren’t hungry enough to go fishing after that.
Honor your two meal a day tendency as long as your doc says you are a healthy weight and your blood work is OK.
InkyAugust 13, 2019 at 10:29 am #307791
Hi Inky, thank you for your reply. If you don’t mind I have a few questions that if you’d like to answer I would be interested in reading them: How many meals a day do you usually prefer to eat? Do you eat consistently throughout the day or take breaks of fasting at all? What do you think works best for you? Have you ever had periods in your life where you changed up your methods of eating?August 14, 2019 at 8:01 am #307879
I usually prefer to eat three meals.
I try to eat consistently throughout the day. When I do fast, it’s a challenge, I’m not gonna lie.
I hate to be a scale watcher, but I eat a little less when I gain weight or I’m not at my current goal (right now my intention is to lose two pounds a month TOTALLY realistic for me). Then when I am, I’ll loosen up a little.
Traveling is a huge challenge. I eat normally when out, but eat impeccably when at home.
Snacks and calorie drinks are obviously the first things to go. Then it gets tricky. I run and exercise everyday. Then I’ll eat fruit in the morning and vegetarian the rest of the day. OR fruit in the morning and vegetarian for lunch and Paleo at night. Cheese is my beloved downfall. Don’t think I can gracefully go vegan as a lifestyle.
I’ve tried Paleo, Vegan, moderation, raw food, you name it! They all work, but only if you work it. It sounds like you are more into maintenance which is awesome!
Good Luck! Obviously I’ve been thinking a lot about this stuff too.
InkyAugust 14, 2019 at 2:05 pm #307915
I remember back when I was in college and being shocked at how little my grandmother who was in her late 80’s ate. I realize now that her body didn’t need a lot of food and that she was listening to her body. I’m now in my 50’s and what’s interesting is that when I overeat (which rarely happens now) I often experience uncomfortable symptoms like heartburn that I didn’t experience when I was younger. I think the anxiety creeps in when we don’t trust ourselves, when we’re afraid that we’re going to give in to our cravings (that are all in our heads) and then gain weight as a result, but the slowing metabolism happens to everyone eventually. Some people accept it and keep adjusting; others don’t.
I don’t think there’s a perfect eating schedule to keep the weight off and the anxiety at bay. I think as we age it’s constantly changing and we need to keep adjusting, but mostly just listening to our bodies. It may take a few weeks or so to learn how to listen to your body when eating. At first you may feel hungry all the time but eventually that will stop. Yes, it’s liberating once you crack the code, relax, and start trusting yourself, eat only when you’re truly hungry and realize that suddenly you don’t feel as well physically when you eat more than you need.
I eat much less than I did when I was a teenager and honestly don’t feel deprived. Right now I’m pretty content with two solid meals a day, one in the late morning and one in the evening, with healthy snacks in between, but this will eventually change I’m sure. I’m not afraid of gaining weight because it hasn’t been happening.
BAugust 15, 2019 at 9:31 am #308109
Thank you for your input, Brandy. I like how you said, “I’m not afraid of gaining weight because it hasn’t been happening.” I frequently hear one of the most vital components of healthy living that allows yourself the most fun and ‘permission’ is to simply let go and not worry…there’s no point to it. Is that one of the strategies you employ with your eating? Or do you simply not give it much thought at all? How much time and energy do you put into your eating beforehand and during? Thank you!August 15, 2019 at 9:36 am #308111
Hi Inky, thank you for your feedback. I too can relate to when you said ” Cheese is my beloved downfall. Don’t think I can gracefully go vegan as a lifestyle.” Cheese is also a large vice of mine… lol. But I do enjoy how it doesn’t have many or any carbs, and I honestly think it gets a bad wrap too often. You said travelling is a huge challenge, would you mind expanding on what you mean by that a little? For me, I can say travelling is also a huge challenge for me in the respect that it scares me to shake up my eating routine/habits and feel “forced” even though I’m not being forced, per se, to eat on someone else’s schedule or if eating at the time I’m hungry simply isn’t a viable option for one reason or another. So I feel a perceived loss of control that my eating routine is being dishonored and out of my control, which stresses me out. I really would love to enjoy travelling more from the standpoint that it’s awesome to go to new places and try new foods! That sounds so exciting! It is something I am actively trying to improve on, something that I used to do in past years before my whacky eating patterns flared up again. Now I like to pack snack foods in my purse like a weirdo and eat them in the bathroom in secrecy if need be. It is really shameful and embarrassing to me but I would rather do that and regret it then go on ravenously hungry and get “hangry” and overeat and spend too much money on a bunch of foods out somewhere.August 15, 2019 at 3:14 pm #308139
I frequently hear one of the most vital components of healthy living that allows yourself the most fun and ‘permission’ is to simply let go and not worry…there’s no point to it. Is that one of the strategies you employ with your eating? Or do you simply not give it much thought at all? How much time and energy do you put into your eating beforehand and during?
