4

votes

Any ex-bingers have advice on beating the binge demon?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I struggle with binge eating, and eating more "paleo" for the past month has helped a little bit but not enough. I know this isn't just a matter of nutrition (but it definetely helps to eat less sugar to want less sugar). I am telling myself that at least if I binge it's on more healthful foods, but then again I'm sure it's still not very good to eat an entire block of creamed coconut in one go.

So I am open to any and all advice - diet related or activity related or mental training related.

edit=added tag

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:46 AM

i don't mean to press at all, but i think it is valid for me to say my emotional hunger is filled when i pour into the Bible. good luck Pching!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:41 AM

i don't want to press since most of the paleo community is anti-religion, but i think it is valid for me to say my emotional hunger is filled when i pour into the Bible. good luck Pching!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:17 AM

i agree with you, Pching. using IF after an EMOTIONAL binge (not just a big meal or overeating, as with a whole chicken) is a terrible idea in my humble opinion, as it teaches you to continue the binge/restrict cycle that brought many of us to binging in the first place. no offence intended, but i would proceed here with extreme caution! i find it much more nourishing to pick myself up and continue on eating normally than to draw attention to my failure by a forced fast.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 20, 2012
at 12:03 AM

Actually I've read Feeding the Hungry Heart. It was an interesting read!

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:30 PM

Check and see if there are any 12-step meetings in your area. Also free and no waiting list. Best of luck!

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on January 11, 2012
at 08:39 PM

No.. nothing like the every thirty minute circle to the fridge for another hunk of brownie binge. But still eating more fruit, and nuts then I know if good for me is kinda a binge.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 08:03 PM

Distraction only works, though, if you've learned to distinguish your physical hunger from the emotional kind so you can feed the first and distract the latter.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 08:01 PM

Emotional hunger can't be filled, only made worse, so I distract it. I walk across the street to gab with my friend or I take my dogs for a walk or I go to the hardware/clothing store (not somewhere full of food ads) and browse. I call it distracting the emotional hunger.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Thanks for the tips! I am on a free counselling waiting list. Unfortunately there is very little help available here. So I am trying to self help instead.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:45 PM

If you have "emotional hunger" how do you fill it up?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:43 PM

@Pching, sorry if I wasn't clear. I wasn't speaking of a binge in that comment, since a binge comes from emotional hunger. I was referring to true or physical hunger; most people get a "full" signal as they eat but binge eaters may have a delayed or unrecognized one. It could be we aren't used to "listening" for it. I started with dishing portions out and stopping whether or not I felt full. It took about an hour before I felt full at first but now I get the signal while I'm eating especially if I take my time.

A1774fb1fcb6c7a072a5e424544ef62e

(255)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:38 PM

I still go through the occasional sugar binges, mostly due to mental cravings and instigated by "special occasions" - birthdays, holidays, stress of exams, etc. But, like you, I just don't find those sugary foods I used to drool after as "tasty" as I remember them to be. I'd sometimes think about cheesecake obsessively, until I gave in and go have a slice, but stop after a few bites because it just tasted too sweet and made me feel ill. I think that's the gift Paleo and low-carb eating have given me - an intolerance for processed foods and wheat, which in turn has helped me to eat well.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:23 PM

Hey Pching, good luck! And you definitely don't need to have a super early dinner every night of course, I just find it helpful when the binge monster is threatening to emerge...

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:17 PM

Thanks for all your tips, I will definetely try and follow. I don't think I can have a dinner at 4 or 5, put I should be able to by 6 every day. I'll try that now.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:16 PM

I have counted and logged calories frequently even before this, though my history with restriction was several years ago (which I know is what triggered the binge eating, but it's not what keeps it going). I don't restrict unless for some reason I have zero appetite (for example, after food poisoning). Cronometer.com says I am getting most of my nutrients (a little low on calcium and vitamin D, but I also take a multivitamin and have ordered vitamin D supplements).

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:10 PM

I don't even think fullness is the issue. I am often already full when the binge starts, even if the cause is hunger (ie binge starts after I eat a meal after getting hungry). *sigh* I really need to try harder.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:38 PM

For sure (see points 1 & 2). I don't think I was even really talking about fun or comfort. It's more this: the goal isn't to binge on good foods, it's to stop bingeing. Of course, eating nourishing foods helps, as does everything else everyone wrote (and, frankly, gaining some weight if you've been a chronic dieter).

