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Lose Before You Cruise A place for cruisers to share their stories of how to lose weight before a cruise. Virtual snacks allowed, but only in small quantities.

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  #1  
Old May 24th, 2006, 11:32 AM
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Default Addicted to Food?

Here's an interesting article from MSNBC regarding food addiction. I know that I've been addicted to food in the past and had to overcome it.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12934360/
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Old May 24th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeirdEyes
Here's an interesting article from MSNBC regarding food addiction. I know that I've been addicted to food in the past and had to overcome it.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12934360/
WOW! Talk about food for thought! I've often joked that I have an "addictive personality" - I get very "hooked" on certain TV shows (Lost, Stargate) or hobbies (Sudoku, Cruising), but never really applied it to my food problems before - at least not seriously. [Hello! Cheese? Chocolate?]

I need to reread this (I printed it to take home) and go over the steps to "retrain my brain".

Thanks for the info, Sheila!

Sha
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Old May 25th, 2006, 11:25 AM
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Sha ~ I thought it was a great article also. I know I'm addicted to chocolate, but not like the lady with the babies in the article. I do eat it every day, but it is usually the fat-free, sugar-free Jell-o pudding. I can't have "real" chocolate in the house because of the addiction...just like an alcoholic can't have liquor in the house.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 03:50 PM
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wow...Sheila, thanks for that article...reading it really does help to see what I'm doing to myself....it's a wonder I have ANY dopamine receptors left !!! I really need to lay out a plan to start retraining my brain....we've often joked about choca-holics but I won't be taking that lightly in future...it really is no laughing matter....I'll buy some of that choc pudding you mentioned and see if I can "wean" myself off the "real" chocolate....thanks again
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Old May 25th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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Don't know if the chocolate pudding would do it for me. I really LOVE dark chocolate. I've been known to totally ignore any other chocolate & actually have NONE, if dark chocolate wasn't available!

I think I need to get back to letting my BF dole me out a few dark chocolate Hershey's kisses every night & NOT know where he keeps the stash!

I do have the cheese cravings under control. I used to LIVE on mac'n'cheese - a whole box of store brand, with another 1/2 lb of american added! 2,3 4 times a week! Then, my BF & I got into the habit of splitting, as a "snack" after supper EVERY night, 1 of those 10-12 oz cheese bricks (with or without crackers)! Or splitting a pint of ben & jerry's. No wonder my cholesterol ended up as high as 279 at one point!

Right now, my immediate problem is that I really want that VERY full feeling, no matter what it is I'm eating! My dopamine receptors must be WAY off. Maybe the people who do those 1-day fasts every now & then have it right - reminds you what it feels like to be hungry, so when you eat solid food again, you can appreciate it more, especially if you control the portions more carefully. I don't know.

I'm just hoping finally riding my bike this weekend will have a 2-fold effect - extra calories burned, plus the "rush" from exercising!

& I'm surprised more people aren't chiming in on this thread - although I suppose admitting you might be 'addicted' to certain foods, or just to that "full" feeling, might be very hard for some people!

Sha
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Old May 25th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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Hi Sha...interesting that you prefer the dark chocolate ( which "they" say is less harmful ) and I prefer the milk chocolate...I can actually turn down the dark stuff !! maybe it's not sweet enough for me...lately I've been buying the bulk milk chocolate disks that are used for cooking....I eat a handful of those, which is way less than a chocolate bar, and get my "chocolate fix"...

I tend to grab cheese if I haven't eaten proper meals and get that light-headed feeling...seems that protein really works for me and stops the hungry-feeling for a long time...so maybe the answer is lots and lots of protein ( meat, not cheese), both in meals and as snacks, what do you think?

Would lots of water before and during a meal help with that full feeling?

Not sure why more people aren't jumping in on this thread....maybe you're right and the whole issue of addiction is so scary...
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Old May 25th, 2006, 05:44 PM
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In hindsight, when I ate more cheese, I was definitely eating less protein from other sources (eating meat requires "real" cooking - not just heating something on the stove or nuking something). Now that my BF does most of the cooking on the grill, we eat lots of lean chicken, fish & pork. We also grill veggies, baked potatoes, etc. We eat lots more "real" food now, & less prepackaged stuff.

While I still enjoy cheese, I guess I don't "crave" it as much since I do eat more other protein. I've learned to like soy cheese - better for me & I'll snack on a few slices of that when I need something light & quick!

