Help! How to unwind without food? - Weight Loss Support

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Help! How to unwind without food?

Rosyjo123 profile image
13 Replies

I've been trawling the Internet but I can't find anything that relates or would help!

I keep trying to get back on my calorie counting plan. I schedule, preplan and prepare! I get up in the morning and do my exercises and struggle through work (I get no breaks between 9am and 2pm but sneak a few grapes to munch on).

When I have lunch at 2pm I am feeling tired and wanting to de-stress from work. I eat my planned food but my mind starts whispering about how relaxing and blissful it would be to zone out with more food. If I can I stay strong, exercise and start preparing dinner for the family which is usually ready by about 4pm.

I have one more "allowance" for snacks in my calorie budget which I save for about 6pm. But even whilst eating dinner my mind is saying its hungry and I want more food.

I go for a walk after dinner, wash up, have a bath and then have my snacks. I am certain from a tummy point of view my hunger levels are satisfied. But this is where I am at a loss! A combination of boredom and a strong desire to unwind and relax and feel that bliss you get when eating something delicious in front of the TV nags at me and it doesn't stop nagging until I give in and ruin my whole day of sticking to plan!

Advise online suggests going for a walk (done) having a bath (done) or distracting oneself. But I want to relax not start cleaning out the closet! Or exercising more! I want that zoning out bliss! But how do you get that without food?

I must confess that the kids being off school for 6 weeks isn't helping. I usually get some peace after work before they get home but I have no space or time to relax with them home!

13 Replies
Trimmerteacher profile image

My advice would be to go cold turkey with the snacks. You have said yourself that it’s not hunger, so it’s a habit you have got into. Habits can be broken. It’s not easy, but if you make up your mind to do it, on completing a whole day (which will be hard) you will feel such a sense of pride and achievement, it will help you do it again the next day. I think I read somewhere it takes ten days to break a habit, so why not give it a go?

Rosyjo123 profile image
Rosyjo123 in reply to Trimmerteacher

Yes the "just don't do it" or get through it is what I need to do. But it's the what to do during that time frame that I am at a loss with. As I am pretty much on the go from 5.30am until my last snacks at 6pm then I have a few hours before bed where I want to chill and unwind... but don't know how without sitting down and eating!

DebbieFleming profile image

Hello Rosyjo123. Changing habits is hard. Dieting is hard. So putting the two together with no chill time eating/drinking is hard. Especially as the habit is to unwind and dump your feelings, your stress into food and drink. Hope you don't mind me making that assumption. Sorry if it's wrong.

You go for a walk (whilst secretly looking forward to diving into something tasty). You have a bath (whilst secretly planning what you would love to have).

You then realise that oh, better not. Because you're on a (damned) diet.

Would meditation help ? There can be an odd feeling of loss when changing habits. A feeling of what do I do now ? Some people knit (I don't, because I can't !) Some people go to bed early to side step snacking in front of the t.v. (I don't do this either).

Good luck.

Rosyjo123 profile image
Rosyjo123 in reply to DebbieFleming

Over the last year I was studying for exams (on top of working, exercising and being a parent) ... in the evening I was studying. Now I have this gap! I signed up for a course but it's not very thrilling and my cravings are making me too distracted. I've tried meditation and mindfulness. I've tried going to bed early and I've tried zoning out on online games. Which are not bad. They just make me tired.I think I might try getting a book and reading. I used to read a lot but have been so busy the last couple of years!

Trimmerteacher profile image
TrimmerteacherMaintainer in reply to Rosyjo123

Reading is a great idea. We have a Read All About It thread on the 1st and 16th of every month. I have put a link to the last one here. Have a read of it (that will fill up some of that time) and I'm sure you will fnd something you would like to read.

Hi Rosyjo. For years, I've tried counting calories to lose weight. I do lose weight but then become obsessive with my routine, which I was always so rigid with that I'd rebell, eat everything & then give up because I'd let myself down. This time, I'm much more relaxed. I don't follow a plan, which means, I don't have a routine so no rebelling! I also work a similar shift, as you, from home. I don't snack when I'm at work as there's no real enjoyment in eating when I'm working, just have low calorie drinks/water. Evenings are always my downfall, so things I've found that help are.... painting my nails, having a low calorie chocolate drink, avoid watching a TV channel with (usually food) adverts on (or use catch up and fast forward the adverts!), doodling abstract patterns or colouring, trying on different earrings (keeps my fingers occupied) & if nothing works, I clean my teeth & use a mouth wash as it makes me feel good & even chocolate doesn't taste so nice then! Good luck 😊

Rosyjo123 profile image
Rosyjo123 in reply to

Haha! Some good suggestions! Oh god I brought the low calorie Options Belgian hot chocolate powder a few weeks back as I thought I could slowly sip it with TV. It wasn't cheap but urgh! It tastes revolting! It put me off trying that idea again but maybe I need to try again until I find one I like! Lol

in reply to Rosyjo123

If you can still get low cal drinks in sachets, buy some different ones and do a taste session. You can then spend some evenings writing up good/bad/revolting reviews on the manufacturer's websites 😂 have fun!

Binky68 profile image

I’m totally with you, yeh onlyThing that helps me is when I am in strict no more than 40g carbs a day

RoRoMama profile image

This resonates with problems I had but am now in a much better place due to following: stopped drinking alcohol, gave up on diets that included snacks - all I did was think of food all the time. 3 meals a day. Good wholesome, cooked by me, food. Mainly veggie but also meat /dairy once a week or so. Cut out bought cakes, biscuits. Still working on chocolate! Walk at least 10K steps a day. Did the NHS couch to 5k and now run three times a week. Found online Yoga With Adriene - great free yoga practises for all (short ones) and is about finding what feels good which when done regularly has had a very positive effect on me and probably all 10m of her followers. I also found “Health Revolution” by Maria Borelius a fascinating read. Wish I’d done all this years ago!

_Samantha_ profile image

When you feel the need to unwind, don’t go near the kitchen. And also, try meditation or yoga

Rosyjo123 profile image
Rosyjo123 in reply to _Samantha_

Ah! This is part of the problem! My living arrangements mean I don't have a living room. The living room is my bedroom as the kids have the upstairs room. So when I get home they are technically in "my bedroom" to watch TV and use as a living room. So I have the kitchen with my laptop to use whilst they are in the "living room". I have nowhere else to get some peace! But it's not very comfortable (I have a stool to sit on) and is one of the reasons I am finding it harder to relax whilst they are off school! Luckily they are back at school 6th September and I think *hope* I will feel less wound up as I will get to come home and chill for a bit in *my* room before they get out of school!

_Samantha_ profile image
_Samantha_ in reply to Rosyjo123

Oh dear!! Maybe instead, you can try to put some kind of lock on just the junk food draws. Ask for support from your family and work to it together

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