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Should I not even buy the brownies?

Hi all!
I have a dilemma.
I've been trying to lose 15 pounds for quite some time, and my weight keeps yo-yoing so I never reach my goal, or at least I don't stay there very long.
I've lost 5 pounds, and have 15 to go, but I've actually just started to incorporate healthy habits into my lifestyle. I'm hoping that the changes and increasing exercise will take off the weight I have left to lose.
My one problem is my sweet tooth and the fact that I will eat a whole batch of brownies if they're in the house. I haven't gained enough self-control to resist yet, but I was wondering if this means that I just shouldn't have the borwnies in the house at all. I live with other people and they like sweets too and we've argued over having the cupboards free of processed cakes and sweets? Do I not buy the stuff or refuse to eat it? Or am I allowed to have some? I couldn't imagine a life without chocolate or sweets, so how do I deal??

Fri. Apr 3, 6:10pm

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Find alternatives. If you know you're going to eat a whole batch if they're there, don't put yourself in that situation. I find what helps my sweet tooth is the sugar-free Jell-O pudding packs. They're delicious and only 60 calories per cup. The milk chocolate bliss is my favorite.

Friday, April 03, 2009, 6:17 PM

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Agree! Find alternatives and keep your known problem food out of the house...don't allow it to be an option.

Friday, April 03, 2009, 6:18 PM

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Look into "No Pudge" brownies. They come in a pink box. They're made with nonfat yogurt, and they taste incredible! The best part- they have a 'single serving' recipe on the box that you can microwave 1 brownie with. :)

instant portion control!

Friday, April 03, 2009, 10:11 PM

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I'm the PP... that post sounded a bit spammy when I re-read it. I use them and love them. (I'm definitely not affiliated with the company!)... I've made them for company as well, and they couldn't tell a difference.

Friday, April 03, 2009, 10:13 PM

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Duh. Keep the brownies out of the house. You can bring them back after you reach your target weight and find that you can be satisfied with one. Or -- only order them when you are out. But again, only AFTER you have reached your target weight.

Friday, April 03, 2009, 10:30 PM

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Maybe set a date for the brownies, but only make half a batch and make sure you will be with others to share in the eating of them?

Saturday, April 04, 2009, 12:15 AM

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12:15 - That's a great compromise.

OP, I don't think the brownie/sweets issue has to be an all or nothing thing.

I think if you try 12:15's idea, you'll feel good and accomplished for at least 3 reasons:

1) You will enjoy the food you like.
2) You will have a sense of control over the food you eat.
3) Your health plan can involve others in a positive way.

Have a great healthy eating day and enjoy your brownie party!

As a side note..... It might also be a good idea to ask yourself and journal the reasons why you think you're holding on to those last 15 pounds.

Saturday, April 04, 2009, 6:30 AM

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One of my dessert solutions is BEST quality, out (as in restaurant), shared and special (as in planned event). I do this during periods when I have good control of my sweet tooth. I costs a whole lot more but it is a celebration.

Some other bean brownines. Get the best brownie mix (like ghiardelli) and take a regular size black beans (juice and all) and blend the daylights out of them. Add to brownie mix (don't follow instructions on box in other words) and bake. I bake them just a little longer than standard brownies. They are moist and delicious (sounds crazy but it is TRUE) AND they have just a little more health value. These brownies freeze really well too.

Bring home bakery brownies for your folks, enough for one serving each so there are no leftovers. Again, they cost more BUT the whole point of this is not eating the leftovers.

Figure out a way to make half a batch of conventional brownies and repackage the mix so you won't have tons of leftovers.

Make the brownies and give them to the neighbors after everyone has had one.

Saturday, April 04, 2009, 11:59 AM

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If the OP is anything like me I'd eat a 1/2 batch, a black bean batch, a No Pudge batch, etc. as quickly as I would my usual batch! For my problem foods, I HAVE to set up my environment for success and not have my most tempting foods in the house. Single serve brownies are everywhere! (Although, 'single serve' is more like - enough for 2-3 people, but it's still better than a whole batch.) There's no reason to make them at home or have more than one at home if they're your crazy can't control myself kind of food.

You know how you are around your 'problem' foods, OP. You know whether you can stick to reasonable portions when they're in the house. Of course, you're 'allowed' to have sweets in your life, but you know your ability to exercise portion control when they're around. Set yourself up for success.

Saturday, April 04, 2009, 2:00 PM

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words from a sugar junkie

there are many creative suggestions pick your poison...or also consider these:

Sugar is addictive. That is why there is sugar put into just about every food that doesn't even need sugar (like bread for instance). It makes the foods taste better, and the addictive aspect of sugar makes you crave that food.
It's one of the ways food manufacturers manipulate people.

