What if eating with other people is the problem?

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mackinac19
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What if eating with other people is the problem?

Post by mackinac19 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:56 am

Have any of you ever found that it's harder to control your eating if you eat with other people? I notice that if I eat with others I almost automatically eat more. When I'm at a table with friends or family I want to keep eating as long as I see others still eating (or there is more food in dishes on the table). The times I eat alone - maybe watching a TV show on my computer, or sitting at my desk at work - I finish what I've served myself and I'm not tempted to go get any more food.

I'm not suggesting that we should avoid eating with others, but I do think it is interesting to consider how social contexts can affect our intake of food.

Thoughts?

mackinac19
High wt: 207
Now: trying to maintain at 145 or under

wosnes
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Post by wosnes » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:41 am

Initially I wrote that I hadn't noticed this, but I have. My suggestion would be to eat slowly. It might serve two purposes: 1) you would be finishing at the same time as the others and 2) you might eat even less because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to send the signal that you've had enough food. Also, if this is at your home, don't put serving bowls on the table.

If it's an S day, enjoy yourself!
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

finallyfull
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Post by finallyfull » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:06 pm

I have done better since really working on eating slowly. When I'm with other people I tend to speed up -- I'm not sure why. But it serves as an incentive to try not to look like I'm stuffing myself. It feels weird, but I'm starting to get the hang of not hoovering up my plate. I definitely enjoy food more when I stop to to taste it.

A good rule I'm trying to adopt -- not to put another bite on my fork if I have one in my mouth. Surprisingly hard!

noni
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Post by noni » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:04 pm

If I'm eating with a person that causes me some stress, I notice I dip into the chips and snack foods more.

Shortformyweight
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Post by Shortformyweight » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:32 pm

I'm the opposite. I always eat less when I eat with others. Probably because I talk so much!

I just read something today about a fork that vibrates if you are eating too quickly. Will have to google it.

leafy_greens
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Post by leafy_greens » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:05 pm

I eat more when I'm alone.

Thalia
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Post by Thalia » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:02 pm

If you fill your plate and don't go back for seconds, you can't really eat more than that plateful. Maybe try to eat a little more slowly, interspersed with talking, sipping water, etc.? Being the first one finished can be awkward and boring ...

Humans are social eaters by nature -- I don't think there's any culture where people generally eat alone except, increasingly, ours.

Anonymous-Coward
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Post by Anonymous-Coward » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:32 pm

leafy_greens wrote:I eat more when I'm alone.
Me too.. When, in the past, I'd try 'intuitive' eating; I'd find I always conveniently felt 'hungry' whenever the last person had left the house, and I was alone. :lol:
No s combats this type of problem so well.

saracatherine
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Post by saracatherine » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:25 pm

While I used to be an alone-time overeater, now I totally eat more when eating socially. Not so much if it's just me and husband at home, but out or when entertaining or at someone else's house...anything that feels celebratory. I have a lot of eating out in my life and job and every single meal with friends or at restaurants can't be celebratory. Add in drinks, and resolve plummets. I really want to nail down some No-S while eating out skills.

oolala53
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Post by oolala53 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:01 pm

Brian Wansink found that people tend to eat more when others do, so you are not alone.

However, Thalia noted the one-plate rule. You have to find a way to stick with that on weekday restaurant visits.

It takes more discipline to stick to your moderate guns all the time. It will likely take awhile to get better at social eating on S days. We live in a culture of eating excess. Silently "think French" during social events. Overeating is not a way of enjoying food. Savoring moderate amounts with all the senses possible, as well as verbally, is. "Chew the fat;" don't swallow it.

Alternately, prepare to direct the conversation to interesting ideas. Feast on the company and atmosphere, not the food.

Months of N days will help, too, as it will get progressively more unpleasant to overeat. Let the memory of the discomfort influence your eating behavior before you get full. But don't be in a hurry to force that one on yourself.
Count plates, not calories. 10 years "during"
Age 67
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
1/12-26.8
3/13-24.9 +/- 8-lb. 3 yrs
9/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
3/18 22.2
2 yrs flux
6/21 22

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

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mackinac19
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Post by mackinac19 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:38 am

Very interesting responses - thank you! I feel sort of guilty because if I am honest, I actually prefer to eat alone at this point. I enjoy watching a Netflix episode on my computer while I have a meal - and not being tempted to eat more because of all the 'extra' food around me. I don't think I'm becoming anti-social, as I'm around people every day in many contexts. But I do like EATING alone (most of the time, anyway).

mackinac19
High wt: 207
Now: trying to maintain at 145 or under

oolala53
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Location: San Diego, CA USA

Post by oolala53 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:20 pm

Parts of my answer now don't really fit you, do they? You can't get to 145/ BMI 22 without having felt what its like NOT to be stuffed , so you do have that touchstone. I know on Spark on the maintenance team I observe, most of the women there eat some small "treat," they call it, every day. Of course, they know how many calories are in it and in their whole day. But most of them do it. Yet, it's the habit that seems to keep people bingeing on the binge free team I'm also on.

