3

votes

Is it so bad to substitute paleo-approved binge foods for SAD binge foods?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 23, 2011 at 10:48 AM

First of all, I know that eating too much of anything can cause weight gain and since I'm trying to lose weight, clearly that isn't a good thing.

That said, it's so easy for me to binge. When I lose control, I have the same struggles with bingeing on nonpaleo foods just like others here - http://paleohacks.com/questions/9493/any-former-binge-eaters-care-to-offer-an-opinion-on-eating-binge-eating-disorder#axzz1SvCp8x7C . Part of my transition away from that problem has led me to binge on - yesss, paleo foods. Melissa said in her response to the question linked to above that the answer is to remove binge foods from the house completely and that "binge foods are almost always neolithic foods." Not for me. I can happily binge on anything. I've cooked a whole chicken and picked it apart, planning to add it to meals throughout the week - and then downed half of the chicken. Even though I was completely full, and I mean full to the point where my stomach hurts and I'm still eating.

I cut thin slices of Kerrygold off with a butter knife and eat it off the knife. Repeat 20x and the bar is gone. Coconut milk with frozen blueberries - I start out with a small bowl. One empty can of coconut milk and purple-stained mouth later, I'm wondering what happened.

Again, it's not a single food or single category of foods that leads me to binge - it's just the act of eating that I want, and sherpamelissa explains her solution here - http://paleohacks.com/questions/24363/what-are-your-trigger-foods#axzz1SvCp8x7C . I'm not quite so evolved and I don't have it under control yet.

That said - sometimes I eat the ton of chicken because I really want to eat a carrot cake instead. (And I don't mean "a slice of carrot cake." I prefer to keep excess chicken in the refrigerator, ready to eat, than keep rations in the refrigerator and then feel "forced " to go out and buy awful SAD corn syrup junk from the corner mart (I live in an area where quality fresh produce isn't readily available without a long drive) because paleo foods aren't available.

I want to clarify - I know many others here have binged on meat or fat (zero-carb binges) and lived to tell the tale, as mentioned in the thread above. My real question is: Should I be as concerned about the health effects of bingeing on paleo foods as I am about the health effects of eating highly processed SAD foods in any amount? If the only side effect of bingeing on chicken or blueberries is weight gain, I probably can live with that.

Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 01:51 AM

@kay can you please give a little more detail in regards to stop doing it. I like this method. Are you saying use will power to break through the habits of bingeing?

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 24, 2012
at 01:11 AM

You give me hope. I am bulimic and I can binge on ANYTHING. You're right...the emotional and psychological damage is the same.

351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

(597)

on July 24, 2011
at 11:50 AM

This answer is spot-on. An unhealthy habit is unhealthy, period, no matter how you gift wrap it. In this case, it's not about what you put in your mouth, it's the why. The poster need to address the underlying issues that lead to binge-eating.

Ee7c5b7b9d4cd48d61dc259e6966a725

(90)

on July 24, 2011
at 11:38 AM

Agree so much with this answer and comment. I think once your health normalizes due to eating paleo types of foods, the desire to eat unreasonable quantities might just dissipate. Congratulate yourself on the step you've already taken, make it your highest priority to eat good foods, regardless of quantities for now, and have satisfying activities (and people!) in your life.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 24, 2011
at 10:05 AM

Ouch! That sucks. It takes a lot of energy to heal a broken bone. I think your body is just hungry for that extra energy, and if you are craving sweets and whole sticks of butter, your body is wanting energy and a lot of it. I think you should eat all the berries, coconut milk, butter, bananas, sweet potatoes and chicken you want until you are fully healed. Then you can re-evaluate. Weight loss will happen on it's own schedule if you are eating paleo, no need to push the river. If you think you are eating out of boredom, it is time to start inviting friends over to entertain you.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 24, 2011
at 09:28 AM

Happy Now, you've made me think of this a little differently with your question about quantities - thanks! I've been trying to keep protein to 12 Zone servings a day (and yes I get more than enough fat - I try for 3x or 4x fat compared to protein). Maybe 10 oz of chicken at a sitting isn't so bad. And yes there's a reason I slipped in resolve - I broke my collarbone 8 weeks ago, it's in a bad location, it's not healing well, and I haven't gotten the go-ahead to begin exercising again. I'm going stir crazy. http://paleohacks.com/questions/41135/hack-my-broken-collarbone#axzz1SxAzXT5V

