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Dieting & exercise

Am I comfort eating??

(49 Posts)
travelsafar Tue 27-Jun-23 08:13:16

I have put on a stone in the past year.
. Not sure if its my medication,pregabalin,or lack of mobility or am I comfort eating. Its been 2 and half years since DH died and my health has gone downhill since then. I'm not sure what is going on but I hate and just can't stop eating things I shouldn't. 🙊🙊

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 27-Jun-23 08:36:47

Well going by your last sentence, it’s probably the comfort eating.
All I can suggest is that you throw out all the unhealthy food and substitute it with fruit, veg and healthy snacks.
I’m afraid with so much going on in your life it’s an easy thing to slip into, much harder to stop it.
I find that losing weight has to wait until something clicks in my head, I can then lose it quite easily, until then I could eat unhealthy snacks all day long.
Good luck

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 27-Jun-23 08:38:10

PS it’s a fact that unless you stop the unhealthy food coming into your house, you will just carry on eating it and it isn’t easy throwing things away, but your body will benefit.

LRavenscroft Tue 27-Jun-23 08:46:10

I am really sorry to hear your sad news about your husband. When my parents died grief made me quite ill and I wonder if your eating may be your body's way of coping with your grief. Please go and see your GP/a dietician and try to get yourself onto a healthy diet and also perhaps some grief counselling. You will feel so much better and it will hopefully support you into the future. Perhaps have a nice treat of what you like every couple of days. Good luck!

Georgesgran Tue 27-Jun-23 08:54:50

Well are you? Comfort eating, I mean. It sounds to me as if you have gained weight for a number of reasons? Did you lose weight looking after your DH and have just put it back on? Are you actually overweight for your height and build. I am, although not massively, but I could definitely do with losing a stone or more!

I’m sorry to hear about your DH and your own health decline since he died. Perhaps a word with your GP might help, if you’re feeling low? I hope you have friends and family for support and companionship?

After my DH died, I found it difficult to cook for one and ended up eating more, until I sorted out portion control. I’d also ‘treat’ myself to coffee and cake when out - now it’s just the coffee. It was becoming a habit.
Are you actually hungry, or just eating out of boredom? Would just a drink do instead? Do you snack or graze all day? Perhaps you could find something to do to take your mind off eating? I’m ‘addicted’ to Tunnocks Caramel Wafers’ and simply need to stop buying them! I kept a diary of everything I ate in a week and it was shocking! It’s easy to subconsciously munch through a packet of biscuits when glued to the TV. Have you looked at the fat/sugar content on your foods - perhaps adjust your purchases?

Pregabalin definitely increased my DH’s appetite, so that could be a factor, but if it’s a med that works for you, probably very necessary.
Under normal circumstances, the phrase ‘eat less, do more’ comes to mind, but your physical limitations must be taken into account.

I hope there are other GNs perhaps in similar circumstances who can offer a bit of advice.

Take care.

Aveline Tue 27-Jun-23 09:23:30

I found that eating a handful of nuts really helps. Gives me something to do with my hands and are really filling. Research shows that they're good for you in all sorts of ways and don't lead to weight gain. Try buying a pack of nuts instead of chocolate/crisps/cake?
Also strawberries and cherries are a real treat these days. Good luck.
This too shall pass.

Georgesgran Tue 27-Jun-23 09:56:40

Just wondering if you’d benefit from joining WW or Slimming World - both do online versions.
My DDs swear by Diet Chef - 4 weeks supply of microwaveable, portion controlled meals, delivered to the door. Not cheap (I actually think that makes you want to stick with it!) but there’s nothing else to buy for 4 weeks. Of course, you need to clear out all the unhealthy stuff before you start, in case of temptation.

Theexwife Tue 27-Jun-23 10:48:24

I put on 7lbs when taking Pregabalin, I was taken off it as over 65s are not supposed to have it due to the effect on breathing.

I lost the weight gained within a month.

