difficult child II Compulsive eating (thoughts? Suggestions?)

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by amazeofgrace, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    difficult child II has been on Lithobid for well over a year now but since he's been in the IOP they're really upped his dosage. He's gained a good 20 pounds since the fall. He also is less active with the cold weather. I am concerned mainly because he's always eating and always complaining he's hungry.

    He'll eat three bowls of cereal and then microwave hot pockets. I think it's turning into a compulsion and I am worried. psychiatric didn't have much to say other than buy less junk and try to encourage him to exercise. But difficult child II literally gets angry and irritable if there's no "good" snacks or I tell him he can't have anything (not that he usually asks permission mind you)

    difficult child II"s food intake today:
    Breakfast: whole grain breakfast bar/milk
    snacks: cereal wth milk (2 bowls), pretzels wth ranch dressing, an apple, cheese crackers, 2 ff choc pudding cups
    lunch: 1 hot pocket, potato chips
    snacks: hot chocolate wth whipped cream, box of whoppers (from my Dad), pb/jelly sandwich, 1 more ff chocolate pudding cup, an apple (again), more pretzels wth ranch
    dinner: bourban chicken & salad
    snacks: granola bar, 2 cheese singles, cheddar cheese rice cakes

    *I am so glad I don't buy soda or juice! And believe it or not I try not to buy junk food.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    AoG-Wish I had a good answer for you. We are struggling with difficult child's eating as well. In fact, he is at definite risk for diabetes type 2 right now! Any chance you could get him to do some exercising? We've tried to get difficult child to get some exercise in but it isn't easy.
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    Joining in with this group. I am beyond worried. Manster has been steadily gaining and is now almost 5 foot and 140 pounds. I feel so powerless. Over the holidays he kept begging to bake stuff. Now, all the baking stuff is out of the house, no baking chocolate, no real sugar, etc. His favorite show is the cake boss. Great! He made a cake for husband that had fondant and roses, etc. He talks about wanting to be a pastry chef. Great.

    It all started when he began SSRIs and yet I don't know for sure they are the reason because I don't often hear anyone relate the two, at least not to this extent. But truthfully, despite an occasional food texture issue, he's always had a healthy appetite.. Now it's a full on eating disorder/addiction. I find myself physically standing in the entry way to the kitchen saying "no more food". That's probably the wrong thing to do. I'm out of ideas.

    No answers, just know that I'm part of your group.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    That's a tough one...especially because at his age you would expect to see that appetite kicking in with the hormones and everything else as he grows into a man...

    I'll tell you what strikes me right away as I read his "diet" - he is not getting enough protein. And as a growing boy - he REALLY needs the protein for bone and muscle growth. As you know - hunger starts at the cellular level. If the cells are not getting what they need, the body will feel hungry. It looks to me like he is trying to stuff himself with whatever he can grab to try and satisfy that hunger. And unfortunately, he is grabbing pudding and hot pockets and potato chips...

    I don't think it's bad to have some small amount of snacks in the house - so I wouldn't change that.

    I would try to get him on a more "manly" diet. Start him with a protein shake at breakfast time. Or steak and eggs...something like that...

    See if it helps...
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'll agree with DF on adding in protein. Eggs or eggbeaters are good, too. Also try introducing him to air-popped popcorn (not microwave) with that spray-on butter stuff as a lower-cal way for when he wants something crunchy and salty instead of all the pretzels and chips (and it's so much cheaper to just buy a jar of the kernels). You can get this powder stuff to sprinkle that sticks to the butter spray in a variety of flavors, like white cheddar, nacho, kettle corn, etc. I've seen people use things like Lawry's Hot & Spicy Seasoned Salt for it, too. The machines aren't that expensive and it doesn't take any longer to make than the microwave version.

    Kiddo had same eating issues on the Zyprexa, she could eat and eat and still be hungry, she was 54lb when she started on it and is about 75 now. She doesn't eat like that on the Abilify and she's gained some height so it's not as obvious on her now as it was two months ago but it still bothers her because ALL the extra weight went straight to her waistline.
  6. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Weight gain and compulsive eating are a horrible side effect of most psychiatric medications. Our difficult child 1 ate compulsively the entire time he was on medications when younger and became
    morbidly obese (for a child). When he quit taking medications at 14, (we couldn't require him to accept treatment at that age in Ontario), he lost his weight completely over about fifteen months. In college
    he became positively skinny. Now that he's been with his current girlfriend and is back on medications he's once again morbidly obese. It breaks my heart.