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:34 PM

The good news is that now that I'm in control I'm no more likely to binge after fruit or a treat--in fact, being too good is the only risk factor and I now try to eat "extra" ancestral foods at least once per week as long as I'm shrinking.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:32 PM

@Krisha, I partially agree. I think there is a re-feeding cycle if the person has been seriously malnourished. After that, though, I agree the next step is to separate fun/comfort from food and diminish the importance of eating in your life.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:23 PM

If you've been malnourished for a long time I think your body takes a while to realize that it's getting good food. It's part of re-connecting with signals from your gut. The more well fed with real foods, the less anxious the gut should become. Start with that and look for an opportunity to say, "Enough" and just go do something else rather than continuing to eat. Most binge eaters do have a delayed "full" signal so getting away from even an hour can do the job if it was physical hunger.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:21 PM

@Pching, you can and will gain skill at recognizing whether it's physical or emotional hunger. Just keep thinking, Feed one and Distract the other.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:18 PM

Speaking of doughnuts, I think I finally recognized myself as a binge eater when the guy at Dunkin Donuts greeted me by name. (sigh)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:42 PM

Me either! I'd just consider it an ad lib meal and once every week or 2 I have one of those (my most recent was cheese curds and jerky.)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:41 PM

Me either! I'd consider that a terrific snack!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:40 PM

@Pching, I took advantage of my inalienable right to cheat, so my LR took longer than if I'd followed Quilt's RX perfectly. Meaning, I broke my fast with a large meal of fatty beef (6-10 oz) but sometimes that meal was 30 minutes after waking and more often it was later when I first felt hunger. In total, I'm at least 9" smaller around the waist and still shrinking so I think we can say it worked!

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Just to add. Sometime's it's cravings, but other time's it's just the need to continue eating this and then that and then continuing to want more. Today's binge was really after lunch (2 beef burgers + cauliflower + salad + 1/2 avocado), I just felt like I wanted to keep going. I had eggs, more cauliflower, block of coconut cream, and then just continued to have all the food I'd kept in the freezer for the next few days..

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:29 PM

(that's not to say that I'm not willing to try. I think I will try. Any ideas on 50g protein breakfasts?)

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:26 PM

I'd have been happy if it was just a block of creamed coconut. What followed was about 4 meals worth of food in less than an hour. I hope I can one day avoid eating unless I'm hungry (problem there is that because of the binging problems, my hunger cues are out of whack!). I definetely feel better that it's less harmful foods though.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Did the restriction of whole30 not trigger binges for you?

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:21 PM

by failio do you mean low fat? I am definetely not eating low fat. Or do you mean allowing things like dairy and nuts? I do have dairy.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:19 PM

I wouldn't consider a couple of bananas a day or a bag of homemade beef jerky a binge...

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:17 PM

I usually go on until the next day, but I don't tend to skip breakfast because that can just trigger another binge. I definetely feel less bad after a "paleo" binge, as you say. I am at least not having crying spells or feeling agitated and depressed afterwards.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:15 PM

So the Leptin Reset was good? I've considered it before but it seems so inconvinient to try for 50g of protein first thing in the morning...

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:12 PM

No, it's anytime. Though I suppose it's more often when I am home and no one is around to see.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 11, 2012
at 04:24 PM

Is the binging mostly at a certain time in the day?

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15 Answers

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12
724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

on January 11, 2012
at 05:52 PM

Here are some tips based on my own experiences and those of others (personal friends and PH-ers). The first was the biggie for me:

1) Make sure you're eating enough nutrients. Seriously, a varied diet, vitamins, etc. If you're malnourished, your body will beat the crap out of your brain and force feed you until you're not anymore. When I was nutrient starved you had to tie me down to keep me off the nut butters.

2) If you have a history of calorie restriction, just lay off for a while. Anxiety = bingeing. If you're thinking about food all day, whether it's guilt about yesterday or listing all the ways you won't eat today, you're still obsessing about food all day, and increasing the chances you will binge at night. Plus, long-term calorie restriction leads to bingeing in lots and lots of people.

