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  • Food addiction and getting help
  • geordiemick00
    Free Member

    Anyone had any help for food addiction?

    (Not) asking for a friend…

    Weighed in this morning at 21st 2lbs.

    I’ve had weight issues for realistically 15 years, but having a stack of hobbies that burned lots of calories meant I probably kept myself from tipping the scales and ending up at this point.

    I’m 6’1′ and slim, I’m 16 stone, so I’m way, way overweight but built like a beer drinker, just have the gut going on.

    Pre lockdown I was eating loads of chocolate, spam and egg butties and litre of coke zero per day. Dropped the fizzy pop last year as I was getting depression issues and it really felt like the moods swings came with the drinking and it made me crave crap.

    All my hobbies stopped during lockdown and eating habits worsened. In April 2021 I started calorie deficit, which for a while was working, shed about a stone then fell off the wagon. I had a knee issue which kept me from walking for months and once that cleared up I was back to square one.

    I’ve fallen out of love with cycling, just CBA with the cold anymore. I’m now at the point where my fitness is pants and my urge to eat and eat and a bit more has never been higher.

    It struck me the other day that I actually never feel hungry when I eat, it’s like a boredom crave.

    I’ve had years of advice, I know EXACTLY what I need to do to get the weight down, but by mid day I’m eating biscuits and eating chocolate the minute I’m out the house, nipping into shops for choccy bars.

    I now loathe how I look, feel like crap most of the time and only feel happy when I’m eating junk.

    I plan for meals, get the shopping in then fail to cook the meals, get something more convenient and at the end of the week bin the fresh food I bought with good intentions.

    My O/h has suggested getting appetite blockers, but I’m really wanting to do it the hard way and address why I eat this way, but just don’t even know how to unravel this mess.

    Still have my sense of humour so any ‘chin up fatty’ comments won’t be offensive.

    Free Member

    Chins up?

    in all seriousness though… Doctor – wellbeing service – councellor to discuss the issues then try and build up a routine around food.

    I’m not in the same situation as you but food did briefly come up in my recent experience with counsellors, i have a guide on techniques to help (I’m quite small but quite going to the shop and buying a shed load of junk and just crammiing it in) I generally eat healthily out of that thought.

    Have you considered something like go fresh? I always eat/cook healthier when i have some inspiration.

    But first and foremost… doctors and push for counselling, or even check if you can self refer in your NHS area. Appetite supressors… are they the ones that give dribbly arse syndrome? I’d rather starve than have constantly shitey kecks

    Free Member

    Revero | Real People Real Results

    Full Member

    Sugar is like nicotine. You have an addiction you need to kick just like a smoker would.

    I know some of what you list isn’t sweet, but sugar and simple carbs make you crave food generally. If you can cut out sugar then you will start to not want sugar any more and your appetite might stabilise. I’ve done it before, for a period, and gone back to it again. Being addicted to food is like being an alcoholic that has to live in a pub all the time. Our entire society is absolutely saturated with junk food and treats, you cannot escape it.

    Free Member

    This is the bit i based my comments on. Sounds like you know the theory but need to find how to deal with the underlying issue.

    but I’m really wanting to do it the hard way and address why I eat this way, but just don’t even know how to unravel this mess.

    Can you just stuff your pockets with fruit and other healthyish stuff to put of chocolate bars? I find biltong pretty good.

    Also if you have fallen out of love with cycling, anythign else you like to do? I went swimming this morning and it was great… splash was a bit bigger than the last time i went though!

    Free Member

    I find logging everything in My Fitness Pal helps you understand how many calories you’re eating, where they come from, and having to type it in (even though it’s on your phone and private) makes you accountable somehow?

    It is also a great tool for losing weight. If I fully commit to using it along with wearing a linked fitness watch every day I can absolutely tan the weight off me – 6kg last month.
    If I just “eyeball it” when I try to lose weight my weight stays the same.

    You do probably need to speak to a doctor/counsellor/therapist though.

    Full Member

    I’ll be honest, I initially wanted to ask what your BIL thought about fronting some calories.

    But that’s one of the bravest posts I’ve read on here. I’m sorry I’ve got nothing useful to add, but best of luck to you and I hope that some helpful suggestions come your way.

    Actually, I will add my worthless opinion…

    I’ve had years of advice, I know EXACTLY what I need to do to get the weight down, but by mid day I’m eating biscuits and eating chocolate the minute I’m out the house, nipping into shops for choccy bars.

