2

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Sudden binging episodes, whats going on?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 24, 2012 at 5:32 AM

Background: I am a 24 yr. old female, 1.68 meters, 60 kg & 22% body fat. I do CrossFit 5x a week. I was overweight & sedentary before I stumbled across CrossFit & Paleo. I never had an issue with insulin or blood glucose levels that I am aware of.

When I started Paleo, I was surprised at how easy it was for me to leave behind most carbs & sugars, but mostly I was amazed by my hunger control - I was barely ever hungry & could easily skip a meal if I wanted to (which I didn't)

That lasted about 3 weeks. Then the sugar cravings reappeared, but every now & then and they weren't really messing up with my weight loss, so I didn't pay much attention to them.

To subside these cravings though, I stopped eating fruit since that seemed to be the popular recommendation around here. I'm not a big fan of fruit anyway, so it didn't quite bother me to leave them out of my diet. This was about 3 weeks ago. I have done some IF here & there but nothing significant since it makes me a bit anxious. Around this time too, I was put on some motility meds for constipation that REALLY messed up with my anxiety and hunger signals. I stopped them for obvious reasons.

Well now my sugar cravings are unbearable. So much that I have been binging on gross sweets for almost a week now. It not only makes me feel physically ill, but it really has an emotional toll on me. I feel like I have no control of my brain/body & even though I know eating crap is setting me back in so many ways, I can't seem to stop. I have not had binge eating episodes in the past, so this is new territory for me...a scary one, I must admit.

I eat 3 scrambled eggs with coconut oil in the morning, a protein & veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, onion, pepper, zucchini, squash,mushrooms, etc) cooked in coconut oil for lunch and dinner & usually try to throw half an avocado in there a day.

So what could be going on? Wasn't this supposed to get easier with time? It seems strange to me that I seem to be regressing instead of improving. I have read great things about L-Glutamine & Chromium, for those who take it, how much do you take & how many times a day?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I'm really struggling here. It's not even about the weight loss anymore, it's about being able to get back on track so that I can continue to eat healthy & feel much better with my GI issues.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce

(185)

on November 25, 2012
at 01:31 PM

That was my second guess, second to the calorie one. I was on atibiotics for a long time as a teen (3+ years), which I know now that was a big mistake. I have had several bouts of candida overgrowth as yeast infections since, I mean more than 4 a year. It has gotten much better since I started restricting carbs (been doing it way before paleo) though. Now I have started noticing some yeast symptoms again after this week+ of terrible binging. I go to see my GI this week, I will demand a SIBO test because that might just be the reason for all my problems.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce

(185)

on November 24, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Thank you! What's curious is that I'm not hungry when I binge, I just feel like my body needs it...like a smoker needs a cig. I have a theory that because I've deprived carbs & calories, my body freaks out & starts cravings inmeadiate sources of energy like sugar. I'm adding a little fruit back into my diet this week! to see if it helps at all. I know binge eating is almost always emotional, I just can't think of a single factor that has changed in my life lately that would drive me to this.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 24, 2012
at 12:05 PM

Also, I just have to mention that binge eating often has an emotional/spiritual component as well. It can be easy to only focus on a physical solution to this problem, but other approaches may be needed as well.

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5 Answers

4
7bab99c303f1e83d3d9722a414dd7b45

(524)

on November 24, 2012
at 09:21 PM

What stuck out for me is that you are very active, and not eating a lot, plus very low carb... and after a few weeks you have a binge.

Your body might just be demanding more food. Cravings can become overwhelming if you have been restricting - the longer the restriction, the more intensely your body will demand, that's my experience.

3
0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on November 24, 2012
at 08:09 AM

You are pretty much eating a very low carb diet. Paul Jaminet has written quite a bit about problems people encounter on very low carb diets - just do a search on his site perfecthealthdiet.com.

In my experience have a decent amount of starchy carbs makes a big difference to wellbeing and consitpation.

Magnesium is the best thing for constipation and for me raw green salads. Try adding in 2000mg vit c a day for a few days and see if that helps you loosen up too.