3) Don't eat at night if you feel even remotely bingey. Just no food at all. No snacks, nothing. Don't tell yourself you'll stop at 8pm, just don't eat after work. Obviously, this necessitates some planning to ensure you're still eating (see #2). So, I wouldn't skip breakfast and lunch ever. If you're going to IF, plan to skip dinner, or make it a really early dinner, like Nance does, at like 4 or 5pm.

Alternatively, go out for dinner so that you have a restricted amount you can reasonably eat, but only if you're going to eat great food and be able to not snack when you get home.

For whatever reason, night-bingeing is the most common, and once you start it's virtually impossible to stop. Eating during the day and eating out also restricts the quantity of food you can eat at one time simply by virtue of the fact that you can't lie down afterwards and you still need to fit into whatever clothes you're wearing.

4) Rehashing the basics: keep refined carbs low, no sugar, don't keep bingey foods in the house (nut butters, dairy, fruit).

Other people have awesome advice here and there are some other threads, so you're in good hands. :)

Good luck!

Edit: I just read some of the comments and had a quick thought:

The whole bingeing on paleo thing is great for people who overeat (eat until you're stuffed/guilty), but for people who seriously binge (eating until you're sick) I'm not sure it's that helpful. Learning to respect food as food helps. That is, there aren't "bad foods" and "good foods," there's just non-food and food. Eating non-food will make you sick for sure, but eating too much food will still make you sick. There's no magical food that you can eat until your gut explodes without your gut exploding, unfortunately.

I'm not sure how much my saying this helps, but it might be useful to remind yourself of it mid-binge.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:16 PM

I have counted and logged calories frequently even before this, though my history with restriction was several years ago (which I know is what triggered the binge eating, but it's not what keeps it going). I don't restrict unless for some reason I have zero appetite (for example, after food poisoning). Cronometer.com says I am getting most of my nutrients (a little low on calcium and vitamin D, but I also take a multivitamin and have ordered vitamin D supplements).

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:32 PM

@Krisha, I partially agree. I think there is a re-feeding cycle if the person has been seriously malnourished. After that, though, I agree the next step is to separate fun/comfort from food and diminish the importance of eating in your life.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:17 PM

Thanks for all your tips, I will definetely try and follow. I don't think I can have a dinner at 4 or 5, put I should be able to by 6 every day. I'll try that now.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:34 PM

The good news is that now that I'm in control I'm no more likely to binge after fruit or a treat--in fact, being too good is the only risk factor and I now try to eat "extra" ancestral foods at least once per week as long as I'm shrinking.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:38 PM

For sure (see points 1 & 2). I don't think I was even really talking about fun or comfort. It's more this: the goal isn't to binge on good foods, it's to stop bingeing. Of course, eating nourishing foods helps, as does everything else everyone wrote (and, frankly, gaining some weight if you've been a chronic dieter).

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:23 PM

Hey Pching, good luck! And you definitely don't need to have a super early dinner every night of course, I just find it helpful when the binge monster is threatening to emerge...

10
2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:39 PM

Just speaking for myself here, but until I got the emotional component under control, no amount of tinkering with and manipulating my food (macronutrients, micronutrients, mealtimes, IF...) did diddly squat. Get some counselling or look into Overeaters Anonymous if you think there is an emotional aspect to your eating.

That being said, what helps me when I've gotten off the rails is zero carb. Broth + grass fed /wild caught meat and a generous serving of coconut oil all stewed together for breakfast and dinner (don't feel hungry for lunch). Also it helps to have a "free comfort" (mine is herbal tea) that I can have at any time I need an escape or release. I find that if I have "just one bite" of this or that, it immediately leads to a binge again. I have to be absolutely strict when I am feeling dicey about food.

Another thing that helps is pausing before I eat. Not eating while cooking or snacking, but when the meal is prepared and on the table, I take a deep breath, close my eyes, calm myself down, and then when I feel calm and collected, I enjoy the meal. After the food is gone, before I start worrying about dishes, I take another moment to breathe, feel how satisfied I am, tell myself "that was enough, I am nourished."

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:30 PM

Check and see if there are any 12-step meetings in your area. Also free and no waiting list. Best of luck!

