for eating 5 bags of crisps and a big bag of haribos every day?

(92 Posts)
NCJunkBinge Sun 27-Jan-13 20:16:19

I'm worried what this is doing to my health

I'm eating at least 150g (1 large bag/5 small packets) of crisps every day.
Then a big bag of haribos (200g) (not quite every day but) 4 or 5 times a week.
Then there's the chocolate biscuits, other sweets etc.

Apart from all this, my diet is very healthy - I eat loads of veg and wholesome food, small amount of alcohol. I'm on the lower end of a healthy bmi so my weight isn't an issue. But I'm worried about the long term implications of eating like this. I know it's not normal! But it's got to the point where I can't help myself anymore blush.

AIBU eating like this? Does it matter as long as you're not overweight?

missorinoco Sun 27-Jan-13 20:17:36

Your teeth might fall out. Eating the Haribos could then become problematic, although you could still gum away at the crsips.

Sirzy Sun 27-Jan-13 20:17:58

I wouldn't have thought that amount of fat and sugar would do your body much good really.

catladycourtney1 Sun 27-Jan-13 20:20:29

Well I wouldn't say YABU but it's definitely unhealthy regardless of your weight. The salt and fat in crisps is not doing your circulatory system any good and too much sugar can lead to diabetes, no matter how much you weigh. I'm sure you knew all that anyway, but it's really not all about weight.

If you carry on you won't be underweight for long.
If you genuinely eat all that and haven't put weight on, then you're either deluding yourself about just how "not overweight you are" or there's something wrong with you. Go see the GP and tell them what you told us, nobody can consume that many calories and not put weight on unless they're an Arctic explorer trekking to the Pole on foot or something similar. For a normal everyday lifestyle, it just won't happen.
Calories are calories, be they from raw carrots or raw beef or lumps of lard. If you take them in, you put weight on unless you burn them off.
Do you have a very active job/hobby/lifestyle?

Eanair Sun 27-Jan-13 20:31:43

If you don't feel you can talk to your GP, you could also try Overeaters Anonymous.

NCJunkBinge Sun 27-Jan-13 20:35:41

PomBear I'm not underweight - I'm on the lower end of a healthy bmi (19). I'm not especially active, I walk a lot and lug small children about but I do eat healthily otherwise. I do eat all that, and my weight fluctuates the same 2-3 lbs each month. I'm not gaining weight eating this.

Last time it was checked my blood pressure was good (if a little low)

I do worry about diabetes and cancer

NumericalMum Sun 27-Jan-13 20:39:52

GO to a doctor and get yourself checked out. You may have an overactive thyroid or something. That is not normal! You are eating about 800+ additional calories in a day if you are eating other normal meals. You should be piling the weight on...

NCJunkBinge Sun 27-Jan-13 20:52:08

If I try and be good and avoid these foods for a week I do lose weight.

My overall calorie intake might not necessarily be greater than what it should be by eating like this.

The fact I'm not gaining weigh though means i kid myself that it's ok and it's not doing me any harm.

I'd go to the doctor but I'm really embarrassed and ashamed about it all.

If it was a thyroid problem then would I have other symptoms?

toomuchpink Sun 27-Jan-13 21:00:32

The salt content of the crisps strikes me as the worst thing. I don't think you need to see a doctor unless you have other symptoms, but I think you should start cutting down. Healthy eating is not just associated with being slim, but also lower chances of many illnesses including breast cancer. I am no saint believe me. I probably have as many biscuits a day as you have crisp packets. Could you start substituting one or two snacks for something better like fruit or maybe dried fruit if that is more crisp-like? Could you try to eat more at meal times so you do not feel the need for as many snacks?

Eanair Sun 27-Jan-13 21:04:24

Are you aware of why you're eating these? I mean by that, is there a consistent emotional state that makes it irresistable to pick up the packet of crisps, and then the second, the third etc? Are you genuinely hungry, or is it boredom, anger, loneliness, tiredness?

Have you tried a food diary, even without attempting not to eat the crisps/Haribos? That might help indicate whether you are including these in an unalarming daily overall calorie intake or whether there might be something health-wise going on.

PiratePetesPotty Sun 27-Jan-13 21:08:07

It's not a healthy way to eat, are your other meals fairly small and low calorie? It sounds like you're probably getting 1/3 to 1/2 of you calorie requirements from eating shite if you're not overweight. I eat like this a bit at the moment due to breastfeeding, it makes me so hungry for crap food. On top of my 3 meals I bake cake or flapjack about 3 times a week and I'll eat half of it in one day and I'm still losing weight (I weigh 7 stone 10lb). I keep meaning to try and consume the same number of calories but in more nutritious food. My diet is healthy apart from the excessive cake/flapjack. I'm hoping when I stop breastfeeding the cake craving will go. Are you breastfeeding OP? If not it may be worth getting checked out by your gp just to make sure there's no thyroid issues or other reason why you're not gaining weight. You may just need that much food so try and swap it with things that are more nutritious.

ledkr Sun 27-Jan-13 21:11:35

I used to be addicted to sweets every night. I had to go cold turkey on the end. I don't even think about it now!
Just stop. The oil content in crisps is terrible this will take its toll eventually.

WorraLiberty Sun 27-Jan-13 21:13:12

If you're worried about it, why don't you just stop doing it?

I know that ^^ sounds pretty simplistic, but at the end of the day you're not going to get any physical withdrawal symptoms like a drug addict or an alcoholic would are you?

