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Emotional Eating Borderline/T2 on Keto diet

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by RosB, Dec 31, 2021.

  1. RosB

    RosB · Active Member

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    Need help for hubby again.

    He's been diagnosed with depression (medicated for more than a year now) and has always had a big appetite (going back to a tough childhood) and I worry about his emotional eating which has been worse lately. He's mostly stuck to the Keto diet (his belly exploded when he dared eat some chocolate) but the AMOUNT he eats concerns me.

    For example; instead of a handful of nuts, he will eat a 200g bag in one sitting. He will eat a 500ml live yoghurt in one go and he's been putting 3-4 pieces of fruit in his lunch box and not much else. Before Keto he'd eat a big dinner, 6 bags of crisps and still be "hungry".

    He does need to lose weight (as do I), but his Hbwhateverc has come down from 54 to 47 and we don't want it to go back up.

    I know he's struggling mentally atm and like most men doesn't want to talk about it, though I do encourage him to. I don't want to nag him, or keep telling him to stop eating. How can I support him?
     
  2. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Master
    Retired Moderator

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    Hi there

    Your hubby is not alone with issues of portion control. There are many who struggle with moderation in any form - one of the reasons standard dietary advice often fails.

    Personally I have found that sticking to simple, natural foods - mostly meat, fish and eggs - helps to a) make me feel full and b) reduce cravings for ‘sweets and treats’. Foods that are higher in carbs and sugar (including fruit) are not so satiating and can drive hunger. I totally get the nut consumption - they’re one of my trigger foods and the size of the bag is generally the size of the portion, so I don’t keep them at home and restrict how often I buy them when out and about.

    I’d say that encouraging him to join this community himself would be a big help. It’s anonymous and asking his own questions might help him to embrace new ways of approaching eating and food.

    There’s a great thread on here with an informative (and fun) video in the first post which he might find useful: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/food-addiction-and-diabetes.156651/

    I’d also recommend this website, run by Dr Jen Unwin, a psychologist interested in food addiction (through personal experience as much as anything - she’s presenting the video in the thread above): https://forkintheroad.co.uk/

    She’s also written a book of the same name: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fork-Road-Hopeful-Guide-Freedom/dp/B08XX4ZH3F/ref=sr_1_1?crid=LB7PU8UHSNF3&keywords=fork+in+the+road+jen+unwin&qid=1640954199&sprefix=Fork,aps,72&sr=8-1

    There’s also a room on Clubhouse every Wednesday at 6pm which is helpful. Anyone is welcome and there’s no obligation to speak. There are also replays available of previous weeks: https://www.clubhouse.com/club/fork-in-the-road
     
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  3. Angelofthemarches

    Angelofthemarches Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Is he counting grams of carbs? I would guess that several portions of fruit in the way you describe is not keto.
     
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  4. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    [QUOTE="RosB, post: 2472950, member: 546280" He's mostly stuck to the Keto diet[/QUOTE]

    Hi there, this bit stuck out for me. I think of keto as a scientific concept more than a type of diet. Your husband has reduced his glucose levels on his diet which is great (and may well assist any weight loss) but as far as the keto goes, he will not be burning fat (ie keto) unless he is in a ketosis state and that depends entirely on whether he is consuming few enough carbs to keep him in that state (on average you need to be eating less than 50 carbs, or for many, less than 30 but each person's threshold for this differs slightly).

    You can't really be following a keto diet and be fat burning, if you're not in ketosis, and if you're not in ketosis then your body will be utilising the carbs it IS being given in preference to burning fat thus defeating the object of getting into ketosis for weight loss. That means (and this could be the case with your husband) that he is not getting the full benefits of his 'almost' keto approach so it won't be working, hence the absence of weight loss.

    If he were truly to stick to an amount of carbs where he IS in ketosis then his nuts may not be a problem. Of course even on keto he should vary his diet, you can't live on nuts! I wonder if he would feel better mentally about it all if he could give up the fruit as 4 pieces will be 60 plus carbs at least and focus on the very low carb stuff which he could have lots more of and feel more satiated.

    My main point is, you cannot be a little bit ketosis any more than you can be a little bit pregnant. Please bear in mind that none of us know what other health issues your husband might have or what medication he may be on so the above may not be appropriate for him.
     
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  5. TeddyTottie

    TeddyTottie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Like the others, I suspect that your husband is still eating too many carbs and in my personal experience this maintains and drives excessive eating. Since I went low carb I have lost my food cravings almost completely and only eat when I am hungry. I have, for the first time in my adult life, broken the link with emotional eating and no longer seek food as a solace or reward. This all sounds terribly worthy, I know, but in reality I found it a natural outcome of a very low-carb diet. Not much will power was required!

