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  #1   ^
Old Fri, Feb-17-17, 19:30
ImAllLike ImAllLike is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 71
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 305/211/160 Male 72
Progress: 65%
Default What to replace emotional eating with?

I find I'm more depressed without ice cream cheetos or pie or chocolate cake or starburst or... to get some of my happy chemicals flowing. I know those only supply a short term fix but anyone else get depressed like you lost your best friend when you go low carb? I haven't had candy in so long its getting really sad in here. Food is such a big part of life and to remove all the things with sugar in it is just tough. I don't know if being skinny is worth it. It sucks cause most people can eat like kids and not gain a pound yet i eat carbs for on week and im up 5-10 pounds.
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  #2   ^
Old Fri, Feb-17-17, 20:17
FREE2BEME's Avatar
Senior Member
Posts: 2,559
Plan: Atkins & IF
Stats: 258/206/150 Female 65 inches
Progress: 48%
Location: Japan

I feel your pain and I don't have any answers. I just keep looking at things I want to wear and things I want to do and sometimes that's enough in the moment to resist temptation. Another thing I've started recently is to remove the possibility off the table, so to speak. When I used to straddle the fence, I would deliberate and try to decide if I would allow myself to eat it. Now I'm working on telling myself, "no. The healthy me doesn't eat that anymore." It's not like I can't, it's more like a shift of thinking where I tell myself that I don't, rather than "can't". Seems to help sometimes. Another thing is that I hate how I feel, physically and mentally afterwards, so I try to remember that too. We each have to find our own path and it does seem to come to some people easier or quicker, at least. But we have to remind ourselves that there is no benefit to comparing our lives to other people. It's a slippery slope. Best wishes!
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Feb-18-17, 04:56
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
Posts: 10,723
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
Progress: 96%
Location: NC

First, most people "can Not eat like kids and not gain a pound"....2/3 of the US and U.K. Is Overweight! And certainly not on this forum...we are all here because we can not tolerate carbs, especially sugar, for weight or health reasons.

Your post was on the same day an article about the first clinical trial proving diet can improve depression was sent by Dr Georgia Ede in Physcology Today about the trial and using a Modified Mediterranean Diet.

This diet is no where as Low in Carbs as the diets used by many of us here, but the one food allowed that stuck out was 2 glasses of red wine. (The study was in Australia... I'd be happier with a good Shiraz each night than a sad group therapy session too ) I've posted before that if a goal is weight loss, then alcohol will slow that. But if you truly get depressed over a strict No Sugar, No Starch Diet, then maybe consider on occasion (not daily as allowed here) some healthy foods from a moderate carbs approach...fruits, red wine, etc. (No starbursts this afternoon, but a bowl of berries and cream for dessert).

If that technique does not fit your personality, there were others on the Habits thread.
Habit change for eating better: (Will abstain from all candy, but will have the safeguard of fruit or a glass of wine if needed)

Last edited by JEY100 : Sat, Feb-18-17 at 05:06.
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, Feb-18-17, 05:52
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,211
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont

My suggestion is that you work at changing your attitude towards what you are doing. Instead of thinking about how deprived you are of the things you crave, think how lucky you are that you have discovered a way to eat that is healthy and that eliminates these foods that are slowly poisoning you. Feeling sorry for yourself and feeling jealous of others who seem to have it better than you only makes things harder. We need to not only change how we eat but also to change how we think about food. My attitude is that if it is not nourishing my body it is not food. I am a huge sugar addcit. I just refuse to go back to my addiction.

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  #5   ^
Old Sat, Feb-18-17, 12:40
Robin120's Avatar
Robin120 Robin120 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,040
Plan: low carb
Stats: 171/125/145 Female 5'9
Progress: 177%
Location: DC

Agree with Janet's and Jean's advice.

For things that help me cheer up:
1. Walking with my DH and our dog. Sunshine is very important to mood- you might want to supplement in winter.
2. Lying by pool in summer- listening to music with an iced r
Tea and getting sun makes me feel great!
3. Chatting to/ getting together with friends
4. VOLUNTEER- helping others will instantly make you feel better. I promise
5. Go somewhere fun like a museum or a movie or a park. Make a "date" with your spouse, kid, or a friend to do something you enjoy- golf, bowling, whatever you like.
6. I also like new clothes
7. Try something new like a book club or a yoga class. You might make new friends to boot.
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  #6   ^
Old Sun, Feb-19-17, 09:08
Kristine's Avatar
Kristine Kristine is online now
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19,343
Plan: Primal
Stats: 171/155/155 Female 5'7"
Progress: 100%
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada

Hi. I can relate. When I was a depressed teenager, food was my only friend. I don't think I could have done this when I was that age... unless I had knowledge and faith that giving it up would honestly clean up my brain.

