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I have been suffering depression since last year. Also, I was diagnosed with ADHD,OCPD, and bipolar disorder. Contrary from the past years before pandemic, I was a highly discipline with my diet. But since last year, I have been experiencing emotional/stress eating. Definitely my mind knows what to do but it has been really a struggle to come out from this status. 

I am now alone and gained my independence finally after so many years from my toxic family, I am now focusing on finding job and self-development. But struggle is real.  I have been taking care of my granny for five years. It was very exhausting. Now, her absence in her home makes me feel sad. 

I can rationalize things. But it was really hard to apply what are the corrective actions in my life.

 

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I used to be quite an emotional eater, as I found comfort and love in food.  It didnt judge me or make me feel bad.  It was mostly due to the way my mother treated me.

Over time I've figured this out and work hard to not fall back into that trap as it is self destructive.  I have learned to distract myself from food and to keep health snacks on hand when I fall down.

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I have done emotional eating and emotional nibbling.  Here are some practices/tips that have worked great for me- especially during covid.  I increased my water intake to about 10 glasses a day (one third consumed when I work out, which is daily).  I do not eat between meals unless I am starving.  If I am starving I eat things that I don't nibble on/don't trigger me -a dried fig, some apple slices.  This lessens the focus on food.  I do not have any other beverages including diet soda (which triggers me to nibble/want carbs) - but I'll have a little sparkling water (no sweetener) at night and I have coffee but with only milk, no sugar.  I do eat sweets, junk, all of that -but at or around meal times -I don't just eat all day or "snack"  I also relearned my hunger/fullness cues after a bout with undiagnosed eating disorders 30-40 years ago.  So when I eat meals they're reasonable, reasonable portions, not past the point of fullness.  Hope this helps!

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I'm the opposite.  When I'm upset, anxious or depressed I cannot eat anything.  I have zero appetite.  I had extreme anxiety and some depression due to Covid fear and I went from 135 pounds to 106!  I was so, so skinny.  I looked awful.

But before, when I wanted to lose weight I tricked myself.  I ate something that tasted sweet but was healthy like sugar free yogurt or sugar free jam on whole wheat toast.  Yum. And I baked chicken instead of frying it and added seasonings for flavor.  Yum again!  Fortunately I love vegetables so that's never an issue.  Just don't coat them with cheese sauce!  Roasted asparagus is also YUM and is made delicious with some olive oil and seasonings.

Also, find things to do that you enjoy that don't involve eating.  Whatever it is, make sure you can't sit there and snack while you do it!  Exercise is excellent for this.

Good luck with your healthy eating goals.

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On 3/17/2021 at 12:06 AM, melancholy123 said:

I used to be quite an emotional eater, as I found comfort and love in food.  It didnt judge me or make me feel bad.  It was mostly due to the way my mother treated me.

Over time I've figured this out and work hard to not fall back into that trap as it is self destructive.  I have learned to distract myself from food and to keep health snacks on hand when I fall down.

 

Thanks for the advice.

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On 3/16/2021 at 11:46 AM, amihan said:

 I was diagnosed with ADHD,OCPD, and bipolar disorder. 

Talk to your doctors and therapists about the disorders themselves as well as treatment and medication side effects.

It seems like whatever eating situation there is, is related to these other disorders, so when you address that, you'll address the eating, stress, anxiety, etc.

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On 3/19/2021 at 5:06 PM, Wiseman2 said:

Talk to your doctors and therapists about the disorders themselves as well as treatment and medication side effects.

It seems like whatever eating situation there is, is related to these other disorders, so when you address that, you'll address the eating, stress, anxiety, etc.

Thanks for this advice. It came up to my mind few weeks ago this idea. 

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In the past,  I've eaten emotionally, too.  However, I don't enjoy how I feel shortly after eating something unhealthy or in excessive amounts.  What helps me prevent from eating what I'm not supposed to or eating too much is reminding myself of the consequences such as feeling lethargic, exhausted, pudgy and grouchy.  Also, unhealthy food causes pain and inflammation in my joints for me.  Whenever I eat smart, my aches 'n pains disappear. 

I don't like wearing tight clothing due to weight gain and I refuse to buy large sized apparel.  I lose weight instead. 

I exercise regularly which is a strong motivator to remain on my strict diet.  I don't even cheat because I know how awful I will feel afterwards and for some odd reason, whenever I cave into my cravings, those craved foods don't taste quite as good as I had remembered. 🥴 Funny how that is. 

Since I exercise diligently, I'm certainly not going to ruin my hard work by eating anything off my diet.  Whenever I eat anything off my diet, my workouts are unnecessarily strenuous, fatiguing, horrible and taxed.  There are negative results from not putting proper fuel into my body.  Then when I eat smart all the time, I'm a lean mean machine during and after my workouts.  I like what I see in the mirror and I feel great.

