May seem like a silly question, but I'm asking anyway


Hi. Okay, some background first - I recently gained some weight in a short amount of time and would love to take it off.

I know what I need to do, but here's my problem... whenever I take weight off, I do so by eating the same exact thing every day (egg whites/oatmeal for breakfast, pb and rice cakes for a snack, chicken and veggies for lunch, almonds and cheese stick for snack, fish and veggies for dinner). Every time I eat this way I lose weight and drop body fat very quickly - however - I am MISERABLE when I eat this way as I am hungry, tired, and cold (body temperature-wise) all the time. Plus, I can only eat that way for so long so once I begin to put sweets and simple carbs back into my diet, that's all I wind up eating and consume boxes of donuts and bags and bags of candy in one sitting. Of course, I end up gaining back the weight I lost and then some.

So... my question is this - how do I stop this cycle? How do I lose weight (FOR GOOD) all while cutting down on my current diet of sugar, sugar, sugar yet skip the feelings of deprivation, fatigue, and dread? How do I avoid getting burned out on my food choices? And how do I avoid putting myself into deprivation mode when I begin to eat foods that are good for me? I want to make room for sweets (if I don't, I will eventually give in and binge for days/weeks/months), but would like the BULK of my food intake to be healthy/clean foods.

I'm sooooo tired of eating like crap for about a year, eating uber clean for a few weeks, and then repeating the process.

I have a feeling if I change the way I eat, I will perform better at work, perform better during my workouts, and be healthier and happier in general. But I tend to be an all or nothing person so whenever I think 'I am going to eat clean' - I either cut out almost everything enjoyable and go through the process I described above, or I freak out because I think of the misery it brings, and decide to make no change at all.

Sorry for the rant, I just kind of need some help/advice.

Thanks for listening.
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not to be a repeater of myself but

I really think you should check out inside out weight loss it is a free podcast off of iTunes. You sound like you are ready for this kind of approach.


Hang in there!

Hi Jillybean:

I'm right there with you! I have a tendancy to be a very picky eater and hate anything that is green, red, or orange (basically anything that is remotely healthy for you)... therefore, when I'm "dieting" I stick to the same basic meals day after miserable day also! I have tried Weight Watchers and have had some success in the past with either counting points or the "core" plan because it allows you the opportunity to splurge on some sweets or anything else you want as long as you are within your "points" window. chocolate is my absolute downfall! If I completely removed that from my diet, I would absolutely shrivel up and die!!! So I can really relate to you on this issue! However WW does have some wonderful ooey-gooey chocolate deserts in the freezer section that have been lifesavers in a pinch for me.

My issue is sticking to the "diet"! They always say that you shouldn't diet but rather change your eating habits for the rest of your life but... I do OK for awhile, but slip back into my old routine eventually and lose all the progress I made. When I met my now husband, I had worked out daily and did a modified Atkins/Protein diet and lost about 40 lbs... but he is a chef and spoils me rotten, so that quickly went by the way-side! oops!

So, now up 40 lbs again and over 40 years old, so it's so much harder to take it off! I signed up with WW online (again) a few weeks back but have only been to the site once since that day :eek: I'm just having a hard time jump starting a new routine.

After being on vacation all last week I told myself I was making another committment to myself to start fresh TODAY! I ordered another 4 Cathe DVD's last friday that should arrive early next week, and gathered the rest of the basic workout equipment for Cathe's workouts ~ I'm gonna "try it again"!

The only advise I can give is to not give up and check out some of the WW frozen deserts!

I'm new to this forum and have never posted anything ~ but saw your post and wanted to let you know that you are not alone! Hope that this time the support from this site will help push me/us through this tough beginning and get us the results that we so despirately desire!



Intuitive Eating


First, you are such an inspiration to me. I have been reading your posts, and the progress you have made in conquering eating disorders and reclaiming your health is very encouraging to me. I started riding the diet-binge roller coaster in elementary school. After going from one extreme of anorexia in high school (88 pounds) to the opposite extreme of binge eating my way up to 260 pounds, riding a roller coaster with my weight for years, having a relapse with binge eating this summer, and hitting my top weight again for the fourth time in my life, I am finding a healthy balance through intuitive eating. You can find the book (called Intuitive Eating) at most libraries, and I highly recommend it. This approach is recommend by the highly respected Remuda Ranch, and it is the most effective way in my personal experience to break free from the destructive cycle you described. You learn to listen to your body and naturally eat 90 percent for health and nutrition and 10 percent for fun and pleasure without counting calories or calculating ratios or obsessing over food. I will warn you that this is not a quick fix, and there is a learning curve. You may gain weight at first. The focus is on making peace with food and your body, breaking free from food strongholds, treating your body with gentleness and respect, and reaching a natural and healthy weight and size for your body as a result. Weight loss is not the goal. It is a natural result of the journey, and it is a journey. I have not been "perfect" with this way of eating, but I have lost 20 pounds since the 4th of July (with the Road Trip, my birthday, and another trip in the mix). Here is a link to the official website if you are interested in reading more:

Heather B.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV).