Bella23 Tue 27-Jun-23 11:09:22

I think a lot of what Georgsgran said makes a lot of sense.
You would be highly active while your DH was ill and probably lost weight. My mother did this and then found she was piling the pounds on and definitely comfort-eating once he had gone.
Do you meet friends for lunch or afternoon tea because you might be eating more when you are in pleasant company, then going home and having another snack meal to put in the evening?
I was told by the doctors to loose at least a stone and managed 3/4 until we were asked to DD at Christmas. The portion control went out of the window and has never come back.
I admit to comfort eating when alone or rewarding myself with food.DD has told me to stop buying cakes and biscuits KiT Kats are my downfall.
The idea of buying meals for one definitely worked for my mother, we froze them and she defrosted them for the next day.
Also if you can manage it don't buy bigger sized clothes which I did, they only accommodate the excess weight.
So sorry for your loss and good

Kim19 Tue 27-Jun-23 11:22:08

Be kind to yourself. You are obviously unhappy but you have recognised the problem and well done for that. What I would suggest is that you cut down a little on everything. For example, eat one biscuit instead of two (or half a packet instead of the whole!!). Do not make anything you like be out of bounds. That road leads to misery. Just have less of everything. I'm not clear if your lack of mobility is physical or laziness but, if the latter, setting out at the same time every day helped me and the walks steadily became longer. This was choice, not compulsion. Slow and steady was my route. Very happy to lose simply 1lb every week. I did this for a year and lost four stones ( only have ONE!) and, happily they have stayed off for ten years now. Admittedly my eating regime is completely different now and I love it. That was a gradual change not inflicted by anything other than common sense and curiosity. I wish you luck. Bereavement is so hard to deal with at any stage and I'm twenty seven years down that rotten road. 👍🌷

Wyllow3 Tue 27-Jun-23 11:22:18

My sympathies. And the whole situation you are in this flowers

I've had recent trauma and am on meds that will always lead to weight gain and can not be very active.

Ways round?

I just don't let hi cal foods in the house. (Internal conflicts in mind in supermarket.). Salmon, chicken, plain veg, fruit (tinned or fresh is sweet without too many cals). Treats - som olives, other similar munch things. (nuts are lovely but high on calories)

I have learnt to find savoury treats instead of fat/sugar ones.

And unsusal one that may not suit at all: I used to smoke and now vape. Its partly a comfort thing something to have in mouth,

You can buy 0% tobacco, but flavoured vapes like melon or lemon and lime or blackberry. No calories. Get from a proper vape shop not over the counter corner shop.

I take good vitamin support Well women over 70's to make sure diet is good enough.

Wyllow3 Tue 27-Jun-23 11:25:27

And yes now and then have "treats" but you'd be surprised that the body actually get used to not having sweet stuff and I often dont like them anymore except really good choc and similar.

Juliet27 Tue 27-Jun-23 11:26:19

I have changed my main meal to lunchtime and I then have just fruit or a yoghurt in the evening. I’ve lost weight since doing that.

Esmay Tue 27-Jun-23 11:28:16

You and me both travelsafar .

I'm into a decade of looking after my father .
He likes junk food .
The house is full of it .
I was depressed two years ago at a size 18 .
Now those clothes don't fit me .
I had to buy size 20 .
I've got over the embarrassment .

I used to be an eight and thought that I was fat !

My thyroid failed about 35 years ago and that was the beginning of weight gain .
Then I injured my neck , back and knees ....
It was an effort to stay a size 14 .

Lack of self control and a gung ho attitude has taken over .

And my friends don't help either !
We are all addicted to cakes in cafes .
For me , it's the social thing .
I very rarely like the cakes that are served .
The only ones that I can't resist are some made by Patisserie Valerie .

This week I'm swopping homemade ice creams ( fruit juice or yoghurt ) for Magnums .

I'm stopping the chocolate eating .
And the packets of biscuits with tea .

Back on the creative salads plus fruit and nuts if hungry .

I'm also going back to yoga exercises - that definitely helped .
It's not easy .

Wishing you luck .

dogsmother Tue 27-Jun-23 11:46:53

Sorry for you, I’m a terrible comfort eater/ picker.
I’m sure it goes back to being a smoker and having a constant hand to mouth habit.
I try hard to only have healthy foods in the house but still over eat the nuts, popcorn and fruit 🤷‍♀️

cornergran Tue 27-Jun-23 11:47:04

Try not to be hard on yourself travelsafar, it will encourage comfort eating.

I’d think that all three of the issues you mentioned could be the cause of weight gain, especially medication. Would it be possible to ask your doctor if there’s an alternative which would help you be more comfortable with your weight?