    It sounds like you need a routine, like we all do. Habits are hard to break, but also surprisingly easy to form – so maybe think of it that way.

    Cycling? Cold and expensive? Yup.

    Swimming? Quick, easy, cheap and you can be as fast or slow as you like. More you exercise, more you’re motivated not to reach for the hob-nobs. Half an hour a day. Tops.

    Walking? Piss easy. Something as simple as going out for a walk for an hour a day is the start, but whatever it is find a routine is my experience. The exercise will not only have calorie burning benefits, but more importantly kickstart the mental health and motivational ones – you won’t want to undo the benefits of that walk/swim/skipping/chair-lifting/MMA fight you just did – it’s like a positive domino effect, hopefully, and then on Friday you can just eat as much mystery meat and bonbonbons as you want 🙂

    Full Member

    How’re you feeling general mood wise OP? Being down, even mild depression, definitely doesn’t help with motivation or eating right. Quitting shit food is really hard so more power to you for trying. One day at a time and try to find something you love (or can tolerate) that also happens to be exercise.

    Free Member

    You know you’re capable of reaching whatever weight Goal you might have. You’ve already got evidence of losing weight. Don’t beat yourself up if you have the odd treat. Maybe only indulge in weekends.

    As others say sugar is addictive. If you can identify the usual sources and how/when you go there then you might be able to consciously choose to go there less. If you like snacking then I like dry nuts and fruit mix just to meet my need of stuffing my face with something vaguely sweet.

    Good luck.

    Free Member

    Had a similar issue last year, I joined a boot camp thing with a 6 week challenge. Really gave some motivation and a workout 3x a week with a target and visible progression. Logged everything in my fitness pal. Had quick results, stopped eating junk and felt great.

    Due to lockdowns, job and kids etc and getting bored with it I ended giving it up, but if I had managed to transition into a more sport specific training (climbing) I’d have been able to keep going I think.

    Still upped my climbing grade by 2 last year but starting again now.

    Free Member

    Checking in, I am similar. Like you I know what I need to do but I end up getting urges to stuff my face with crap that feel almost impossible to ignore.

    Free Member

    You sound like you know what you want to do. Use this thread to report back – seeing your actions in words will help monitor them and you can get encouragement from people with experience and we are all on your side. As has been said, once you break the cycle and start exercising more you will be less inclined to eat the sugary etc stuff.

    Good luck

    Free Member

    Yup you’re not alone. I struggle with the eating side and then overdoing it exercise to try to compensate. It’s not fun.

    It’s really worth looking at some counselling/CBT type therapy despite the cost.

    Free Member

    Can’t help much on the food side as I’m also hopelessly addicted to sugar, eating biscuits and chocolate everyday. Also tall, skinny with a beer gut.

    On the exercise front though, have you tried another outdoor pursuit? I also CBA with cycling a lot of the time due to the cold, with constant cold hands and feet. However, I have been hiking/running loads during lockdown and don’t suffer the cold due to moving my lanky limbs a lot more.

    Free Member

    I eat when I’m bored too. If I’m in the house with nothing to do, I’ll raid the fridge. So I try not to be bored.

    If I’m out riding or whatever after work, it’s easy as I’m nowhere near the fridge (obviously).

    If I’m at home, I’ll eat if I’m sat down, so as long as I’m tinkering in the garage, or in the garden, or doing some housework, or anything at all really, even cooking, I don’t seem to start snacking.

    Whatever it is I’m doing, by the time I sit down again, that’s a couple of hours of no boredom snacking gone.

    Full Member

    What helped me was going to the gym before work, everyday.
    The key is not to decide whether you would go or not, but to go as you would go to work. My gum is opposite work so that helped.
    I do yoga, stretches abs then weights. The weights give you a endorphins hit, build muscle which help you burn fat, and the arms and shoulders look good so you start to feel good about appearance.
    My workouts are short, I’m in there for half an hour, but I don’t feel like breakfast after and can go to lunch.

    Full Member

    I don’t really have anything insightful to add. But one thing I’ve observed recently after using Exeter University’s Food Trainer App (they’re conducting research and you can be part of the data.