    Apart from salted peanuts. I’m completely with your husband in that one! Like Goonergal, I only buy a single bag once a week otherwise I would just scoff the lot.
     
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  6. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    While trying to help him reduce portions (and given the amounts he eats he doesn't appear to reduce his carbs enough to be keto) may help in the short-term but if this is emotional eating then he he needs other help.
    I am currently in therapy for help with my emotional eating issues - driven by a difficult childhood and then marriage. My therapist doesn't focus on my eating as many NHS clinics do but on why I try to manage my emotions in ways that, given I'm T2, amount to self-harm and helping me to see myself in a more positive way.
     
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  7. RosB

    RosB · Active Member

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    No he isn't
     
  8. RosB

    RosB · Active Member

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    Hi, thanks for the reply. Unfortunately my hubby is a total luddite and won't use a computer. The most technical he gets is email lol
    I'll defo get the book for him and show him the video :)
     
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  9. RosB

    RosB · Active Member

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    Hi there, this bit stuck out for me. I think of keto as a scientific concept more than a type of diet. Your husband has reduced his glucose levels on his diet which is great (and may well assist any weight loss) but as far as the keto goes, he will not be burning fat (ie keto) unless he is in a ketosis state and that depends entirely on whether he is consuming few enough carbs to keep him in that state (on average you need to be eating less than 50 carbs, or for many, less than 30 but each person's threshold for this differs slightly).

    You can't really be following a keto diet and be fat burning, if you're not in ketosis, and if you're not in ketosis then your body will be utilising the carbs it IS being given in preference to burning fat thus defeating the object of getting into ketosis for weight loss. That means (and this could be the case with your husband) that he is not getting the full benefits of his 'almost' keto approach so it won't be working, hence the absence of weight loss.

    If he were truly to stick to an amount of carbs where he IS in ketosis then his nuts may not be a problem. Of course even on keto he should vary his diet, you can't live on nuts! I wonder if he would feel better mentally about it all if he could give up the fruit as 4 pieces will be 60 plus carbs at least and focus on the very low carb stuff which he could have lots more of and feel more satiated.

    My main point is, you cannot be a little bit ketosis any more than you can be a little bit pregnant. Please bear in mind that none of us know what other health issues your husband might have or what medication he may be on so the above may not be appropriate for him.[/QUOTE]

    Ok, maybe I should have said he's starting his keto journey? We're going into it slowly so we can make it a permanent change instead of a shorter term "diet". He avoids bread, pastry etc and the fruit is because he's too lazy to make a lunchbox. If I make it for him then he will have lots of smaller portions of different things. I think partly his journey into diabetes was that he never ate at work and then binged on food in the evenings, despite my protestations to eat regularly!

    He's 51 and is otherwise healthy (apart from depression which he's on Venlafaxine for). He works on a pig farm, which is a manual job, but I think he needs more exercise. I'm trying to get him to agree to joining a gym with me, but money is tight. He does walk our large dog every night and longer walks on weekends.

    I am concerned that he sweats and gets angry when doing simple jobs sometimes that are not strenuous. He never used to. So I think some cardio exercise will do him (and me) some good, but he can be stubborn.
     
  10. RosB

    RosB · Active Member

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    I buy big bags of different nuts and seeds, mix them and bag them up into little portions for him. If I don't, he will eat a whole big pack at once. He's a ****** for pork scratchings too. 6 little packs in a day has him stinking out the toilet :yuck:
     
  11. RosB

    RosB · Active Member

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    Unfortunately I cannot type what my hubby thinks of talking therapies :( He only opens up to me, and that's not very often :(
     
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  12. Mbaker

    Mbaker Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    As he seems bought into the Keto diet, he should try an alternative version, as the large amount of nuts and yogurt will put fat on, unless he trains like Andy Murray. You mention fruit, if this is anything other than berries, I would recommend a swap to raspberries / strawberries, other fruit in large portion sizes will be too sugary and have a backdoor fructose hit (potentially adding to insulin resistance).

    He should consider doing the P.E. Diet on whole foods (no protein shakes) and aim for a ratio of between 1.5 and 2.5. This amount will limit the amount of dairy and nuts, and focus of foods that can be belly fillers, are nutrient dense and assist in body composition. So for example he could have half a plate of home seasoned chicken, salted Brussel sprouts and pickles, if he is still hungry some grilled seabass. Two beef steaks and vegetables, still hungry tins of sardines (recommend in water from Waitrose).

