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does anyone else have days of uncontrolled desire to eat?

32 replies

Squidmission · 23/04/2010 11:45

I'm doing really well on my current diet/fitness plan. Its quite a healthy plan and I don't really feel deprived but I always seem to want to overeat everytime I lose any weight then end up back at square one!
Why is this? I really want to carry on and lose this 1.5 stones.

OP posts:
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sarah293 · 23/04/2010 12:20

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IMoveTheStars · 23/04/2010 12:21

Yes.. daily.

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IMoveTheStars · 23/04/2010 12:22

ah, Riven www.mumsnet.com/Talk/politics/951959?pagingOff=1#19405355

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Chil1234 · 23/04/2010 12:27

'Dieting' is actually quite an unnatural thing to do. Requires ignoring hunger-pangs and restricting eating. You may not feel deprived but if the calorie deficit - the difference between your 'energy in' and 'energy out' - gets too wide or goes on for too long then your body will be more likely to look for top-ups and/or you'll overeat.

If you're calorie-counting, try to keep a gap of only about 700 between the energy you are using up and the energy you're taking in. Deliberately have a day every two or three weeks where you get your full energy needs... this is a good technique to keep weight-loss lively as well as being good for the soul.

The other element is 'malnutrition'. If your diet/fitness plan leaves you short on essential nutrients or if it's imbalanced then you can find that this triggers episodes of overeating.

Adequate energy, adequate nutrition and regular top-up days should reduce the problem.

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IMoveTheStars · 23/04/2010 12:31

Ahh, that makes a lot of sense. So eating sensibly in the week, and then pig out allow a bit more food at the weekend?

Really need to shift some weight...

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Chil1234 · 23/04/2010 12:41

It's about setting your calorie intake at the right level for your needs and then being reasonably consistent about it.

Someone who starts off in the 14-15st bracket, exercising for half an hour every other day, let's say a typical 5'6" and aged over 30..... they need about 2300 cals a day to maintain their weight. So they should set their intake at about 1600 a day which would give them enough energy to function normally, lose weight steadily and a fighting chance of getting adequate nutrition. Every two or three weeks they could have a day where they got the full 2300, keeping the metabolism lively. I don't recommend more food every weekend because this can easily turn into a 'bad habit'

That same person, if they had gone with a 1200 cal diet would be more likely to end up overeating... because it's simply not enough energy to keep them going.

It's an extremely common situation.... people find a diet in a magazine and decide to follow it, completely forgetting that if they start off at 17st or 15st they will need more energy than someone starting at 10st or 11st.

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Squidmission · 23/04/2010 13:02

Thanks chil. That does make sense.
I'll try having a few extra cals from time to time as a 'top up'

I've also realised that I don't think my breakfast was adequate (banana, yogurt, 1/2 toast) and I think I need more protein for breakfast to keep my from craving food.

OP posts:
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Chil1234 · 23/04/2010 13:11

Ideally, try to make breakfast a good 25% of your day's intake. So if you were looking at 1500 cals a day for weight-loss you'd aim for about 350-400 cals at breakfast time. Which would allow you something as generous as.... 2 slices wholegrain toast (160 cals), 2 large eggs poached (140 cals) and a banana (100 cals)....

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brockleybelle · 23/04/2010 13:17

Great advice, Chil! Thanks. Makes a lot of sense and I'll be referring to this thread when it comes to losing my baby weight (i'm due in 4 weeks).

My own problem is that I eat pretty healthily but over-eat - I'm always eating past that 'full' feeling, often way past, which I know is a big no-no. I'm not very good at self discipline. I also have a majorly sweet tooth and indulge it far too regularly. It's something I need to tackle now while I'm still relatively young. Any tips?

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brockleybelle · 23/04/2010 13:20

OP, i battle an uncontrolled desire to eat every day! i'm always looking for things to nibble at.