    The 3 food stuffs I’d selected as wanting to give up, so far I have. I honestly thought it’d be a load of old bllx, maybe it is, might just be a coincidence. I’m able to look at chocolate in the CoOp and not get an immediate craving to savage the barstad in a distinctly unseemly frenzy.

    Some stuff online https://www.exeter.ac.uk/research/foodt/

    Full Member


    In case you hadn’t heard, the appetite suppressors are now (in theory, at least) a practical and standard NHS treatment for you. I take any help from any direction when I get in a hole. Don’t let perfection get in the way of good enough, either. If something moves you in the right direction, use it, even if it isn’t the whole solution or the one you want. Good luck, make a start, ignore bumps along the way and do your best.

    Free Member

    Another boredom eater here.

    I don’t have any answers but hope you find something that works!

    Full Member

    I’ve no real advice to give, but Like @bearnecessites I think writing that and posting it is incredibly brave. I think if you’ve balls to do that, you’d be ale to succeed in anything you put your mind to.

    Full Member

    A friend of mine is now half the man he was, it’s been really really impressive. He was really big before – the level where it’s hard to actually exercise, and we were quite worried about him. Now he’s a fairly normal size and doing lots of walking. He tweeted this thread about how he’d done it, maybe it might help you. https://twitter.com/gargarin/status/1345319141276835840?s=21

    Free Member

    I’ve fallen out of love with cycling, just CBA with the cold anymore.

    Committ yourself to go on rides with mates/club. As someone who lacks the self-discipline and motivation to do all the necessary preparations to go on a ride by myself on a bitterly cold morning, what invariably gets my arse out of the front door is a commitment I have made to others.

    Getting back on your bike would obviously help with fitness/weight/low mood cycle so whatever else you try or do I would definitely also focus.on that.

    You are very unlikely to regret going on a bike ride however unattractive the idea might appear beforehand.

    Free Member

    I’m 6’1′ and slim, I’m 16 stone,

    Think yourself lucky. I’m 5’6″ & WAS over 14 stone last August. Didn’t feel too bad on the bike but accidently saw myself in a mirror & thought, ‘Hmmmm’.
    Really had to put my mindset head on, went on a lower carb diet. Not quite keto but cut out beer, bread, potatoes & derivatives, rice, refined sugar & anything else over about 10/15% carbs. Oh, & moved more. Even a quick 2-3 mile walk if the weather was bike unfriendly.
    The beauty was I was eating loads of stuff I love. Tinned fish, chicken, ham, corn dog, PORK SCRATCHINGS & am currently munching on anchovies & olives.
    I’ve lost around 16lbs (local bike shops) without being hungry.
    It’s really mind over matter.

    Full Member

    Genuinely well done for realising you’ve got an issue. I think counselling might be a big help but there’s usually a long wait through the NHS. You might find someone suitable and local on the link below, you’ll be paying around £50 a session. Which’ll mean less money for treats! 🙂


    I’m 6′ and weighed in at 18 stone 9 in June 2020. I was 51 at the time. I now weigh 13 and a half stone. A lifetime of bad eating and a poor relationship with food was the cause.

    I didn’t have counselling for food stuff but it would have probably helped. I upped my excercise by walking – initially through the first lockdown with the nice weather and then just kept it up for the rest of the year and managed to lose just over a stone without modifying my eating habits. After Xmas I knew I was doing OK but needed to do something else to lose more and signed up with the Nutracheck app. It works in the same way as Myfitnesspal, you record everything you eat and it links to a smart watch and records your exercise. You have a calorie target to keep underneath every day and as a big unit it starts you out with loadsa calories, it’s not too difficult at first. Cost me about £25 for the year.

    I lost the balance of the weight by sticking to the suggested calorie limit every day. The habits I changed have stuck with me now, I don’t use the app anymore but I do eat the same sort of things. A big difference for me was weighing breakfast cereal – I still do that now – and grabbing packets of flavoured chicken for lunch when I’m at work rather than a sammich / pastie / whatever. Both of those changes never make me feel like I’m short changing myself. Breakfast is probably about 250 calories including milk and coffee, lunch is probably the same. Without weighing my cereal I’d easily have twice as many calories and picking up a meal deal for lunch would be another double calorie fest – so I’m usually going home for dinner having consumed around 500 calories instead of about 1,200 in the old days. Means that I don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner. I’m still weighing myself every week to reassure myself that I’m not slipping back to my old ways. Back in the day I’d never jump on the scales, could never have imagined being less than 15 stone even. So I’ve gone from XXL t shirts to L, 38 inch jeans to 32s. And if I can do it, I know anyone can – so keep plugging away, keep weighing yourself, record what you’re eating even if it’s a load of terrible shite and talk to someone 🙂

    Full Member

    Thinking of sugar as an addictive substance – have you considered reading Alan Carr’s ‘Easy Way to quit sugar’?