    I am a big eater, with essentially a meal and berries/ nut breakfast and a meal and dessert dinner; but I walk 15-20k and weight train twice a day. The meal element tends to have either 2 meat, 2 fish or a mixture of both, but over the last year or so a focus on the P.E. ratio. Other things that might help, gherkins and pickles (Morrisons have great low carb versions), celery, radish, eggs, Quark (Tesco's).
     
  13. andromache

    andromache · Well-Known Member

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    Making the change to low carb is a big, big step and a massive achievement in itself. There is much to be said for acknowledging and celebrating those big wins. For sure, he has things he could improve - who doesn’t? - but it is OK for getting leaner and healthier to take time, just as getting overweight and unwell did, Rome was not built in a day,
     
  14. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Maybe try a big bowl of sugar free jelly, made with a small amount of water - you might need to keep it warm and keep stirring to dissolve it, then whisk in some full fat yoghurt when it has cooled to room temperature, and these days I add in some coconut flour for added bulk, which gives it a slightly chewy texture. I usually add in a bag of 'summer fruits' from the freezers of Lidl - it is the lowest carb option - then when it is set I eat it with cream or real custard.
    Even if he was to eat the whole thing it would not be dreadfully high in carbs, and it would be very filling after a meal.
     
  15. Ronancastled

    Ronancastled Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You're a great partner.
    An A1c of 54 for starters is a great place to be in the spectrum of diabetics, gives him a lot of wiggle room for improvement.

    Keeping the weight off will be hugely advantageous to him going forward.
    If depression is the root of his overeating that needs to be tackled first & I cant help you there, not qualified.

    I can only tell you about what motivated my journey to remission, what frightened me to change my ways.

    I followed a T2 guy on Reddit who bemoaned the fact he couldn't get past his first date on Tinder once he disclosed the fact he was on dialysis due to his diabetes & years of poor BG control.
    Then he raged over Optometrist services who couldn't save his right eye from retina detachment even though he did nothing to improve his control.
    Then came his breakdown about irreversible ED & how women were so judgemental.
    He was 33 years of age.

    Now if that doesn't kick you into gear I don't know what will.
    There's time for tough love but I'm not sure how to approach it with someone who is depressive, I wish you luck
     
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  16. Beating-My-Betes

    Beating-My-Betes · Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest having a look into the work of Barbara Rolls and volumetrics. While it is essentially a theoretical foundation/explanation for how/why many of those that follow the various whole-food, plant-based diets can effortlessly lose weight, it is not in essence a vegan/plant-based plan.

    Part of satiation signalling comes from stretch-receptors in our stomachs and guts, and what most of us equate as being "full-up" is literally being full enough to engage those stretch-receptors to signal time to stop eating. And it's why the ultra-processing of foods (removal of fibre, water etc.), in reducing the bulk:calorie ratio is so problematic for weight gain i.e by the time the belly is full enough to naturally mute hunger, energy needs have far been surpassed.

    But if one can reach that state of fullness from foods that are still replete with water and fibre, then satiety can be achieved at a lesser energetic load

    One of the big advantages of keto is that it comes with an appetite-nulling affect, which makes sense in an evolutionarily-appropriate context. It can be easy for many to achieve satiation even if energy requirements are unmet, and is why it can be great for many as a weight-loss tool.

    However, it doesn't work for everyone.

    I am one of those people who didn't get along with keto. Aside from a general feeling of nausea after meals (Fat, in general, does that for me), I found that the lack of satiety signalling from actually being full meant that even though I felt satiated in one sense there was a small, but constant nagging emptiness. And as someone who has at various points in my life, been prone to emotional/boredom-eating, it was a bad match. If one is prone to the same, then the fact that fat is the most calorically-dense of all the macros makes it a very risky place to be in, as over-eating can involve exponentially larger quantities of calories

    Ultimately, I think that the first thing to recognise is that any way-of-eating can be undermined if food is being used as an emotional crutch. Concentrating on the HbA1C is putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Is your Husband in therapy? Does he even recognise his emotional eating patterns?
     
  17. sunspots

    sunspots Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just a little note regarding his sweating during any amount of exercise - it is probably due to his venlafaxine.

    There seem to be some excellent ideas on here for helping him but I guess you might not want to fully take over his eating, plus it could feel infantilising for him (or, conversely, he might take to it too easily!)
    His Hba1c is currently really good so I would be tempted to see how things go. Perhaps see if he'll agree to revising his eating should the numbers increase again and let him know some of the options on here?
    Finally, he might not accept a therapist but a pschologically minded dietician - if you can find one - could be helpful.
    Good luck.
     
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