If I may ask, how long have you been at your present weight and what was the process to get there? Stages of loss or a straight line down?
Count plates, not calories. 10 years "during"
Age 67
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
1/12-26.8
3/13-24.9 +/- 8-lb. 3 yrs
9/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
3/18 22.2
2 yrs flux
6/21 22

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

saracatherine
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:04 pm

Post by saracatherine » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:24 pm

mackinac19 wrote:Very interesting responses - thank you! I feel sort of guilty because if I am honest, I actually prefer to eat alone at this point. I enjoy watching a Netflix episode on my computer while I have a meal - and not being tempted to eat more because of all the 'extra' food around me. I don't think I'm becoming anti-social, as I'm around people every day in many contexts. But I do like EATING alone (most of the time, anyway).

mackinac19
Ditto. I just feel more in control without all the environmental extras.

I like what you said, oolala, about the French, etc.

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mackinac19
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Location: Midwest

Post by mackinac19 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:52 am

In response to your question, Oolala, I lost the biggest chunk of my weight more than a decade ago. Since then I haven't bounced up more than 10 or 20 pounds at a time - and I've always been able to go back down. For example, a couple of years ago I was up to the mid-160s, but, by curtailing my mindless evening eating, I got back down to where I am now (145). So I seem to have periods of crappy control followed by stretches in which I do pretty well at what I'd probably call 'intuitive eating.' I liked the sound of No S when I read about it because it seemed so sensible and reasonable. But I've never been able to follow the 'No Sweets' part of the plan. I've also never been able to get my evening eating completely under control. As I've said, I have periods during which I do well, and periods during which I do - less well. I thought No S might be my long-term 'solution' but maybe not (if I can't stick to it)!

mackinac19
High wt: 207
Now: trying to maintain at 145 or under

leafy_greens
Posts: 426
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:18 pm

Post by leafy_greens » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:25 pm

mackinac19 wrote:In response to your question, Oolala, I lost the biggest chunk of my weight more than a decade ago. Since then I haven't bounced up more than 10 or 20 pounds at a time - and I've always been able to go back down. For example, a couple of years ago I was up to the mid-160s, but, by curtailing my mindless evening eating, I got back down to where I am now (145). So I seem to have periods of crappy control followed by stretches in which I do pretty well at what I'd probably call 'intuitive eating.' I liked the sound of No S when I read about it because it seemed so sensible and reasonable. But I've never been able to follow the 'No Sweets' part of the plan. I've also never been able to get my evening eating completely under control. As I've said, I have periods during which I do well, and periods during which I do - less well. I thought No S might be my long-term 'solution' but maybe not (if I can't stick to it)!

mackinac19
I have the exact same problems. I struggle everyday with avoiding the sweets. But I'm doing it, and if I can, you can. Three years ago when I did No S for only one month, giving up sweets for that one month (even though I had them on weekends) was so painful that it scared me from doing No S for three years. Sounds ridiculous, but that's part of the addict behavior. At the time no one on the forum could convince me that the benefits of No S was worth not eating sweets for five days. I'm now sick of the binging and have done No S for 10 weeks (my longest stretch yet.) This length of time was unimaginable to me the past three years when I could not go more than one day without sweets. You will figure it out in your own time that No S is the best way to live. Hopefully everyone's testimonials will sink in over time and you will realize it too. You can do this.

oolala53
Posts: 9789
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:46 am
Location: San Diego, CA USA

Post by oolala53 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:52 pm

I know there are slim people with eating issues, but really, if you can basically maintain around 145/150, is your eating really a problem? I know back when I was around the same weight (and much shorter than you!), I was actually maintaining, but I was so sure that I was fat that I thought I should be eating less, then I would freak and eat more, etc.

Then again, if it bothers you that you are "attached" to the sweets, it would likely bring you some peace to surrender to the order of No S. The cure for disorder is compassionate order. That's what I think No S is.
Count plates, not calories. 10 years "during"
Age 67
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
1/12-26.8
3/13-24.9 +/- 8-lb. 3 yrs
9/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
3/18 22.2
2 yrs flux
6/21 22

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

Lady Crimson
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: What if eating with other people is the problem?

Post by Lady Crimson » Sun May 19, 2013 2:08 pm

mackinac19 wrote:Have any of you ever found that it's harder to control your eating if you eat with other people? I notice that if I eat with others I almost automatically eat more. When I'm at a table with friends or family I want to keep eating as long as I see others still eating (or there is more food in dishes on the table). The times I eat alone - maybe watching a TV show on my computer, or sitting at my desk at work - I finish what I've served myself and I'm not tempted to go get any more food.

I'm not suggesting that we should avoid eating with others, but I do think it is interesting to consider how social contexts can affect our intake of food.

Thoughts?

mackinac19
If I remember correctly, French Women Don't Get Fat" had some tips on this. If you talk between bites and put your folk down between bites you will slow down. You can also take smaller bites and put your folk down between bites.

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