Eating disorder in a male

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 03, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Got a problem folks.

Binge eater from way back.

Was 130kg, lost a heap, probably half starved myself to 88kg now sitting at a well muscled 95kg.

The issue is that the eating disorder rears its head when stressed, bored, insert other emotions here and steadily interfers with my studies, ie. get stressed, eat, put on weight, depressed, drop out, rinse, repeat.

I saw a psychologist (overweight middle aged lady) who after 6weeks of regular visits decided my best option would be to eat healthy (my interpretation, ie. paleo) throughout the week and reward myself on the weekend with a high quality ice cream.

Fantastic way to treat binge eating don't you think? Big hunk of sugar.

What should I do in order to help myself but faced with a mainstream minded psychological community pushing standard nutrition dogma? I need help but ice cream isn't the path the helping myself.


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4 Answers



on April 03, 2013
at 05:27 PM

Binge eating is a tough nut to crack, let's face it.

For each person, I suspect the underlying emotional states and food relationships that trigger or soothe binge eating will differ. For me, any unsettled emotions will trigger an urge to eat but not necessarily to binge.

I'm not male. With much effort and experimentation, I confirmed that sugar is not my problem but wheat, lactose and food additives are. Unsettled/strong emotions plus those foods does produce strong cravings for more junk food and a binge is likely.

I'm probably luckier than many, because I've reached a point where I feel fabulous on an easygoing paleo approach and feel horrible if I eat the problem items. It's happened enough that I've developed a true aversion to the bad foods and it has seemingly shut down all cravings.

My idea of a wild splurge now is what I did last night--ate a cup or more of fresh pineapple, some strawberries and some buttered boiled shrimp. I'm not sure exactly how much pineapple I ate because I was chewing the scraps off the ends, core and rind of a whole one. Most of the slices went into my fridge.

In my SAD days, that would have been the appetizer but now it was my day's food and I felt like a happy, naughty girl.



on April 03, 2013
at 11:31 AM

for me the answer was 100% avoidance of "non-paleo" foods, as well as most starches, fruit combined with a standard response to the urge to binge. in my case that was to eat an egg.
after six months of being binge free and not experiencing that feeling of being out of control, i allowed myself more carbs in the form of white rice and fruit. within two weeks i binged.
i think the lesson for me is to accept my reality and stop hoping it will miraculously change after 50 years.
in your shoes, i would start a food journal. write down everything you eat and when you binge and what you binge on. i bet there is a pattern in there somewhere.



on April 03, 2013
at 10:45 PM

I used to have a binge problem, and I realized that it was all in my head. I would mindlessly eat and eat when bored. I found that supplementing with fish oil helped a lot. It is good for the brain and increases seratonin, helping to ward off cravings.


on April 04, 2013
at 10:06 PM

My advice would be to work on building new coping skills for when you're stressed, bored, etc. If a person doesn't have good, readily available options for dealing with stress other than bingeing, it's not surprising when they binge. You may want to look into Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. It's an offshoot of cognitive behavioral therapy that was originally developed for people with borderline personality disorder, but it has a really rich set of stress-coping skills that have proven helpful for lots of different people.

Whether or not you find any food-related solutions to your problems, having a strong set of coping skills can only help. That way, when you're resisting the urge to binge you'll be able to do something other than sit there and be miserable that you're not bingeing.

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