Changing your ideas about food and eating

Hi everyone, I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I thought I'd post about it. Hands down the most useful thing I've done to lose weight is to totally change the way I think about food. I grew up in a very "Clean you plat, meat-potato-veggies, 3 square meals a day, dinner-then-dessert, and food-as-reward" household.

First off, just learning to say no to sweets was huge. In my mind, sweets was a treat, a reward. Something you never turned down, because it represented success. Well, not any more. I've gotten very good at never buying sweets myself, and even turning them down when offered.

Second, you don't need meat, starch, and vegetables at every meal. For example, if you know you're going to eat a lot of meat, don't even make a starch to go with it. You'll fill up without it! Actually, I've taken to eating mostly low-carb and often have 2 veggies at dinner with my meat (chicken or fish).

Third, only eat when you are hungry. And never, ever eat something you don't want to eat. Sometimes I would wake on the weekends (late a.m.) and eat breakfast. Then 2 hours later I would have lunch, even though I wasn't hungry. It makes a lot more sense to me to just eat lunch when I get up on those occasions. Who says you can't have a sandwich for breakfast?

And finally, although I try to eat healthy all the time, sometimes I just want some junk food. When I KNOW I'm going to eat an ice cream sunday after dinner, and then feel sick from having eaten too much, I just skip dinner. It's taken me years to get out of the mindset that you MUST eat things containing vitamins 3x per day. Substituting a hot fundge sundae for dinner every few months won't kill you.


So I guess I'm not really looking for advice or anything, i just want to share my experiences. The way I thought about food was seriously hindering my weightloss attempts. Figuring out why I ate the way I did was very helpful. Now I eat way more fruits and veggies, a healthy amount of calories, and very very little junk food. And I'm actually happy doing it.
"I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 6,581
Thanks for sharing your journey. It's always interesting to read how people's attitudes towards food are shaped from childhood and evolve over time.

By the way, I love your sig line!
You are absolutely right. I am trying to be more like you but it's hard.

I have found in the last couple of weeks I can't eat as much without getting overfull and since I've cut back portion sizes I've lost 3.5 pounds. I have also increased my exercising a bit.

I also think that eating "diet" foods and drinking diet soda is a bad idea. If you want something eat the regular satisfying version but eat less. I think you'll find you're more satisfied with less calories.
Three things I remind myself of often are:

1) if you eat a lot at a meal, it's OK, kind of. Just increase your exercise that day/the next day.

2) don't "stock up." There won't be a war between lunch and dinner; the car won't break down; the roads won't be closed; the refrigerator won't shut off...Don't buy huge meals when out "just in case" dinner is delayed, unavailable, not good, etc. Eat a small meal now and believe that you will have access to all you need when it's time for you to eat again. (I don't know how I fell into this trap. You'd think I grew up impoverished, part of a huge family or in a war-torn country or something...)

3) chew gum
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

who me, i really appreciate your starting this thread. i decided to cut out sweets for a while. it's been two days and i've slipped up twice, but only having had two sugary items (fruit slush and a peanut butter cookie) is much better than the usual diet. i've been feeling sluggish and i know its from the roller coaster ride of my blood sugar. the sugary food/drink would give me a buzz and after the buzz i felt sluggish. the first day was hard. the second day was a bit easier. today i feel like i'm thinking a bit more before i eat.

i have mints on my desk that have been sitting there a solid week now. for me that's progress seeing i have had to buy a new bag to replenish my supply every 4 days or so.

i've also noticed i'm gaining weight and i suspect my sweet cravings are the culprit. i definitely don't want to gain anymore. i think i'll print out your comments to read in detail again later.

i used to eat only 1500 cal/day and keep a food diary as well as regular exercise 4-5 days a week). Now I have no idea what I'm eating and i only exercise 2-3 days a week. I really need to change if I want to feel better.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.

2) don't "stock up." There won't be a war between lunch and dinner; the car won't break down; the roads won't be closed; the refrigerator won't shut off...Don't buy huge meals when out "just in case" dinner is delayed, unavailable, not good, etc. Eat a small meal now and believe that you will have access to all you need when it's time for you to eat again. (I don't know how I fell into this trap. You'd think I grew up impoverished, part of a huge family or in a war-torn country or something...)

3) chew gum
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
i had to laugh at number two, because i come from a very large family and I've always had the feeling of "if you don't eat it now it won't be there later!" and stocking up is burned into my brain just about. i've gotten better at not doing it though. i've started only buying ice cream by the pint instead of the half gallon. with three of us in one apt, that half gallon will be gone within a few days! having my own little pint makes me think 'that is just for me and no one else will take it so it will be there when i want it.'

chewing gum will do the trick too. i can't anymore though because of the beginnings of arthritis in my jaw.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 6,581
Can everyone else relate things back to growing up? I'm curious because I can't say I was told to clean up my plate.