You'll sit there thinking "God I could murder a packet of crisps/Haribo right now...then you'll get busy and forget about it.

If you can't face that, cut down to one bag of crisps per day and Haribo at the weekend.

I don't know if you have kids but if you do...surely you'd expect them to go without that many treats every day?

WorraLiberty Sun 27-Jan-13 21:18:04

If you carry on you won't be underweight for long.
If you genuinely eat all that and haven't put weight on, then you're either deluding yourself about just how "not overweight you are" or there's something wrong with you. Go see the GP and tell them what you told us, nobody can consume that many calories and not put weight on unless they're an Arctic explorer trekking to the Pole on foot or something similar. For a normal everyday lifestyle, it just won't happen

And I meant to say, I absolutely don't agree with that at all.

Lots of fairly active people can eat like that and not put on weight. My brother for example eats exactly like the OP (more so!) and at the age of 45 he's thin as a pin.

And there are loads of people like him too.

GetOrf Sun 27-Jan-13 21:20:51

Are you under 30? Because I used to eat a lot of shite and still be thin but when I hit 30 I started putting on weight (and passed my driving test, there is a link there!).

I would look at why you eat so much stuff like that. Is it in a panic? Or do you scoff it all when reading or something, suddenly look down and think 'shit I have eaten all that'. I used to do absent minded eating, still do if I don't watch myself.

Just try and break that link. Don't buy crisps in the first place, or buy crap ones you don't much like. And avoid haribos - or have a one day a week sweet day. Long term that will probably be better.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 21:23:17

Pom I could eat shit like that all day and not get fat. I just don't put on weight.

I would give it a rest if you can OP. Your arteries must be clogged as hell.

Fakebook Sun 27-Jan-13 21:24:22

I'm not normally one to criticise a persons eating habits and I'm all for having junk food occassionally, but what you've described is really unhealthy. I don't understand how you fit all those crisps and sweets into your diet along with breakfast lunch and dinner. Or are you skipping meals to eat this crap? If you want to eat something crunchy eat a cracker or rice cake. I

I am similar at times OP.

I know you know, like me, that whether you are overweight or not it is terrible for your teeth and heart.

You need to replace the calories you're getting from junk food. When I have nuts, cheesy breadsticks and fruit, in the house I eat them instead.

Also bigger, more filling meals with strong tasting ingredients.

Giving up sugar is really fucking hard though. I haven't managed to kick the habit totally yet.

MrsWolowitzerables Sun 27-Jan-13 21:24:45

YAB irresponsible about your health and presumably setting a bad eating example for your kids if they see you eating loads of unhealthy snacks.

Is it now habit that makes it hard for you to resist the temptation? How about not having the bad food in the house? Or cleaning your teeth when you want to snack (it'll stop the urge to eat). Or how about replacing the unhealthy snacks with fruit or nuts.

Its really bad for you to eat as much sugar and saturated fat as you currently are.

Almostfifty Sun 27-Jan-13 21:32:56

My brother was like that. He used to eat loads of crap, drink coffee with three sugars in and liked a drink or five.

He was diagnosed as diabetic and with high blood pressure in his thirties and now has to watch every thing he eats.

That's where you're headed if you keep eating like that.

MrsBertMacklin Sun 27-Jan-13 21:37:20

NCJunkBinge Perhaps it isn't affecting your health outwardly, but gorging on sugar & saturated fat (although crisps aren't as bad as they used to be), won't be good in the long term (high cholesterol, possibly higher risk of diabetes/heart disease).

I do the same with chocolate & ice cream. I had a cholesterol test last month and this shocked me into facing up to the fact that I have developed bad eating habits, treating sugar as a food group, rather than a treat.

Ledkr do you mind me asking how long it took you to get sugar out of your system when you went cold turkey? I am cutting down gradually, rather than going CT, but would be interested to know how long withdrawal symptoms lasted.

SneezySnatcher Sun 27-Jan-13 21:38:23

DH (27) has just been diagnosed with diabetes. He's not overweight (BMI 24) and all of our meals are healthy with lots of fruit and veg, but he used to drink lots of fizzy drinks/have sweets most days. He's now on medication for life. Once the damage is done, it can't be undone.

Fakebook Sun 27-Jan-13 21:43:15

I had a friend who had a skinny brother, looked healthy. He was addicted to coke and fizzy drinks. He had a heart attack aged 33 and died leaving a wife and child. Being skinny and eating all the junk in the world can still kill you. All the fat is hidden around your internal organs, so you may not look fat on the outside but you're fat on the inside.

larks35 Sun 27-Jan-13 21:50:32

YABU, I'm like you and can eat a whole load of crap and it doesn't affect my weight much or my blood pressure (so low at last reading that mw recommended cake in the afternoon - I was pregnant then). I'm actually finding that my appetite during the day is unsatiable atm and I have been known to eat my sarnies at break and then have a school dinner at lunch and still go home and cook a big meal! BUT, while I understand the appeal of crisps (although I rarely go beyond 2 small bags), haribos are just awful! Why not indulge yourself with some coffee and walnut cake or a choccy croisant (regular morning treat for me) or something worth the sugar/fat/calorie intake?

NCJunkBinge Sun 27-Jan-13 22:06:32

Eanair - I'm eating like this because I'm tired and stressed looking after the DCs, it helps me get through the day and it gives me something to look forward to when they're all in bed. My DH helps me with them but we receive no other help and we're finding it very hard. This is my way of treating myself. I don't treat myself any other way (little time, money etc). If I don't have this in my day I feel terribly deprived, and tend to compensate by drinking more alcohol.