How much protein are you eating?

Are you eating any seafood - if not add in plenty of oily fish and / or fish oil caps for omega 3.

I find sticking to about a palm size 3 - 5 oz, a fist of starch veg, (a banana before the gym), and pletny of green and coloured veg so you have a large plateful works for many of my clients. Controlled treats too for me, - if I feel like something - i have a little, then stop, rather than have no go foods (except toxic foods, like gluten grains whiich are strictly off limits)

1
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on November 25, 2012
at 09:02 AM

Might be candida die off. Sometimes it's worth it to push through with lower carb for just a few months until the nasties have lowered in numbers and then add back in some starchy carbs after you're craving-free. Small amounts of mono-saccharide sources of carbs like fruit might actually be a good idea to get you through the die-off period. I would stay away from disacharides like starch for a few months, though, since they feed the baddies. Don't cut fruit (besides green bananas) but do cut out the tubers and rice for a while.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce

(185)

on November 25, 2012
at 01:31 PM

That was my second guess, second to the calorie one. I was on atibiotics for a long time as a teen (3+ years), which I know now that was a big mistake. I have had several bouts of candida overgrowth as yeast infections since, I mean more than 4 a year. It has gotten much better since I started restricting carbs (been doing it way before paleo) though. Now I have started noticing some yeast symptoms again after this week+ of terrible binging. I go to see my GI this week, I will demand a SIBO test because that might just be the reason for all my problems.

1
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on November 24, 2012
at 09:30 PM

May be eat half a coconut or the whole of the avocado (I never only ate half of one in my life). I would add fruit back. 4 bananas may be ,. an apple, an orange.

I am a sugar addict and if I over eat it is usually because I had some of the foods I cannot stop eating. Example - good breakfast every day - bacon and eggs. Then I had a cup of cocoa, milk and sugar - total downfall, felt had to finish the last of the cocoa (bad mistake) sugar, dairy which my body hates, cacao which I am addicted to unless I cut it out entirely.... Then an apple

So at lunch time I wasn't hungry but made myself eat it . Then lunch is great - salmon stir fry loads of veg, plate of kale with butter... fine... then had what is current in binge phase daily trip out to buy sugar after lunch today was 8 chocolates, a hot chocolate drink, can of diet coke.... Then had 3 medium baked potatoes with butter and a massive bowl of raisins after.

If I could just strip off those foods I had totally given up and was so pleased with myself for giving up - diet coke and chocolates and hot chocolate I would feel so good again and start to lose the 28 pounds I put on. May be i can try tomorrow....

I remember the 3 years I had totally clean, not even thinking about was there chocolate in the house or having to make special journeys by car to buy my addictive substance like any other kind of addict. Peversely it was the idea I could have 50g of very high % chocolate which did it - like giving the heroin addict a tiny dose; disastrous. Those who aren't sugar addicts don't have this issue at all. I curse my biochemistry. Not fair. Feel terribly on dates too.

1
75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 24, 2012
at 12:03 PM

I also did not do well going very low carb...Like you, I tried it to stop sugar cravings, but I feel much better having a moderate amount of fruit. When I have hunger that won't go away, even after plenty of food, including generous amounts of fat, protein and fiber, I generally feel better with juicing. Drinking fresh juice from veggies (not fruit) on a regular basis calms that gnawing hunger for me, and although I don't know why, I'm guessing that I am getting nutrition that my body is craving.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 24, 2012
at 12:05 PM

Also, I just have to mention that binge eating often has an emotional/spiritual component as well. It can be easy to only focus on a physical solution to this problem, but other approaches may be needed as well.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce

(185)

on November 24, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Thank you! What's curious is that I'm not hungry when I binge, I just feel like my body needs it...like a smoker needs a cig. I have a theory that because I've deprived carbs & calories, my body freaks out & starts cravings inmeadiate sources of energy like sugar. I'm adding a little fruit back into my diet this week! to see if it helps at all. I know binge eating is almost always emotional, I just can't think of a single factor that has changed in my life lately that would drive me to this.

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