Jilly Bean,

I believe your chief concerns are that you’re cold and painfully bored with your healthy diet so you can't stand it long term and there's a sling shot effect when you go off of it.

If you are physically cold all the time, then you are probably cutting too much fat out of your diet and it is affecting your thyroids ability to properly maintain your body temperature.

As for the boredom, you need to expand your definition of clean eating beyond the meager menu you described. Also, you should allow yourself the option of deciding to enjoy the occasional cheat meal or piece of birthday cake. If you don’t allow yourself to enjoy life’s celebrations you end up resenting your diet even more and the whip lash will be worse. You don’t want to set yourself up to be one of those people hiding in a closet on Thanksgiving eating an entire pumpkin pie.

Think about what foods you love and what would be healthy or clean versions of them. They don't have to be perfect. This should be a transition into better meal planning skills and not a complete upheaval to how you eat.

I am currently struggling with this myself.

Remember that this takes training and practice just like everything else in life. This isn’t an issue of will power.

Imagine what a healthy breakfast looks like. Plan out at least three good breakfasts; they should be relatively easy to do in the morning. Oatmeal is fine for one day, but how about an omelet another day, or whole wheat toast topped with ricotta cheese and some sliced fruit broiled until bubbly or a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, honey and banana. Or a homemade egg Mc Muffin,

For snacks, how about adding some sliced veggies and some hummus, maybe some grapes and a square of dark chocolate. And for God’s sake, add some dessert. Frozen apple sauce makes a nice sorbet. Cocked-eyed cake has no eggs in it and makes a nice cupcake. And there is nothing wrong with having a cookie every now and then. Deprivation is not a virtue. And you’ll enjoy it that much more because it is an infrequent treat.

I love asparagus grilled or broiled. What vegetables do you love? What fruits do you enjoy? What about whole grains? You can make some nice pilafs with quinoa or barley. Salads are good. How about some different proteins? Pork, chicken, tofu, the occasional sandwich. These things are ok and can be done in a sensible manner.

Just don’t be too extreme or rigid. Try focusing on eating 5 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables a day or keeping a log of what you eat and making sure you eat at least 30 different foods each week. Allow yourself the pleasure of dunking some really good bread in a tablespoon of good quality olive oil. Use real dressing on your salads, not just a squirt of lemon juice. Enjoy your meals.

Good luck and let me know if you have any great recipes you can’t live without.


Active Member
sweet tooth

Jillibean, I once had a doctor tell me my sugar cravings were from low magnesium. Not sure if this would apply to you just thought I'd give another opinion. I do take supplements just not all the time.



Wow - thanks so much for all the replies, all the advice.

Variety, not perfection; these are the things I need to work on.

Thanks again.

Blasted sugar!! Why must you be so tasty????



I just want to chime in for no other reason than your (jillybean's) post sounded TOTALLY like me! I am ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that I'm ADDICTED to sugar. I mean, you could seriously take just about everything else out of my diet...but sugar? NO WAY!

In fact, after eating any kind of meal, if I don't have "something sweet" to cap it off, I'm anxious and unsatisfied. It's sick!

So I hear you, girl!

I think the advice you've gotten so far is the best advice. I did WW for a spell, but 19 points a day was just too restrictive for me. I was very, very bit**y. I'm 40 now, and it seems all my warranties have run out. It used to be as long as I exercised (and I'm good at that), I could basically eat whatever I wanted. Not so much anymore. It stinks!

I'm up about 10lbs. over my comfortable weight. Of course, I've had two little boys (now 4 and 6), but I always have to remind myself that Cathe does too...SO NO EXCUSES! (But I'm sure Cathe doesn't have a sugar obsession, either.)