PiratePete Yes I am BFing but only twice a day now, but tbh I was the same before I got pregnant. I have a massive appetite normally, portion-wise my meals have always been the same as DHs.

AlmostFifty - how old was your brother when he was diagnosed with diabetes?

I'd love to just stop, but I don't feel that I can.

No one really knows how bad it's got. My kids don't see me eat this stuff ( I hide in the kitchen or have it after they're in bed). My DH only sees what I eat in the evening so doesn't have a clue either. If its not in the house, I make special trips to the shops just to get it. Yesterday, DH had the kids for a couple of hours to give me a break. I couldve dine anythung i wanted, gone anywhere. I chose to sit in the bedroom and eat in secret then hide the empty packets so DH wouldn't find them sad

I'm worried ill drop dead suddenly and leave my DCs without a mother sad but even that doesn't make me stop. Every day I say that tomorrow I'll stop. I never do.

NCJunkBinge Sun 27-Jan-13 22:08:58

Fakebook that really scares me.

WorraLiberty Sun 27-Jan-13 22:19:55

Of course you can stop.

Ask yourself why you feel you need to treat yourself so much.

Would you treat your kids that often? If not, why not?

Would you treat yourself to 5 pairs of new shoes every single day even if you could afford to, or would you see that as self indulgent?

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 22:35:35

150g crisps = 750 kCal
200g Haribos = 700 kCal

750+700 = 1450 kCal from "treats" per day

You must be putting on weight. If you are not, I would check for intestinal parasites.

WorraLiberty Sun 27-Jan-13 22:38:04

Lordy! Why can some people not accept that not everyone who binges on crisps and sweets are fat?

There doesn't have to be a medical reason for it.

However, I'll bet that once the OP does give them up she'll lose some weight.

Eanair Sun 27-Jan-13 22:40:46

Ok, so it's pure emotional eating. That's useful in that you can identify your triggers, but harder in that it's difficult to just stop because you can't just remove food altogether from your life.

What happens if you just don't buy this food so that it's not available in the evening? Do you eat something else or actually get up and leave the house to ensure that you have these particular 'treats' available?

Yfronts Sun 27-Jan-13 23:03:44

Find alternative foods. Can you look at using low GI Xylitol and making your own healthy low blood sugar levels cakes?

Keep a food diary - what you eat and what you are feeling just before.

If you can go without for 3 weeks, you will break the back of your cravings.

ninah Sun 27-Jan-13 23:27:51

I sympathise, I eat crap at times too and it makes little difference to my weight, although it doesn't make me feel all that great. I am never sick and lead a fairly demanding life. My mother, who was an extremely healthy eater, died of a heart attack while my grandmother, who lived on custard creams and soup, was as physically healthy as you could hope to be - I know it's illogical but this does colour my outlook! now our ofsted visit is over i WILL start eating meals again instead of grabbing the biscuit tin. It helps me to substitute other stuff, like fruit or gin salad, to graze on if i need to.

RandallPinkFloyd Sun 27-Jan-13 23:48:40

It's emotional eating OP but you are already painfully aware of that.

The problem is if you don't emotionally eat you have zero understanding of someone who does, so unfortunately you will get a lot of very unhelpful comments.

Emotional eating is a very difficult thing to stop, very difficult, but you CAN do it. One day at a time.

Have you tried using My Fitness Pal? I don't mean use it as a diet tool but use it to record everything you eat. I think the shock factor of seeing the calories and nutritional value of your diet could really help spur you on to change it.

Please don't be embarrassed to speak to your doctor if you are worried about your immediate health though.

Most importantly though, don't beat yourself up. That way binges lie! Be really proud of yourself for facing up to it and having the strength to do something about it.

HecateWhoopass Mon 28-Jan-13 09:05:52

Can you swap?

Go for sugar free sweets. Eat reduced salt crisps?

Then at least you are doing less damage.

I mean, does it HAVE to be haribo and normal crisps? Have you tried substituting?

Then you can work on reducing those things or replacing some of them with other snacks.

A handful of nuts
sugar free mints
sugar snap peas (lovely things!)
etc etc

Poor OP, I can relate as I was a bit like this when I was on maternity leave (I gained all my baby weight after giving birth blush)

I think you need to address the underlying drivers of the emotional eating. How many kids do you have, how old are they? Do you see things getting easier soon (i.e. one of them starting nursery?) Do they sleep badly? Is there any way to rejigger things so you have some spare money for outside help? Is your DH supportive enough?

If you are really struggling and need something to feel better, then junk food is not great but not the worst thing in the world either (better than wine or cigs for example). Can you substitute something slightly healthier that would still make you happy? Or a different activity, like a long bath listening to your favourite music? Or a new hobby?

I also recommend Paul McKenna's book for losing weight, as even though you are not overweight, it has a lot of great stuff for emotional eating. It's basically a bad mental habit you have and there are lots of tricks for getting rid of it.

MrsHoarder Mon 28-Jan-13 09:30:33

I have a similar problem. What has helped me in the past is saying "only sweet treats I've baked myself" (and only baking with one egg at a time). Doesn't work if I buy cooking chocolate blush but generally means I only have 2-3 batches a week instead of packets upon packets of biscuits.

And second the healthy snack suggestion. Nuts are less "empty" than crisps, and I pour out a portion so I don't feel cheated and keep scoffing more.

