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Dieting & exercise

Am I comfort eating??

(50 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. 🙊🙊

PamQS Wed 28-Jun-23 11:50:45

It certainly could be comfort eating - are you getting any other help or support with your bereavement?

Are there healthy options that you can have (such as ripe, seasonal fruit) instead of ‘treating’ yourself with the food that’s putting weight on?

Gymstagran Wed 28-Jun-23 11:51:54

I'm struggling too since my daughter died last year. I'm trying to eat main meal lunchtime and nothing after 6pm. Don't buy any treats as if they are in house I will eat them. It also helps if you try not to sit for long periods even getting up and walking round for 5 minutes every hour is good. It takes time and taking care of yourself. Good luck.

bevisp1 Wed 28-Jun-23 12:30:29

If you want to try to lose some weight Slimming World is a very good place to start, even if it gets you to see where you might be going wrong, ie can’t seem to stop eating all wrong food. Here you could meet like minded people all stuck in a rut with food or don’t know where to start. Good luck

knspol Wed 28-Jun-23 13:08:46

I'm the opposite in that when I lost my DH 12 months ago I lost over 2 stones. For the last few months I've been stuffing myself with cakes and biscuits and managed to put half of that weight back on so that my clothes might fit again. Trouble now is that I like the weight I am now but have got a real appetite for sweet stuff that I never had before.

Blossom5 Wed 28-Jun-23 13:59:51

It's not everyone's cup of tea but i joined a 'well known slimming club' about 9 years ago and there's a lot of people who are on their own, it may help you to find ways of eating healthier and hopefully find new friends... good luck to you

amazonia Wed 28-Jun-23 14:05:46

Read Dr Michael Mosley's Clever Guts Diet. It explains why your body gets used to sweet snacks and convinces your brain that you need more. Follow his guidance for a few weeks and you will crave the bad stuff less. It really does work and I think that understanding the biology of your body will help too

Georgesgran Wed 28-Jun-23 14:06:35

I’ve just re-read this thread and noted a comment that over 65s shouldn’t take Pregabalin, although DH took it, almost ‘til the day he died, at 70. However, it can have undesirable side-effects, one of which might be disturbed thought processes and even suicidal thoughts, as well as clumsiness/balance problems.
I did suggest the OP saw her GP and I think she would be wise to discuss the pros and cons of this medication.

Skye17 Wed 28-Jun-23 14:06:42

Some people do well on low carb. I prefer it because you don’t feel hungry. Here’s someone who lost 15 stone that way.

Sennelier1 Wed 28-Jun-23 14:26:17

Could you maybe try and eat together with a good friend or such? And then of course really prep and cook with insight, maybe take turns hosting? . You might enjoy your meals more and eat more healthily. Only a suggestion of course!

Pigma Wed 28-Jun-23 14:33:08

You need to be very kind to yourself and take baby steps to get back on an even track - in every way. Tips that helped me at a similar stage in life when comfort eating had piled on a few stones and I didn’t know how to begin to break the entrenched habits:
1) Eat an apple, an orange and a banana every day as a priority - whole or chopped up or however you fancy. Then eat whatever else you want. These will give you lots of vitamins, minerals and fibre and gradually will help you and your body to feel better. As you feel better in yourself you may find you want to start generally eating more healthily as you like how it makes you feel.
2) Drink more, even a pint a day more than you are drinking now. I found the best way was to make up some very diluted no- sugar squash in a drink bottle, leave it on the kitchen counter and sip it gradually through the day.
3) Go out for a walk every day, rain or shine. Initially, I literally did five minutes - two and a half down the street and then back and gradually built up from there.
4) Do something you enjoy every day. I did two things - started keeping a five year diary with just a couple of lines for each day to record my private thoughts, good or bad. Secondly, I started using nice-smelling (needn’t be expensive) body lotion on my arms and legs each day. My skin soon looked and felt much better and gave me a real boost, just for me.
None of the above put too much pressure on you and don’t have to done all at once, you could start with one and gradually work up but cumulatively and over time they bring their own form of comfort as you start to feel better and more positive about yourself. You can, in time and if you want to, develop each of these but to start it will suffice.
Can’t comment on any medical issues but a visit to your GP may be a good thing to do anyway.
I wish you well and hope this helps x

semperfidelis Wed 28-Jun-23 14:35:05

I think it's only the 'diet' that you devise for yourself that will work. Commercial diets are just money spinners and clearly not focused on the individual person, or their age. We know age itself makes a difference as the metabolism slows.