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IMoveTheStars · 23/04/2010 13:28

Chil - you pretty much described me in your post of 12:41,

Makes a lot of sense - I was jsut thinking about this this morning, and realised that I would need a certain amount of calories to maintain the weight that i'm at, and even if I dropped it to 1800 - 2000 cals it should start to (very slowly) drop off..

Defintely agree with the eggs and wholegrain toast for breakfast though, 2 large eggs and 2 slices of toast see me through til lunchtime.

Booze is my problem though, my diet itself is actually pretty good, if i just stopped drinking beer I'm sure I'd shed a few stone

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Chil1234 · 24/04/2010 06:18

" I'm not very good at self discipline. I also have a majorly sweet tooth and indulge it far too regularly"

Discipline (aka 'willpower') is much easier if you are organised and well-prepared. Be extremely careful what you allow into your shopping trolley as a first measure.... if you fill it with cakes you will eat cakes... whereas if you remove the sugary foods from your cupboards, fridge and freezer and make a point not to replace them, you can't indulge your sweet tooth quite as liberally.

A lot of casual overeating can also be tackled with preparation and thought. Portion-control is vital for people who eat healthily but eat too much so get hold of some kitchen scales and keep them handy. When calorie-counting, go to the effort of weighing portions for a few weeks so that you understand where the calories are coming from.

Many people will cook 3 or 4oz dry weight pasta as recommended on the packet, not realising that's using up a chunky 300-400 cals - approaching 1/4 of the typical calorie allowance of someone 2 or 3st overweight. However, if you halve your pasta serving but fill out the plate with lots of vegetables, you'll find you have plenty to eat but your calorie intake is much lower.

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Chil1234 · 24/04/2010 06:23

".... if i just stopped drinking beer I'm sure I'd shed a few stone"

That's something you can easily test. Rather than stopping all together, I can highly recommend stopping for a week and just seeing what happens. A week is quite do-able for most people unless they have an alcohol problem, which I'm sure you don't. It's long enough to break the habit (most beer and wine drinking is simply a bad habit) and long enough to find other things to drink... other ways to relax & socialise.

At the end of your beer-free week when you step on the scales I would predict that you'll be so encouraged by the outcome that you'll find it much easier to drink less going forward.

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Furball · 24/04/2010 07:52

Oh this is me - sooo me

I can eat till I am literally stuffed and then can still manage to pack away some more.

Fortunately I am only 2 stone over weight - my greed should deem me much higher.

I know how to eat healthly - I do most of the time, but then a couple of days a week I go crazy ruining any good done.

For me I must limit portion control - my general diet is alright it's just the quantity.

I'm gonna start to use a smaller plate (ie large side plate) and fill half with veggies/salad 1/4 carb and 1/4 protein and try and drink 1 pint of water 1/2 hour before each meal to fill me up.

I do limit myself to only fruit (and generally 1 piece) as an evening snack rather than scrummy yummy crisps or chocolate, which must be a positive?

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Chil1234 · 24/04/2010 08:24

In your case furball the smaller plate & fruit snacks etc., is a great idea but I would still team it up with the kitchen scales to be on the safe side. When someone is not particularly overweight the difference between intake for 'losing' and 'staying the same' is quite small. In a very heavy person there's more margin for error and small improvements can make big differences.

So the '1/4 carb' on the plate, for example. Measure out 1.5oz dry pasta, cook it up, and see how big it looks exactly. That's 150 cals and it's about the right portion-size for a mildly overweight person trying to lose.

On the flip side, you'd probably see a lot of benefit from increasing your activity level. Half an hour a day of something energetic... brisk walk, jog, exercise DVD, cycling etc.... not only burns spare calories whilst you're doing it but also elevates the metabolism a little for the rest of the day.

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Furball · 24/04/2010 08:39

chil - Thanks for you input here, it's very interesting.

With pasta I tend to have 50gr which is about the same as 1.5 oz and it is a good portion without feeling deprieved.

Would it be 1.5 oz of any carb like potatoes as well?