I got to eat what I wanted, as much as I wanted and when I wanted. Meals were home-cooked and mostly from scratched, but I could eat junk when I wanted. I am about the same now.

When I need to lose weight, I eat fewer sweets and desserts, and eat less frequently - I can eat as much as 10 times a day so I know the experts don't mean me when they say eat more frequently! A coworker commented in a meeting yesterday that I'm always eating then he brought me chocolate!
A coworker commented in a meeting yesterday that I'm always eating
I've had a coworker say that about me too.

I can stand to lose another 5 - 8 pounds, but I have never been really overweight and I think not skipping meals and letting myself get so hungry that I am ravenous is a big part of it. I always eat something for breakfast even it is just a yogurt and a fruit, and I've read that many overweight people do not.
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 6,581
A coworker commented in a meeting yesterday that I'm always eating
I've had a coworker say that about me too.

I can stand to lose another 5 - 8 pounds, but I have never been really overweight and I think not skipping meals and letting myself get so hungry that I am ravenous is a big part of it. I always eat something for breakfast even it is just a yogurt and a fruit, and I've read that many overweight people do not.
Originally Posted by sdcurly
Very interesting. I didn't know this. I'm going to PM Mip to check out this thread because it contradicts a theory we were developing.
I agree Ive always had a problem with loosing weight. I would starve myself and get to the weight i wanted but always gain it back. Now im trying to do it the healthy way. By eating right and exercising But im having a problem with sodas and sweets i cant get enough i try and try but i always end up eating them. But now since i strarting over ive decided to cut out the sodas and sweets and up my exercise and eat more fruits and veggie. also im leaning towards vegetarian so maybe t hat will help
3B-Hair Type
Follower of the CG Routine Since 07/26/25
Can everyone else relate things back to growing up? I'm curious because I can't say I was told to clean up my plate.

I got to eat what I wanted, as much as I wanted and when I wanted. Meals were home-cooked and mostly from scratched, but I could eat junk when I wanted. I am about the same now.

When I need to lose weight, I eat fewer sweets and desserts, and eat less frequently - I can eat as much as 10 times a day so I know the experts don't mean me when they say eat more frequently! A coworker commented in a meeting yesterday that I'm always eating then he brought me chocolate!
Originally Posted by Cherish
as a child i ate fast and i still eat fast, i think. same "if you dont eat it now it will be gone later" thing. i consciously slow myself down as i've gotten older though.

my parents never let use eat alot of junk food or fast food. it was only for special occassions when we could spare the expense. now i eat out way too much and i practically live on the vending machine if i forget my lunch.

out of all of my siblings i was the only one that was certifiably "fat" as a kid, i was like 130 in grade 4. everyone else was (and still is) slender. i've slimmed down, but i'm still the weightiest one, not counting my 17 year old brother though.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.
A coworker commented in a meeting yesterday that I'm always eating
I've had a coworker say that about me too.

I can stand to lose another 5 - 8 pounds, but I have never been really overweight and I think not skipping meals and letting myself get so hungry that I am ravenous is a big part of it. I always eat something for breakfast even it is just a yogurt and a fruit, and I've read that many overweight people do not.
Originally Posted by sdcurly
ita with this. i've started eating oatmeal every morning and that really helps. if i eat nothing at all for breakafast i eat tons later in the day. i prefer something like oatmeal with some kind of protein. peanut butter on toast is filling also.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.
Peanut butter on toast is a great breakfast. It is filling and nutritious.

And as an aside, I mentioned that I need to lose another 5 -8 pounds, but I never had a problem at all until I got into my very late 40's.

I think the reason more young people are overweight now is that the food environment is so different from when I was young(er!). The meal that is considered the child's meal at Mickey D's now was the only meal they offered when I was growing up. Everyone, including adults ate it and felt satisfied.

When I go to the grocery store now I see so many snack foods that didn't exist when I was young. I just saw a small box of Oreos at the store by the register to be picked up as an impulse item. Used to be you had to buy the full size package or nothing, I think these smaller packages encourage you to eat the whole thing at once.

Everyone is thrilled when they go to a restaurant the portions are large. Really people, that is not a good thing.

And all these people saying it's their genes and slow metabolism that are the problems probably don't realize how much they are eating. There were not as many fat people 25 years ago as there are now so it can't possibly be that the gene pool has changed that much. I moved to CA from the midwest 22 years ago and one the first things both I and my then husband noticed was that there were hardly any fat people here compared to the midwest, now CA is as fat as anywhere else. There is just too much food out there to choose from and it's hard to stay away from it.
Thanks for the pm, Cherish! This is an interesting thread.