    I've been on SSRIs once or twice in the past and most recently when I started a tricyclic for migraine prevention, I gained ten pounds in two weeks. Bang, just like that. I
    stopped the medication. Unfortunately our kids don't have that option and I don't know what we can do, other than keep low-fat food and no fatty or junk food around. Even then
    they will eat cereal (difficult child 1 used to eat at least three bowls at a time, and if I interfered he would have a meltdown. It wasn't worth the rages and disruption to the other kids,
    at the time). I would be careful about adding too much protein ... it can put on a lot of weight and when the eating is compulsive, the normal satiety feedback loop doesn't
    work. Extra protein usually = extra fat and may not have the hoped-for effect.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Presto makes a microwave popcorn popper that makes air pop popcorn in the microwave. It uses a special paper thingy in the bottom that is replaceable to get the popcorn to pop with-o oil. It is called the Presto Power Pop and is super easy to use. We have used them for years because my kids get upset stomachs if they eat regular microwave popcorn. The kernals are cheap to buy even if you buy the orville brand - lots cheaper tahn reg microwave popcorn.

    Get him interested in adding spices to boost flavor - it can make a big difference. I know my husband loves adding garlic, cumin and chili powder to popcorn, baked potatoes, almost everything. Check out the various spice blends on www.myspicesage.com for good prices. If he likes crunchy get some of the dried veggies from them - LOTS of flavor and crunch and good stuff. thank you and husband discovered the 1/4 inch diced dried jalapenos and are hooked on them mixed with seasoned popcorn (but they are jalapeno/hot sauce addicts, lol!). That spice website has great prices on various seasoning mixes that can be awesome on popcorn.

    Upping the protein is an excellent idea. Check out The Zone diet by Dr. Sears. Books are old so you can usually find them used pretty easy, but they advocate keeping meals and snacks made in a balance of 30% protein, 30% fat and 40 % carb. For a simple start, change his breakfast bars to Zone or Balance Bars with a big glass of water or small glass of milk. They are surprisingly filling and will provide a fair amt of the protein that he is NOT getting with the breakfast bars. Also try oatmeal with vanilla protein powder (comes in sugar free in most places). The zone/balance bars are actually good tasting, which was a real shock to me as I HATE anything that tastes like health food. My kids LOVE them and are known to choose them over candy bars if given the choice!

    Then work on providing protein with EACH of his snacks. he can have the candy bar IF he will eat 4 oz of lean deli meat with it, or a chicken breast or a couple of poached or scrambled eggs. The zone books explain the reasons behind it, and they have recipes and snack ideas that are very helpful.
  8. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    thanks for all the suggestions ladies, I am now craving popcorn, by the way, LOL

    difficult child II was on 450 mg of lithium 2 x's a day his last blood lab came back saying his thyroid was being affected, they wanted to add a thyroid medication and I said absolutley not, he's now on 300 mg twice a day and if that doesn't help, he's coming off, I don't care, I will never forgive myself he he has problems with major organs! Now that he is out of IOP and back in school I am packing his lunches and he will have gym whereas the IOP didn't that should help alittle. I bought some high protein cereal and am trying to eliminate all processed foods, we shall see...
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Any thoughts on ways of ensuring he eats his lunch and not something else?
  10. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I think you need to dole out everything for him. I know it's hard because you can't be there alll the time and he'll sneak. But don't just give him free range. Tell him, You had a sandwhich, that's enough. Too bad if he's hungry, he has to be, at this point. Know he will sneak, but it will still be less than if he's allowed carte blanche to everything. I have a 300 (more) lb difficult child. He was 200 when he lived here, he plays football and is very big all over, 200 was good, but we ruled that kitchen with an iron fist- when he left he did what he wanted, but it would have been worse. Just do your best, I know how much it hurts seeing your difficult child do this to himself, it's hard to lose weight when you're just a kid.
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    A couple of thoughts from someone who has compulsive eating issues herself. First if they are near puberty age it is entirely normal for them to eat more, and get a little round before they do their puberty growth spurt. This happened with both of my kids who have always been thin....

