This has happened so many times now, that it can't be a coincidence anymore...
I am trying to lose the last few lbs so i tighten things up, reduce calories just a little bit, cut out any extra little sugars hiding anywhere, eat very clean and do great workouts...this feels amazing and lasts for about 2 weeks, around the 14th day, i am sooo happy with how things are feeling and going...
Then like clock work, BANG! out of the midst of great mental strength and determination I crack!
I either have a set back (binge) type night (never on SAD foods, just like weird things like almond butter, or fruit etc) and after that I get sooo mad at myself that is takes me so long to get back "on the horse so to speak"
This just happened for the millionth time..I was about 2 weeks in...about 4 lbs away from my goal...everything is smooth sailing and this past Saturday night ended in a disaster!...Sunday was spent recovering and trying to eat clean to get back on (struggled the whole day) today is Monday and i've already slipped up and can't seem to get back on....
Can anyone offer any advice as to what could be happening here, is this a mental thing? is this a physical thing based on the deprivation from the 2 weeks of slight restriction?
I want to break this cycle so badly...anything could help... thanks
This story appears fairly often on PH.
The common elements are:
The part of the cycle where you get mad at yourself is a pretty good formula for stress and not reaching your goal.
First, you seem to have a clear idea of the body size you wish to be. When you get very close to your goal, you may be fighting your "natural" weight. Many humans are not naturally thin/slender. In bad times, those who did well were those who had accumulated a few "extra" pounds in good times--the Marilyn Monroe look if you will and I mean when she was young rather than when she was very thin from smoking, drinking and starving. So you get to choose what your goal is but your body may fight to keep you strong and "healthy" in weight. You'll need to find a balance your body will accept.
Second, it's pretty natural to eat more/less on a given day so that's not the problem. You can have a very busy or stressful day and wind up eating very little or you may find yourself unusually hungry and eat more than usual. The problem is that you get upset and mad at yourself and your emotional reaction probably does more damage than the food because of the cascade of stress hormones. I ate more than usual over the holidays, including some sugary treats, but I lost weight because I didn't stress over it. Easier to say than do, of course. But if you do get upset your body will react and it will either release stored fat or hoard it--mine does each one at different times so I've learned to accept and gently nudge my body in the direction I prefer.
I hope you can reach the profile you wish. I did that once--the ferocious battle with my body to get where I wanted it to go so I could wear the size I wished. I have to admit I look back at pictures from that time and I think I was too bony. I wound up becoming way too fat, but I wish I had left "that last 5 pounds" on and worn a larger size.
Hmmm, let's see . . .
The answer is that you're making yourself more hungry. In your case, you can resist hunger for 14 days, but you've found that hunger wins in the end by making you binge.
It's easier said than done, but you need to use plateau-busting techniques that don't involve consciously reducing calories and making you more hungry. Some examples would be more sleep, workouts that are shorter but more intense, or perhaps experimenting with eating windows/intermittent fasting.
perhaps an experiment is in order? start again, but plan to go crazy at the 2 week mark. make it a fabulous event. get all dressed up and set a formal table, light some candles. enjoy the food.
pick a start time and a finish time and carry on as if this day is a part of the grande scheme to your goal.
I used to be anorexic, and one day after my 'recovery', I threw my scale out. Haven't weighed myself since then except when the doc makes me. I got so sick and tired of thinking about food all day, every day. Who knows why you binge or cheat or your body won't let go of those 4 lbs. Maybe if you take the weight goal out of the picture and just aim for being radiantly, gorgeously healthy and letting yourself enjoy everything ONCE in a while, you won't cut loose and binge. Maybe you could avoid that crushing 'day after' feeling that you are letting yourself down. Good luck with getting to where you want to be :)
Have a think about what comes before the "crack", and what comes before what comes before the "crack". For example are you working long hours which builds up over two weeks and you then are tired, bored, depressed or just craving some type of food? What do you normally do days or hours before you end up "cracking"?
A couple of other things, I believe YO-YO eating is natural, sure some of the foods may not be great but look at it in terms of the long-term goal of being healthy and fit. I hate the word diet, eating is about eating not about righteousness or perfection. You are already making things easier for yourself by removing certain foods from your house which are not the most beneficial for you, but don't fear food and certainly don't feel guilty about eating. You are probably doing more damage from the cortisol release and stress then you are from eating whatever you were eating.
If you think it is a cycle, then try and work back through the cycle and identify the events that cycle around and around. If you don't know where to begin, maybe keep a diary (not a food diary!) but a normal diary and you may find that two days before you binge you have a log or even notice you didn't write in your diary because you were either too busy, too tired or maybe just feeling down or grumpy.
There you may find an indication of what might be leading you up to the point of flopping on the couch eating a pineapple and watching re-runs of the "Gilmore Girls". ;)
Do you feel the binge coming on? If you know you are going to get hit harness it. Use it. Do some sort of really insane weightlifting workout that is going to completely destroy you and then binge. Use the insulin hit to drive muscle growth and the workout to create "space" in your glycogen stores so the binge doesn't do much.
Can I also say that cheats aren't the caloric issue people think. Take my example for this year. I binged for two weeks on chocolates and rich food over Christmas and thought I had gained 3lbs. 2 days back on diet I was 5lbs lighter. It turns out I'd lost fat but retained water from salt and sugar.
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