So I've been struggling with BED for years now, and the episodes have become more and more frequent over the past few months. I eat pretty healthy on a regular basis, and then go into these maniacal eating sprees where I can scarf down anywhere up to 7,000 calories of processed high carb/sugar foods-cookies, candy bars, cereal. I was wondering whether there are any binge eaters out there, and what Paleo has done for them? Anyone else's input would be appreciated as well. I know that bingeing is, to some degree, prompted by physiological triggers, and I was wondering whether a Paleo lifestyle could possibly help reduce these?
Unfortunately paleo cannot fix this problem entirely on it's own, you have to undress the underlying psychological causes of the binge eating. Paleo will help in the sense that you will feel more sated, and less hungry most of the time. Also, binging on whole food paleo goodies is better for you than a bag of oreos, but really diet alone cant cure the problem.
I've struggled with binge eating from a young age and Paleo seems to have helped a lot.
For the last few years I've had depression over the winter months and was hospitalised earlier this year because of it, and I was binging every single day on sugary, carby junk.
Since I discovered Paleo (around February) my binges have been much less frequent, and I've been tweaking things to make it better and better.
I haven't had a binge now for a fortnight (I know, not long, but it's the longest I've been without a binge for over 18 months) and upping my carbs from 30g a day to 60g a day has made the difference there.
I'm not overweight but I'm looking to lean out a little, lose about 10-15lbs of fat and get my abs back through (female). In terms of binging, upping my fat and never letting my carbs go over 100g (all those carbs coming from leafy greens, broccoli, berries and Greek yoghurt) means I never get hungry enough to have a binge like I used to.
Before I would find that my sugar-based diet fuelled my hunger to the extent that when I would shop I'd buy 3x times than I could actually eat because I felt like I'd never be full again!
i am a binger. according to my mother it started the moment solid food was introduced into my diet.
i have dealt with it in different ways over the years; for a while i binge drank instead and for a couple of years i embraced the roaring hunger as a sign that i was indeed losing weight and suffered.
once i went low carb, i felt bingy less frequently and so i fed the odd urge plain rice cakes; i once ate 20 of them and the only reason i stopped was because i ran out. another tactic that worked for a while was to eat eggs when i felt bingy. lately it has been a bottle of water and an avocado. i am beginning to think that fat is the key to shutting them down.
I never had a binge issue in my life until I had been very low carb (as in, <20 for over 1.5 years) for too long, apparently. I was taken by surprise and totally alarmed when they began to occur regularly. I've just recently confirmed my suspicion that that those "binges" were thanks to the fact that my body was screaming for something, and I believe that it was for both potassium and YES, glucose. I had resisted for about a year because of my rigid belief in the negative effects of any and all carbs on my body. Regardless, I was now miserable physically and mentally and the binge issue was just the tip of the iceberg. I had to do something to stop the downhill slide that was picking up speed.
I tried everything, and I mean everything, before adding back the dreaded carb. I started with a sweet potato a day and the change was instantaneous and nothing short of amazing. It was like I had come back to life. The effect on my mood and energy alone told me that this was most definitely what I needed. I had energy to work out, I WANTED to work out and ENJOYED working out for the first time in ages. I did gain a couple of lbs of water weight but it quickly dropped off and I knew that since my body now had a brand new take on workouts and this new-found energy, I would be able to get rid of anything I gained initally - and then some. Just as reassuring as the energy and mood issues was the fact that I finally remembered what it felt like to be full and satisfied after eating. I no longer felt like once I started eating, the dam had broken and I had to force myself stop because I wasn't feeling "nourished", for lack of a better word. This has been HUGE. HUGE!!!
Long story short, I strongly feel that sometimes there is a missing nutrient - whether it be a vitamin, mineral, electrolyte, etc., that our body is lacking and begging us to take in - which contributes strongly to the urge to binge. I'm not saying that this is the answer to binge eating disorders as obviously there is a major psychological component present, but that making it a priority to address the physiological aspect and making sure that your body is well-nourished and receiving adequate nutrition will level the playing field somewhat and help rule out many of the possible physical origins. It's a big enough challenge when our body is bucking up against the effects of psychological deprivation involved in chronic dieting, or "watching our weight", but coupled with its attempts to have its basic metabolic needs met, it can feel like too much and we eventually cave, again and again.
Best of luck to you!
I share your struggles. I do believe that Paleo has helped me in these ways: first, if I eat clean, my cravings are reduced after about a week of consistent eating. It seems like every time I indulge in something sugar-y, then I have to start over. Second, my stomach is far more sensitive to "cheating" - any grains or sugar causes some noticeable amount of intestinal distress. Third, related to the above, my mentality toward food has changed: now I don't use guilt to prevent indulgences (e.g., you're so lazy/fat/weak if you eat this), but rather more rational thought (e.g., if you eat this, your stomach will feel painful and your clothes will feel awkward and tight). I see this as a positive attitudinal shift toward food. It's also easier to manage as logical thought is easier to control than emotions.