I think we should debunk the myth that aaaaaaalll these people are eating like kids and getting away with it. 95% of the time, they're not. Let me give you a few examples of people in my life who appeared to eat all kinds of junk and stay thin:
- 25-yr-old friend of mine, but after I got to know her, she revealed that she has Crohn's disease (I think it was), has had seven surgeries, and not a lot of her guts left.
- Teenage co-op placement coworker who didn't have a paying job; he'd pocket the bus fare his parents gave him and walked to and from school. At least 3 miles each direction by my estimate.
- Eating disordered people, including ME once. The times I'd eat a chocolate bar or junk in front of people, that was just me playing normal. They had no idea that'd be all I'd eat in a span of three days. don't assume anything about anyone by what you see them eat in front of you. Even more recently, in a healthier context, I have coworkers who assume I can eat whatever I want and stay thin... just because they see me eat sausage patties, bacon, cheese, etc.

Furthermore: a lot of the people who don't have those issues and still seem to stay miraculously thin despite eating junk, are NOT likely to get a free ride. Just wait until they start pushing 40 - it will catch up to them in the form of chronic disease.

SO. Long story short: it sounds like you're well aware that the sugar is acting as a happy drug. The good news is, you will feel better once it's out of your system and your brain chemicals sort themselves out again. Hang onto that. Start a challenge thread here, or a journal, or somewhere that you can vent and have others cheer you on. Once you're over that hump, it will get better. For me, it was critical to put binge junk eating out of a job.
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, Feb-20-17, 14:03
Seejay's Avatar
Seejay Seejay is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,025
Plan: Optimal Diet
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 62 inches
Progress: 8%

Loud music

All these are physical. you are missing the physical reaction to sugar and trying to talk-talk-talk into a replacement doesn't work.

Also the more you stay away from sugar, the more you WON'T have the lows. things will even out. Not a big help at the beginning of course, but something to look forward to.

But it is nice to give yourself something nice in other ways. Not to go all the way to a shopping high or gambling however. Just kidding. Sort of.
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Feb-21-17, 08:16
mten2015 mten2015 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 128
Plan: Atkins 72 Induc Lifer IF
Stats: 249/157/150 Female 5'7.5"
Progress: 93%
Location: MN

You replace the sugar and white stuff with all the positive things that do come along in this woe. Trust me there are so many positives! I keep the focus on myself and how good I feel and don't worry about what others are eating. When depressed come to this forum and read all the success and support, emotional eating just makes us sick, never really makes us feel better. Nothing better than a long walk to quiet our minds and find peace. After a while on this woe, I found that emotional eating was really just causing myself further sadness, I was stuffing my face to feel better and that just doesn't really work. After doing this a while, you will see that too.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Feb-22-17, 09:05
Blue Ruby Blue Ruby is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 533
Plan: atkins
Stats: 200/170/160 Female 5'7"
Progress: 75%
Location: BC

I'm an emotional or stress eater too. All the suggestions here are excellent. I have two more to add on top of these that have worked for me.

You are doing Atkins- can you go back to induction? Sometimes cravings come back for me with adding carbs. Get into deep ketosis-- go high fat super low carb for a few days. White knuckle it for three days if you have to. In deep ketosis I crave less and have less appetite, high fat makes me full/less hungry. Then I have the mental ability to do those other things. The walk, play with a dog, listen to music, cry, go sit under a tree, find someone to talk to, go help a neighbor. For example- go for a walk, sorry for myself, depressed, mad I have to go for a walk, cursing the world etc...and boy do I feel better after a certain amount of time-- I promise myself I will walk just 15 min away from my house...then of course I'm stuck and I have to walk the 15 min home...and by then my mind set has changed completely.

My second approach is to to go ahead and eat-- but only low carb/almost zero carb, no sweetener foods. Bacon for me is a huge help. If I binge on sweets, I'm depressed, exhausted and ashamed...and hungry soon after. If I "binge" on a mix of bacon, butter, a little cheese, beef and gravy, chicken drippings, etc-- I get so full I end up not eating for hours. For example-- I stress-ate after work yesterday at's now 7 am and I wasn't hungry all those hours in between. Mint tea in the evening was all I needed. I'm not saying I can do this every day, but on those occasions I "have" to, it works way better than high carb binging to keep me feeling emotionally calm.

For me, once I'm stable on low carb high fat, I eat for emotional reasons way way less. The stable blood sugar, the feeling that in spite of all stresses I am feeding myself right, that this woe is nurturing and loving myself, and having low carb strategies and healthy no-food strategies have all over time helped me be less of an emotional eater.