Gingerbreadlatte Mon 28-Jan-13 09:43:00

Do you eat enough during the day?
If you dont gain wt from this maybe not? It might be a way to break the cycle.

I have been there with this kind of eating. And struggle now to avoid it.

I used to eat several mars bars, biscuits etc as much as I could cram in.

It was emotional eating no sure but it was better when I ate more carbs during the day. Those days I'd barely eaten the drive to eat crap was massive despite a decent meal at 7ish.

firesidechat Mon 28-Jan-13 09:43:50

Can't really judge your diet because I am addicted to crisps myself and also wouldn't turn down a few Haribo if offered.

One thing I would like to say is that eating too much sugar does not cause diabetes. If you already have diabetes it's obviously good to cut out the sugar, but your Haribo habit will not make it happen.

Fakebook Mon 28-Jan-13 10:58:03

You're not thirsty are you? It's quite normal to be thirsty but crave food instead. How about try drinking some fluids if you get a crisp craving? If that doesn't help, could you try "baking" your own crisps? Try cutting thin slices of potato, a

Fakebook Mon 28-Jan-13 11:00:25

Apple or beetroot, lightly spray/paint on with some oil and a sauce like maple syrup on the apples or sweet chilli sauce on the potatoes and bake until crispy. They are really nice and I'd assume healthier.

CooEeeEldridge Mon 28-Jan-13 11:10:58

I am like this too, but I don't have any reason apart from habit!! My problem is say if I think my crunchy nut cornflakes breakfast is 160 calories, but club biscuit + 2 custard creams is 160ish I'll have them instead! I also don't put on weight but this is down to me being very active (horses) and also going to the gym a lot.

Actual meals I eat are fine, but I just can't stop on sweet things! Had malteaster and cream egg already today. Can't be trusted in shops at all. I could do with a tummy bug to break me out of the habit. In the past I've cut sugar out, but for the past 18 months am just rubbish.

NCJunkBinge Mon 28-Jan-13 19:41:45

Stupid as this may sound, it's never occurred to me that it's emotional eating. It's just something I do - as a coping mechanism? It's a comfort. It's helpful to now have a label for it.

Substituting these foods for healthier alternatives isn't going to work as I actively seek out this kind of comfort. If its not this - if for eg I decide to be good that day - then I drink too much alcohol instead. If nothing is in the house then I will go out and get it. If I don't do that then I feel deprived

I'm beginning to realise that I actually need to get to the route of why I do this, before I can learn to stop. It's no good addressing everything that's stressing me right now, as there's always something that's going to crop up at some point that will lead me to seek out thus form of comfort.

What does everyone else do after a tiring, stressful, hard day? Do normal people feel the need to reward themselves like this? Or do you all just have your dinner then go to bed?

I can't get my head round why I feel the need to do this. I don't know where to go from here.

NCJunkBinge Mon 28-Jan-13 19:43:11

MrsHoarder that's a really good suggestion and actually something I've been considering doing for a while but obviously prefers to take the path of least resistance

Persuasion Mon 28-Jan-13 19:52:21

It would be worth seeing your GP, at least to get your physical health checked out if you can face it. I don't know if you could get counselling for this on the nhs but it's worth looking into? Another alternative is self help books for binge eating. Some may be focused on bulimia, but may still be quite useful. This one gets some good reviews.

takeaway2 Mon 28-Jan-13 19:56:23

It sounds like emotional eating. But I also wonder whether your regular food is tasty enough. What I mean is, can you cook portions of curry or spicy food, use soy sauce, herbs etc to make the food yummy and therefore stop or at least reduce the crisps and sweets?

As for hiding in the room and stuffing your face, could you tell your dh so he knows and can help you? So for example he could plan something every night or so. Or you could go to book club one evening, Zumba another evening etc. just so that even if you do eat this crap you are doing it after an activity where you feel good about yourself?

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 28-Jan-13 19:58:23

You're already right track because you're recognising what you do and you realise it's harmful. You've stopped justifying it to yourself. That's a huge step.

If it really does seem like too much to try and tackle it yourself then ask for some help. There's absolutely no shame in that whatsoever. If you had a broken arm you'd go, this is no different.

This seems quite a good site here but also do make that doctor's appointment, there really is more help and understanding out there than you realise.

CarlingBlackMabel Mon 28-Jan-13 20:17:53

I sometimes get into voracious eating out of habit and needing a 'reward'. Then suddenly I sort of flick a switch and start rewarding myself with feelings of virtue. Feeling good that I am looking after myself, being healthy. And it works: the calories drop (I am never fat) and my energy and mood rise. It's a virtuous circle rather than a vicious circle. It takes about a day for it to feel natural. Flick that switch.

And no need at all to be too embarrassed to talk to your G P if it would reassure you.

But please ditch all those crisps. The real danger is some carcinogenic effect of frying at high temps. For the salt just make sure you drink loads of plain water.

frenchfancy Mon 28-Jan-13 20:26:19

For those who think sugar does you no harm try watching these:

Horrifying film here on the dangers of fructose. Called 'Sugar: The bitter truth', it's full of absolutely shocking facts:

This led me to another series of short films 'The Skinny on Obesity' by the same team from UCLA:

Your body is craving something, and it isn't getting it which is why the cravings continue. Try improving the rest of your diet, or saying that every time you eat a bag of crisps you need to eat a kiwi fruit (or something healthy). On one of the diet programs (my big fat diet show I think) they had a girl who was addicted to crisps. She definitely wasn't fat. Try finding it on youtube, there was some advice given by a specialist as to how to get over it.

frenchfancy Mon 28-Jan-13 20:29:15

Found it

Crisp adict and suggested cure.