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Thanks for the tips! I am on a free counselling waiting list. Unfortunately there is very little help available here. So I am trying to self help instead.

7
6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 11, 2012
at 04:23 PM

I have a history of serious binges - always carb and sugar heavy foods. A tube of Pringles or a pack of cookies used to have no chance.

I have flirted with paleo for about a year and got serious over the last 2 months. I can honestly say that the desire to binge has dramatically reduced. Although I don't think that's quite it...I never had a desire to binge. I had a desire for the first Pringle/cookie/muffin. And then I'd want another one. And another...and it turned into a binge all by itself. So what I actually find is it's easier to say no to the first one. It's not so much a will power or resisting temptation thing...I can't really explain it - it just is easier.

If I am going to "pig out" these days I do try and do it with something else (bacon is my new favourite thing for a binge) but I find the occasions are getting more rare as I go on with this life. At work there is an unbelievable quantity of cake...in December it was maybe 3 times per week...and I'm getting really good at just not having any. I know that having none is easier than having a small piece.

I am convinced the main thing is that I am slowly resetting my relationship with food to make it more healthy and natural. Eat the right things that I enjoy when I'm hungry. Rather than eat when bored/happy/sad/frustrated/any other excuse but hunger. After a lifetime of wrong and unhealthy, it will take time to completely reset.

I'd suggest 1 month is too little...keep up the good work, don't sweat it...and if you want to eat a block of creamed coconut, go for it. I guarantee you won't do it too often!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:21 PM

@Pching, you can and will gain skill at recognizing whether it's physical or emotional hunger. Just keep thinking, Feed one and Distract the other.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:26 PM

I'd have been happy if it was just a block of creamed coconut. What followed was about 4 meals worth of food in less than an hour. I hope I can one day avoid eating unless I'm hungry (problem there is that because of the binging problems, my hunger cues are out of whack!). I definetely feel better that it's less harmful foods though.

5
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 04:25 PM

I can't cite research so I don't know what percentage of binge eaters might have similar experiences, but I do have a long history of binge eating and I am now either cured or in total remission.

BACKGROUND: It took about 6 months for me to reach my current state of control. The beginning was 4 months of eating ancestral foods. I was bothered by cravings but they weren't overpowering. Between 4 and 5 months, though, my "need" to binge came back. I went on 2 separate binges and was amazed by 2 things:

  • None of the things I thought I'd been deprived of tasted nearly as good as my fresh, whole foods.
  • I became horribly sick, in my case from being exposed to wheat again.

Once back onto ancestral foods, everything tasted fabulous and I felt wonderful and that was pretty much the end of binge eating although I didn't realize it at the time. The final revelation came at the just-past holidays, when I found I could eat some neolithic treats without lapsing into a binge.

WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE? Obviously, my intolerance for wheat is a strong motivator. Six months of letting my taste buds enjoy real foods makes processed foods taste like what they are--junk. But most importantly, at least for me, was that after I was fully acclimated to ancestral eating and leptin sensitive again--see Dr Jack Kruse's Leptin Reset--I began using intermittent fasting (IF.) I routinely go 16-30 hours between meals, and food has lost its all-important role in my life.

You can't "plan" or "schedule" IF--it needs to develop naturally to be effective as binge control. Start your day with a huge meal of fatty meat and whatever other whole foods you want. That should satisfy your physical hunger for a while and, over time, you may gradually find yourself going longer and longer without being driven by hunger. Try to distract your emotional cravings by getting away from temptation and doing errands, walking, or whatever it takes.

Best wishes!

A1774fb1fcb6c7a072a5e424544ef62e

(255)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:38 PM

I still go through the occasional sugar binges, mostly due to mental cravings and instigated by "special occasions" - birthdays, holidays, stress of exams, etc. But, like you, I just don't find those sugary foods I used to drool after as "tasty" as I remember them to be. I'd sometimes think about cheesecake obsessively, until I gave in and go have a slice, but stop after a few bites because it just tasted too sweet and made me feel ill. I think that's the gift Paleo and low-carb eating have given me - an intolerance for processed foods and wheat, which in turn has helped me to eat well.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:15 PM

So the Leptin Reset was good? I've considered it before but it seems so inconvinient to try for 50g of protein first thing in the morning...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:40 PM

@Pching, I took advantage of my inalienable right to cheat, so my LR took longer than if I'd followed Quilt's RX perfectly. Meaning, I broke my fast with a large meal of fatty beef (6-10 oz) but sometimes that meal was 30 minutes after waking and more often it was later when I first felt hunger. In total, I'm at least 9" smaller around the waist and still shrinking so I think we can say it worked!