I am a sugar junkie. It has been my experience that it takes about two weeks to get sugar out of your system so that you stop craving it. This means reading labels and buying foods that do not contain sugar. Often you need to buy these foods at health food stores.

I cut sugar completely out of my diet for a long time. I do eat small amounts of sugar in things now. But for my sweets I try alternatives when I am dieting: health food store fruit juice sweetened sweets, or dried fruit without added sugar. I try to limit the type of allowable sweets into my diet during dieting. I might eat sweetened yoghurt sometimes, or a 100 calorie bag of Kettle Korn or sugar free, or fat free hot chocolate. I have a limited menu of allowed sweets.

I find that the more I eat sweets the hungrier I am, and the more I crave sweets. If you have the strength to get sugar out of your diet for 2 weeks, you have a strong chance that you can stop craving sweets. If you use less sugar and a limited menu of less tempting substitutes, you will grow stronger in resisting and will not view you sugar favs the same...because they are not food that you eat. Does this have to be forever? No. But you might get stronger if you do this just for awhile and learn that you can resist.

Sunday, April 05, 2009, 2:30 AM

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That "No pudge" may be fat free but it's loaded with sugar! No magic solution in that!

I struggle with the chocolate cravings and if i make brownies I will simply overeat, now doubt about it.

The only type of chocolate that I find helps me is getting some good, really dark chocolate - like 72% cocoa solids or more. I eat a small amount (1 oz)with a few dried raisins or cranberries and a few nuts for a healthier version of a "candy bar" and it's so intensely chocolate that I'm satisfied.

Yeah, the black beans work great with a brownie mix, but I still ate too much! They're just too good.

Sunday, April 05, 2009, 7:15 AM

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make vegan brownies sweetened with agave syrup. I''m a chocolate junkie but have to be grain free and vegan. I try to eat other chocolate foods, like add raw chocolate powder to black coffee and sweeten it up with de-bittered stevia. Its not quite the same, but at least I get the experience of chocolate. Then if I make brownies, I just try to make them as vegan and as low on the glycemic index as possible. I can't eat beans, but the black bean thing sounds interesting. If you don't like it, just add inulin or chicory fiber (FOS) to your brownies. Its flavorless, textureless and proven to help even junk food loving teens to keep their weights down. You won't eat a whole pan of brownies if you don't feel deprived of them. Be on the watch for sugar addiction though, that is a vicious cycle.

Sunday, April 05, 2009, 2:25 PM

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Deprived or not, there are some of us who will eat a pan of brownies no matter what.

Sunday, April 05, 2009, 2:37 PM

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I never, ever make my own cookies, brownies or cake and I never buy bags of chips or ice cream to keep around the house. Pretty much, I have no self control when these things are freely available. If I "need" a treat I'll go out and get one cupcake, one cookie or one ice cream cone. Temptation is not my friend, and that's the only way to deal with it for me.

I do keep healthy stuff around, so that if I, say, crave candy I'll bake a sweet potato or have some cereal. Does it work? Eh, most of the time.

Sunday, April 05, 2009, 5:32 PM

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chocolate is also addictive.

Sunday, April 05, 2009, 5:50 PM

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5:32 - same here! I was contemplating making a batch of cookies today, but then thought, 'Am I crazy?!?' History shows I simply cannot be trusted with a batch of cookies in the house!! Having it there staring me in the face is just bad news. Heck, I can't even be trusted with the cookie dough!

Sunday, April 05, 2009, 8:57 PM

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Does anyone have a road map re how they learned to live around brownies (or whatever your particularly bingeworthy food may be)? I loved the idea about inviting friends over to share the pan of brownies so there's no eating the whole pan by yourself. Sounds like a really good bridge. I'm finding a change in myself around foods I used to restrict (I can't have those in the house) and then binge on (hey those aren't always in the house, so I'm going to gobble them up while I can). . . my ambivalence is waning and new want tos/don't want tos are emerging. The changes are so new for me, and the route behind me seems so circuitous, that I'm thinking I'm not far enough out yet to be able to look back and make sense of it. Just wondering if a further along person might have a perspective on it, and thinking that's sort of what the OP may have wanted too.

Sunday, April 05, 2009, 10:08 PM

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brownie solution

First, I have a husband, a teen age son and two younger girls so I never have the opportunity to eat an entire pan of brownies by myself. Trust me, I could do it.

Second, try this recipe. Use on box of brownie mix and add 12 oz. of diet Dr. Pepper. That's it. Bake according to box directions.

I tried it and my kids didn't even notice a difference. If I understand correctly, it's only 1 ww point per serving. The serving is probably 1/32 or 1/16 piece of the pan.

Try it and see what you think.