I really think you just have to eat what makes you happy WITHIN REASON. In other words, when I'm craving something (like someone brings yummy donuts into work), I try to take HALF of what I'd normally eat. This is an easy idea to remember and is just one way to make healthy changes without feeling deprived. (I REALLY like that thing that another poster said about "deprivation isn't a virtue!" That's a GREAT QUOTE!)

So good luck. You've got another sugar addict watching your back!


So good luck. You've got another sugar addict watching your back!
Thanks!! It could be I just have crappy willpower, but I'm pretty dedicated when it comes to other stuff. This sugar addiction is getting out of hand. I went to the doctor because of it, but she had the idea it was psychological, not physical. I have yet to fill the prescription. I keep waiting for this problem to 'go away' on its own, but it's not. Meanwhile, my weight's rising and my self-esteem is falling. But thanks again for the support!


It's ok to want a donut.

I’m sorry, I don’t mean to go on and on, but this is just something I feel really strongly about, and I had this coworker that was so obnoxious and thank heavens she quit because I was getting really close to slapping her. But here goes:

It has absolutely nothing what so ever to do with will power. That is just a myth.

Thinking like that just setting yourself up for failure and is a handy excuse for making a series of bad choices.

You say you are a sugar addict. You can go for weeks at a time as a “perfect eater” then you stumble, all hell breaks lose and you’re stuck in an orgy of donuts and candy. It’s not your fault, you’re a sugar addict.

That is not how your body works and the doctor should have told you this instead of offering you antidepressants or what ever magic pills she offered you to solve your “problem.”

On the one hand, your body could be craving some nutrient that it gets from foods which are naturally sweet, so your body translates that to a sugar craving.

On the other, it could just be that you’re not giving yourself enough calories over the course of the day and your hunger is making you nuts.

or maybe You just want a donut!

You do realize that it is ok to eat a donut, don’t you?

Wanting a donut doesn't make you bad or lazy or dumb or not perfect. It just means you want a donut.

As long as you’re not eating a dozen or two donuts in one sitting, having a donut isn't going to hurt you and allowing yourself the joy of eating a donut, making the decision to eat one, or even two, donuts is part of a happy healthy diet.

If you want to prevent the donut orgy at the end of the day, then there are a couple of things you can do to help you limit your donut indulgence to just one or two donuts.

1) Make sure you eat a good breakfast. Think square meal good. It should be at least 300 - 400 calories; about 40% protein, and have some fruit with it too.

2) Eat something before you are starving. If you allow yourself to get to the point where you are starving, you’re going to eat like a maniac. That isn’t a lack of will power that is biology. You can’t fight biology, you just have to learn how to manage it.

3) You really don't want to cut something completely out of your diet. And there is nothing wrong with wanting some sweet thing. There isn't anything physically wrong with you for wanting a donut and there isn't anything psychologically wrong with you either.

4) Build dessert into your diet. A little ice cream or a donut isn't going to kill your diet if you plan for it.

I had a coworker who used to annoy the daylights out of me. I mean I wanted to slap her she annoyed me so much. Thank heavens I didn't see her very often and she recently quit. She was all proud of how she loved broccoli and didn't eat dessert, like this was some sort of moral victory she could rub in my face. She wouldn't even eat a piece of birthday cake at her nephew's 6th birthday party. She was whining that he wanted to know what was wrong with his cake that she wouldn't even take one piece. And she was obsessed with diet coke. Miss "I eat perfectly" drank DIET COKE! (I hate diet anything, sorry to all the diet soda drinkers out there.)

I digress. My point is she was nuts AND she was wrong.

Her "perfect" habits didn't make her better then anyone else in the office and it just made it impossible for her to enjoy a little boy’s birthday party. Plus she had horrible skin. I seriously think it was from the gallons of diet coke she drank every day. I like broccoli too, but I don’t sit at the lunch table judging other people’s lunches and making cracks about how healthy my choices are. After all, I want people to like eating lunch with me. Who wants to have lunch with a harridan that cracks on your left overs?

Anyway, my point is there is nothing abnormal about wanting to eat some crappy food every now and then. And it doesn't make you an addict with out of control urges if you want to eat donuts and candy. Just buy small portions, enjoy the donut and move on.

Don't buy a dozen donuts, just buy one. Don't buy the big Halloween size bag and eat it all yourself. But by all means buy yourself a piece or two of candy. Enjoy yourself.

Such behavior isn't a negative statement about you or who you are and does not require medication!

