Hi I am heather, and I've had a weight problem for the past 2 years and 5 months now.I've been struggling loosing weight.2 years and 5 months ago I was weighing 145 lb. Now I weigh 240lb .I am only 18 years old and my height is 5'3. I I don't have any energy and I'm tired all the time and I get depressed cause I am huge and I eat more and more and I keep gaining weight.I have horrible back pains and I don't feel good all the time.I got on this antidepressant pill called prozac so maybe that will help but it has only helped me to stop gaining weight but hasn't helped me loose it.please I need professional help I have the power to do it.I just need some advice.here's some of my questions that hopefully a professional will answer:
1)how many calories should I have per day? 2)How much exercise should I atleast have per day?
3) what are things I can do to avoid my unhealthy food temptations mostly sweets?
4) what are some ways to keep my mind occupied to help get those habbits off my mind?
5) what are the main foods I need to keep out of my diet per day?
I really would appriciate the help I can't afford to go to an expert or have a personal trainer I don't even have a DVD player.I really just want my old healthy energetic life back.
You sound like you are really suffering. All the symptoms that you are describing - from the weight gain (and all its consequences of back pain, low energy, depression and low self esteem) to the cravings to eat and eat... These all sound like you may have a food addiction. Many people are food addicts and don't even know it. They just know that they cant stop eating once they have started. Once they pick up the candy, or cake, or even a piece of fruit, they crave more — even if they are full.
Please look at the following questions, and see if these apply to you:
1. Have you ever wanted to stop eating and found you just couldn’t?
2. Do you think about food or your weight constantly?
3. Do you find yourself attempting one diet or food plan after another, with no lasting success?
4. Do you binge and then “get rid of the binge” through vomiting, exercise, laxatives, or other forms of purging?
5. Do you eat differently in private than you do in front of other people?
6. Has a doctor or family member ever approached you with concern about you're eating habits or weight?
7. Do you eat large quantities of food at one time (binge)?
8. Is your weight problem due to you're “nibbling” all day long?
9. Do you eat to escape from your feelings?
10. Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
11. Have you ever discarded food, only to retrieve and eat it later?
12. Do you eat in secret?
13. Do you fast or severely restrict your food intake?
14. Have you ever stolen other people’s food?
15. Have you ever hidden food to make sure you have “enough?”
16. Do you feel driven to exercise excessively to control your weight?
17. Do you obsessively calculate the calories you’ve burned against the calories you’ve eaten?
18. Do you frequently feel guilty or ashamed about what you’ve eaten?
19. Are you waiting for your life to begin “when you lose the weight?”
20. Do you feel hopeless about your relationship with food?
If you are a food addict, you may be happy to know that there is a solution. It is NOT about counting your calories or going hungry so that you can loose weight. The way to combat a food addiction is to work on the obsession to eat - and then the weight will come off without you're having to think about it. It is also NOT about exercising, though this is good for your physical and mental health. Exercise is not the main tool to help a food addict.
How to help yourself is to deal with the obsession to eat, to deal with the food temptations that you are struggling with. Once you have dealt with these, you will NOT need to find ways to keep your mind occupied from these cravings. So how to deal with the obsessions? You will need to identify the triggering foods - which you have identified as sweets. Sugar is probably the most addictive food substance there is, so you are not alone in this battle. Most of us struggle with sugar cravings at various points in our lives, but for food addicts, it is an all consuming daily struggle that we always loose if we keep eating sugar.
Probably the only way that you can deal with the cravings for sugar is to STOP eating sugar completely. And you will have to stop eating refined flours, like breads, pastas, potatoes; these are all metabolized to become sugar within minutes.
This may seem difficult to do at first. It is a 'one day at a time' venture. At first, you need to know that you will very likely feel withdrawal: this will feel like increased cravings, agitation, irritability, and you will probably find yourself giving in when you are hungry, angry, tired. These are the times that people relapse the most, as with any drug addiction.
The good news is that it only takes about three weeks for cravings to start to subside IF you stop eating junk food completely. Unless you sneak in a few treats here and there (like on a weekend or as a special treat)- this will serve to prolong the cravings indefinitely. If your addiction has advanced enough, even a small treat will be enough to make the cravings return even worse that before.
You might find that you can 'get away' with eating junk food once in a while - this really depends on how advanced your addiction has become. You are quite young, so you may find that you can have a snack. But, if you find that you simply keep relapsing back to your junk food, then you will have to stop completely. You can no longer 'cheat,' even once in a while.
In some cases, people find that their food addiction is so advanced, that despite all efforts, they keep relapsing. If you find this is the case, you may need to get more help than just stopping the foods. You may need to follow a special food addiction diet and get community or peer support. There are groups like Overeaters Anonymous or Food Addicts Anonymous for people who struggle with their food cravings. You can find some of those resources as well as dietary suggestions on my website: addictionsunplugged.com.
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