    Second be careful of controlling their food intake too much.... issues of control can add to the emotional issues of compulsive eating. Focusing on their weight or making it part of what makes them "good" will add to the whole crazy cycle of compulsive eating. Much better to really think about what you buy for the week and have mostly good healthy food around with a few snacks they like. So my suggestion would be to tell them you are grocery shopping for the week and then buy good healthy food with a reasonable amount of junk food they like... enough so they could have one treat every day say. Then tell him that is it for the week, you are not shopping again. So if you buy say a bag of cookies, if they are all gone within the first day, tough luck. If they last for the week then they get to have some every day. Of course this goes for the rest of the family too.... and if you have someone else who will eat all the cookies then you have to think about how to handle it. But if you can you want to give them the opportunity to learn to self regulate.

    My .02
  12. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Was very interested in this post. My difficult child has severe weight issues that have gotten worse since not at home. She takes thyroid medications as hers was almost nonfunctioning. Took her last week for tests to look for Polycyctic ovarian disease. husband is diabetic though he lost 80 lbs and does not need medications anymore. Our family has long been on a low glycemic index "diet". Psch. medications have caused weight gain in our difficult child as well. Would love to get more ideas from others here are a few things that work for us:
    1. I cut fresh veggies and fruit every Sunday and put them in small containers-easy to grab for lunch or snack ( I only keep low fat sald dressing around) I do buy quite a bit of these-peppers, muchrooms,carrots, cucs,apples orages(slice these as well),pineapple or berries in season etc.
    2. Low fat yogurt cups-can be used as a fruit dip, or snack. My kids like adding a few teaspoons of Grape-Nuts to them. We enjoy them frozen in the summer (protien here as well)
    3. If your not opposed to sweetners- I will occationally make a banana bread with sweetner, flax seed (milled) and half the flour changed to oat flour I make myself in the blender-I usually use almonds or a small amount of walnuts
    4.I make grilled or baked chicken breast/ or pork loan-cut them up and portion them out each week. My family likes dipping in mustard then seasame seeds on occation. I can also use these strips to make a meal during the week.Easy to grab and go as well.
    5.I hard boil eggs-these can be really satisfying when you are hungry. ( I know the cholestral stuff-but better than other choices) An open faced egg salad sandwhich on wheat is satisfying once in awhile
    6. Pretzels-I keep some crushed as well to add to the top of fat free pudding which I make myself every Sunday as well.
    7. I make a big bowl of salad greens each week-people can add cut up veggies or meat etc.
    Planning ahead and shopping the sales helps us.
    I never have cookies or other "****" around because of the health issues.
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I, too, was reading the day's meal and noticed - CARBS!

    How is his sleep? I know from personal experience - AND Onyxx - that lack of sleep and/or interrupted sleep can really make a person crave carbs.

    I love Hot Pockets - but they have SO MUCH sodium in them - WOW.

    I am a huge fan of yogurt (the low-cal kind upsets my tummy) - with cereal such as Cheerios, Rice Chex or Shredded Wheat (no frosting) in them. I put a few on the top, eat them, add a few more - otherwise they get soggy. But - protein, dairy, fiber - Yum! (And carbs, from the sugar...)

    I also adore hard-boiled eggs. They're very filling, and honestly, the cholesterol's not that bad unless you go berserk. I love this recipe: 1 hardboiled egg (mashed up with a fork or diced), about a teaspoon of lite mayo, a touch of horseradish mustard, a little bit of garlic & onion powders and a dash of pepper and salt. Mix it all together, put it on whole wheat bread with lettuce and maybe tomato. YUM.
  14. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Stepto2: Love the egg salad with horse-radish. Will try this.

    Another thought:
    Controlling the food and food battles are very risky with an already tough kid. But you can quietly, without much talk control what is in your home. Having healthy but satisfying choices ready to go has really made things better here for everyone. Yes a bit of work, but not that much and money saving as well.When your health is better, your mind is better. I think this the first step to wellness. Keep up the good fight!