Maybe we're just eating too much

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Diagoras, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Diagoras

    Diagoras New Member

    I said before I felt better after being on anti-depressants but they started not to work as well after I gained yet another 10 pounds -so I went the doctor and he told me something I had never heard before.

    He said being a little bit hungry all the time is not only normal but it helps keep you awake and alert! I had been thinking all this time that food gives you energy - so when I felt tired, I ate. Silly me! He also said there are ways of dealing with hunger pangs - chewing sugarless gum or drinking water (koolaid with splenda instead of sugar works even better.) I've also found that playing sudoku puzzles keeps me from wanting to snack when I watch tv. (I suppose crossword puzzles or solitaire would work just as well.)

    He was absolutely right. I started feeling better within the first day or two. Why does nobody ever tell us these things in all those "how to lose weight" magazine articles?

    And yeah, at first a low cal diet does slow your metabolism but the effect is temporary. Besides, nothing slows your metabolism more than being fat.

    Our culture supersizes everything to the point where nobody realizes what a normal portion size is. Did you know a single serving of steak is no bigger than a deck of cards (4 oz.)? And most restaurants give you twice the amount of food you really need.

    I feel 100% better and lost over 15 pounds in a month. Because I have a lot of weight to lose, he put me on a rather restrictive diet - 1,000 calories a day, no snacking between meals. Not everyone would need something that low and it's only safe if you are under a doctor's care (which I am).

    The good thing about this diet is that I don't have to swear off most "bad" foods. I just have to make sure the portions are small and I can fit them in the calorie budget. If everyone else is eating dessert and I've already spent my calories for the day, I just say to myself, I'll have a little of it tomorrow and just eat a lighter breakfast or lunch. I can do the same thing if I know there is a party or holiday that evening. When I eat out, I ask for a take-home box at the start of my meal and immediately box up half my food.

    There are also low-calorie foods you can eat if you are hungrier than usual and want a lot of food while still keeping to your diet: salad with a little lite vinegrette dressing (30 calories for 2 cups), celery sticks with just a little lite cream cheese (60 calories for the cream cheese, celery is just one calorie per stick) and minestrone soup (200 calories for an entire can).

    There are lots of calorie counters on the web. There's one at

    I'll still need the anti-depressants for a while, too but perhaps not forever like I originally thought. Anyway, I don't know how many of us are overweight, but if you are it may be worth talking to your doctor about a calorie restrictive diet. It's worth it just for the extra energy alone! Losing weight is just bonus.


  2. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    I think eating too much may be a problem for some, but for many of us becoming sick and fatigued makes us do much less than we did before. For me I know that was what caused me to gain weight. I ate no more or less and packed on the pounds. It was my metabolism. I gained up to 225 at one point after I became sick. Thankfully, drinking green tea helped me and boosted my metabolism and I am now 160.

    It is so hard to go from being active and healthy to (for me) laying on the couch or in bed feeling like you are so tired and sick you can't do anything. Watching yourself gain weight when you are eating normally for yourself makes you feel like you have no control. What can you do, starve yourself? You can't force yourself to exercise because you feel so bad or some injury or pain occurs to keep you from doing it. I just feel so much pain and kindredness for those of us who gain weight even when we aren't eating more than normal. It makes you feel helpless.
  3. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    lukro, it worked for me the first day so my best guess would be that if it hasn't worked in losing weight for you, it may not work at all for you. I honestly think it may only work for those whose metabolism is terribly low. That is all I can think of. It works for some and not for others. It really worked like a miracle for me. I had tried so many other things and nothing worked. It has stopped working for me so that tells me that my body is either at the weight it wants to be or that my metabolism is boosted as much as it can be.

    I am so disappointed it hasn't worked for you. I don't know how you feel, but if you feel like I did you probably wanted it to work so badly. I will tell you this, it supposedly does have many other benefits. It is supposed to provide antioxidants that help with the immune system and many other things. My cholesteral has went way down and my blood pressure. I would contribute the cholesterol to losing weight but my cholesterol was pretty high before I gained weight so I think the green tea has helped with that. My blood pressure probably went down because of the weight loss and a little bit because of the tea.

    If you like the taste of the tea, I would discuss it with your doctor and if he says it has benefits I would continue to drink it even if it doesn't help with weight loss. Who know, maybe it will help you with that too sooner or later. I went from drinking one bag a day to now 8 bags a day. If you like the taste try drinking a few more bags a day and see if that helps. I drink all of mine at one time. I brew eight bags in about four ounces of water in coffee pot and then add sweetner and lemon. I also add about eight ounces of water and make a big glass of tea. I drink it down. I am afraid to quit drinking it. Every time I go without a couple of days I gain weight. Go figure?? I guess I will be drinking it forever. As long as they say it is good for you I will drink it.