Butterycrumble Mon 28-Jan-13 20:30:43

Hmmm I can relate to this. I eat like this and usually would think nothing of eating three choc bars a day, a family sized bag of crisps and meals and snacks.... Take outs are common and up to two litres a day of diet coke! I have done this for about twenty years and have oddly good teeth!

Anyway have stopped, all of it. Tactics were to go cold turkey on the coke, to meal plan and cook great meals. Curry and chapati last night, huge fish pie tonight, lasagne tomorrow, all served with lots of veg. Have porridge for breakfast with sugar, still drink hot chocolate and eat puddings and biscuits I make...oat cookies, flap jacks, fruit crumbles, wholemeal banana pancakes with a smear of nutella. Home made stuff is nicer and you can keep upping the wholemeal flour and easing off on the sugar. This food is for all of us too so it's less likely to be scoffed in one go in secret. We buy no crisps or biscuits etc ( or would still eat it in one go).

I still eat the sugar off a spoon sometimes and do the same with nutella so only buy small jars and hope for the best! I don't think I am an emotional eater, being upset is one of the few things that takes my appetite away. I am just greedy, I have no self control and I love crisps and stuff.

Anyway hot choc is now a treat, oat cookies are a treat and am less in need as so well filled from dinner. I am always within my bmi though top end, am now losing a few pounds a week which is the plansmile am inspired by rearing diets, omg I never knew people never ate butter, bread, had no carbs. Am happy with what I model the children and don't feel worried when I think about arteries.

MidnightMasquerader Mon 28-Jan-13 20:36:03

It is often said that over-eating is the addiction of carers - whether that be professional carers, unpaid carers looking after ill or disabled family members, infirm parents, or indeed, small children. It's comforting, it doesn't impact on your job the way alcohol or drugs do, and you can indulge endlessly on the job... So you're by no means alone.

I don't have any advice, other than simply not having the stuff in the house, and maybe looking up and searching for other, yummy, but less damaging treats. There's loads out there.

Butterycrumble Mon 28-Jan-13 20:36:49

Oh and I am saving money too, I give myself pocket money and don't overspend it. Booze is a shandy rather than bottles of wine etc.every little helps. Good luck.

OP -- I totally get it. TOTALLY. You have a long hard day, you're knackered, you need to something to boost your spirits and you know you deserve a 'reward' for all you've done. Yes it's a coping mechanism. It's totally understandable, it's just that unfortunately it's not very healthy.

I do really recommend the McKenna book (you can probably even get the emotional eating bits online if you google).

The idea is that you should eat anything you want, but you have to do it mindfully. So you can still eat your crisps, but instead of eating them without thinking, while watching TV or reading or whatever, you would sit and eat them kind of slowly and really consciously. This helps you get satisfied more quickly so you eat less.

It also plays this sort of mental trick on your brain, because as soon as you stop thinking about food as being 'forbidden', then it sort of loses its allure, it no longer has that same 'oopmh' that makes you crave it. Because you have it anytime you want, so why crave it? It sounds weird but it's really true, after a couple weeks the cravings really subside.

Then the trick is to find other things that can give you that comfort. What else relaxes you? What else makes you feel really indulgent?

Anyway sorry for writing so much but there is lots of help out there for emotional eating -- keep trying different things until you find something that works for you personally.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 28-Jan-13 21:06:44

Wow buttery what a searingly honest and self-aware post.

Well done for turning things around like you have. You must be a very strong person.

singalongsingasong Mon 28-Jan-13 21:14:28

OP, I used to binge eat so I can understand how you're feeling. I started doing it as a teenager, as I was always trying to diet (ie eat next to nothing) and eventually I would cave in and go way overboard. The habit was still with me at uni, even though I was no longer dieting. I would eat a tube of Pringles plus as many Hobnobs as I could in one go. It would spoil my appetite for dinner, but I would still eat dinner - just later in the evening! You know it's a problem when you start hiding it from people. Like you, I didn't put on more than a couple of pounds and wasn't overweight at all, but I just felt bad about myself.

Even after uni, I still binged but much less often and to a lesser degree. After reading this thread, I suddenly realised I haven't done it in probably a year. I think it has mainly gone away because I have been trying to focus on being healthy - not losing weight, and not being perfect - but just eating a balanced diet and getting some exercise each day. I think having higher self esteem also helps. Sorry I don't have much useful advice, but just wanted to say that I know how you're feeling.

merryberry Mon 28-Jan-13 21:22:38

try having a think instead of one pack of the crisps tomorrow, or next time you have 20 minutes guaranteed to yourself. these times do happen or can be made to happen. tell yourself, 'i'm going to treat myself to a bit of a think'. have a think about other things that have or might make you feel happy and fulfilled as breaks. rewards/ways of coping. figure out the first thing you'd need to do to start achieving that. have another think another day instead of a packet of crisps about the next step. have a go at replacing that one packet of crisps eventually with the thing you like better. never think 'should'. don't get down on yourself about what is happening now, get pleased with yourself for having realised it's a thing that you can change. and start changing it slowly and realistically. don't beat yourself up, support yourself.

Butterycrumble Tue 29-Jan-13 00:19:24

That's kind randell, not sure it is true...should have stopped years ago.

But I will Hoover up every crumb of support until am truly virtuous.

Exercise next...

