The following is the 100% ugly truth:
In the last 24 hours, I have literally consumed 15,000-20,000 calories of pure, sugar junk food. It started around 4am last night when I got up to have some greek yogurt. Sleep never came, and the eating did not stop there. A whole package of oreos, a FULL TUB of peanut butter, 20+ home made cookies, two bags of popcorn, 3 bowls of sugary cereal, a few chocolate bars, 5 granola bars, 2 rolls of ritz crackers, around 200 peanut butter M&M's, and a whole boatload of other crap later, here I am. This massive binge carried on through today, and now I am sitting here in a daze wondering what the heck happened. The sick part was, it was FUN to indulge in this crap! But man of man I want to literally crawl in a hole and never come out....
The funny thing is, I've been following the paleo diet rather consistently over the past few weeks, but NEVER have I sunk this low before! I was NOT restricting calories before this happened--my weight has been consistently between 160-165 lbs for the past few years.
SO: How does one recover? According to the scale in our house, I've gained 15 lbs, I'm sure it'll be closer to 7-8 not counting water weight. But how do I "get back on the wagon" and make sure this does not happen again???
This is what we call binge eating. It used to happen to me quite a lot when I was in college - so much so that it was a full blown eating disorder. (For you it's just a one time occurrence, of course so it's not an eating disorder.)
There are a couple of measure I took to break this bingeing.
1. Don't keep junk in the house.
2. Talk to someone when you feel that urge to eat three bowls of cereal, and have them help you through it.
3. Leave the house for a couple of hours and don't carry any cash.
4. Eat nutritious, fatty meals to the point of fullness. This is major. When I eat three large primal meals a day, I have no urge to even snack at all.
Hope this helps.
It's unlikely that you have a carb intake that is "too low". If you feel the need to binge (on carbs in particular), you may actually be eating too many carbs -- and not enough fat.
Carbs are quickly digested and metabolized to produce a burst of energy that the body quickly brings under control by increasing insulin levels. Insulin pulls the glucose out of the blood (into fat cells for storage) and shuts down the body's energy production systems. When energy levels drop too low, you feel the "need" to eat more carbs to bring them back up.
The way out of this is to cut carbs as much as possible. Eat adequate (or excess) amounts of fat with each meal. Make sure you eat enough to maintain weight and health. Do not "refeed" with carbs on the weekends. Stay on the same consistent low-carb, high-fat diet for every meal of every day of every week of every month...
If done right, then (as described by Hannah-15) you should not feel the urge to snack at all.
Man, sounds bad but don't beat yourself up over it, if you indulge at least enjoy it, otherwise there really is no point! Why do you have all this crap in your house? Assuming some non paleoers about? Best solution is to not buy that shit in the first place.
I definitely enjoyed it, I just don't ever want it to happen again! The gluten/wheat is even worse than all the sugars on my digestion I think. But yeah, my housemates left all this out on our table after a party and I completely caved and turned my brain off today.
Does it make sense to try to cut way down on carbs and play around with ketogenesis the next few days? I know sugar/wheat are OUT, but any tips on making sure this doesn't happen again?
The best tip is to write how it's made you feel and refer to it at times of weakness.
I find its a mindset thing, once you categorise yourself as someone who simply 'does not eat that' it becomes as natural as not sparking a cigarette because you don't smoke.
Willpower runs out eventually so shifting how you look at that food is the only way. Also fill up the cupboard with some more paleo friendly snacks. I find a big stick of salted butter stops cravings and fills you up enough to satisfy your stomach during times of weakness!
As for going low carb, it's probably worth it to balance it out but in reality it's not going to make a huge difference, I would just go work out and put all that sugar to good use!
honestly, i have no clue how you ate so much! i would throw up after one package of oreos. since your body was craving all these simple carbs, are you eating too low carb right now? that can set people off if they are too restricted.
i write everything down in a food diary so i can see what i've eaten. i hate writing down junk food so i don't eat it (besides all the other symptoms i get from it). i don't count calories or measure my macronutrients, just write the foods.
Thank you for the reply, I've been back and forth about low carb/higher carbs which is why I've adopted a lower-carb approach throughout the week and higher on the weekends. But when it leads to something like THIS, then I am all for trying to maintain a lower-carb diet and up the fat intake (just had a few spoonfuls of cocoanut butter!)
For a guy like me that works out and is decently active outside of the gym, what is the ballpark range I should shoot for? Protein-wise I've always tried to consume 150g+/day, but I've never really counted carbs before.
you can eat a lot of healthy foods: 5lbs of grass-fed beef, 10eggs, a whole pack of bacon, lots of nuts and grass-feed butter if you feel like you have a binge for chocolate mix organic cocoa powder, coconut oil or almond butter and agave or honey and just get cocoa wasted, it's much better to eat 15k calories of whole foods than to eat them of junk
PS. I've found that supplementing with potassium and magnessium has diminished my cravings a lot
OP, I'm worried you may have a budding eating disorder. If this is truly the first time you've binged, there's no need to see a professional just yet. If you binge again or even feel like you want to, go see a qualified therapist right away! Eating disorders are nothing to trifle with and it is much better to catch them early than let them take root. @gth28
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