    Best wishes to you. I do hope you have success in weight loss or whatever you acheive. Please let me know what happens. I do hope it will help you eventually.
  4. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    it is not all a matter of self control, changing habits etc., although that is part of it. If it were that simple no one would be overweight.

    There are times when my appetite just goes totally out of control, other times when it normalizes. I feel better when I am not overweight, but it is not easy to manage.

    I don't know what causes these times of excessive hunger (can sometimes be weeks at a stretch), or other times of more normal appetite. The periods of hunger seem to coincide with times I feel especially tired.
  5. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    I learned really fast that if I ignore my hunger that I am I in for a lot of trouble and I rather not discuss what happens but it basically causes my IBS to flare up.

    Anyway when I am hungry like that, I drink water and water fills you up. I also do a lot of Yoga and stuff like that, and my Balance Ball. So I work out, and do what I need to do. I probably do a little more out (I do crunches), as I am trying to build up my muscle strength.

    When I am ready I will start to lift more weights.

    When I know I am going to the store like the big W (Walmart) or T (Target), I will walk around the store and get my exercise there.

    Vegetables and fruits are my best friends and help me when I am hungry at weird times outside of my normal meals.

    I added my dairy back, and make my own quesadillas. No sour cream or cream cheese stuff, that is too much daily for me.
    I just add a little cheese in my tortillas and put them in the microwave. I eat those maybe twice a week.

    I do think in this country-United States we eat too much as a whole, and I have had to change the way I eat significantly. If I go to a restaurant, I eat what I can and if it is salvageable I will take it home for leftovers.

    As for bad foods, I guess that would be sugars so for those I have to decide when I am going to have them. So I allow it once or twice a month like a piece of cheescake, pie, Starbucks, etc. Candy--red fat licorice once in awhile.

    As for weight I believe I have dropped about 15-20 pounds, and I have lost a lot more in inches.

  6. place

    place New Member

    I never new how much We as american's eat all the time. I spent a summer with my inlaws in Europe.

    I lost 10 lb. over two months, I did not even try. There is no snacking between meals.

    I would go 6-8 hours between meals, at first I was starving. But then I got used to and it became a habit.

    Not only the snacking, but they sit down for their meals, it somewhat of an event.

    In the US, everthing involves food, movies, gas stations sell food, they make food so you can easily comsume it in bit size portions while you drive.
    You watch tv, and you get reminded of how wonderful food is by the comercials.

    In other countries, they have commercial break only after the program is over. And it is illigal to advertise non-nutitional food during kids shows.

    Don't get me wrong. Eating to much is the problem for what ever you own metabolism is, but to many people are making money from the problem to be a part of the solution.

    Ok I am getting off my soap box!
  7. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    The Paleo Diet will cause you to lose weight but it's not a weight loss diet per se. It's a very healthy way of eating.

    Lynne, no, I didn't know we're supposed to feel a little hungry. I guess I should stop with the raw almonds, huh? lol

    And I'm not suggesting this diet for anyone like Lynne already under a doctor's care for weight loss. Just for the rest of us who want to feel better and maybe lose a few pounds while doing it.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/03/2006]
  8. CockatooMom

    CockatooMom New Member

    Wow, I read a lot of good info on this thread!

    I agree that Americans eat too much and everything revolves around food. Commercials are TERRIBLE!

    I used to be bulimic, abused laxatives and would occasionally throw up my food. I haven't done that for more than 6 months now. I really don't even think about it anymore.

    I DO believe that being a compulsive overeater is a disease, like alcoholism, but I can't convince myself entirely.

    I still believe that if I would just eat the right foods in the right portion sizes I would lose the weight, and I beat up on myself when I can't do it.

    I can't even stay on a "diet" for 3 days anymore. Not because of willpower or determination, but because I lose control. (Gosh, I hate to admit that.)

    Anyway, I tried the green tea thing a few weeks ago, and nothing. I even tried the megs green tea supplements ...nothing.

    I've been exercising and staying as active as I can. That's all I can do, my best. (trying to talk myself into believing this)

    I do many of the things Diagoras does in trying to help control my weight. I have not been successful yet, but I'll keep at it!

  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    In my opinion there is no neat 'one size fits all' solution...

    such as having reactive hypoglycemia --

    It would be the worst thing in the world to let one's self 'go hungry' -- blood sugar crashes and then one cannot think or function. Been there, done that. Of course I got there by eating sugary foods and refined carbs. But I wasn't overweight at the time.

    The key really is to eliminate the sugars and refined carbs.......... if all of that was taken out of most people's diets 99% of the time, I'd wager there would be a huge difference in weight overall.

    There is a tremendous amount of sugar, usually in the form of corn syrup added to so many foods, it is unbelievable. And when foods were made 'low-fat', the sugar was increased to make up for the loss of flavor. I don't find it surprising to find that diabetes is on the rise...

