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Problem food. Cold Turkey or gradual?

I am trying to remove some problem foods in my diet, what are the pros and cons of going cold turkey or gradual? How did you manage to remove it? Any suggestions are really appreciated.

Wed. Sep 6, 2:49pm

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Are you able to just eat the foods very seldomly and control your portion size? I think that eliminating food completely from your diet will make it feel more like a "diet" and you may be less successful.
I love pizza and it's terrible for me so instead of a fattening kind I eat a lean cuisine pizza or a couple of pieces of thin crust from Papa Murphys. I don't feel like taking anything out of your diet all together is helpful at all.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006, 3:15 PM

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I agree....can you wean yourself away with healthier substitutes? My personal favorite is nachos. I make my own healthier version with baked chips, low fat cheese, fat free refried beans or black beans, and lots of veggies and salsa. Sure the baked chips and lowfat cheese aren't perfect for me....but it is a heck of a lot better than ordering 1000 calorie+ nachos at a restaurant.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006, 4:21 PM

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Other substitution ideas...if you feel like you need something sweet after dinner, replace it with fruit rather than a sweet. I love chocolate but did this and now crave fruit instead of chocolate after my meals. It took a couple of weeks but was well worth it.

I now have real sweets very rarely and only for something really special. I'd rather have a magnificent dessert at a restaurant once every of couple of months then waste calories eating doughnuts someone brings into the office. They don't taste good enough to make it worth it...a piece of fruit is just as good and you feel good after eating it, too!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006, 4:26 PM

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It depends on the food. If I really can't control my intake of it (potatoe chips for me) then I am better off quiting cold turkey, but if it's just something I like that is spectacularly high in calories/fat/sugar, then I will try to find a healthier substitute (I make a very healthy veggie pizza and veggie-laden burrito mix).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006, 6:07 PM

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What makes them a problem? If they are unhealthy in your opinion, try moving toward a healthier alternative (less cheese on your pizza, for example). If you eat too much of them, try moderating your portion control (example - buy snack size bags of chips rather than jumbo bags, or buy a kiddie size ice cream at the shop rather than bringing home a gallon). Really try and enjoy the portion that you do it rather than scarf it down unconciously. If you go cold turkey, you may feel deprived and eat other things to try and substitute what you really want.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006, 6:07 PM

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OP here, I have a huge problem with peanut butter, I didn't realize it till I started eating the natural kind and still could not put the stuff down! Maybe I should just remove it completely that includes the other problem foods. I guess substitutions to me are like teasers. It just reminds me of what I could have had.
I guess I should just elimate them completely, because not matter how little I eat or substitute, it just snowballs.

Thursday, September 07, 2006, 8:26 AM

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I have a problem with peanutbutter too! I don't have any good answers but there are a couple things I've noticed about myself. If I make a sandwich or put it on a mini bagel, I'm much better about "stopping". If I sit there with crackers nearby, I can just keep spreading forever, on the next cracker and the next and the next . . !!! For me the natural or low sugar version would drastically curb this problem.

I also have a huge problem with sweets. I would not be able to have just a couple pieces of candy out of the bag; I would eat the entire bag! What I found out with that was it was easier to go cold turkey and avoid all candy/desserts for 2-3 weeks. Then, after that amount of time had passed, I was able to be more sensible and have just a serving. I still have to be extremely careful because the desire to binge is still there. It really is/was a kind of "addiction" for me. Good luck!

Thursday, September 07, 2006, 8:58 AM

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Anything in moderation is OK

I love peanut butter as well, but it's easier for me to have PB on toast or a PBJ sandwich for a meal -- which overall is not many calories for entire meal. I would limit having peanut butter as a snack as it is pretty high in calories, especially like another posted stated -- if you are spreading it on crackers or just eating it from the jar.

Anything is fine in moderation - which means a serving as part of your meal or once in awhile as a snack.

Thursday, September 07, 2006, 11:07 AM

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I totally disagree. Going cold turkey is the only way to progress. Just like quitting smoking, the 2 cigarettes a day don't work. Just quit.

Thursday, September 07, 2006, 11:26 AM

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since it is a food that you find you cannot put down once you start, it is better to go cold turkey. I had to do that with a few foods, I know what they are..if I eat one I need to eat 2...then I think about having more and feel guilty for even eating the 2nd one. Once I got the food (or the beverage) out of my system the cravings went away. For me it I takes about 3 days for the really strong urge to leave. Once the craving subsides I avoid it at all cost..even the aroma can bing it back but the longer I make it, the less I feel the *need* to have it. I can successful watch other people eat and drink many of the things I used to love without wanting a taste.

