774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
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24 HOURS OF HELL: Young male seriously concerned with what I just did to myself

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Updated October 20, 2014 at 4:07 AM
Created March 02, 2014 at 7:28 AM

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???

1faaa7bd7936e940ffd1afaeb92f5085
0 · March 05, 2014 at 8:43 AM

btw eating 150g of protein a day is perfectly fine, I've gone up to 300g a day and haven't seen any adverse benefits other than more glycogen in my muscles and strength, I keep it around 200-250g these days

1faaa7bd7936e940ffd1afaeb92f5085
0 · March 05, 2014 at 8:41 AM

I get them at vitamin shoppe, they have one supplement which has potassium and magnesium, excellent stuff, and it's cheap too

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 05, 2014 at 3:52 AM

I appreciate your concern, I am seeing a therapist for this behavior and other issues in my life. Apparently there is a medication called "Topamax" that can help with impulse control and binge-eating that I am considering should I find this to be out of my control.

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 04, 2014 at 3:31 AM

Is a "cheat day" a good idea? Or how do I go about resetting my leptin? And what is insulin resistance?

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 04, 2014 at 3:29 AM

Is a cheat day a good idea? Or how do I go about resetting my leptin?

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 04, 2014 at 3:29 AM

I wish I did not have to be around those foods, but I live with six other people who could not care less about what they eat and buy crap all the time...I felt pretty strange yesterday and part of today. No desire for sugar of any sort. I've been eating very healthy since this happened and feel a lot better. As to why I kept indulging, well, I think my satiation signals were (are?) extremely messed up, not to mention the foods I ate ARE EXTREMELY ADDICTIVE. They are chemically manufactured and processed to make you crave more and keep going.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · March 04, 2014 at 2:41 AM

Something else that comes to mind, other than why would you have this stuff in your house anyway, is why would you keep eating? That level of gut distension would be painful. Your satiation signals might be messed up. Maybe a leptin reset? Insulin resistance? Eating disorder? IDK, but something isn't right here.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · March 04, 2014 at 2:39 AM

Wow. Why did you have all that crap in your house in the first place? Did you get a carb crash? And I wonder why would a no added sugar greek yogurt trigger a binge? Guess your diet is too resticted and your struggling with it. Maybe put in a cheat day once a week.

Fea6afb2ce36ad8df5548e6a5195af4d
-6 · March 04, 2014 at 2:06 AM

I'm fairly certain that g/kg is correct. The range varies a bit (0.6 to 1.8), but I'd start with 1g/kg and adjust after everything else has been balanced out. (150 lb = 68kg)

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 03, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Where do you buy these supplements? I take a few other vitamins but not these--good idea! I will also try out that recipe next time!

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 03, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Yeah I'm positive, I still have it written down-- "Aim for at least 150g protein/day. Ideally, consume the amount of grams/day per your body weight in lbs."

Fea6afb2ce36ad8df5548e6a5195af4d
-6 · March 03, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Are you sure the nutritionist said 1g/lb and not 1g/kg? It seems strange to mix up the units like that.

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 03, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Interesting! I did not know that about protein...the nutritionist I spoke with said to aim for 1g protein/1lb of body weight, hence me always shooting for 150+...

Fea6afb2ce36ad8df5548e6a5195af4d
-6 · March 03, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Eating more protein than your body actually needs can result in the same types of problems that you get when you eat too many carbs because most proteins can be metabolized into glucose ("glucogenic").

I personally aim for something less than 1g/kg of protein... Unless you're over 330 pounds, 150g of protein is probably too much (1kg = 2.2 pounds).

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 03, 2014 at 2:50 AM

I appreciate that thought but can assure you this is much more of a physical manifestation/hormonal imbalance. Something in the way I approach paleo is not working, whether that be too little/too many carbs, not enough SLEEP, too little fat, etc. The cravings I have to indulge are unlike anything else, but you are right--I do need to work on the part of STOPPING after starting!

Fea6afb2ce36ad8df5548e6a5195af4d
-6 · March 03, 2014 at 12:47 AM

Did the therapist specialize in eating disorders? Just tend to think you should exhaust that route before you ask strangers for advice that can do more harm than good.

