Graze Much?

Happy Cows!
Happy Cows!
I always thought it was mindless eating, or emotional eating … but now I’m more convinced than ever that I’m just a grazer.

I seem to always have something in my mouth … or be talking. An oral fixation, if you will. My mouth is always moving, always doing something.

This isn’t new. Long before my disordered eating days — in middle school and into high school — my nickname was “Motormouth Melissa.”

In fact, I talked so much back then that my friends teased me about a ten-second rule … where I was supposed to think ten seconds before speaking. (Funny how that’s what I’m learning in therapy: to think before I speak!)

And I chewed a lot of ice and gum.

I still talk a lot. And I’m rarely without water. I chew sugar-free gum. Have diet soda on hand (when not banning Diet Coke, that is!).

I’m always noshing on something. I reach in the fridge for grapes. Take two mini pretzels. A cluster of Kashi cereal (two, three times). A lick of the ice cream cone I’m about to hand to my husband.

Of course I journal all the caloric BLTs (bites/licks/tastes), but it’s still grazing … unnecessarily, I’m like a cow, eating all day long. Little tastes here and there. Calories (healthy or not) that I simply don’t need.

My goal today is simple: defined meals, defined snacks. Sticking to a menu plan, and if I stray — stray for a good cause.

This also includes making each meal an experience and, taking from blog-reader Cathy’s favorite book, Why French Women Don’t Get Fat, only eating when seated.

Wish me luck!

PS–36 days chew-and-spit free now … or is it more?! And I was candy-corn free yesterday.

How about you? Are you a grazer?

10 thoughts on “Graze Much?

  1. YES! Always have been, always will be. πŸ™‚ I chew gum like it’s my job (probably 2-3 packs of sugarfree gum a day), I ALWAYS have a drink in my hand (water or diet coke), and I love grabbing a handful of pretzels or cereal all day long. It’s something I’m always working on…what has helped is tracking my calories (a dangerous behavior for me, but not if I don’t let it get too out of control) to see just HOW much those snacks add up. I just don’t realize how a nibble here and there can add up to an extra 200-300 calories – I get so caught up!

    Congrats on 36 days!! AND on a candy corn free day. πŸ™‚ The GOOD thing, I guess, is that candy corn won’t be around too much longer!

  2. So glad I am not the only grazer. Note: I don’t consider grazing “disordered eating” — I just wish I didn’t do it!!!

    And thank you πŸ™‚

  3. honestly, no matter how exact I measure and count my BLTs, they always show up weigh wise. either the hint of a taste hasn’t satiated me and I need more, or it sets me off for a binge.

    I have a friend who just says NO to BLTs when she diets. it helps her feel more in control. I find when I practice that, I do much better. because I KNOW I’m in control.

    I find instead of just sampling the dessert in the form of a bite, I am more satisfied if I save my pts for the whole thing. then I’m set for the next few days and don’t need any sugar fixes.

    be wary of grazing. it usually is done out of boredom. indulge one of your other hobbies to avoid it? I find it never leads to a healthy diet.

    Also, they say it’s good for you stomach not to have anything in it for period of time during the day. I find my digestion works ALOT better when I let myself get hungry after lunch and just keep that mouth free of anything but water til dinner. it won’t kill me and usually resets my stomach and my hunger queues.

  4. Oh I don’t know … they might show up, they might not. It could be a mental thing. If you weigh/measure the BLTs (9 mini pretzels being 1 pt) it’s one thing but sometimes I don’t measure my Chex mix and think it’s been 1 serving and it’s been 2. Times like that, yes, I’d expect to gain.

    I think you’re on to something with having dessert.

    Oh I’m aware it’s related to boredom. Sometimes I even tell myself, you’re not hungry, you’re bored. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I guess the goal would be to have more days where it works. πŸ™‚

    And I don’t snack usually between lunch and dinner. It’s rare when I do — last night I did, and it was an anomoly.

  5. I am too! Yes 2 to 3 packs of gum a day as well…and yes it causes my stomach to get all messed up so I don’t know whether I’m hungry or if its just my gum not being able to digest correctly. Ill snack, chew a piece, spit it out, snack a little more, and it becomes a binge 😦

  6. I am such a grazer. I have have a few rules about by grazing since I am so obsessive about logging calories. During the work day I will go through maybe 4-5 pices of sugar-free gum. Chewing gum for an hour burns 10 calories, and most of those have less than 5 calories, so I make myself chew for at least half an hour before spitting it out. Or if I eat a sugar free mint, which also usually have less than 5 calories, I will make myself chew sugar free gum for an hour to burn off the gum and mint. Then I don’t have to log the gum or mint in my fitday. lol… It’s insane but those are my rules.
    Every once in a while I will grab one soy crisp or light pringle from the pantry, and I always make sure to log that though. And I am always drinking water or diet soda. I just have to have my mouth occupied.

  7. Hi Melissa, oh man, 2-3 a day, that’s more than I’ve been able to handle — same problem, the sugar-free gum kills my tummy. I have been steering clear of it for a couple weeks now and I don’t miss it!

    Sheena, I think it’s good to have some rules if we’re grazers. Tonight, for example, I had 1/2 pt worth pretzels (4 mini pretzels) It hit the spot!!! I’m trying to eat 1 pt of a serving if I am going to eat it at all.

  8. I’m the ultimate grazer. I think I feel the need to have something in my mouth ALL the time. I’ve been doing a bit better lately because I’ve started to realize how many of my points are “misused” by mindless eating. Gum is also a big vice for me.

  9. Exactly — it’s all about point-worthiness. I did have candy corn today but I think I’m *almost* over it πŸ™‚ Good for you with that realization.

    And I cannot believe I forgot to mention here the biggest part of my oral fixation: Carmex lip balm and an arsenal of lip glosses!!!

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