I also want to mention one point that others may not agree with: in my struggles with over-eating, I have done a lot of private therapy and self-research on the subject. Time and again, I was advised to look for the root cause of my binging - that is, there must be some traumatic life event OR some insecurity OR some unmet need causing my binging, and if I could just find it and treat it, the binging would ease. This approach did not work for me; the root cause is elusive, or perhaps not even there. One book that did help me immensely is Kathryn Hansen's Brain Over Binge. She agrees with the sentiment that for SOME people, there is not always some emotional damage or emotional sinkhole causing the binging. Instead, it's more about how our brain is wired. This perspective is may be quite compatible with the paleo tradition - our brains as being hard-wired to seek carb-heavy foods as such will protect us against famines. In this vein, our "animal brain" (as she and the psychologist she draws from put it) tries to control our appetites, inducing binge eating when available. (And it's nearly always available in our modern world.) It's up to use evolved creatures to use our "rational brain" to use logic to overcome our binges. She basically tells us we need to have our "rational brain" tell our "animal brain" to shut-up. The beauty of evolution is that we can use our "rational brain" for this purpose.
Hope this helps. This is just my perspective, but perhaps its different angle will help.
I feel your pain. I have eaten an entire tub of Trader Joe's chocolate chip cookies washed down with quart of Half n Half in the parking lot of said TJ's. It ain't easy.
Lately I've had to face home made cream puffs and chocolate chip cookies and really had no desire to indulge. It takes time. It takes getting back up on the horse after falling in a pile of poo. It does, eventually, get better.
But it is like any other habit. One cigarette can trigger restarting smoking as one drink can trigger an alcoholic binge.
I've been in a binge cycle lately, as well...
As soon as I can afford it, I'm going to order a supplement called SynaptogenX, it's supposed to help balance out the neurotransmitters and specifically, dopamine. I came across it while researching "Reward Deficiency Syndrome", which I was led to while hacking away eating disorder topics.
I know that will-power is a HUGE part of not succumbing to the binge... but sometimes I feel like my body is inhabited by an alien life force and I'm watching from a distance as it controls my body and steers it toward that bag of olive oil potato chips and bottle of heavy whipping cream. Oh and milk chocolate, too.
I really feel like hormones and their balance or lack thereof play such a huge part in why we do what we do (food or otherwise). When I was VLC was the only time I did not have ANY food cravings, but mood and exercise really sucked. I also gained weight on VLC, super bloated out. As soon as I added back in some carbs, I felt better but bam! Food cravings galore.
My best coping mechanisms for my binge eating problems
Strictly and without exception do not keep ANY trigger foods in the house, my husband has just had to get used to this.
Eat a relatively lowish-carb diet
Lots of seafood (some every single day is my Preference)
Making sure I'm getting enough magnesium seems to be an ongoing issue. I find when I Am getting it, my anxieties and compulsive behavior lessen
Consciously and slowly Put my fork down in between bites and breathe or talk if you're at the table with others
Sipping warm tea, coffee, or bone broth. It gives a feeling of fullness in etween meals without adding calories or triggering binges
Get enough sleep, turn the contraptions off after 9pm at the latest and sleep in a dark quet place. I cannot stress enough how much more I binge when I'm sleep deprived.
Have a buddy you can confide in when you slip up. Even if it's a pen pal from an overeaters anonymous forum or other eating disorder group. in person, or someone you can call or text personals is even better.
Mindfulness, self forgiveness, and being gentle with yourself. Realize that if you slip up, the next day, hour, week... Whatever is your tabula rasa. Just because you slipped up this hour doesn't mean you should just say "F%#€ it!" and keep on bingeing all day or week. As soon as you get a hold of yourself, throw all the offending food in the garbage or walk out of the store or restaurant and start out clean.
I faced a whole garlic chicken pesto pizza last night with ranch, Krispy Kreme donuts and an extra large nepolitan in n out milkshake yo my triggers r boredom so keep your mind occupied set goals and pursue them always thinking ahead. Sometimes when I binge I step back n think.."you can just eat a small meal again in 2 hours instead of binging but obviously there's a psych. issue present with BED my ex had a bad one and I went to her counselling appts. With her and learned some things. Nutrient deficiency could be a trigger. I have always just loved food I'm not sure what the psych. Issues with me are. I do find that if the fridge is stocked with healthy food at least you can eat that instead of gross things like I did last night because well, my fridge was empty. Sleep cycle is important with BED. Sleep @ a set time every night and get a full nights rest. W/O that key step your body obviously will have funky hormone balances from lack of sleep and maybe you're body try's to make up for that imbalance with caloric intake. As far as paleo curing BED, I think it can help IF you take your Paleolithic diet seriously. As I said set goals and think about the long term in the future aspect. Recently my stomach has started to tank on me from my BED. So I woke up today feeling like shit where as in my high school days I could BED and feel fine hit the gym in the morning and sweat it out, this is no longer the case so much as I have acid gurgling up now and my stomach is definitely having some pains from digesting all that gross bad devil stuff for me. This is why I said fuck it and having my discipline control my BED because I remind myself of how bad my body will feel afterwards. Also I began to consider my heart health. We can't all be Peter pans
Do we all just have an eating disorder? 14 Answers