    Also, 'way of life' has to be considered. If we hurt too much and/or extremely fatigued, we are not doing very much. One can only adjust the calories so much. I was not overweight at all when I crashed, but have slowly gained weight over the past 5 years as a result of not being able to work out, and even tho I work at not eating too many calories.

    Also true I think for 'normals'. It seems to me in many other cultures people walk more than most of Americans because of having to. Where I grew up, it was possible to walk to the library and stores and school. Now everyone rides in cars because of distance, weather, safety, etc. I live in a rural area now, so have to take a car wherever I want to go, or had to drive my kids as well.

    Also, an awful lot of people do live in the suburban areas in particular and have to commute to work and schools. When I occasionally make the trip into Atlanta, there is usually one person per car driving in from the suburbs, because there is no mass transportation anyway.

    Combined with the differences anyway in modern life compared to life 100 years ago, it is impossible to not at least gain some weight between these factors... unless we use the extra calories in working out.

    For instance, I read once where just the change from manual typewriters to electric typewriters changed the # of calories used per year to cause about a 2 pound gain in weight if everything else remained the same!

    all the best,

    [This Message was Edited on 07/03/2006]
  10. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    For me it is just the opposite. I do agree that in general portion sizes have gotten out of control at most restaurants. But, I very rarely eat out. I was always thin and never had to exercise to control my weight.

    I started to gain weight when I married my husband and suddenly was a wife and mother to 3 teenage boys. I cooked a lot of high-carb foods to fill those boys up(they never had a weight problem because they were active). I became more sedentiary because my life slowed down. So, I started to diet. I would lose 5 lbs and gain 10. I tried many, many diets and lose a few pounds and gain back more when I went back to normal eating. I really messed up my metabolism.

    I do have to agree with Haleycole. I don't think it's healthy to be a little hungry all the time. More than one doctor has told me that it is best to eat several (5 or 6) small meals a day to keep your metabolism active. Now, of course these meals should be healthy.

    Diagoras, I am glad that what you are doing is working for you. But, I think that some people who are ill don't eat enough because they don't have the energy to prepare meals or to eat.

    We are all so different. I'm sure that your advice will be helpful to some.

  11. Cinlou

    Cinlou New Member


    As a child I was always very thin...skinny. I was very active, I had three brothers to keep up with.
    I always ate anything and everything I wanted, never gaining an ounce.

    I wish I could say that now....I only started gaining after my activity slowed down. In my early forties before the pain started getting unbareable I was into martial that kept me mean and lean..Haha...

    The problem now is I still like to eat all those things I did back then....I refuse to beat myself up over a few extra pounds...I know I also eat because of surpressed I look at the weight bench and Ab Lounger in sunkin living room, I keep saying, "Yep, I should get up from the computer and get with it." Yet here I sit just thinking of the aches, pain and exhaustion I will feel later.

    One, two, three here I go......
    Late,(As my kids say)

  12. Diagoras

    Diagoras New Member

    You are right about people with blood sugar problems. This definitely isn't for everyone. What I was really amazed about, though, is that my energy levels went up BEFORE I lost any weight at all. That was a big surprise.

    To all - thanks for all your thoughtful responses!
  13. CockatooMom

    CockatooMom New Member

    Oh yes...please post that info!

    one more thought...

    In my psychology class last semester, we talked about the hypothalamus and how a portion of that controls hunger.
    They have experimented on rats. (very interesting)

    I'm trying to learn to stop eating when I am full.
    It's not too difficult when I sit down to a meal...the night time eating is killer for me.

    As I've mentioned before in other posts, ice cream is my drug of choice. I could sit down and eat a pint or more every night.

    I've tried to go without the ice cream and it's not pretty.
    But of course, neither is celulite!

  14. Diagoras

    Diagoras New Member

    The reason why people gain weight on diets is that they are on crazy diets. Ones that say only eat this sort of food, don't eat this, don't eat that. If you have an unhealthy pattern of eating, the only way to fix it is to change how you eat. And the typical American diet is NOT healthy. Most people eat too much and it causes them to feel sluggish or like they need to take a nap after meals.

    I once tried weight loss by exercise alone, and it required me to exercise 1 1/2 hours a day (before I got sick, of course). Today I only do 20-30 minutes a day and am losing weight twice as fast. People in most other countries do not eat anywhere near as much as Americans do, and they are not as fat as we are.
  15. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    Thank you for your thoughts on the subject. It was certainly enlightening for me.

  16. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    Thank you for your thoughts on the subject. It was certainly enlightening for me.

  17. zion1971

    zion1971 New Member


    i agree that one needs to look at food and how it affects the mind and body. but i will say, that weight has very little to do with the onset of this illness. i was extremely thin when i became ill 7 years ago. back then doctors told me i was sick because i was too thin. i am about 50 pounds heavier now and still sick. so we should look closely at our eating habits....but food is not the total answer.

    just trying to cast down that demon that says our healing should be simple. it just is not.

    hang in there everyone.

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