I feel so out of control and it's never "the same" each time. Some days I could eat anything sweet, other days anything "meaty", other days simply anything! It's not always the same reason I'm feeling out of control either. There are hormonal issues (aka "that time of the month"), there are stress issues (rarely the same each time), and there are "un-preparedness" issues (where I simply go without eating so long that I then finally let loose and grab it all).
There's no 100% effective way to deal with each of these issues and their end result of losing control of your eating habits. If there was, none of us would worry about them! But there are ways we can help ourselves gain control back. Here are a few tricks I've learned can help often, not always.
1. Try to always be prepared with your eating plans all mapped out
Always knowing ahead of time what you're going to eat saves you from grabbing the first thing in your face. Keeping snacks on hand, taking "2 pt" snacks in your purse or car in case of hunger can help alleviate a sudden rush to grab food and just stuff it in your mouth and can help tide you over until you can get to something nutritionally sound and a much better choice.
Knowing what the point values of foods are at a local restaurant before you go there saves you from eyeing all the other stuff available and making a faltering choice in the moment of passion too! Use your Weight Watcher's® Dining Out book or my favorite, http://www.dwlz.com (Dotties Weight Loss Zone) to look up points BEFORE going to the restaurant. I have truly found that planning ahead has saved me numerous times!
2. Try to make sure you eat at regular intervals
Allowing yourself to get overly hungry almost always ends in tragedy. Eat at regular intervals, never putting off eating until you can't stand it any more and cave in to a bad choice. Remember, on Weight Watchers® NOTHING is off limits, it's just not a "good" choice. This means YOU are in control! Again, keeping snacks always handy (in the car, in your purse, on the counter top) can help keep you from putting off eating until you're completely starving.
3. Find an alternative food product for what you're craving
Many times when we're craving a high fat item in particular, we can find a lower
fat version of the product to suffice our desire. This is often true of chocolate and sweet products. Some great alternatives to high fat, high calorie sweet treats are low calorie, low fat alternatives such as a Weight Watcher Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffin, Special K Bliss Bars, VitaMuffin Tops, Unsweetened Applesauce flavored with a sugar alternative, Sugar Free popsicles or fudgsicles, The Laughing Cow Ice Cream snacks. Alternative to high fat, salty/crunchy snacks could be Lays Light Potato Chips, Baked Tortilla Chips (make them ahead and when you're feeling the need for a crunch you can add your own topping to attack that craving), Special K Crackers (these come in various flavors and kill the crunch crave immediately).
4. Drink Some Water or Flavored Drinks (calorie/sugar free)
I often can cure a "sweets" craving by simply drinking a huge glass of Crystal Light® or Diet Iced Tea. No points, zero calories, zero sugar and zero guilt in place of grabbing something that isn't really going to help me in the end is a wonderful alternative! The end result is not only killing that craving but filling me up so I don't even feel hungry any more. Of course this only works sometimes. If you truly are hungry then you need to grab a glass and drink it while preparing something tasty and low point to snack on! Some guilt free drinks: Crystal Light® (or other brand name sugar free drink mix), Diet Iced Tea, Diet Iced Coffee (use sugar free flavorings & sugar substitutes), Caffeine Free Diet Soda (not a favorite of mine as it tends to bloat but it can serve a purpose when done in moderation), Water (the good ol' fashioned alternative), Weight Watcher® Smoothie (1) (made with water/ice)
Crystal Light® now has a banana/strawberry flavor with fiber! So it not only helps kill that sweet need but fills you up! It's my absolute favorite flavor! I find mine at WalMart for $1.97 a box!
5. Find "other options" to eating
Finding other options to giving in to your eating can often help alleviate your impulse eating. Some great ideas to try "INSTEAD OF EATING" are:
Read - reading a book, magazine, newspaper can often take your mind off of the desire to eat when you have no points left or are really not hungry
Walk - take a walk, removing you from the place that you are can often create a new atmosphere that doesn't make you crave food
Call a Friend - it's pretty hard to talk on the phone, laugh and discuss issues with your mouth full! Talking with a friend can help ease the stress at hand that could be causing the desire to eat also
Exercise - Even if you don't belong to a gym you can generally find an inexpensive DVD that promotes exercise or Yoga. Many local cable and satellite dish companies offer these type of programs 24/7 on specific channels. Stop what you're doing and exercise! Not only will this add points IF you simply cannot continue to say "no" to putting something in your mouth but it can help alleviate the desire all together!
Go To Bed - It's a proven fact that people who get less sleep tend to be heavier. Perhaps when you're all out of points and it's close enough to bed time you could benefit 2-fold from climbing into bed and snoozing! This keeps you from putting the food in your mouth AND makes you catch up on some often needed sleep deprivation.