I just started with a list of things that I really felt I couldn't do without. That included small glasses of wine, portions of cheese and a piece of chocolate each day. Everyone's list varies. I then made a decision to cut down, but not eliminate, bread, potatoes and pasta. I included fish, because I like it, and a small amount of lean meat. It's taking a while but it works. I advise anyone who is sad and lonely not to pay too much attention to external advice, but to think about their unique selves and include some delicious treats.

Grandmachrisy47 Wed 28-Jun-23 14:39:19

MyFitnessPal all the way.

Gundy Wed 28-Jun-23 14:48:39

Beware if you have a penchant towards (overeating) sweets - it could lead to another health issue - diabetes!

You don’t want to be on insulin.

I love to eat, snack, munch just like everyone else but there are several cardinal rules I’ve laid down for myself:

• I just don’t buy the stuff I used to enjoy (sweets) anymore. I look at it longingly 😆 in the grocery store and keep moving on.
• I now eat two meals a day. Breakfast and main meal falls between 1:00-4:00, depending on what I’m doing. Later in the evening snack of fruit, nuts, veggies/hummus, cheese/crackers, popcorn.
• Keep snacks more on the savory side rather than sugar. Nuts (for me) are my go to. Natural best. A small amount really curbs my appetite.
• Stay hydrated!!! People don’t drink enough water 💦
Good luck to you!
USA Gundy

grandtanteJE65 Wed 28-Jun-23 14:58:29

I too am sincerely sorry to hear of your loss and feel like many others that putting on weight and eating things you really feel you shouldn't is a way of dealing with grief.

The drug you are on may very well also contribute, so please do go and see your doctor.

And try to get in touch with one of the good organisations that help widows and others who are mourning through this very difficult time of life.

bobbydog24 Wed 28-Jun-23 15:42:02

I found it was the cooking for one after losing my husband that I couldn’t be bothered to do. I grazed instead. I am diabetic so sweets stuff isn’t in the house. I really need to cut down on bread, even though I buy granary or seeded, it’s my go to thing if I’m hungry. I am slowly losing the weight I put on and walking my dog every day for miles is a real help. It is hard and as one person said. Your head has to want to lose weight too.

Nell8 Wed 28-Jun-23 16:51:44

When I was prescribed pregabalin my pain consultant confirmed that it has a side effect of causing carbohydrate craving and this can result in some patients gaining an excessive amount of weight.

Saggi Wed 28-Jun-23 17:04:29

Defo the comfort eating …..I looked after my very sick husband for 27 years …and after my third stroke two years ago he had to go into full time care ….the cost to our finances is devastating ….I’d love to able to comfort eat ….but instead I ‘fast’ at least 2 days a week. I’m busy seeing if anybody will employ a very dodgy and arthritic 72 year old!😂

MayBee70 Wed 28-Jun-23 17:09:42


When I was prescribed pregabalin my pain consultant confirmed that it has a side effect of causing carbohydrate craving and this can result in some patients gaining an excessive amount of weight.

My first thought was that it probably has a sedative effect and I know that when I’m tired I crave food, especially sweet food and carbohydrates. The same thing used to happen to me when I was young. It was years before I noticed a pattern forming of overeating a week before my period started. And when I’m unhappy I overeat, too. So it sounds as though it’s a combination of both. And made worse by being miserable about putting on weight, too. A friend of mine is doing a short course at a local gym: she was sent there by her doctor. It is a weight watching course. But another friend is doing another course at a gym that involves using the gym equipment. I think you need to have a chat with your doctor.