We all have different ways of overcoming a snacking tendency. For example I always but always headed for a snack when sat at the computer. Now I get a glass of water with a couple of frozen lemon slices, it works for me, may not for others. In the evenings I make sure there’s a cold drink to hand and have a couple of squares of good, dark chocolate. Enough to stop any craving for chocolate and definitely cuts down on my usual consumption. With meals it’s portion control. I have what I want, just less of it.

Having said all that I’ve slipped lately and am grumbling about my weight. I’ll be back on it now. Just had coffee - no biscuits although Mr C had a couple.

If having weight adding snacks in the house sends you straight to them then yes, best to change the shopping. Have a think what you’d enjoy instead. This isn’t about punishment, it’s about retraining. Or that’s my motto

Good luck. Please don’t give yourself a hard time, just a quiet reorganisation of what you eat and when you eat it and see how it goes. Your doctor should help if you ask them.

Galaxy Tue 27-Jun-23 12:19:23

I have found the NHS app really useful. It depends what motivates you but I dont like too much of the constant reminders to be good or you go girl stuffgrin. The app lets you log your calories and gives you weekly advice. I have lost a stone and a half. I also dont do the whole 'bad' food things, I still will have a biscuit if I want one but it just needs to be added to my calorie allowance.

Applegran Wed 28-Jun-23 11:28:46

Lots of good ideas here - and I sympathise with you and your loss and distress. Apparently, if we believe something will work - it is far more likely to do so. One approach to eating less and more healthily is to use smaller plates - sounds daft but the amount of food will look more in relation to the plate. Also for instance, eating a healthy diet lower in calories, but allowing one day a week for a reasonable 'treat' seems to help motivation. And eat protein first - it reduces appetite, whereas we can go on eating carbs for ages. Find someone to talk to - maybe a counsellor or a good friend - this may connect with being on your own. Whatever you do, I wish you well.

Applegran Wed 28-Jun-23 11:30:50

I think I've read that when you eat matters as well as calories eaten - and avoiding eating in the evening is a good plan.

SquirrelSue Wed 28-Jun-23 11:32:41

Sorry to hear about your DH. I used to comfort eat, especially in the evening while watching TV. I realised that I needed to do something with my hands so took up crocheting. It made a huge difference. You need to have a chat with your GP.

Nicolenet Wed 28-Jun-23 11:38:23

It is easy to put on weight and hardest thing to lose it. I find joining Slimming World and help from my GP the only way for me. I can't do it alone!

Nannashirlz Wed 28-Jun-23 11:44:27

My weight gain happened in lockdown with boredom eating and I’m a chocoholic which doesn’t help. My hubby left after 22yrs through grass was greener soon found out it wasn’t. No i didn’t take him back. My dr says I had to grieve for him even though he hadn’t gone. Anyway i decided I needed to do something and I just cut down on the rubbish I won’t say it was easy but i replaced my sweet snack with dehydrated fruit I bought a ninja so I do it in that.I still have chocolate that is my Saturday night treat watching a movie or popcorn that is healthy. I’ve lost 2 stone and I still want to lose one more you can do it on the Nhs app

NanaDana Wed 28-Jun-23 11:44:34

Yes, it sounds like comfort eating to me, and I should know! I now keep literally nothing in the house which would tempt me off the straight and narrow. Biscuits, cakes, confectionery, sugary drinks.. all banned.. even sugar has been replaced with sweetener. I also avoid even walking down certain aisles in the supermarket, and have also trained myself to just walk past the "special offers" on the aisle ends which are offering forbidden fruits. Diets don't work per se. It's a change of lifestyle which includes eating patterns which does.

SecondhandRose Wed 28-Jun-23 11:47:26

@travelsafar I am sorry to hear this. Could I suggest you try some
antidepressants if you arent already on them. You may not feel depressed but stress and anxiety can give a lot of physical symptoms. I have had a lot of ongoing health issues completely disappear on fluoxetine. Over eating can also be a sign of stress and anxiety. Big hug to you.

Daddima Wed 28-Jun-23 11:49:34

I downloaded My Fitness Pal, where you log everything you eat, and it tells you when you are over your calorie ‘allowance’. Even just taking note of everything you eat might make you think twice about eating things. Good luck.