I've been through my fat phases and after losing 35 pounds, I'm never reverting to the way I was.  I don't like my thighs rubbing together as I walk.  To me, that feels uncomfortable.  My clothes fit better, I feel self confident and strong due to smart dieting and my fitness regimen.  It's also a great stress reliever and I can cope with life better.  My interactions with others is smart and very good as well.  Exercise clears the cobwebs out of my brain and I'm able to think with clarity and logic.  If I eat badly and neglect my exercise routine, I feel mentally and physically lousy. 

I have other outlets whenever I need emotional support such as my faith, prayers, hobbies, library book reading, extremely supportive husband, sons and I'm very busy with work and daily household chores.  After all that, often times I don't have time to eat.  

I've observed mainstream society.  Mainstream society is unhealthy and overweight.  I don't want to look like them.  Also, my maternal grandfather had two heart attacks, my maternal uncle is diabetic, my father died of a heart attack at a young age and my mother is pre-diabetic.  It's all so scary for me and I don't want to be next.  Therefore, I'm very self disciplined with my strict diet and exercise regimen.  To me, it's a matter of taking care of my health for my longevity's sake and quality of life.  I certainly do not want to end up like my ancestors nor become just as unhealthy and overweight as the majority of society.  

Whenever I attend my relatives' or in-laws' houses or restaurants, I'm never tempted to eat whatever is off limits on my diet.  I observe other people eating to their heart's content while I eat "safe food" for myself.  I can still enjoy socializing without paying the unpleasant price later.  Nowadays, I look at certain food with disdain.  I know it will make me feel awful plus cause weight gain so it's easy to behave for my sake.

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Like Cherlyn, working out daily -now outside cause of covid- motivates me to eat properly and to hydrate.  I also stopped enjoying feeling too full - or even "full" many years ago.  And since I do like "eating" what I do instead of eat is I drink plain water.  I drink it from a reusable bottle I like and I drink -I treat it as medicine because I drink no matter what - about 11-12 glasses (8oz) of plain water a day. I drink a little unsweetened sparkling water at night, I drink coffee with a little milk no sugar.  I gave up diet soda several years ago.  I whittled it down to less than once or twice a month and in the last few years- nothing -I don't want it either.  

I maintain my weight because I only needed to lose after I gave birth 12 years ago.  I also was slightly overweight in the early 1990s for about 6 months because of a bad birth control pill.  But even though I wasn't overweight, I weigh now 12 pounds less than right before I got pregnant.  And I'm 54.  My sister -almost 60 -and mom -in her 80s -have never been overweight and got thinner as they got older.  My mom never dieted.  She just eats normally and has a good sense of portion control.  At her heaviest -in her 20s-40s - she was not overweight at all. 

Just because people get older or women go through menopause doesn't have to trigger obesity.  Some weight gain -I get it - I do -but obesity -I think with rare exceptions that can be avoided (i.e. absent a medical or thyroid condition).  But I'm not a doc just someone who's been into diet and fitness personally since 1982 -and no I've never been in the field -this is just for me.

But I know I can emotionally eat which is why -for me -I'm very strict about that -I only eat between meals if I'm starving and no nibbling -I'll eat a dried fig or maybe a banana.  Nothing that triggers me to eat too much or more.  I don't do the eating leftovers from my kid's food -I really try to avoid mindless eating because I lost about 5-7 pounds over the last three years just giving up that silly nibbling. Yes, once in awhile I do not toss out the ice cream container that can be scraped for one more spoonful but many times I will force myself to throw into the garbage something that will otherwise, needlessly, go into my body. It's a habit I like.

Oh and yes I eat junk food, and ice cream - but in normal or small portions and mindfully.  Makes a huge difference.  

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In the past, I would do emotional eating.  However, lately, if I'm distressed, I don't have an appetite and push food away.  If anything, I lose weight instead of gain weight.

Even though I drink plenty of water, I don't drink too much water because this becomes a logistical problem.  I don't want to rush to the bathroom all the time and I avoid using public restrooms.  I work full time and remain hydrated.  However,  I don't drink a lot of water.   

I don't get hungry easily.  I'm very busy with working full time, taking care of my family and household and if I have time, I enjoy my hobbies, cooking, down time, reading books and having time for myself. 

I avoid "off limits" food and I'm self disciplined.  I don't even crave "cheat" food at all because I've grown accustomed to my daily diet for years. 

Everyone is different.  Some people either eat emotionally or they're hungry frequently.  I don't get hungry and as mentioned previously, if I'm not feeling well, my appetite decreases significantly as opposed to an increased appetite. 

For me the key to weight loss or maintenance is habits so ingrained that I don't have any temptations to eat whatever I'm not supposed to eat.  It becomes easy so there really isn't any self control or will power.  I simply don't desire eating what other people eat and I prefer my personal choices whether at home, dine out / restaurants or in home social settings. 

I don't even eat other people's prepared food just to be polite.  I always stick to my strict diet with healthy choices whether during holiday time, special occasions, social settings with family and friends, their homes or wherever I am.  Food prep, home made food at home and meal times are predictable and my healthy choices. 

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