We're here on your side. All the suggestions here have something to offer-- even if inside it makes you roll your eyes or say we don't understand how it is for you. You'll find that there are things that help your personal journey with this-- trial and error and you'll identify the things that work for you.

Good luck with this, friend. The emotional journey you are on is the one that (in my opinion) is what makes the weight loss and the life change possible. It's great you asked for support. Keep going.
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  #10   ^
Old Fri, May-05-17, 10:26
Phantomess Phantomess is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 293
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 223/208/150 Female 5'1"
Progress: 21%
Location: Northeast US

Originally Posted by ImAllLike
I find I'm more depressed without ice cream cheetos or pie or chocolate cake or starburst or... to get some of my happy chemicals flowing. I know those only supply a short term fix but anyone else get depressed like you lost your best friend when you go low carb? I haven't had candy in so long its getting really sad in here. Food is such a big part of life and to remove all the things with sugar in it is just tough. I don't know if being skinny is worth it. It sucks cause most people can eat like kids and not gain a pound yet i eat carbs for on week and im up 5-10 pounds.

I know. I feel it too. Even though they were temporary fixes, the sweets made me so happy. What I've been focusing on is the temporary aspect when I am feeling tempted.
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  #11   ^
Old Sat, Aug-26-17, 19:44
brightli's Avatar
brightli brightli is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 157
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 223/223/160 Female 68 inches
Progress: 0%
Location: United States

I think I'm a little down because I've done nothing but vege lately. Maybe I will clean my room, go on a walk and meet my commitments. Maybe that is part of it, I'm slacking. My social life always helps, but I've stayed in all day today. I am hoping that it's just that I need my down time. I think it may be too, that I've just started this and it's not what I've been planning and wanting to do for so long. I've wanted to eat "normal", exercise and lose weight that way. But I know it's not working the best, I mean I started losing weight when I was exercising and drinking protein shakes, but I put it back on when I stopped. I know this WOE is nourishing, but it's also frustrating because it's limiting. Anyway, now I have all this food I need to throw away. Popcorn etc. that I bought and planned to eat. Today I had a nutrigrain bar, but tomorrow I will probably throw them out along with cookies and all kinds of things. Some people would probably think that's insane and wasteful, but I hope that I am more sane with this WOE.
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  #12   ^
Old Sun, Aug-27-17, 03:35
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
Posts: 10,723
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
Progress: 96%
Location: NC

Take unopened packages to a food bank drop-off (often found in grocers), feel good about helping, and then buy your favorite items on the LC allowed list you are following. Wrapped foods like popcorn could go to workplace break room, a friend..nothing need go to waste.

Keep your foods simple to start, no recipes, but if having a LC treat would help you get through sugar withdrawal this week, then buy the ingredients and make that. Check the Recipe forum here or at DietDoctor for ideas. DD has enticing photos of what you may want to try.

Once you clean out your kitchen, and stock it with good LC foods, consider working on your thoughts that this way of eating is "limiting". You drank protein shakes and didn't think that was limiting? Some have decent ingredients but popular ones have flavors that all taste of the same chemical stew. Do you like bacon, quiche, pizza, burgers, Asian foods? ... most everything can be made LC.
To quote Dr Hallberg...Don't Eat Anything You Don't Like.
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  #13   ^
Old Sun, Aug-27-17, 10:34
PaCarolSue PaCarolSue is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 477
Plan: Wheat Belly
Stats: 217/182/175 Female 5ft 2 inches
Progress: 83%
Location: USA

I will tell how I rid myself of sweet cravings, but it might not be acceptable here, as many low carbers are against eating vegetables. I used to be a big sweet eater, cookies, candy etc. One day I read about the benefits of phytoneutients found in vegetables, and started eating them in larger quantities....not just the little portions normally served with a meal. I did not stop eating sweets, but after a while, a few months, I realized I could ignore the sweets DH has around constantly. A couple times I did eat some, and found that I didn't like the taste of sweets anymore....they tasted sickeningly sweet. Sometimes when I cut back on veggies, I notice a bit of sweet craving coming back. I'm not dropping pounds right and left, but I no longer crave sweets like I did. Maybe I just changed my taste buds.
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  #14   ^
Old Sun, Jul-01-18, 22:03
BillyHW's Avatar
BillyHW BillyHW is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 378
Plan: Keto + IF
Stats: 260/300/165 Male 5' 6"
Progress: -42%
Location: Alberta, Canada

I'm like the OP, I don't know what to fill the void with now.
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