My fav meal atm is pasta salad with chopped boiled egg, lean bacon, tomatoes, cucmber, spring onion a teeny sprinkle of strong cheddar all mixed up with a small dollop of low fat mayo.

I even commented how I like that meal better than egg and chips, much to ds' disgust but I was quite proud to say, that I love it!

Long live the sunshine!

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Chil1234 · 24/04/2010 08:52

1.5oz (nearer 40g actually) is good for any dry grain.... rice, pasta, quinoa, red lentils. Bread's pretty close as well... 1.5oz is about 1 commercial slice. But potatoes you can be a little more generous with. For the same 150cals you get about 6oz of boiled new potatoes or baked potatoes. Pulses as well... beans and chickpeas are an excellent choice of complex carbohydrate. A 3-4oz serving of canned, drained kidney beans/chickpeas is also about 150cals.

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Furball · 24/04/2010 09:28

will lessen me pasta portion then - thank you chil

I will try and implement your advice

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sarah293 · 24/04/2010 10:02

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Furball · 24/04/2010 12:48

and with Slimming World Riven - you literally (on a green day) can eat yourself silly with pasta, rice, noodles, cous cous and potatoes (no bread though) and loose weight. - and you do I am proof (lost 2 stone 2 years ago, but the wrong greed shot me straight back to square one.

Never hungry, not faddy, extremely healthy........just a case of sticking to it. But completely breaks all 'diet rules'

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sarah293 · 24/04/2010 12:57

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Chil1234 · 24/04/2010 15:46

Here are a few common regain scenarios Riven that have nothing to do with 'carbs' and everything to do with human nature......

  1. 'Bull at a Gate'.. They decide to lose weight FAST and go at it in a totally amateur fashion with a big list of 'never eating that agains', stocking up on fancy-looking diet foods, trying to exist on banana and a Ryvita at lunchtime, skipping breakfast, following some fad they read in a magazine, going into punishing exercise regimes at the same time. If they make it past the first week they're lucky. If they get a fortnight down the track the sheer bloody awfulness of what they're doing has them nose-diving into the biscuit tin at the first opportnity. Result... they gain anything back that they have lost and feel like a failure.


  1. 'Frustrated'... These people are usually quite heavy to begin with. They set a calorie intake that's too low for their needs but the weight-loss is terrific to begin with so they're really happy. After a few weeks the weight-loss slows to a complete crawl because they've bollocksed their metabolism. Still, they stick with it or even reduce their intake to get a kick-start. This makes matters worse. So eventually they give up and their slowed metabolism means they regain weight quite fast on amounts of food other people might maintain on.


  1. 'Strait-Jacket Restricted'.... These people love being 'on a diet'. They get it pretty much right calorie-wise, do exercise every day & they have great will-power into the bargain. Why these people regain weight lost is that their diet is often so boring & restrictive and their exercise programme so repetitive and joyless that they eventually run out of steam and go looking for stimulation!!! They fail to transform 'a diet' into 'a lifestyle'. This is a pretty common one for the low-carber... remember all those omelettes?... and obviously not something people like Taubes want to share with you.
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IMoveTheStars · 24/04/2010 17:55

Chil, you've inspired me to give it a go next week. I've got people over tonight and the beers are already in, but Sunday night is a good night to start. Need to make sure the scales work and weigh myself tomorrow (should be enough of a kick start in itself!)

Thanks for all your advice on this thread

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nikki1978 · 24/04/2010 21:45

Question for Chil....

I have been eating 700 cals less than my body needs to maintain it's current weight but have also been doing a lot of exercise. If I eat 1200 cals a day then burn off 300 should I then eat those cals burnt or not?

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IMoveTheStars · 24/04/2010 22:31

Chil will probably answer this better, but IMO 1200 calories isn't enough, you'll end up in starvation mode and your weight loss will plateau.

I would say 1400+ calories (you can't be that overweight if 2100 is what you need to maintain your current weight). 700 calories is a hell of a drop. IIRC, your body used 1200 calories in a day if you don't even get out of bed...

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