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 29-Jan-13 00:51:29

Don't put yourself down. It takes real strength of will to do what you've done. You should be bloody proud of yourself.

Butterycrumble Tue 29-Jan-13 16:55:18

Yeah feel oddly bemused, think the time was right.

Op would it help starting a thread and doing weekly support posts? I joined a diet thread and have found just the weigh in

Butterycrumble Tue 29-Jan-13 16:55:54

Oddly motivating.

NCJunkBinge Tue 29-Jan-13 16:56:05

Some good links there - will have a look tonight after the kids are in bed. French I've watched the sugar YouTube before, but a long time ago, and found it very interesting. Maybe I need a refresher to get on track.

Carling how do I flick that switch?? smile Similarly, buttery, did you just decide one day that enough was enough? Cold turkey sounds very scary to me right now.
dreaming what you're saying makes sense, but I still need to address the feelings of deprivation. Or do these go? I'd worry I'd just replace one bad habit with another (eg too much booze).

What do other normal people do in order to relax or seek comfort after a hard day?

What did people do years ago when all this junk was so abundant? Surely they didn't have the time or money to make the treats themselves to eat excessively. Is this a modern thing? Am I just a bit self-indulgent? It all seems a bit pathetic in the grand scheme of things.

NCJunkBinge Tue 29-Jan-13 17:05:14

Wasn't so abundant.

Nooneelseisallowedafergus Tue 29-Jan-13 17:17:12

I know exactly where you are coming from.
This was me 3 weeks ago. I could devour 6 2 finger kitkats in 10 min easy peasy. I did this when my 2 pre schoolers were having their afternoon nap. Then more chocolate in the evening with husband......
It made me moody. Cause I got sugar highs and lows, and my lows seemed to hit about 5ish when my poor DH walked through he door.
I am a healthy BMI but could do with losing a stone.
Anyway, I signed up to myfitnesspal, and the shame of logging all that crap, made me stop. The 1st few days, I still craved it, but just didn't want to log all that food so resisted. By day 4, I was cruising along, the cravings were minimal and I could have 3 squares of a big bar of dairy milk, wrap it back up and put it back in the fridge!!!!
So now, 3 weeks on, I treat myself to a little choc, or 1 small packet of crisps per day, I am within my daily calorie limit, my cravings have disappeared, I am in complete control of my eating and i have lot 8lb (just with this small change, the rest of my diet is the same). I am practising mindful eating without trying. And I no longer shout at my husband between 5 and 6pm!!!
Try it for 3 days. My name is the same on MFP if you sign up I can support you.

HopAndSkip Tue 29-Jan-13 17:19:37

You can't judge health by your weight alone. That will be doing damage to your ateries most likely having that much fat. Try to cut back gradually/find healthier snacks you enjoy. Humous is V tasty incase you've never tried it smile

forevergreek Tue 29-Jan-13 18:22:48

Can you ty and eat things that keep your blood sugar levels stable instead of spiking? That will help with the cravings.

People saying you must have a problem if not putting on weight, that isn't always necessary. I am 7.5 stone, no health problems according to doctors/ tests and can't for the life of my put weight on.
Today I have had:

Porridge with banana, blueberries and honey ( full fat)
Almond crossiant
Hot choc
Cream cheese and salmon bagel
X2 pitta breads with houmous and crudités

I have t even started on dinner yet, but will be lasagne, with veg. And then eton mess

marjproops Tue 29-Jan-13 18:27:53

I used to consume an entire multipack of crisps almost daily, microwave foods (when I was working F/T had to do 3 different jobs just to be able to pay rent/bills etc) cos I was too tired to cook at the end of the day. and 'pudding' was a packet of biscuits.

managed to stay a size 8 for years......but it catches up with you.
crissps are my weakness but i find if I HAVE to have a packet i buy the salt 'n' shake ones and not add the salt, and nibble like a hamster would do and I find i dont reach for any more packets that way, same if i feel like a bit of choccy ill suck maltezers (fun size).

cant get rid of my snacky tooth but have cut down immensly.

also snacky on celery sticks with a bit of peanut butter....much healthier and tasty too. liking fruit more and more as I get older and also thinking I have to be healthy for DC.

try either the cold turkey was or cut down gradually?

stubbornstains Tue 29-Jan-13 18:37:01

I read trashy novels in the bath with a drink

Do you really, really enjoy the Haribos and crisps, or just shovel them down compulsively?

How about making yourself some nice flapjacks sweetened with dried fruit, or a lovely fruit crumble and custard, or some apple cake and cream, sitting down at the table, serving it on your nicest plate, and really, really enjoying just one portion?

stubbornstains Tue 29-Jan-13 18:39:08

...or even better, persuade your DH to make you some're breastfeeding FFS!

I don't think you can put off making a change because of what might happen. You have to give it a go and see.

Butterycrumble Tue 29-Jan-13 21:12:50

I did decide, it was a few things at once. Have had my fourth dc recently and have been left out of shape literally after having physical problems in this pregnancy which haven't been an issue previously. These are still a bit of an issue and I ended up fatter and less fit than usual, still just in my bmi but looking like a bag of jelly!

The preg complications meant I didn't cook as much or do my veg patch/ greenhouse so our diet was generally less good with more oven type meals...felt bad about this as dc usually get a really healthy diet.

My eldest was starting to want to share my coke, no chance but not a justifiable position.

Dh is much fatter than he wants to be and he has been doing much of the shopping, he bought lots of 'treats' and helped me eat them. I felt sad to see how much his diet and habits have been corrupted by my example. Everyone I have ever lived with has put on around three stone! One lodger managed this in about 6 months.

