A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stress Eating Sucks

Thanks to everyone for sending me kind words and lots of hugs from last night's post. You all know that I'm an emotional basketcase most of the time...no secret there. So when things get too hectic, stressful, or just out of the ordinary, the floodgates open. This week my schedule is all out of whack. I've been gone most of the day Monday and today, either helping family out, at the gym, or whatever...but I haven't been home, safe and sound, with my healthy foods.

I said I was going to eat 1600 calories this week. Apparently I lied. I was soooo proud of handling Golden Corral beautifully Sunday evening....and then at 10:30pm that night I decided I needed a 200 calorie snack. I didn't know why...I go to bed hungry every night....I eat dinner around 5:30p and usually don't have anything else before I go to bed around 11pm-12am. I should be used to it. But I felt the need to shove a little something into my mouth, so I did. Then I did the same damn thing on Monday.....and again today.

I've had 1800 calories Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I finally realized I was stress eating. I'm 5 months into my weight loss travels....in my mind, I should be waaaaaayyyy past this kind of behavior. This is something I should have worked out and moved past in the first couple of months. Why am I doing it this far in? I have been DYING for a decent loss for the last 3 weeks, and I really thought this was going to be the week. I even had a decent eating weekend for the first time in weeks....and here I am screwing up mid-week. WTF???

The only good thing I have to report is that I've worked out hard Sat, Sun, Mon and today. Thank God I've done SOMETHING right!! Several people have told me that now that I'm doing weight machines on top of cardio, that I need to be eating more calories. Problem is....I have no idea how many more calories....nobody's told me that part. So I raised it from 1500 to 1600 this week...or at least that was the plan. For the last 3 days, it's been at 1800. That may be TOO MANY calories, but I really have no idea. One thing's for sure....I'll know Friday morning when I climb on that scale!! Ughhh. I'm shooting for 1600 for Wed and Thur.....someone please send up a prayer that I can get some dang control these last couple of days. Thanks friends.

Quote For the Day:

"Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was." -Dag Hammarskjold


  1. Tammy it's all good. Don't stop because it will work. In the food department: 2-3 hours before working out eat a healthy protein and carb. After working out eat more protein to feed the muscles. At night try eating a small apple with a 1/2 cup of milk. I promise you this will take your craving away and it's healthy. Give yourself a break to regroup. Continue with your cardio and weights. Please remember if you are into weights the scale will not show a lose right away but your clothes will. Muscle is heavier than fat. For me I did not see my weight lose on the scale for 2 months but I saw it in the mirror and in my clothes. You can do it girl just give yourself a break. Here is a typical eating plan for me:

    Breakfast: 1/3 rolled oats w/dried blueberries and milk - no sugar or butter added.

    Lunch: Grilled chicken breast w/veggie

    Dinner: veggies

    Snacks: Apples,Oranges,Pears,Bananas, Mult-grain toast, Cheese sticks, Grilled chicken, Turkey meatballs, etc (light and healthy snacks) I only snack after I workout.

    I hope this helps. Good luck and stay strong my friend.

  2. look we all have days where we step back, just keep trying and eventually you'll succeed. This little 'slip' just means it won't happens quite as fast but IT WILL STILL HAPPEN :) take a look at the right of your page... your awesome, shrug it off :)

  3. I think the mistake is not eating after 5:30pm especailly if you are not going to bed till midnight, that is a six and half hours period of starvation. No wonder you are going to bed hungry. Also stepping up your excerise is burning up extra calories so thats a double whammy.

    Maybe a rethink of how you use your calories, several small meals spread over the day ending with supper around 8pm.

    You are doing great things, a little bit of tweeking with your meals and not going to bed hungry should keep you on the road to glory:0)



  4. It's a combination of listening to the scale and to your body to see how many calories you need. If you're consistenly gaining, or not losing any more weight, then obviously you're eating too many calories and you should lower them a little. But if you're constantly hungry and/or feel weak at certain times of the day, you need to up those calories or else your body is going to hold on to the weight, and you're going to feel miserable because you need more food. I hope you're able to figure out what your body needs soon.

  5. Hey Girl!!
    I think you are doing amazing! I know you have heard this before but how long did it take you to form the behavior of stress eating and how long has it been a habit. If you think about it 5 months is NOT really that long. You have done SO much in 5 months. I wish to God I could do as much as you. You and I are a lot a like as in we want it sorted and we want it sorted NOW!!! You are great just keep on with what you are doing and you will see loss. xox Letta

  6. You have to sit down and give yourself a talking to - you have to re commit yourself to your weight loss journey..You are giving in to your body's cravings too easily and that says you are losing focus to me...have a cup of tea, drink water, eat fruit, make better choices if you have to give in...tell your body tomorrow is another day and it can wait for breakfast, or try eating dinner a little later...
    You have come so far...you cant allow 3 days to become a week then a month...

