Weight Loss NHS
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Unhealthy obsessions

Does anyone else feel that they have an obsession with losing weight and it's ruining their life?

I have already lost weight but need to lose another 2 stone to get to a healthy weight and can't seem to shift it off. I am a constant yo-yo dieter, I am only happy when I am losing weight and I can't indulge in the slightest without feeling guilty and feeling as though I have compromised my weight loss even if I haven't realistically.

I understand these may be symptoms of bulimia and eating disorder but I have never considered vomiting or using laxatives or diet pills as an aid to weight loss. I sometimes feel as though I have to skip a meal or eat a very small meal if I have previously indulged but that's as far as it goes. You may also be surprised to hear that I am a 21 year old male who is extremely body conscious... not very typical nor manly but there you go!

Does anyone have any tips on how to break the obsession or even how I could possibly shed this last 2 stone without feeling guilty every time I have a 'bad' food?

6 Replies

We all have bad days or over indulge you cant beat yourself up over it, your human and we all make mistakes. After youve been losing weight for a while it can make shifting weight harder, you may be in a plateau, it can be disheartening but remember who well you have done, to get over a plateau you need to shake things up a bit, maybe change your exercise routine or what you are eating. I plateaued for several weeks a little while back. It was hard work but worth sticking with it. You should be really proud of yourself, remind yourself how far you have come. If you do indulge rather than beating yourself up, learn from what triggered it and maybe go for a walk to combat it or some extra exercise the next day. All the best. The forum is here if you need it :-) stay strong

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Try the 5:2 diet. It could be the answer for you.


For me there's a fine line between being focused and being obsessed ... I am naturally an 'all or nothing' person, but so far am finding the NHS 12 week plan is giving me control without 'being controlled' with what I eat ... Not banning anything, just keeping within your calorie allowance, but I realise I'm still new at this! Good luck with your journey!

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I see FabFrankie has mentioned the 5:2 Diet. Let me sum it up for you - it really works and men are particularly successful!

I lost the three stone I needed to in six months on the 5:2 Diet after watching Michael Mosley's excellent Horizon programme in 2012, "Eat, Fast and Live Longer" tinyurl.com/qzgo7tq or tinyurl.com/a8ppjl7 and went from a size 16 to a size 10 by eating 500 calories two non-consecutive days a week. I've been maintaining my weight loss since April 2013 by just fasting one day a week - in the past I piled the weight back on as soon as I finished 'dieting'. I'd very much recommend you read Kate Harrison's book, "The 5:2 Diet" (http://tinyurl.com/qe6mz4u) - it really does work and it will save you a fortune (towards your smaller clothes!).

I'd also recommend a free app for your phone called MyFitnessPal. Counting calories is very important so you can see how much you're eating and therefore eat mindfully rather than mindlessly. There are excellent videos in the Help section on the app that show you how it works - there's even a barcode reader to scan in branded foods.

It's important you don't eat more than your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) on non-fasting days. You can work that out here thefastdiet.co.uk/how-many-... If yours works out at more than 2000 then aim at 2000 on non-fasting days.

Here I am in the Daily Mail on 7th January tinyurl.com/m7rqecq. The other two ladies’ stories are inspiring!

Here Michael Mosley answers many questions on it dailymail.co.uk/health/arti...

This little video explains more

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I've experienced similar, I won't bore everyone with all the details but associating guilt to overeating or binging is very common, as is meal skipping and fasting to compensate others might use excessive exercise sessions similarly. So firstly you are not alone with this, I am sure many members of this community have been there also.

I've tried to analyse my own behavior and quirks a number of times, I am ashamed to say that unlike you I have in the past (sometime ago now) tried to make myself vomit, I was unsuccessful on every occasion, goodness knows how people are able to do that, because it's not easy.

I can only comment on what has helped for me personally, looking back I realise that in order to feel full after eating and therefore satisfied, I would eat until my stomach contained a certain volume of food, which gave me a physical feeling of fullness, the downside of this is that overtime your stomach stretches and the volume required therefor increases. I then started associating guilt with the feeling of uncomfortable fullness and feeling of being ready to burst, however with it came the ability for me at least to always be able to make room for a little more, if it was something like ice-cream or another sweet treat, which really puts you into Purgatory mode then!

Anyway (once again personally) eating real food, cutting refined and simple carbohydrates along with eating more fat has improved thing tremendously for me. I now experience true, if you like biochemical satiety, which might sound like a load of bullshit to some people but hand on my heart I can never remember ever feeling anything like it in my life, I guess as a child with an unbroken metabolism I must have done, but I don't remember it. The only thing I can alike it to is when you are really poorly and lose your appetite. Obviously this is the way it should be and I am guessing lots of people feel this proper satiety after eating and to them it's nothing special, to me though it has been a real game changer. For the first time in my life I know when I am nutritionally full but more importantly I know when I am genuinely hungry. I don't stick to meal regimes, if I am not hungry I don't eat. It's not the same as when eating to fullness, and therefor I don't associate guilt with it. Anyway the point I want to make is, try concentrating on the quality of the food you are eating rather than quantity it may help more than you think.

Another thing to try is eating much slower, a couple of the methods recommended in order to help achieve this are chew your food x amount of times and put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. I have to say though that this never stopped me from overeating, it supposed give more time to allow the signal (Leptin) from your cells to reach your brain, in me though that signal never ever appeared to be received, though I am sure there are other benefits to eating more slowly, like aiding digestion it just never helped solve my problem of overeating at meal times.

At the risk of sticking my neck on the block :) I would not advise you go down the 5:2 route with the eating habits you've described, there is real chance you'll overcompensate on non fast days and drive any disorder you have further.

Good Luck with your endeavors, I am sure you will get there in the end :)


As long as you don't indulge in weird eating behaviours (and you say you don't) then it is probably not such a bad thing to be obsessed about weight loss if you are overweight. It may just help to spur you on to lose the fat. So from that point of view I don't think it is an unhealthy obsession.

I have a friend who lost 25 kg last year, and she was also rather obsessed. However, once she was slim the obsession dissipated: there was no reason to be obsessed any more.

Same with the guilt (and here a lot of people would probably disagree with me): I don't think there is a need to feel guilty about feeling guilty! Once you have reached your weight you will see that eating a 'bad food' from time to time does not necessarily mean you will get fat again: you can then eat them wisely and sparingly.

I would think just accept your obsession and live with it, rather than fight it. After losing the 2 stone you can relax and have peace of mind.


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