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:29 PM

(that's not to say that I'm not willing to try. I think I will try. Any ideas on 50g protein breakfasts?)

3
867c4fdab36cbaf93cb003bbb9d58f6d

(115)

on January 12, 2012
at 05:01 AM

Having an eating disorder I keep my binges in control with fat. Coconut oil to be truthful, I drink a cup of hot tea with a tablespoon of oil in it before any binge and if that does not work the first time I repeat the act, after I never binge, and had a severe disorder, and was hospitalized a number of times.

You must force yourself to do this everytime or it does not work. It will help the craving, it will make the feeling go away.

2
D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

on January 12, 2012
at 06:11 AM

I recommend Geneen Roth's book, Women, Food, & God. Or any of her books, really. I think the first one on eating was Feeding the Hungry Heart. She's fabulous, and has practical, do-able things to help.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 20, 2012
at 12:03 AM

Actually I've read Feeding the Hungry Heart. It was an interesting read!

2
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:52 PM

Firs thing first, look at what you are eating. Favoring nutrient dense food. On paleo this should not be a problem.

One thing I do is after a meal, gulping a pint of water, then having a cup of tea. Helps to put out the cravings and gets my mind off of looking for more food to eat.

I also tend to add lots of vegetables for volume, just to get my stomach feeling full.

I would look at your relationship to food. Why do you overeat? I know for me I tend to overeat out of boredom, or because I am looking at a treat for my hard day (this is why I tend to binge at night). I know I am not hungry anymore, I just want to have more.

This is one reason I buy the whole food reward hypothesis (don't necessarily agree that this the dominant factor in obesity).

For some reason, I have made a bond with the food that goes beyond my nutrional needs, so just relying on my sense of hunger failes me.

You can checkout Stephan Guyenet's blog where he outlines some possible protocols - http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/06/food-reward-dominant-factor-in-obesity_28.html

Another interesting resource is Todd Becker's Getting Stronger Site. Checkout his diet: http://gettingstronger.org/diet/

If you are eating paleo, then you probably already have phase 1 dialed in. So I would look at phase 2" Cue extinction and counter-conditioning.

One last thing, I IF daily, which is for me works because I am a big eater. Previously eating more smaller meals made me unsatisfied every meal. With IF, each meal is a bit larger, and I find it easier to get in my calories for the day (not over), and still eat big. So not sure if you looked into IF at all, but may be something you would want to try out.

Hopefully this helps slay the demon.

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 11, 2012
at 04:37 PM

Go for the the Quilts leptin reset protocol.

1
D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on January 12, 2012
at 06:48 AM

I've learned to live with the occasional binges that happen... and I try not to stress out about them because anxiety is what induced the habit in the first place. I think time and mindful thinking is the way to handle them.

1
978afca148d1344ebe8ff5bd0f1ce100

on January 12, 2012
at 04:36 AM

I have also had problems with binge eating....it's like you can't stop thinking about it and it's really hard to resist! There are many good suggestions so I'll just add a couple. When I'm feeling like I"m about to lose it - or even when I'm just kind of like "hm some chocolate sounds nice" but maybe it's not in my carb count to have it that day, or maybe I feel a grazing session about to happen, I have a cup of Dandy Blend. It's bitter and I think that's the reason that it works for me. I'm working on this theory that if I crave sugar, to eat something bitter makes the craving go away. Definitely eating something sugary doesn't help - just makes me want more! Instead of complete abstinence one thing I've done is to put off my binge for a few days until, say, Saturday. So I tell myself that tonight I can't eat blank but if I still want it on Saturday I can. Many times if I could just get through that moment, the craving went away and I didn't feel the need to eat it later on. When it didn't I kept my promise to myself, and usually felt like crap after eating whatever it was I was craving - ha!

1
A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on January 11, 2012
at 04:55 PM

I've had to treat my binges of refined sugar and grain much the same way I handled my cigarette smoking, a total abstinence. Just as I would never smoke again for fear that I would lapse back into the habit, I???ll never eat another donut or bagel. That has as much to do with my mental state as my physical one, I just don???t do bad habits in small doses, I do them all or nothing.

With regards to ???Paleo binges???.. I tend to binge on nuts, bananas, and beef jerky. The cost of nuts keeps me in-check with those, and I don???t seem to have any real negative reaction to a couple of bananas a day or a bag of homemade beef jerky.

My personal feeling is that I binge on refined sugar and grain because my body has a physical addiction to it. I know this concept is disputed in some circles. In turn, I believe I binge on ???paleo snacks??? because I???m hungry and so I can up my real food intake to eliminate these cravings.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:19 PM

I wouldn't consider a couple of bananas a day or a bag of homemade beef jerky a binge...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:41 PM

Me either! I'd consider that a terrific snack!

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on January 11, 2012
at 08:39 PM

No.. nothing like the every thirty minute circle to the fridge for another hunk of brownie binge. But still eating more fruit, and nuts then I know if good for me is kinda a binge.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:42 PM

Me either! I'd just consider it an ad lib meal and once every week or 2 I have one of those (my most recent was cheese curds and jerky.)

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 11, 2012
at 11:24 PM

Alton Brown's suggestion was "when I wanted cake and chips, I ate a can of sardines."

I have a couple cans of sardines in the cupboard, just in case. Haven't needed to break into them yet except when I need a snack.

0
1955b5516a3eaedce732f4ea8bb3fa6c

on January 11, 2012
at 05:13 PM

I am and have been a terrible binge-eater. I'm talking whole pizzas, half a dozen donuts in one sitting, stuff like that. Initially cravings and the need to eat quite a bit have been high on paleo. I just let myself eat as much as I want as long as I am eating good food. I also started out eating a good amount of fruit and then kind of weaned myself off sugars that way. Figured better to eat a lot of fruit than a lot of donuts. I'm on day 11 of the Whole30 challenge, and mostly down to just meat and veggies now and much less fruit. The voracious binging appetite is starting to die down to, been giving parts of my plate to my bf cuz I can't finish them anymore. I would suggest maybe getting really hardcore and doing something like the Whole30 challenge if you haven't already. I had several failed attempts at eating paleo before this, my cravings and binging habits always getting the best of me. The structure of this challenge has really helped me stay on track and not cheat. (no cheats allowed AT ALL for 30 days) Good luck!

Really yummy "sweet" treat btw...shake up and pour some canned coconut milk in a container and set in the fridge for a while, it gets thick and creamy, then mix it with some berries/fruit. That really satisfied my craving for sweets most of the time.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Did the restriction of whole30 not trigger binges for you?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:18 PM

Speaking of doughnuts, I think I finally recognized myself as a binge eater when the guy at Dunkin Donuts greeted me by name. (sigh)

0
956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Make sure you're not on the failo wagon. That thing just keeps speeding up, making it harder and harder and harder to stay on track and eventually, you WILL derail.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:21 PM

by failio do you mean low fat? I am definetely not eating low fat. Or do you mean allowing things like dairy and nuts? I do have dairy.

0
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on January 11, 2012
at 04:22 PM

See how long you can go before your next meal after binging on good foods. Have an IF after bingeing.

In my past life I would sit down with enough crappy take-out to feed a family of four, but still be able to keep my normal eating schedule. Today I might sit down with a whole chicken, but after doing so go pretty long before my next meal. Plus, I can still be active if I needed to be after the the chicken, but I would be a total slug after the take-out.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:17 PM

I usually go on until the next day, but I don't tend to skip breakfast because that can just trigger another binge. I definetely feel less bad after a "paleo" binge, as you say. I am at least not having crying spells or feeling agitated and depressed afterwards.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:17 AM

i agree with you, Pching. using IF after an EMOTIONAL binge (not just a big meal or overeating, as with a whole chicken) is a terrible idea in my humble opinion, as it teaches you to continue the binge/restrict cycle that brought many of us to binging in the first place. no offence intended, but i would proceed here with extreme caution! i find it much more nourishing to pick myself up and continue on eating normally than to draw attention to my failure by a forced fast.

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