I usually drink lots of water, so I don't think drinking more would be helpful. My chiropractor made a point one time when I mentioned I was having cravings - she said sometimes cravings are your body's way of telling you you're missing something - we just need to figure out WHAT it's craving! I've been lazy in taking my multi vitamins lately & not eating as many veggies - maybe I'm low on anti-oxidants? (Too bad I'm not craving carrots!) Or maybe it's more "emotional" - needing that full feeling?

or maybe more sleep? I know I'm not getting enough lately. But the dopamine connection - that could be the ticket, too!

more questions than answers!

Sha
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:00 PM
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I was a vegetarian for many years...got to the point where I couldn't go anywhere near the meat counters in the grocery stores..the smell was so disgusting to me...then I started to crave meat....really crave it...and I figured out that my body wasn't getting what it needed even though I tried to get the protein from beans, rice, etc...so I went back to eating meat..wasn't easy at first but the cravings did go away and I generally felt stronger...

questions are good...they eventually lead to the answers we need...how much sleep are you getting, Sha?
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Old May 25th, 2006, 11:23 PM
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Default My own opinion

My own thought is that overeating boils down to a "want versus a need". How many of us ever honestly ask ourselves this question before we over indulge: is it a want or a need. I may want 5 cookies, but do I really NEED 5 cookies and why isn't one good enough?

There are genetic predispositions that make one have a greater propensity to become addicted, and neurotransmitters can provide clues, but in the end, it's the environment that triggers it and the research is pretty consistent on the environment being a main trigger. There's a lot of good empircal research on twin studies and addiction although most of those studies were done for alcoholism, not sure about food but the principle may be the same...Menina
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:05 AM
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Hi Menina...very good points....I think from an "addict's" point of view, there's no difference between "want" and "need"....when you MUST have chocolate, it's now become a need...just like alcohol or substances are needs...

In a lot of cases ( definitely in my case ) I may go to the cookie jar sincerely intending to eat only one, but one becomes five very quickly...and although I'm remorseful afterwards, it didn't stop me from inhaling those five cookies...the remorse and the questions and the guilt come later...a very nasty, vicious cycle...and my mind says " I'm going to break this cycle " and another part of me says " ok, but let's not waste all this good stuff in the cupboard ...at least enjoy the chocolate first"...and off we go again

I often wonder about genetic predisposition and it makes sense that environment would be a main trigger...and there seems to be lots of similarities between food-addiction and alcoholism ..maybe we can apply the same principles and comparisons...some of the posters here have managed to break the cycle so I know there's a way out...taking the right steps is the hardest part !
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Old May 26th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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Default Disagree with you

Good points for you, but your missing mine...if you stop and THINK "do I want this or really need it?" then you might not eat five cookies.

Read the twin studies in addiction..very convincing.

If you can't stop at one, then you need to learn why your so impuslive.

So why did you need to have five cookies? answer that honestly
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Old May 26th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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Well, I'll just be honest....I just like food. Period. I love the way it tastes, the texture, the smell. If it is something that I love (like chocolate cheesecake) I'll eat it until I'm sick. To me, that's a big problem. I also find that being addicted to food is an emotional thing. Take last night for instance, I was packing for my trip and stressing over this or that and I was just blindly eating. It didn't really matter what it was, just as long as it was food. Thank goodness I was eating low-cal stuff. LOL I find food to be my crutch. That is why I've been trying to work on myself emotionally. It sure has made a difference. I still have my moments, like last night, but they are few and far between.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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Default Brains, neurons, food, etc.

My profession is in neuropsychology (something I don't advertise) so I'm used to studying neurochemistry, brains, cogntition, motivation of behavior, etc. Addiction is a big part of what we studied in post grad/doctoral studies.

Nothing wrong with liking food..I love it myself and all it stands for..but I challenge you when you feel like eating more than you should, to just stop and ask yourself, "Do I want this or NEED it". You can't convince me nobody "needs" 5 cookies when they can get by with 1 or 2. You need to come up with a list of convincing "evidence" or reasons why your mind or body needs to have the 5 cookies , and then wait 10 minutes. I am nearly 99% certain you won't want the cookies. It's all based in rational emotive thinking and cogntive behavior.

If you were one of my patients, and didn't make an honest attempt to try this, then I'd tell you that you have no grounds to complain until you have made a reasonable try at this technique

I do this myself..yes sometimes I give in, but I ususally find I don't enjoy the binge as much.

Would love to see you try this for an afteroon
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Old May 26th, 2006, 10:55 AM
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A friend of mine and I have always said that alcoholics can live without alcohol, smokers can live without tobacco, but overeaters CANNOT live with out food.