    Just suggesting it as when MrsDoris was trying to quit cigs, she saw ‘The Easy Way To Quit Smoking For Ladies’ in a charity shop. She HATES self help stuff, and especially things targeted to women in that condescending way. But it was 50p, so she bought it anyway. And was totally converted – stopped smoking a week later and hasn’t had a cig since. Said it’s really good for making you think and be conscious of what you’re doing any why – not just giving in to impulses for no reason.

    Full Member

    If it’s ongoing and you can’t crack it alone try getting some help. As posted above there’s a list of BACP physiotherapists, some specialise in eating issues (my OH does). You’ve made the first step my acknowledging the issue, well done on that front. You might only need a couple of sessions.

    Free Member

    You might be able to get on a weight-loss programme via your local authority / GP.

    I’ve been worked on these programmes and the single most-important point is recognising and dealing with the emotional side of eating.

    Yes calorie counting is a good thing, and exercise, and getting daylight (in the morning if possible) and healthy eating – but none of that really works without addressing the emotional side.

    I’ve written about this at length and I still struggle myself, but just about manage to out-train my appetite.

    Good luck.

    Full Member

    Checking in, I am similar. Like you I know what I need to do but I end up getting urges to stuff my face with crap that feel almost impossible to ignore.

    Incredibly brave post. I have similar issues with food, though maybe a bit better on the exercise.

    I hope you find a solution that works for you, and I’d be interested to know what it is if you find it.

    Full Member

    I eat like a pig… sometimes I am good and sometimes I cant stop myself

    I am at 86kg’s/5’11” but I ride tuns, like 800km this month.

    I make myself go out in all sorts of weather, sometimes I love it and other times I hate it. G0d knows what I will do when I am really old and cant ride. I am doomed!

    I eat 80/20 really healthy/eat crap like a big fat pig.. If I didnt I would be 80kg’s but cant help myself when tired etc

    Full Member

    It’s hard.

    I’ve taken to just not buying certain foods at all so as not to have them in the house.

    With the cycling thing… I’ve taken to wearing FAR TOO MUCH when I go out in winter now. Properly wrapped up enough to keep warm even if not exercising. Feeling snug and wrapped, if perhaps too hot, wins over cold and struggling.

    Full Member

    As others have said, it’s a brave post but it’s clearly something you want to change, so first of all well done for telling the STW collective and putting it out there.

    Seeing a doctor to check for other issues would be sensible. I haven’t been in that position exactly, so I would go with other’s judgement. However in late 2018 I realised I was three stone overweight and needed to do something about it, which started with reducing carbs intake and just trying to be more healthy (I was working away a lot, living in hotels etc so a bit less of a “food addiction” although I was quiteable to overeat when I wanted). Covid kicked in and I was then based at home, so started to develop much more of a routine with daily walks and some woeful Zwifting efforts. But within a couple of months the changes were noticeable, I was losing weight and feeling better for it.

    There’s a British guy on YouTube who a number of years ago weighed over 300lbs and finally decided he had to get into shape. Many of his videos are interesting on that basis alone, but this recent one may be useful to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXeGmsYC6WI

    Don’t get fixated on your “weight” on the scales, measure consistently e.g. once a week or once every two weeks at the same time and you will see benefits over time. Don’t even worry if you have the odd day when you’re not being as healthy as you want to be, it’s the long term change you need to aim for and everyone has days when beer/biscuits/takeaways will be needed.

    Routine will be key, and yet you need to be flexible. Start with walking and make it a regular thing. Can you find a turbo trainer from someone and psosibly do 15-30 mins on that two or three times a week? It saves getting out and being wet and cold. I found Zwift to be massively helpful, but I know it won’t appeal to everyone and has a cost to entry too. If something gets too boring, mix it up a bit but keep trying to be active on a regular basis.

    Most of all, good luck!