And if you want to eat more healthy food, think positively about it and enjoy the experience of eating it. If you don’t look forward in some way to the meal you prepared, you’re not going to be eating it for very long. For example, I used to hate rice, now I love brown basmati rice. Broccoli sautéed with a little soy sauce makes me drool. Roasted asparagus… I’d rather eat that then a piece of cake, and I loves my cake!

Just remember, it is ok to be human. Everyone else already knows that you are, so there is no shame in admitting it to yourself.
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Just another thought

I noticed in your original post you mentioned that you eat very strictly for a couple of weeks, but as soon as you start adding back in more normal things all hell breaks loose.

How about instead of going for the big reward up front and eating super strict to loose the weight fast, try just eating the diet you think you should finish with.

Skip the hard core part and get used to the part that should be the “normal” diet after you add back some carbs and some variety.

Get used to that version of the diet and then when you’re really comfortable with it, take it up a notch to a little stricter. That way when you go off the stricter version, you’ve already trained your body what to expect as a normal diet.

Also, if your “normal” diet is better then what you’re actually eating right now, you’re bound to lose weight anyhow. It won’t be as fast as on the strict version, but you’re not training for a competition your training for life.

I know there are a bunch of diets that have super strict introductory periods. They are generally calorie restriction diets dressed up as something sexier and are intended to make you lose weight super fast so you think the diet is working, when in reality you’re just climbing into the sling shot and setting up the whip lash.

A clean diet can do the same thing if it is too restrictive, repetitive, or boring.


I take gymnema sylvestre

It is potent stuff. But it does block sugar absorption. (I'm insulin resistant, I use it when I have to eat commercial food if I'm on the road.) I get it at the health food store or on the internet (I use the nature's way standardized.) I started with just one with some food that has carbs to see how it effected me.I was fine with it. My dad on the other hand went to sleep for half an hour.

It is also used to treat alcoholism. It is from ayurvedic medicine. Do be careful though it can drive your blood sugar down and some people do not react well to it.

Sugar addiction is real. And if you have that problem (its chemical not in your head btw.) do not trifle with sugars at all. On your cheat day keep it to higher fat foods. If you need the ice cream get organic only made with real sugar, not any false sugars those mess with your whole system in many bad ways one of them is interfereing with your ability to know when you are no longer hungry (cue the "high fructose corn syrup is evil" music.) Also watch out for a possible allergy to grains as well (maybe get tested for that.) People often have allergies to the same foods that they develop addictions to.

Don't forget that glucose is implicated in alzhiemers in some of the medical literature (just google it.) I've read about that in Science News and Scientific American.

So think of it this way. You have HFCS in commercial ice cream (I'm assuming its not the organic Stoneyfield farms ice cream.) Your brain no longer receives the message to stop eating. Then, the glucose causes you to forget that your eating! In other words, you just don't stand a chance with this stuff. Some people just can't be using this (for lack of a better term) substance. The good news is you can beat it, now that you know its a problem. And yeah most doctors are useless on the subject.


Rapid Breath,

I apologize if my statements came across wrong.

Yes, sugar can be very corrosive to the body, and insulin resistance is a serious metabolic issue which shouldn't be treated lightly.


Thank you very much for your replies.

Shelshula, thank you very much for your informative, in-depth posts. I feel as if I am letting you down or, as you read my posts, you're butting your head against the wall, shaking your head at my stupidity. It IS aggravating, trust me, I know. I can look at what I'm typing afterwards and read about how I eat or what I eat and think "Jill, why do you do that to yourself," but I do it.

Your reaction to my statement about willpower was pretty strong. I guess the point I was trying to get across was this: I workout every day, 6x's a week, and have done so for about 7 years now. I was just trying to relay the fact that I do possess a modicum of discipline. But I think it comes down to my black and white thinking (granted, it could be a physiological thing, it could be a vitamin/mineral deficiency, too, but...); I think I try to be either perfect and once I eat one food I've deemed as 'bad' or even *think* about eating a food deemed as bad, I give in. And by giving in I don't mean, I have a donut and move on. I mean, I have a box of snake cakes, a bag full of candy, 2 bottles of soda (something I did yesterday), and then battle a stomach ache and a depressed feeling until the imminent sugar crash. Then the cycle starts again.

You are right - there is nothing wrong (and I do believe this) with eating foods you enjoy. I guess I equate clean eating with bland, boring eating. I need to stop this, I know. Perhaps I just don't know how.