Monday, April 06, 2009, 7:42 AM

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10:08pm - it's only when I figured out why I can't be around certain foods and dealing with that, that I began to be able to be around them without fear of devouring them in large quantities. So, first step is to figure out the 'why.' Do you demonize treats once you've had a little you feel you've blown it and go for broke? Do you use food to cope or deal with emotions? etc.

And I do love all the alternative ways to making various treats to cut down on calories or increase nutrients, but until I figured out why I couldn't be around them without going nutso, it didn't matter how they were made. And, sometimes, knowing it was a 'heathier' version only helped me rationalize eating more!! If my issue were that I felt I couldn't enjoy my one brownie b/c the calories were too high, then these alternative recipes are a great solution. When it's a matter of turning to food and/or eating large quantities...that's a whole 'nother issue entirely!!

You'll know when your relationship and/or mindset with food has changed and you can be around your 'problem' foods without fear of over doing it. And, it's okay to take the approach to set up your environment for success if you have problems being around a certain food. It's not a weakness - for many it's giving ourselves the best chance at succeeding! HTH

Monday, April 06, 2009, 8:03 AM

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Substitutions for problem foods

One thing that works for me is buying sugar free popsicles when I want something sweet. Also, I have a problem with chocolate, so I decided I'd buy fat free sugar free pudding and sugar free fudge bars. That way, I can still have them minus all the fat and calories. I hope this is helpful!

Monday, April 06, 2009, 9:04 AM

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You know how smokers stop smoking? The first thing they do is to stop buying cigarettes and stop hanging around people who keep lighting up and ignoring their mate who is trying to quit. Its about having the willpower to change, putting your mind to it and actually making lifestyle changes.

If your MINIMUM weight goal is 20 lbs and you have 15 more to go, the best way to go about reaching your goal within the a reasonable time is abstinence. A brownie has no real nutritional value and other than giving you a sugar boost, serves no purpose in your weight loss plans.

Do you have your own personal space in the kitchen cabinets to store your food? If you don't, start but allocating a small spot. Fill it with food that is relevant to your diet plans and nothing else. Use only this spot to take food from so you won't be distracted to try something someone else bought.

Its in your mind: if you tell yourself its OK to have a brownie, you'll have one. If you tell yourself that you know the calorie content of a brownie is equivalent to a regular Chinese takeaway or a chicken sandwich with mayo or a bowl of popcorn you'll be more likely to choose a healthier, more filing alternative than to indulge in a a frivolous brownie.

To help wean yourself off high calorie, mega sugar laden treats replace them with alternatives. I eat like a diabetic: low sugar jams (if I absolutely HAVE to have some), premium dark chocolate (cocoa is good for you), yoghurt with freshly cut fruit pieces (not the ones that come with fruit in them, they are high in sugar) and instead of processed white sugar use raw cane sugar or molasses sugar. Buy a variety of toasted nuts, seeds and mix in chopped dried fruit and fill it into a container. Whenever you feel like having some texture in your mouth, enjoy a fistful. It sounds strict and like hard work (and it is) but once you get used to the idea of filing yourself with natural and healthy alternatives you'll feel better and perform better during your workouts.

Until you can master your mind and attitude towards your penchant for unhealthy options, they cannot be an option on your plate or palate. If a restaurant doesn't serve what you should be eating, leave or ask the chef for a personalised dish. I occasionally go on a detox diet to help wean me off fats, sugar and processed foods. I find that I cannot stomach even a simple chicken nugget after my detox because it tastes so gross in my mouth and the oil used to fry it seems overwhelming.

Set yourself reward goals: if you lose another 5 lbs within 30 days, you can have a brownie. If you don't, then you can't. That way you will have a small reason to ensure you meet your weight goal in the best time period possible instead of staling it indefinitely.

All the best and hope this works out for you!

Thursday, April 09, 2009, 4:06 AM

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I really don't think you should give up eating brownies forever -- and you probably won't, anyway. So even if you lose the weight and then have brownies in the house again which will happen eventually) and eat the whole batch, you'll regain it.

So I say train yourself to not eat the whole batch. It's totally possible, and it will make both dieting and maintaining so much easier!

Here are things that work for me to really eat only one piece of brownie:
Have a cup of really yummy tea with it. Take very small bites, and have a sip of tea after every single bite. Eating the borwnie that way will take much longer and you really get to savor it.

Or: cut up a lot of yummy fruit (sometimes I even put spices on there, like cinnamon or cardamon on apples!), and have a fruit plate plus one brownie. Alternate between having fruit and brownie bites. You can savor the brownie longer, get full quicker and you will start associating fruit as a sweet treat.

Of course this doesn't always work, but the more you try, the better you'll get at it! Trust me, I went through this as well! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009, 1:12 PM

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Oh, PP again:
I allow myself one treat per day. It hasn't messed with my weight loss at all, and it makes me never feel deprived!

Friday, April 10, 2009, 1:13 PM

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