    Free Member

    I make myself go out in all sorts of weather, sometimes I love it and other times I hate it. G0d knows what I will do when I am really old and cant ride. I am doomed!

    This is me too. I’m not overweight but only because I burn quite a lot of calories weekly (~8,000 exercise calories a week). If I don’t ride, I tend to eat a similar amount and I’d pile the weight on.

    Have a lot of sympathy for the OP. But no useful advice. Keep us posted.

    Free Member

    There are clearly a lot of us functioning snackaholics on here.

    Full Member

    I do find winter and p00h weather makes my eating far worse

    Free Member

    Guys, I let this run for a few days as I knew there would be a ton of useful advice and at least one reference to my BIL, which still cracks me up to this day. (if you know, you know..)

    I won’t reply to all the comments, there’s too many to reply to but a lot of them are suggesting things I’ve done, however, a lot of them are things I’ve done, made an impact and then stopped doing, example being using MFP/Nutracheck and lots of walking. This is probably the most success I’ve had in recent years and really should get back on it.

    I’m also appreciative of the links to Alan Carr’s no sugar diet and the Mark Lewis YouTube channel, both of them resonate with me and will be following up on them.

    I’ve spent a few days really drilling down on my life and it’s not a pretty picture, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a functioning failure, yes, you read that right. I have traits and parts of my personality I really don’t like. I have moments where I could probably tick some sort of depression tick list, but I never feel sad, however, my behaviour in the last ten years on many fronts has been super irrational.

    I’ve had super unstable long term relationships, loads of jobs, grief that 4 years later I don’t even acknowledge and a very addictive personality. I’ve also come to the conclusion that at the age of 47, my diet is one of many things I need to sort out. I am a very popular guy, lots of friends, real good mates who have my back and helped me through some deep financial hardship and after having a few days deep in thought, I really think I’ve got an invisible back pack full of issues that have never really been addressed.

    I seem to function well, £50k a year jobs and deliver good results for my employers, but always end up being sacked because my face doesn’t fit in due course, which is what happened mid 2020, it was a total kick in the knackers as I loved the job, got on well with all my peers, brought home £5m of business i was targeted and was very good at the job.

    I’m starting to ponder if I have ADHD or Dunning Kruger Syndrome.

    In the last 18 months I’ve been the broad shoulders for my partners 10 year old, who’s got mega behavioural issues due to the relationship she has with her own father, who is inconsistent and aggressive and this weekend went missing, found 300 miles away from home by the police. His dealings with her create a whole load of stress for us all and I relate to her as well as her dad due to my own daughter.

    I have a 22 year old Daughter of my own back up home in North East who came back into my life after 7 years, I saw her for 14 years and then told to do one by her mum. She’s struggling big time and in the 6 months she’s been on the scene, I’ve given her thousands and drained myself emotionally trying to referee the bad relationship she has with her mum.

    I think my food relationship is solely down to low esteem/energy and being damn lazy, I’m too busy sorting out everyone else’s issues as well as trying to function at a high level and NEVER addressing my own underlying issues and past.

    Even typing this out to a load of strangers gives me some sort of peace of mind, that there are others with the same issues and a great community like this who have handled this topic sensitively. I thank you all.

    Off to the gym….

    Full Member

    Even typing this out to a load of strangers gives me some sort of peace of mind

    Which is great to hear.

    Doing a lot of soul searching myself and I think a few of us will resonate with aspects of what you’ve described.

    Full Member

    I’m a functioning failure

    Mate you are not alone, same here. I could recount serious failures, but there are too many, so I’ll just say that a colleague ten years younger than me has just been promoted to two bands higher than me, a very senior role, and is getting all the good work I want to do.

    Also re the gym, make sure you are doing something you enjoy. Slogging away on a treadmill isn’t fun, and if you make yourself do exercise that isn’t fun then it’s just going to be hard and you set yourself up for failure. Lifting weights is much more interesting, for me, but it did make me rather hungry. So find something you ejoy.

    Full Member

    Functioning Failures Anonymous🙋‍♂️

    Full Member

    Why d’you think we are all on here? My colleague isn’t pissing about on the internet, he’s working hard.

    Full Member

    I’m too busy sorting out everyone else’s issues as well as trying to function at a high level and NEVER addressing my own underlying issues and past.

    I’ve said this several times now but, once more with feeling,

    It’s great that you want to help people. But if you fall over, you’re no use to anyone else.

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