Anyway it was like a perfect storm and I knew I could change the home diet, dh's weight and my long term health and short term post preg related problems if I stopped eating like a teenager. I knew it was irrational to worry about dh getting fatter but not my arteries, stroke risk etc. This pregnancy showed me that I am getting older, that the choices I make now dictate the future. Incidentally my mum is diabetic, sister obese and this worries me. I have been really fit and want to get back there, dh is actually pretty fit and I want to be able to be able to run and cycle with, not behind my growing children.

I only cold turkied the coke, food is still enjoyed and am eating more at meals and healthy snacks. Am seeing my nil consumption of giant bags of crisps and choc as redirection, my wholemeal apple cake made with a sugar light batter mixture is good honest food. Am only eating honest food (that honestly won't kill me) and eating as a family not scoffing shite when they aren't looking.

As someone who would walk miles to get spicy noodles, hot chips or favoured crisps I now won't do this. I have given myself a budget for 'extra food' it is tiny and basically buys me a hot chocolate or two. There is no junk in the house (no banna chips in the fruit and fibre either ahem) because I can't resist it. Suppose cold turkey is easier but the irony is that my diet is still only ordinary, healthy but not extreme. We had a packet of crisps each with post rugby butties last weekend. I bought the exact amount so couldn't steal more! Hmmm easier to control purchase than consumption.

God sorry have waffled awfully, have been thinking about it all today. You can change however you decide to approach it by increments orcbuilding up to your tipping point.

Ribeno Wed 06-Mar-13 11:33:30

hi everyone, im so glad i noticed this thread!!!

i am a sugar addict and last night ate 8 tunnocks caramel wafers in one sitting after having 2 bags of 45g kettle chip crisps with my lunch and some chewy milk bottle gums. so depressing.

i get a bit internally panicky if there are no sweets or chocolates in the cupboard and my dh is worried i'll end up diabetic.

i am also nowhere near fat and am on the low end of the normal body mass index, sometimes i am actually on the border of being underweight. i eat a cereal breakfast and usually cracker/cheese/soup lunch and a normal carb/ veg/ meat dinner. i am very active with my toddler and will walk a few miles most days so i think that's a factor.

i have just ordered some books from amazon on sugar addiction and so far its 11.30 am and i've resisted the marshmallows in my cupboard.

i'll watch this thread.

Mintberry Wed 06-Mar-13 11:56:00

Well, you're not being unreasonable, just unhealthy. If you cut them out there may be benefits you wouldn't think of, like sleeping better, healthier skin, better mood etc. There are also hidden dangers like Sneezy points out such as developing diabetes.

It sounds like you have a great metabolism, but I wouldn't count on it to stay the same for ever. I also have a good metabolism, but wouldn't start eating badly because I would be concerned about it shifting back (I had no metabolism as a teenager) and me blowing up like a balloon. grin

BrianButterfield Wed 06-Mar-13 11:56:06

I'm another skinny sugar addict - if I add up the calories I can't believe how much I can eat but I don't seem to put on weight. I work full-time with a toddler, walk three miles a day with the pushchair and rely on sugar to get me through the day. I cook proper meals in the evening, nice normal healthy food etc but at break time or after work I go straight for sweets or chocolate bars or biscuits or cake. I know it's habit and I don't really binge but I can still eat say a whole big bag of sweets in one go which is still too much. the worst thing is I know I'm doing it, I know my blood sugar crashes and I want more but I'm so tired and starving I can't help it and sweets are easy to get hold of quickly.

ivanapoo Wed 06-Mar-13 12:04:07

I know this thread is not new but I have the same problem and really want to turn it around. Some of the advice on this thread is really helpful.

I've recently had a baby and want to be here on earth as long as possible for him so this is my motivation... But I am totally addicted to sugar/carbs.

I read somewhere that craving sweet foods often meant you were craving excitement lacking elsewhere in your life.

I wonder how the OP is getting on?

LessMissAbs Wed 06-Mar-13 12:05:40

I'm similar OP! Except I eat more chocolate than you. I'm a size 8/10 and very active. My teeth are excellent. I've just had my blood pressure taken and it was 120/79. I have loads of energy. I'm late thirties. I just get hungry between meals.

But I do wonder why people don't think about what they eat. People would criticise me for eating chocolate and crisps, and drinking fizzy water or diet coke, but then have a takeaway once a week, or eat supermarket burgers, or chicken nuggets, or chips, or drink loads of alcohol...

And I can safely say I never eat any of that stuff. I don't even drink tea or coffee.

Miggsie Wed 06-Mar-13 12:07:19

You appear to have a compulsion/addition - because you say you can't get through the day without this food. Or you feel it the way to cope with the stress in your life.

You need to see a therapist who specialises in compulsive behaviours or have some form of CBT treatment to break your association with needing this food to cope with stress.

If you feel yourself reaching ofr the food to cope with stress you need ot recognise this and stop yourself - by doing something different, or distracting, or odd (hopping one foot for instance) to break your need to react to stress with reaching for the food.

You can also stop buying it in the first place - but this is likely to cause you anxiety if you do this.

You also require the help of your family. One quite simple technique is get your family to yell "Lard!!!" or even "sprouts!!" at you very loud when they see you reaching for the foods to help you break the thought/action pattern you have fallen into. And don't substitute one form of compulsive eating with another - so don' try substituting apples all the time - that just lets you revert to eating crisps as you have not tackled the issue of breaking the cycle of feeling stress-reaching for food.

