Jump to content


Help, What To Do About Over Eating

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 wellieboots


    Part of the furniture

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cheshire

Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:22 PM

I have a 12yr old son who's tall for his age but also quite overweight. He has gained a lot of weight over the last 18months as he hasn't been in school. He is due to start and autism special school in September. He doesn't seem to know when he is full, what is an ok portion, the OT feels some of it is sensory, some of it is boredom, he isn't at all active, he will sneak food from the cupboards.

I'm going to start doing really small food shops so there's not much food in the house, we try to do healthy snacks, and limit the amount, we use chewing gum quite a lot which works sometimes, this was the OT's suggestion.

What else can I do, his anticipatory anxiety is massive so it makes going out really really hard, his whole world is so so small at the moment, his sensory processing issues are huge, his self esteem rock bottom as he feels he does set to much but doesn't seem to be able to control it at all.

Thanks for your help xx

#2 bigmuma



  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Bucks
  • Interests:animals

Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:52 PM

I have a really similar problem with my DS, 17. He will eat constantly if not restrained. He is very inactive and tends to put weight on easily. It also doesn't help that he craves carbs. Recently I have resorted to padlocking a cupboard with any snacks in, but he has been known to eat his way through an entire loaf of bread in a day. It is getting progressively harder to deal with as he gets older, because we are trying to teach him more independence, but he can not control his eating.
I too, would welcome some help on this matter.

#3 FallenAngel68


    Old as the hills

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 405 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:A happier place

Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:37 PM

I thought I was on my own with this one as I haven't read much about it on the forum.


My 10 year old daughter used to be very slim, was always a picky eater but was never still.  Fast forward a few years & things have changed.  She's very tall for her age, doesn't eat a great deal but loves carbs & food is mainly beige in colour & very restricted. 


DD was out of school for much of last year & was suffering severe anxiety.  She hates insects (especially ones that fly) so outdoorsie things can quite often be a no no.  She does horseride once a week, dances once a week & I try to encourage her to come on walks with me & the dogs in the park.


DD has been sneaky with food in the past, but now I know, I monitor her more closely.  She does insist on a breakfast, dinner, tea & supper, but the portions she has are relatively small.  Even her favourite treat of a McDonalds is a Happy Meal (chicken nuggets) & a McFlurry. 


I've spoken with a member of DD's paediatric team & asked to be refered to a nutritionist/dietitian to see if they have any tricks up their sleeves.

#4 Melly1


    Old as the hills

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 489 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:reading, gardening, swimming, seeing friends, surfing net

Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:25 PM

Hi, S does not recognise when he is full and without limits would keep eating until he was sick/ has tummy ache. He responds well to routines and I'm his conscience. He has breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner. His afternoon snack is a choice of treat tin (snack size chocolate bars,)or a cake bar or crisps etc At buffets I tell him how many items he can have and then he goes back just once more for a set number of seconds. He sticks within these limits.

The biggest problem is other people, as he is rewarding to feed and people enjoy doing it. I have had to be firm with people about this.

When he started at college he put on a stone in the first half term! All the students were having a generous main meal, then seconds (same sized portion again) then often a couple of puds ... cake and a yoghurt. It took awhile for this to be sorted out and S has more exercise as part of his plan, now.

S would never cope with being diabetic, so I do try really hard to watch his weight. He is slightly overweight, but has gradually been losing it since college stopped seconds and started smaller portions.


#5 imperfect parent

imperfect parent

    How many posts? Get a life!

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,987 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:horse riding, reading, baking and SEN issues

Posted 14 August 2014 - 07:49 AM

Our youngest ( now 15) gained weight when out of school.  He is slowly losing it since successfully attending another school.  As others have said it has been a combination of stress/anxiety, low self esteem, comfort eating,boredom,  no understanding of being full and a lack of exercise that caused the problem .  Being overweight compounded issues as his self esteem fell further.


We made a conscious effort not to make an issue of his weigh, while quietly talking about good food choices and exercise.  Nothing is banned, but all sweet food has to be requested unless offered; the only thing they can help themselves to without asking is fruit.  I try not to make puddings every day, though that is as much for me as for anyone else ( I'm a comfort eater too and suffering from too much food and not enough exercise, my self control is strong enough not to gain too much, but losing it seems to be beyond me at the moment.)


Small changes over a long time makes all the difference.  While we haven't had to lock food away I know there are  ssituations,conditions and medications which affect appetite that make that strong arm approach a necessity not failure.

#6 mad cat lady

mad cat lady

    How many posts? Get a life!

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,461 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:04 AM

My son is 15 and I have the same problem, he has been out of school for more or less 2 years, he won't go out , even the garden can be tricky because of insects and is always hungry.
The hunger is definitely linked to anxiety and also being bored, with both being a major issue we have resorted to shopping daily, we don't buy biscuits and only rarely have chocolates as he will demolish a bar in seconds. The only time we do have sweet things is if we bake them - J has to actively be involved otherwise I won't bake cakes etc. this seemed like a good plan but did backfire to an extent as he was wanting to bake a couple of times a week, the favourite being some very tasty cookies so I now have to restrict baking to once every couple of weeks and ensure that DD and her partner come round so they can eat some otherwise he would eat the lot. When we bake I limit the biscuits/cake to 2 portions a day.

It is a shame as J and I have always baked together and it feels mean saying no but he is like a locust :)

Before everything fell apart J was like a beanpole, I used to call him my toast rack, he ate quite a bit but was very active which of course stopped.

#7 sonia07



  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Birmingham
  • Interests:When I get time I like to listen to my music, read and watch movies. And if i am very lucky to get a babysitter go out with the GIRLS!!!!

Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:52 PM

My 22 year old is the same he has always been like this and has never felt full! we are awaiting a sensory OT assessment (which I hope will be done soon). I have had to have snacks and drinks locked in my room , fridge and freezer locked up at night in my dining room, he has broken locks on kitchen door when fridge was in there. he eats everything and don't care who's it is or for when!!

He isn't that active either and has put on weight. Has had huge anxiety issues last year and I think he is regressing at moment.  Been a struggle over the years with him and still trying to get help.

All I can say is limit what he has access to, if it means locking snacks, some of the drinks (squash., pop, if you buy many cartons of juice/water) then so be it. I have had to have fridge in my bedroom just to limit whats in main fridge has he was eating all his siblings packed lunch!!

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users