RapidBreath - thank you very much for the information on gymnema slyvestre. I will look into this.

Again, thank you for all your advice and support. I'm sorry if I've upset anyone with my responses.


I am so sorry

Jilly Bean,

I am so very sorry.

I don't want you to think that you are letting me down at all. Believe me when I tell you I do the exact same things you do when it comes to eating. It is so easy to offer suggestions and it sounds so simple that we think it should be easy, but easy is not simple and simple is not easy.

The fact that you have developed such wonderful work out habits is admirable and deserving of respect. To get to the point where working out is something you have to do as part of your day is something I wish I was able to do. Some people develop such a strong habit of working out that it reaches the level of basic hygiene. They couldn't skip working out any more then they can skip bathing or brushing their teeth. And I so wish I could do that. But right now it just feels so much like work and I have so much work to do already. I know in my heart that if I worked out regularly I would feel better, sleep better, have more energy, look fabulous in a bikini, stop thinking a burka is a good idea for the beach. But for reasons I won’t go into, I just don’t.

Same with eating. Last Friday I ate an entire can of Pringles in one sitting with a lot of regular ginger ale.

Sometimes when I’m really hungry I dream of Big Macs, which make me sick and I can never remember what it was about them that made me think they tasted good once I actually eat it.

I know that if you were to meet me you would think, “What does this crazy woman think she can tell me about good eating.”

If you are talking about having the will power to turn off the TV and go to bed at a reasonable hour, or to not hit the snooze 20 times, or to not buy Pringles in the grocery store, then yeah, I have like no will power at all.

But if you are talking about making good dietary choices, then I know it isn’t an issue of will power. And my strong reaction to it has nothing to do with you or anything you have said or done. It’s because of that awful, yucky coworker I mentioned in a previous post, and because of that owner of Oxygen Magazine. (you know, Tosca Reno’s husband).

There are so many reasons why people struggle with working out regularly or eating healthy that to dismiss them as a lack of will power just makes me sad.

Planning a balanced diet takes training and practice.

Cook meals and coordinating a weeks worth of food so that you still have time to do other things is a learned skill and takes practice and training.

It wasn’t so long ago that if I had a really bad day at work, I would stop at a burger king on the way home and get a hamburger and coke. Then I would throw out the evidence in the dumpster behind the apartment building so my husband wouldn’t know.

I finally talked to him about it. And it was through talking to him that I realized a couple of things. One was I really, really need to have scheduled meals. And I need to keep fairly close to the schedule. I also realized that I need to snack or graze or what ever you call it if I get hungry between meals because otherwise I get so hungry that I eat a can of Pringles or get a Big Mac or something equally silly.

My emphatic bolding of stuff in the other post was meant to reassure you, not make you feel like you had done something wrong, and I am so sorry that it didn’t come across that way. Please forgive me.
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Jilly Bean,

I am so very sorry.
No need for an apology. None whatsoever.

I know that if you were to meet me you would think, “What does this crazy woman think she can tell me about good eating.”
Hey, don't be so sure. I try to not judge people. As an adult, I've weighed 80 lbs, I've weighed 200 lbs, and pretty much every incriment in between. I am hard on myself, but I truly try to eschew those negative thoughts when it comes to others. I met lots of Cathletes on the August road trip and no judgments, no competition. I think this is a good place to talk about stuff like this. We're here to support one another - please remember that! :)

I finally talked to him about it. And it was through talking to him that I realized a couple of things. One was I really, really need to have scheduled meals.
That's great! As someone who's struggled with practically every eating disorder there is, I know that those types of behaviors (like binge eating) thrive on secrecy. It took a lot of courage to talk with your husband about that stuff and I'm really impressed by that. I am the QUEEN of using others' trash cans for throwing out empty Little Debbie boxes. It needs to stop, I know; hopefully it soon will.

My emphatic bolding of stuff in the other post was meant to reassure you, not make you feel like you had done something wrong, and I am so sorry that it didn’t come across that way. Please forgive me.
No need to ask for forgiveness. I just felt like my erratic eating was letting you down. And while I don't wish shame and guilt or anything of the sort on you, it is somewhat of a comfort to know that I'm not the only one who acts and feels the way I do when it comes to eating. As the saying goes, 'it's a process, not a race.' Let's get through it together.

Thanks again for your kind words.


Shelshula - you've written some of the most sensible stuff I've ever seen on this forum! Thanks for sharing such great advice/common sense:).

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