You may want to try deep breathing or mindfulness exercises whenever you feel the need for this food - there are DVD and also classes - but you have to hunt them out

LessMissAbs Wed 06-Mar-13 12:15:31

Can I ask what people drink if fizzy drinks are out? I don't like tea or coffee, hot chocolate and water leaves me feeling thirsty still, probably because I'm so active. I don't like alcohol, so would never want to drink a beer. I don't like fruit juice, because sugar is added and even if not, its full of natural sugars. Flavoured diluting juices like Robinsons ditto and they also leave me with an aftertaste and still feeling thirsty. So what is there left to drink?

chrome100 Wed 06-Mar-13 12:22:31

I ate crap for years. I never got fat but I have spent a bomb at the dentist as a result.

tunnocksteacake Wed 06-Mar-13 12:26:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RobotHamster Wed 06-Mar-13 12:27:57

If you're getting that many calories from sweets and crisps and not putting on weight, then you can't be eating that much 'normal' food. The crisps and sugar may not be a problem in themselves, but you might be deficient in other areas. Even if you eat enough healthy fruit and veg.

I would say start logging all your meals on my fitness pal, just for a week, and add in all your sweets and crisps into the 'snacks' section. Separate them out and get a realistic picture of how many calories you're eating, and how many you're not eating for your meals. Seeing the imbalance might help you to move away from it.


Fakebook Wed 06-Mar-13 12:29:08

LessMissAbs, I buy sparkling spring water and mix it with fruit juice like orange or lemon/lime or I sometimes buy the flavoured sparkling water from tesco or Co-Op. I hate plain water and always need something flavoured.

cuillereasoupe Wed 06-Mar-13 12:44:17

I find two things really help with sugar cravings. Either clean your teeth (or eat a minty chewing gum) - you're much less likely to eat crap if your mouth feels clean - or if you really want a sugar hit, buy the smallest packet of sweets available. A tiny packet of gummy bears hits the spot just as effectively as a massive bag.

maddening Wed 06-Mar-13 12:58:57

Can you try trail mix? Fruit and nuts would give you the same carb hit but with better oils and fruit sugars and probably better vitamin and minerals?

maddening Wed 06-Mar-13 13:00:22

Yy to fruit juice and sparkling water - I use a touch of elderflower and 17p sparkling water - cheap and refreshing

JedwardScissorhands Wed 06-Mar-13 13:02:14

What about fruity tea? I would never have thought ,I'd like it, but I drink loads during the day going cold turkey on normal very sugary tea.

I also drink fizzy water at night.

I find that upping my calorie intake during the day is critical. I was eating a light sandwich/soup type lunch but have to have proper substantial food to avoid a crash and eating junk. I have a lighter supper instead.

specialsubject Wed 06-Mar-13 13:05:15

if you are active and getting all your nutrients, and burning off the excess calories, it's not a problem. Just a waste of money.

However you CAN help yourself, just stop buying and guzzling expensive crap. Not rocket science!

LessMissAbs Wed 06-Mar-13 13:11:56

Unfortunately I don't like milk either. I really loathe tea, it tastes like poison to me and in fact the vapours of certain types of tea cause an allergic reaction in me - headaches, insomnia, blocked nose!

I already drink the Tescos or Sainsbury flavoured water, as I try not to drink much diet coke. Is that bad for you? I'm worried because it contains sucrose.

I'm noticing a lot of people drink fizzy water and flavour it, I could also do that.

forevergreek Wed 06-Mar-13 13:38:57

I drink either plain or sparkling water. Sometimes add elderflower cordial to sparkling water. It's a lot healthier to add a little flavouring to say sparkling water than to buy it ready flavoured as thy often contains added sugar or too much flavouring.

ppeatfruit Wed 06-Mar-13 13:47:24

LessMissAbs The problem with 'diet' drinks of any type is that the sweeteners like aspartame are not seen by our body as food so either cause allergies or create more hunger than if we'd had normal drinks.

NCJunkbinge please listen to dreamingbohemian She is recommending the VERY BEST way to deal with emotional eating which is Paul Mckenna His way of eating is so good it can help with underweight and over weight because it helps SOOOO MUCH with our self image and why we eat in secret or whatever.

ChestyLeRoux Wed 06-Mar-13 14:34:55

dh does this but you wont put on weight from this kind of thing its not stodgy enough.My vice is energy drinks and savoury junk food.It is hard to stop I cant do it.

Yesterday afternoon I spent nearly two hours in the dentist's chair. I had a filling replaced in one tooth and the adjacent tooth prepared for a crown. When the dentist had drilled out the old fillings and decay, he handed me a mirror to show me the situation before he started the next stage. I don't think it was his intention, but what I saw was an absolutely huge wake up call. There was practically nothing left of those two teeth, just tiny stumps in the corners and my mouth was full of blood. I was horrified at the damage I have done to myself through a lifetime of crap eating. I don't drink fizzy drinks at all, don't touch alcohol, have never smoked, I exercise and I'm the right weight for my height. However, I no longer feel like I can be smug because the evidence was there for me to see - I am ruining my teeth with sugar and it has to stop now.

I looked at the biscuit tin at work today and all I could see were the brown stumps in a pool of blood that I saw in the mirror yesterday. The dental work is going to cost me over £500 and I am sure I have been spending more than that each year on sugary, processed crap most of which is entirely free of any nutrients and is not needed in any way by my body. It's time for change.

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