I read something about how eating fewer meals can aid weightloss. My theory (which is the same as many people's) is that everyone is different, and you just have to find what works for you.
Not eating breakfast can be a bad idea for many people as they will eat something naughty later in the morning. If I don't eat breakfast, however, I won't eat anything until lunch. I never used to eat breakfast and my weight was nice and stable. I started eating breakfast when I started a fairly physically taxing job. I was only eating a large-ish bowl of healthy cereal with no sugar and semi-skimmed milk. I've put on at least 10lbs since I started doing that. Now, there might well be other factors coming into play, I don't know for sure. At the moment, I've stopped breakfast again and I'm going to monitor things.

I'm not so sure though that there was less fat in people's diets years ago. Less junk, yes. My mum was brought up on a typically 1950s diet. Fried breakfasts were common and meals and desserts were often stodgy and high in fat. They were homemade and with plenty of vegetables though. People also walked more.

Why are there more fat people?
I think that people generally have more disposable income. There is more fast food and junk food than ever and it's also cheap! Further compounding the problem is that many people don't have time to cook properly and others don't know how to. Throw in cars and various labour saving appliances, and you're going to get a fatter nation.
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 6,581
I'm not so sure though that there was less fat in people's diets years ago. Less junk, yes. My mum was brought up on a typically 1950s diet. Fried breakfasts were common and meals and desserts were often stodgy and high in fat. They were homemade and with plenty of vegetables though. People also walked more.

Why are there more fat people?
I think that people generally have more disposable income. There is more fast food and junk food than ever and it's also cheap! Further compounding the problem is that many people don't have time to cook properly and others don't know how to. Throw in cars and various labour saving appliances, and you're going to get a fatter nation.
Originally Posted by Mip
I agree.
Can everyone else relate things back to growing up? I'm curious because I can't say I was told to clean up my plate.

I got to eat what I wanted, as much as I wanted and when I wanted. Meals were home-cooked and mostly from scratched, but I could eat junk when I wanted. I am about the same now.

When I need to lose weight, I eat fewer sweets and desserts, and eat less frequently - I can eat as much as 10 times a day so I know the experts don't mean me when they say eat more frequently! A coworker commented in a meeting yesterday that I'm always eating then he brought me chocolate!
Originally Posted by Cherish
are you fat as a result of your compulsive eating? Just curious.
Supernappy, superbad, "when are you gonna put a relaxer up in that mess?"shrinking breaking TYPE 5 hair that - against all the odds - is growing quite long
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 6,581
Can everyone else relate things back to growing up? I'm curious because I can't say I was told to clean up my plate.

I got to eat what I wanted, as much as I wanted and when I wanted. Meals were home-cooked and mostly from scratched, but I could eat junk when I wanted. I am about the same now.

When I need to lose weight, I eat fewer sweets and desserts, and eat less frequently - I can eat as much as 10 times a day so I know the experts don't mean me when they say eat more frequently! A coworker commented in a meeting yesterday that I'm always eating then he brought me chocolate!
Originally Posted by Cherish
are you fat as a result of your compulsive eating? Just curious.
Originally Posted by Rastacurl Revisited
Once again... whatever happened to that ignore button of yours, I wonder? You can't seem to stay away from me... hmmmm...
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 6,581
Don't get me wrong, Rasta, I'm kinda flattered that your lil grudge has you trailing me around It's cute.
Can everyone else relate things back to growing up? I'm curious because I can't say I was told to clean up my plate.

I got to eat what I wanted, as much as I wanted and when I wanted. Meals were home-cooked and mostly from scratched, but I could eat junk when I wanted. I am about the same now.

When I need to lose weight, I eat fewer sweets and desserts, and eat less frequently - I can eat as much as 10 times a day so I know the experts don't mean me when they say eat more frequently! A coworker commented in a meeting yesterday that I'm always eating then he brought me chocolate!
Originally Posted by Cherish
are you fat as a result of your compulsive eating? Just curious.
Originally Posted by Rastacurl Revisited
Once again... whatever happened to that ignore button of yours, I wonder? You can't seem to stay away from me... hmmmm...
Originally Posted by Cherish
You don't feel able to answer my question?
Supernappy, superbad, "when are you gonna put a relaxer up in that mess?"shrinking breaking TYPE 5 hair that - against all the odds - is growing quite long
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 6,581
And the reason I should feel compelled to answer your questions or ever take you seriously is..............?

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