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 02, 2014 at 9:25 PM

I have seen a therapist about this issue and others, however there is no "underlying issue" surrounding it--I do not have body image issues, restrict eating, etc. This is purely a BAD HABIT because I enjoy sugar and junk food so much! Hence me looking for advice/nutritional tweaks/other's experience surrounding sugar, wheat, cravings, cheating, and the paleo diet in general!

Fea6afb2ce36ad8df5548e6a5195af4d
-6 · March 02, 2014 at 9:16 PM

It looks like you might have binge eating disorder, which is characterized by:

  • Binging -- The episode you describe demonstrates loss of control and eating much more than people normally would.
  • Over a period of time -- Although it has never been this bad, you mention that it is your "habit" to "consume less during the week" and "pigging out on weekends".
  • Without compensatory behaviors (purging) -- "No extra exercise or anything".

Since you find the behavior distressing, perhaps you should seek help from someone who has experience treating these types of problems?

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 02, 2014 at 8:05 PM

This is part of my habit (eating less on week days/pigging out on weekends) but I want to reverse the trend and stick to paleo as much as possible! No extra exercise or anything though, weight has been stable...sleep not great but that's nothing new

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 02, 2014 at 8:03 PM

My carb intake was most likely too low...I generally consume less during the week and do a "refeed" on the weekends, but never before like this! Not with the sugar/wheat crap at least. How many grams/day would you suggest for someone like me? 22 year old guy, lifts/bikes at the gym 4-5x/wk, walks a fair amount...? Thanks!

Fea6afb2ce36ad8df5548e6a5195af4d
-6 · March 02, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Has anything like this happened before? Did you do anything to "compensate" for what you did? (eg, some type of detox program, colon cleanse, extra exercise, etc)

Medium avatar
91 · March 02, 2014 at 9:25 AM

how many grams of carbs were you consuming prio to this?

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10 Answers

90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e
0
827 · March 04, 2014 at 10:46 PM

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

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 05, 2014 at 3:52 AM

I appreciate your concern, I am seeing a therapist for this behavior and other issues in my life. Apparently there is a medication called "Topamax" that can help with impulse control and binge-eating that I am considering should I find this to be out of my control.

1faaa7bd7936e940ffd1afaeb92f5085
0
0 · March 03, 2014 at 6:02 PM

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

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 03, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Where do you buy these supplements? I take a few other vitamins but not these--good idea! I will also try out that recipe next time!

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0
0 · March 03, 2014 at 2:56 AM

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.

Fea6afb2ce36ad8df5548e6a5195af4d
-6 · March 03, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Are you sure the nutritionist said 1g/lb and not 1g/kg? It seems strange to mix up the units like that.

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0 · March 03, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Interesting! I did not know that about protein...the nutritionist I spoke with said to aim for 1g protein/1lb of body weight, hence me always shooting for 150+...

Fea6afb2ce36ad8df5548e6a5195af4d
-6 · March 03, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Eating more protein than your body actually needs can result in the same types of problems that you get when you eat too many carbs because most proteins can be metabolized into glucose ("glucogenic").

I personally aim for something less than 1g/kg of protein... Unless you're over 330 pounds, 150g of protein is probably too much (1kg = 2.2 pounds).

Fea6afb2ce36ad8df5548e6a5195af4d
0
-6 · March 03, 2014 at 1:07 AM

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.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98
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5650 · March 02, 2014 at 10:52 PM

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.

D371623b5671d11fa678b201ff23442b
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0 · March 02, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Maybe you're undercarbed?

6d63a1d0908ded6d7de14c344e68b25d
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45 · March 02, 2014 at 4:16 PM

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.

4a3e11b83837f1c1f22fc28122ed505e
0
130 · March 02, 2014 at 8:47 AM

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!

774d19b7573dd0458ee129884f2a62f9
0
0 · March 02, 2014 at 8:32 AM

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?

4a3e11b83837f1c1f22fc28122ed505e
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130 · March 02, 2014 at 8:15 AM

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.

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