Thursday, September 07, 2006, 1:22 PM

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I disagree with the cold turkey, just like smoking for me..... let me put it this way I disagree with telling op one way will only work. Try something if it doesn't work try something else they only way you will fail is if you stop trying!

It took me numberous times to quit smoking the only way I was able to quit was I gradually got my habit down to 2 a day literally, and then none, and then one day at a time after that. I tried patches I tried pills, I tried cold turkey and nothing worked until I did it my way. Things are different for everybody. (I have been quit for 9.5 months!!!)

Thursday, September 07, 2006, 1:47 PM

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I used to have the same problem as the OP, couldn't get enough peanut butter. I tried everything. Even poured the oil out of the natural stuff, but still ended up eating the whole jar over the course of a day or two. (mostly just by itself) I kept telling myself, just this last time and then no more. For me, it had to be a cold turkey thing. I refused to buy it anymore. My goal was to get past 2 weeks without eating it, and then after a month or so, my cravings for it were minimal. I actually can have it in the house now and it doesn't "call out to me" although I'm careful to not to put spoon to jar because I don't want to get those intense cravings again.

I had to go cold turkey for a while to get ride of "my addiction".

I sympathise with you, good luck

Thursday, September 07, 2006, 4:14 PM

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OP here,
I think cold turkey is the way to go. Cigarettes and Peanut butter are two different things. Cigarettes will kill you. A friend suggested I shoud just eliminate it. And maybe have some months from now, believe I have had my fill. And only introduce it if I am around people. Who eats an entire jar of peanut butter in front of witnesses? LOL

Friday, September 08, 2006, 10:22 AM

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I measure the PB and eat 1 tablespoon at a time. I have some every day. I also picked up some "Better Than Peanut Butter" at Trader Joe's which has half the calories. This has worked for me very well, though it may not work for you.

Friday, September 08, 2006, 10:50 AM

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quit sugar cold turkey

definitely the way to go. This way you'll know how badly you miss it. I am trying right now and it is really hard. I am finding that I consume less if my baseline is zero, rather than allowing myself 8 packets with my coffee for example.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 5:52 PM

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I can't do moderation. It works better for me to go cold turkey.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 6:35 PM

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Cold turkey is the only way to go. If there is something I love I can't stop at a reasonable amount. I want it ALL!

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 7:42 PM

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Please OP don't think that if you can't quit cold turkey that you're a failure! The last few posts make it sound like that's the only way to do it, and maybe it works for them, but it may not for you. I find that for me it depends on the food - some things I need to just not eat at all, and others I need to eat in moderation otherwise I feel deprived and go binging. Find a solution that works for YOU!

Friday, November 16, 2007, 9:25 AM

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I n ever really took anything out of my diet. I just cut back my portions of the food, try to make it healthier, and I mix up my food so I am not eating the same thing ever day.

Friday, November 16, 2007, 10:00 AM

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I think you have to find what works for you; some people find that allowing themselves a small portion of something they like will make their diet feel less like a chore; for others, once they start they can't stop, so quitting entirely is the way to go.

In my experience, I've found with addictive foods like candy and chocolate, if I reach the point where I'm craving them daily, cold turkey for a few days works best. After a day or 2, I stop missing them. And then I can reintroduce them in moderation. It probably varies from food to food, and from person to person.

Friday, November 16, 2007, 10:18 AM

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I have done both.
I pretty much gave up everything that I know I can't control myself with. I have found foods that I can substitue and make low or almost no fat and I love the food I eat. I do however allow myself one day a month to eat whatever I want. The question is then will that trigger you into a binge that you can't get out of.
I have never been able to go off for one day and then right back on. This time I have had no problem. Maybe it depends where you are in your thinking.
Anyway you have to do what works for you.
I personally like counting calories, you can have what you want for them..
Also I agree with those that are talking about fruit. I used to crave chips and sweets but after a few weeks I think for me it was 7 or so I no longer crave them but fruit instead. And I never craved fruit. I think if you can get past it, the first few weeks, your desires change. Your body starts wanting what is good for it. It is amazing.
And it is so worth it when you see the outcome.

Friday, November 16, 2007, 9:39 PM

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