How can I control my mother's overeating?

Follow
Share

She doesn't remember that she's eating. She has a heart condition & I am concerned about her weight gain. She has gained 20 lbs.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
28

Answers

Show:
May I ask how old you mother is? If she is very old, I would let her eat whatever and whenever she wants..........
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

If you only have fruit and nuts for snacks and veggies in the fridge it won't hurt how much she eats. After she gets over the carb cravings she won't be as interested. Make everyone's diet mostly plant based. Then add protein. Try to keep the bread, rice, pasta and potatoes out of the diet. Give her almond butter with celery sticks. That sort of thing. Healthy fats for satiation. Olives and pickles. No chips or sweets. Anything in a cabinet is probably not food but processed stuff.
Let her "bad" stuff be canned fruit in natural or low syrup or popcorn popped in coconut oil. Carbs create cravings. Don't have sodas or fruit juices in the house. Make her fruit cups for the fridge with coconut flakes and nuts sprinkled in.
No breads or sweets or processed meats. It takes about three days to stop the cravings. Remember that dairy has a lot of sugar. No cereals except things like regular oats. Stevia and raisens and walnuts and butter good in oatmeal. No instant stuff. Food needs fiber or nutritional value, hopefully both.
No cheese. Maybe cottage cheese. 
If this seems too hard just try adding more fruit, nuts and veggies. Boiled eggs, avocado.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Golly, if there were only certain foods she shouldn't eat, this would be a lot easier, wouldn't it? But she can gain weight from eating four servings of cottage cheese or eight pancakes or several peaches because she's forgotten she's already eaten. Have you tried several very small meals a day? I think that your best bet is distraction and keeping her busy, but I also appreciate how hard that can be, all day long.

Have you considered enrolling her in an adult day health program? That would occupy her a few hours on the days she goes, and has a lot of advantages besides keeping her out of the fridge.

My mother would often say, "I haven't eaten breakfast yet" when we visited her in morning at the nh. But she was sitting in the dining room with a used plate in front of her! Mom, there is syrup on your plate. Did you have pancakes? And sometimes she'd say, "Oh, yeah, I guess it did," and sometimes she would say, "No, I don't think I've been served yet." So I understand about people with dementia not necessarily remembering that they've just eaten!
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

97yroldmom, you seem to be assuming that she is eating because she has cravings. In my experience, the wanting a second meal before the dishes are even cleared from the first meal is not due to cravings, but to the brain 1) not remembering that she's eaten and 2) the brain not getting or processing the message that she is full.

If the eating plan you suggest should work in about 3 days, then I guess it is certainly worth a try for a week or so to see if it produces the desired results. I'm skeptical, but I'd try it. Hmalta, if you do try the no-processed-food-in-the-house plant based diet, do come back and tell us how it works.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Thank you 1caringwife! I was going to ask the same.

My DH is 95 and I was told, let him have what he wants. We monitor his vitals and I regulate his Lasix according to his swelling in his leg.

If your mother is 50, then call a professional for help in regulating her diet/meal plan. Smaller meals more often is most likely what you will be advised to do. No added sugars.

If your mother is 90+ then the smaller meals more often and just keep watch on her vitals.

I learned from experience - if you tamper with what they want, they can and do swing the other way and won't eat at all. Starvation will kill you too and sometimes cannot be reversed. It took me 2 months to get my DH eating again. Trust me, you don't want to have to go through that either.

Quite often DH forgets he's eaten and wants to eat again.  It's easier to just give him a snack.
When he wakes from a nap, he thinks it's morning again and wants his cocoa.  In the morning I use the Ensure as the base.  In the afternoon I use coffee to cut the calories and even sugar-free cocoa mix.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I think the best thing is to keep her busy. One of the responses was to have her at a Adult Day Program and I think that is great. I used to work for one and we will receive nutritious meals for the seniors and the people who work there can keep an eye out on what your mom eats. Furthermore, she will be involved socially and be able to work out. We often had clients who does not remember that they eat but once we give them a project, they forget about it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Are you home with her for the majority of the day? Don't bring things into the house that she shouldn't eat. (You may need to put a lock on one of the cabinets!) Try to allow for snacks as part of the overall eating plan. Try to have her eat only at the table. Try to otherwise occupy Mom during the day. Walks, time at a playground, etc
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I like all the suggestions here about rationing and types of foods. I wonder if she's eating so much because it's comforting and soothing for her. It sounds like she needs to be on a structured schedule for different activities throughout the day -- times to eat & snack, a favorite TV program, grooming, a walk, brushing the dog or cat, winding yarn into a ball, shredding junk mail, folding towels, searching for a specific item in a catalog, audio book, etc. If these things can be done at consistent times every day, hopefully she'll fall into that routine and find comfort in it. I wish you the best!!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

The first thing I wondered was how old she is and how much she weighs now and how far down the dementia road is she. There will be a point at which she will neither remember to eat nor how to eat. Apparently, she's still walking? Keep her walking as long as possible!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Have her checked for thyroid issues. Also consider medications. I never felt full/satiated until I started an SSRI. It was amazing.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions