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binge eating serious problem

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 20, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Im at a loss. im paleo 5 days and screwed up...binged on bread rolls and biscuits.. I Just dont know why i feel the need to, just have a terrible urge to stuff my face with junk when Im not hungry...dont know what causes it, I dont have to be upset to do it, so dont think its
emotional.. im eating enough too.. I'm 18, female, roughly 175lbs and 5ft 5..what should I do ive been like this since childhood. Is there something with me..

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9 Answers

5
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 20, 2013
at 02:20 PM

Paleo might help keep binge-eating tendencies in the long term at rest, but you need to address your issues with binge-eating before optimizing your diet with paleo. Binge-eating is a serious mental issue, and has to do with your relationship with food, sense of control, and issues around that -- and not with diet.

While a mental health professional can offer guidance and counseling, I'd suggest starting the process by at least talking to a friend, parent, or sibling. Someone that cares for you can help you set up a plan of action to help mitigate harm from disordered binge eating.

Please reach out to someone close to you that can offer advice. If there isn't someone like that around, please seek professional counseling.

Food should be enjoyed, and not make you feel out of control! Good luck.

4
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 20, 2013
at 11:24 PM

If you are trying to switch to paleo, DON'T LIMIT YOUR FOOD AMOUNTS. Your appetite will probably be large at the beginning, because your body is so excited about getting nourishing food! Eat plenty of fat. Eat lots of veggies. Eat a huge steak, or 2 chicken breasts. Eat some carbs. Don't think of this as a diet - you are nourishing your body, not restricting.

Later, you can try to tweak a little for weight loss, if that's what you desire. But that's not a great starting point if your body is sending you signals that it is starving.

3
A6f9b3029012b263a99a9d906737ee07

(173)

on May 21, 2013
at 01:38 AM

Firstly, I've been there before. It wasn't until I saw a therapist for what I thought was unrelated work stress that I discovered my triggers for binging and was able to work through it. Do not beat yourself up. Food is actually very emotionally tied. It's also natural for you to feel the need to rebel or sabotage your success when you restrict yourself from "bad foods"...we tend to want the things we tell ourselves we can't have.

So here's my advice for you: if you can, seek help from a professional therapist. It can be really helpful and I do not think it is a shameful thing to do. You don't have to be a wreck to see a therapist, you just need the courage and desire to be a better person than you were yesterday, and that means facing emotional or mental baggage you may have swept under the rug throughout the years.

For the binges, where are you and what are you doing being you binge? Pinpoint the circumstances that make you most likely to binge. Is it because you head to the kitchen when you get home for the day? Try replacing that habit with a walk, phone call with a friend, cup of tea, or even heading to your bedroom to read a book instead. Also, evaluate yourself emotionally. Are you upset about something that happened earlier that day, but instead of facing that emotional feeling, you stuck yourself with food instead? Do you eat because you are stressed or because you worry you are a failure and will never live up to your expectations? (Especially when it comes to body image expectations). There are many causes for binging and your awareness of the causes will help you prevent them.

Lastly, really evaluate why you are doing paleo in the first place. Was it because you want a long term lifestyle change that will keep you healthy or (be honest) was it because you have low self esteem because of being overweight, so you were looking for a way to lose the extra weight. Don't feel bad if the second one is true...that's how most people get into paleo! We want to look hot! But we cannot look at paleo as an all or nothing forever diet. When we say it's a lifestyle, we don't mean restrict restrict restrict for the rest if your life. You have to find a way to make this diet sustainable for you long term. I promise it is, it just takes time finding what works for you and understanding why you made this decision.

Long term paleo dieters will have treats here and there and that is totally okay. But notice the language, I did not say cheats. Looking at nonpaleo food choices as cheats creates guilt and a slew of negative emotions. I really dislike "cheat days", because I think an all out binge of bad food is damaging both mentally and physically. I choose not to eat breads and sugars because I know they are not good for me and do not stand up nutritionally to paleo food. Yes, there are grains/dairy/sugar foods that I love the taste of, but I prefer a healthy, strong, and happy body and mind to eating junk. However, I will drink a glass of wine or have dessert at dinner here and there. Sometimes I really want to eat frozen yogurt at those cute self serve places. I don't beat myself up over it and I try not to overindulge. Occasionally my eyes are bigger than my tummy and I overdo it, but I sure as heck feel it physically the next day, but I do not beat myself up. I pick myself back up, start my next meal (not next day, if it's a lunch treat or whatever. I hate that "I'll start again Monday" mentality. Everything is not ruined because you had something that wasn't paleo. Ask yourself if it was worth it (hopefully the answer is yes, if not then you know not to do it next time) and move on with your life. The paleo police are not going to come after you. And do not let anybody else judge you for what you did and did not eat. You don't need to be shamed by others. Tell them to pay attention to their own plate and you pay attention to yours.

Things will get better, but you need to be real with yourself. You have to be willing to change. You can do it.

Best of luck!

2
D8644ecc819aa7fb98ed93eece4befa2

(281)

on May 20, 2013
at 10:02 PM

Besides binging could be a mental issue, I really like the opinion of the Perfect Health Diet guys. They state that binging (or eating in excess) is because there some defiencency. If you fix that, the binging will stop. It might be worth looking into that. Since I'm following supplemental guidelines of PHD, I don't feel the urge to binge.

2
67871ef2326f29da48f1522827fc0f80

(704)

on May 20, 2013
at 03:14 PM

Binges will probably be helped greatly by eating whole foods, no grain, no dairy.

That said, I still binge. I always say I'm the only person in the world who'd eat THAT much pork steak. I'll eat (have done it recently) 16 garlic cloves. Who does that? It's psychological (in my case, the trigger is two-part: 1) stressed and desiring a comfort food 2) I'm reactive to garlic, so the fact that I started eating it, sent me into a 'this is the best thing ever' binge).

There are loads of programs out there and I've tried many. For what it's worth, the best for me is an audiobook (I hate the title cos it's really long) How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too: Stop Binge Eating, Overeating and Dieting For Good Get the Naturally Thin Body You Crave From the Inside Out (Binge Eating Solution).

It goes into diet mentality and how it sets us up for failure. It goes into practicing eating what makes you feel good/ non reactive. It is not a Paleo book, be warned! But it helps me a lot to be healthier in my choices and to feel better about myself.

1
197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

on May 20, 2013
at 07:48 PM

I used to binge out on cookies, chips, and ice-cream every afternoon when I first started Paleo, even though I ate lots of meat and veggies. Always in the afternoons because I've been snacking with my kids when they came home from school for the last ten years. So for awhile, I kept some "healthier" junk foods to snack on, basically giving in to my cravings.

Then read that a small amount of starch such as rice or potatoes at meals can curb cravings ( Perfect Health Diet) so now I always eat a little bit of starch at lunch and my cravings for junk food are gone, or mostly gone. I still eat junk food about once per week on Fridays when we all crash out to watch tv. So not Paleo I know but better than every day.

1
Ace367c118c58c06443eff765c36dc97

on May 20, 2013
at 05:38 PM

I have a problem with compulsive eating/binge eating as well, and that played a large role in why I started Paleo in the first place. Grains/dairy foods are the ones I binge on the most.

I started three weeks ago, and have not binged once. I had my first Non-Paleo day this past Saturday and am allowing myself that one day once a month - however, I have to eat food in a healthy matter (no binging). It is a hard thing to get past. I was the worst and was thinking of seeking treatment, but everything seems okay since starting Paleo. I'm not hungry, and something flicked in my mind that told me that 98% of the time, dairy and grains are off limits. This helps I think.

If you ever want to chat, let me know. I've been through it!

1
A8d58043341edc4950ed34844cb250a6

on May 20, 2013
at 04:24 PM

My best answer would be for you to remove any foods from your environment that would be easy to binge on like ice cream, chips, ect. Removing non paleo foods from your home might help if your situation allows, then you can replace them with real foods like fruits, veggies and meats. Real foods are harder to over eat, especially if they are raw and unprepared. If you have set up your environment to succeed and still find yourself bingeing then you might want to think about talking to a health care professional who can work closely with you in overcoming your compulsion. I hope this helps, and good luck.

0
Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on May 24, 2013
at 01:46 PM

I used to have this problem, and I read somewhere that fish oil can help the brain and reduce the mental urge to binge. I now take 2 capsules in the morning and 2 in the evening. sure enough, within a couple of months, my tendency to binge (particularly on nuts) has subsided. I now have little desire to eat them at all. Professionals may tell you that bingeing is a mental problem. However, I believe that it can certainly be caused by chemical imbalances and deficiencies.

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