  7. Hi Tammy. I think spreading your intake out more throughout the day is essential. I've said it before but your body needs enough nutrition to repair itself overnight. You either need to eat your evening meal later or budget in a snack for the evening. That stuff about not eating in the evening is yet another dieting myth. The only right way is the way that works for you. Torturing yourself all evening is not the way to go.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  8. If your body is hungry later in the evening, you should definitely not deprive yourself of the food. Enjoy a healthy snack 2 hours before bed and be sure to have something to drink. I am sure you are doing just fine on the calorie intake vs. activity. Keep your head up!

  9. So, you think that five months of a new way of being should be long enough to obliterate years...no - make that DECADES of the opposite?

    Give yourself credit for what you have accomplished and try to learn patience! That is when the rest will come...in its own time.

    All the negative talk that goes on in your mind about yourself is MORE stress, which, guess what, will lead to MORE STRESS EATING! Learn to love yourself...all of you, faults and all. You are amazing, and its time everyone QUIT telling you this in comment after comment and you just BELIEVE it.

    I do agree however that you are stopping eating too early. I stop by 7:00, but I am in bed by 10:00. Make your dinner later or work a snack into your menu to keep your metabolism and your tummy happy!

    PS - no offense to the poster regarding muscle is heavier than fat -- a ton of feathers and a ton of bricks still each weigh a ton..a pound of muscle vs a pound of fat? Sorry...still a pound.

  10. We all go thru this, don't be so hard on yourself. Maybe make a note to tape on the fridge door that says "you have consumed todays calories~ go back to bed"
    For me, the note must say "Your jeans are still tight~ go back to bed" or "where do you want your body to store that snack...in the thighs or around the belly?" LOL
    I need to make a note for myself for the cookie jar, my daughter brought home a package of Oreos the other night :(

  11. Hi Tammy,
    I think recovering from any addiction may be difficult at times forever...So you may have to accept being off a little some days and try to keep it mind. Like a(an ex-)smoker not grabbing a cigarette but taking a breather :), a moment to reflect, instead.
    You are doing things the right way. This is your life not a diet. Try to remember that and forgive yourself for times of "weakness".
    Your body is probably needing those extra calories as well, working out does require more. And the muscle you build burns more calories too. Just be careful it isn't too much, there must be some tool that could help you figure the right number now that you are working out...?
    You are doing great! Don't forget how far you've come!

  12. I'm with Pam on the fact that it took us a lifetime to get where we were so getting to where we want to be is going to take years too. Hopefully not physically but definitely mentally. I still struggle with myself even after 28 months. Some days are just that way.

    Calories in/calories out it is a constant balancing act that is always changing. I've found 5-6 small meals a day is what works best for me. I always have a protein shake before a workout and a healthy meal afterwards too. With night eating a lot of times I rely on hot decaf tea with milk, the protein/carbs in the milk help to curb my urge to eat.

    As for the amount of calories, I'm all over the place with all kinds of different results. Like last week I was feeling stalled so someone said eat in maintenance amounts so I hiked up the calories to like 2400-2500 for 3 days then back down to around 1800 (for an average of 2070 per day) and you know last week I lose 3.6 lbs. So sometimes the old body just needs a little shaking up.

    Don't stress over eating more, if it's good healthy foods you should be ok. If you are putting in a lot of hours of exercise too your body just needs more fuel. Hang in there, you'll be ok. You're doing great with your progress just focus on how far you've come.

  13. Tammy, I've seen this pattern a lot and want you to know it's nothing within your own control and that you're not to blame. Weight loss is a tricky business. I've been there and many people I know have also been there.

    The Law of Energy Conservation in the body isn't clear-cut as in the physics text book, given the complex interrelationship of the neuroendocrine system. This simply means that the body adjusts for the energy balance in order to maintain homeostasis, or the needs of the body in its current state. This adjustment is accomplished through hormonal signaling between the cells and the brain. If the cells are starved, they eventually send a hormonal signals to the brain for more energy intake -- and this may be what you're experiencing when you suddenly (and often uncontrollably) consume an increase in calories. It's not you, but your body's way of survival.

    This has been implicated as the reason a reduced-calorie diet (or one that requires the user to count calories) invariably fails in the long-term. Many people experience initial weight loss from a calorie-focused diet, but in most of those people, the weight eventually returns.

    Until the overweight body can partition the calories it stores and the calories it consumes, almost any conventional diet is only temporary, and exercise, no matter how intense, aren't likely to help.

    I recommend that you pick up Gary Taubes's heavily researched book "Good Calories Bad Calories" and see if makes sense to you -- my guess is that it will, as it has with me and 100% of the weight-loss clients and friends I have worked with. It is a thick and somewhat technical book to digest, so if you prefer not to read the entire thing, then I highly recommend you go straight to chapter 24; this chapter alone is worth the price of the entire book, many times over. I hope it will help you. And may find that weight loss need not be centered around hunger or starvation, or even vigorous exercise.

    Good luck!

  14. Also, here's the source to Gary Taubes's GOod Calories Bad Calories, if you're ever interested. The price has dropped dramatically since its initial publication.


    Take care!