Not saying that kicking any of these habits is easy, on the contrary, they are all bvery hard to beat.

An alcoholic is always an alcoholic, he/she just doesn't tempt himself/herself by drinking in moderation. This is the first step back to worse stuff.

Whereas, an overeater must tempt himself/herself every day by having to have food to eat to live.

Hope to message of this post is understood.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:47 PM
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Kalamari ~ I'll definitely try it!!

Daniel ~ I understood your post completely and you are right!
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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NOW this thread is getting VERY interesting!

Menina - It sounds so reasonable - If I could just stop & take a step back to think about whether I wanted or needed the dozen (I think it was only a dozen ) dark chocolate kisses I ate last night, I probably wouldn't have eaten them, or had more than 1 or 2. But they were there, so I did. I know I didn't "need" them - at least not because I was hungry - I had just eaten a good supper less than an hr before. But it was also more than just "wanting" them. Like it says in the article, I think I need to go back to just not buying anything I can't control my craving for.

I am a reasonably intelligent 48-yr old woman. (At least I think I am. ) I've dieted on & off since I've been 16 (2/3 of my life ). I've read more diet, food & fitness related books & magazines than I can count. I KNOW I don't NEED any cookies, brownies or chocolate AT ALL to keep my body nourished & healthy. I KNOW what I do need - I KNOW what I don't need. It's the actual DOING that somehow gets really difficult, not the KNOWING what to do. Emotional & psychological needs get inexplicably mixed up with physical needs.

I agree with daniel's comment that, because we have to eat SOMETHING, it's that much more difficult to control ourselves, than if we could just STOP. I'm a former smoker. MY BF is a former drinker. We can't give up eating.

Menina - That said, I do respect & appreciate your input & I really do have to find a way to control these cravings.

Sha
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Old May 26th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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I think that when it comes to bingeing/overeating/indulging, the brain/mind is basically shoved to the back seat and the body takes over...

A friend of mine made a conscious effort to take a moment before putting anything in his mouth ...looking at the food and saying "thank you for this food but please take away my desire for it" ....eventually it worked and he's kept the weight off for many years...maybe it's the same principle - letting the mind have a say in what we're about to do...giving the mind just that moment to intervene....I'll wait out the 10 minutes today and see what happens

Daniel...excellent point..hadn't thought about it that way before...we can't get away from food !!
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Old May 26th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Menina ....missed a couple of items in my last post...firstly, can you direct me to those twin studies?

Secondly, your question about why I need to have 5 cookies, not one or two.... in the same way that a small taste of something would not be satisfying or fulfilling ( physically or emotionally ), I find I want/need more of the substance ( cookie, chocolate, whatever ) before I'm "happy" ....I use the word happy because I can't think of anything else more descriptive...and happy isn't it either..maybe it's a saturation point I'm trying to reach...if I have one cookie, my taste buds go on alert, my stomach pleads for more, and I just go for it ....the consequences don't really enter into it until later....I'm not sure there is a logical answer to this question..
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Old May 26th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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mim - I'm getting about 5-6 hrs sleep "in a row", when I'm not having the 3am night sweats! I fall asleep after 1am & wake up about 7 when my BF gets up. Then I "nap" till MY alarm goes off at 8.

I'm still wide awake until after midnight, but I suppose I should at least be trying to sleep before that. I know that's not enough sleep for me. In fact, a co-worker just told me that it's a good think it's a long weekend, 'cause I look exhausted! I feel exhausted!

Menina - I'd be interested in the twin studies, too!

Sha
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Old May 26th, 2006, 03:26 PM
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Daniel~ Your post made perfect sense. It reminded me of how I can not keep ice cream in the house. It is not allowed in the house, period. Certain foods are a crutch for me and I get a "high" when I eat them. I don't know the last time I had it becasue I don't want it when I am out..I only crave it when I am having a stress moment.

About 6 years ago when I was in college a friend of mine & I would go on a trail rollerblading. It was 7 miles out and 7 miles back. I remember getting back to my house and having something set me off (can't remember now) and I ate the entire Mint Chocolate Chip Edy's ice cream. Something set me off and I sabatoge myself. Then I get upset that I would do that after I worked so hard.

For me it must be all mental because I know it is wrong but I still do it.

Thankfully I have grown from those years and now know how to handle these urges. I was thin during the years of stress eating. That part I don't understand.

I hope this makes sense!!!

Sha~ Hope you can get caught up on some sleep this weekend.
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