Dempie55 Wed 28-Jun-23 19:51:46

I also lost my husband two and a half years ago, so sympathise. I went through a phase of comfort eating, but decided I had to do something to get myself back on track.

This is what has worked for me (now a stone lighter, since February...)
1. I order groceries online only - stick to the same list each week, no fatty stuff allowed. (I do not enter a supermarket ever.) I mostly eat fish (sardines/tuna/mackerel) but I also eat a lot of turkey in the form of turkey steaks, they are very low fat, but very filling! I also gave up bread completely, as I never ate it quickly enough to stop it going mouldy and I don't have much room in my freezer.

2. Portion control! I love chips, but I limit myself to 7 only. I find that is enough to indulge my craving. I also use a smaller plate. As a treat I allow myself 6 giant chocolate buttons or a Tunnocks teacake. I also like ice cream, but only have the Hagen Daaz mini portions.
3. Keep active! I try to get in my 10000 steps each day. I was ill recently and didn't leave the house for 10 days - put half a stone back on!!!
4. Don't eat if you don't feel hungry. I find I can go till 11 am or 12 noon before I actually feel like eating. Then I might have a snack around 4 pm and dinner around 8 pm.
5. Only eat when sitting at a table in your own house. I never eat anything in cafes.

Just a few ideas, some of them might work for you?
Definitely ask the GP about the medication, too, it's probably not helping with your weight control.

MayBee70 Wed 28-Jun-23 20:27:51

When the pandemic started I lost weight even though I wasn’t getting much exercise and it was purely because, as I was worried about food supplies, I didn’t eat between meals.

karmalady Wed 28-Jun-23 20:43:15

Travelsafar, it sounds as though you have mouth hunger and then you need a fix to stop that dreadful craving. It likely stems from sugars and not forgetting that eg white bread quickly turns to sugars starting when you chew

You can get over chocolate cravings by eating a couple of squares of very dark (100%) chocolate. This is something which is actually very good for your body and the chocolate craving disappears

Personally I eat a good tempting salad at 12, followed by the chocolate. Last meal is eaten by 5, protein and a veg mix. My body now knows not to crave anything after that meal

You do have to be pretty strong when you go shopping and best done soon after a meal eg if I buy cheap bisquits then one custard cream just will not do, the packet calls me and yes I too bend towards comfort eating. That safe nice mouth feel remembered from being a baby. Best for me if I avoid that aisle alltogether

If you cannot be bothered doings bits and bobs to make a meal, then try one pot cooking eg I might do lentil pasta with three different veg, all in one pan. It is either that or I would fail and turn to crispy toast and butter. In the early days after being widowed I used my rice cooker, wholegrain rice then I added some ish and some veg and at leat I ate properly

Try and get out for short walks, maybe choosing a hill and being brisk when you feel up to it. It is also a good chance to say good morning to all and sundry

crazyH Wed 28-Jun-23 21:08:57

I rarely crave chocolates. I love a Victoria sponge. My craving is mainly for savouries.
My biggest problem: I live alone, so don’t have any set mealtimes. My lovely, slim 83 year old friend, who has the body of a teenager, eats a hearty breakfast, no lunch, good evening meal (between 5 or 6pm) usually pork or fish, and toast and tea for supper, about 8.30. No in-betweeners. How I wish I could be disciplined like her !!

Kim19 Thu 29-Jun-23 07:54:51

ok, t, you've had our support, comments and suggestions. I hope this encourages you and even helps a bit. Hearty great cheers. 👍

fluttERBY123 Sat 01-Jul-23 08:16:05

Make a shopping list, healthy foods only.
Never go shopping when hungry.
Have treats like cake only when out having a coffee.
Weigh yourself in the morning, once a week, in the nuddy, after first wee and keep a record.
Slowly does it, you are winning even if you just stop gaining.