As I’ve gotten older I’ve become much more aware of how I’m feeling both physically and emotionally and I’ve found that when I’m not feeling great physically that my emotions are then adversely affected. I’ve learned that food plays a significant part of this cause-and-effect for me. For example, I can no longer tolerate a lot of processed “junk” food. I’m not sure if it’s because my older digestive system isn’t as good as it used to be, or since it’s no longer routinely digesting all those extra chemicals, salt, and preservatives that it isn’t as efficient anymore at doing it, or finally if I’m simply more aware now of how bad I’ve always felt after eating this type of food. Regardless, I now associate processed junk food with not feeling well so it’s very easy for me to stay away from it.
The exact same thought process applies with regard to overeating. I associate overeating, even when it involves healthy food, with not feeling well so it’s easy for me to not do it.
I think the Western diet and lifestyle is totally messed up, to be blunt. We are eating large portions of “fast food” and not exercising regularly, and this is now considered “normal”. So people don’t feel well anymore, both physically and emotionally, and they’re reaching for the wrong fixes — opioids, social media, porn, etc., — to escape not feeling well.
K, I am not motivated by food; I am motivated by feeling well.
So to get back to your questions, no, I don’t employ eating strategies and I don’t think about food very much. The strategies I employ in my life are those that result in my feeling well physically and emotionally. I just want food that tastes good and helps me/my family feel well, so that’s what I’m thinking about when I grocery shop and prepare/eat meals, but those are the only times I think about food.
BAugust 15, 2019 at 4:24 pm #308145
B, thank you for your wisdom here. That is very cool. I liked how you said “, I am not motivated by food; I am motivated by feeling well.” and also what an excellent point that really resonated with me: “I think the Western diet and lifestyle is totally messed up, to be blunt. We are eating large portions of “fast food” and not exercising regularly, and this is now considered “normal”. So people don’t feel well anymore, both physically and emotionally, and they’re reaching for the wrong fixes — opioids, social media, porn, etc., — to escape not feeling well.” We have such a toxic relationship with food here in America. We have spiraled so far downward it is just… horrific. However, there are still those that practice mindful eating that promotes a gentle relationship with food and therefore the effect it has on their bodies. Such people I’m sure don’t need to rely much on the crutch of opioids, porn, other mindless distractions, etc. Food in, food out, clean eating, clean body. I think we tend to complicate things the way we perceive food. It doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive to be mindful and healthy.August 16, 2019 at 5:25 am #308185
Well, occasionally we have to go on the road for vacation, business, events, etc. I’ve noticed even if you eat “well” on the road, it doesn’t translate to the scale at home. I could eat the rogue bananas at a Dunkin’ Donuts, order a salad at a restaurant, pass on my friend’s dessert, and go on multiple walking tours, but still feel bloated and gross when we get home. At home if I have the Dunkin’ Donuts banana, order a salad for lunch, forgo ice cream after dinner and walk around the block I feel amazing! Go figure!
InkyAugust 16, 2019 at 9:34 am #308225
That’s interesting Inky,
I wonder if it’s just our mindset that is present when we’re out about travelling vs. living comfortably doing normal stuff in our every day lives. I feel like food eaten during travels just is so calorie-laden and rich compared to normal foods & drinks we make at home… all those extra sneaky calorie bombs that are put into those foods and drinks that we don’t even think of doing at home. Do you think that may have something to do with it? I think it has to do a lot with the mindset though and the deep comfort that usually comes with being home and in that routine. It affords us peace of mind and sanity, those sacred things that are important to each of us, whatever that may look like for each person. I feel like if that is disrupted, our bodies can feel like they are getting derailed somehow, or at least our minds in some way.August 17, 2019 at 6:50 am #308341
Yes, all bets are off while traveling! That is why it’s so important to eat well and exercise every day when at home!