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 24, 2011
at 12:56 AM

probably at about month 3 and now on month 8. Once I removed all processed carbs and stayed off (including sugars) and got them out of my system, all cravings disappeared and haven't yet returned. This included at first a craving for wine, I gave that up for 2 months and now I have the weekly 1-2 glasses on weekends, but no 'cravings' like before. Its kind of liberating to eat for fuel instead, I hope I can maintain this with clean eating long term.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 10:12 PM

I'm with you - I felt much better after a strict Whole 30. But then I fell off, and now I'm trying to get back there. Blueberries are the only fruit I eat now. And yeah, the coconut milk needs to go for now. Thanks.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 10:10 PM

I actually started on the chicken/butter thing to try and cut out some of the foods (fruit mostly) that make me crave non-paleo foods. I considered trying what Stephan suggests before, but I don't think I have the strength for it - it'll just drive me straight to the nearest ice cream freezer. You''re probably right about me needing to cut out the chicken and coconut milk, though. And probably the Kerrygold too. Sigh. Thanks.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 05:30 PM

I track on fitday and I'm fairly certain I'm good on the nutrition part. My body isn't asking for more - my mind is. Adding more fruit (such as apples) makes me crave non-paleo foods. Glad it works for yo, though.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 05:27 PM

I commented earlier that I've been in that place - where I ate for fuel, not for whatever emotional reason. I've lost that mind-set now. I'm just trying to figure out if I'm better off going with the paleo binge if the alternative is turning to non-paleo foods. You saidf you truly don't have desires for anything non-paleo - how long have you been able to stay in that frame of mind?

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 05:24 PM

I'd like to know too!

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 05:23 PM

Ah, good point. There's no such thing as a binge that makes me feel good about myself.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 05:19 PM

Believe me, Ben, I've gotten to that place in the past. I was at a point where I felt good, felt in control. When I was in that mind-set, bingeing didn't appeal to me. I knew the difference between "hungry" and "upset" or "frustrated." I thought I was permanently in that mind-set... and then I fell out of it, and it just seems so hard to get back there. But thanks for the reminder to not just accept it.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on July 23, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Out of curiosity, how did you deal/are you dealing with it?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 23, 2011
at 02:29 PM

If you binge on paleo foods, the only risk is slowing weight loss or picking up a couple pounds. So I say, good for you! I am a lifelong food addict approaching 5 months on the primal blueprint lifestyle. I knew I was truly committed when I chose to binge on fruit rather than neolithic treats. Stuffing myself on fruit hardly even slowed my weight loss and testing my glucose levels confirmed I handled the fruit just fine. As someone who used to eat 4000+ calories of chips, ice cream, etc., per binge it feels awfully good to say I ate 600 extra calories in fruit.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 23, 2011
at 02:15 PM

wow, awesome answer. No bullshit, straight shooting. nothing speaks like experience.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:52 PM

I'n glad you found it useful. Its only what I've learned from alcohol and cigarettes. Its hard to get to that deep understanding - if only because most of us just have so much going on day in and day out that we just don't have the time/wherewithall to focus on one thing for too long. You really have to choose to make it a priority; sit and focus focus on it; hopefully you come out the other end just knowing yourself, your choices, your actions, things you are responsible for - all the more. I hate to make one feel guilty but its more a level of acknowledging responsibility and POWER.

Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

(2854)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:38 PM

As someone who struggles with this, I really appreciate your response, Ben. It's empowering!

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:15 PM

so I'm a kinder, gentler version of you!! ;)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:07 PM

nice one, Kelly. A kind, more friendly version of kind of what I was shooting for. As usual, I find myself pretty inline with your answer. Hope I wasn't too harsh.

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9 Answers

16
D54290f91bd8c2ff9fdf2f519933bf3e

(1231)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:30 PM

it's just as unhealthy for you emotionally and psychologically as a non paleo binge.

i say this as a recovered binge eater/ bulimic.

essentially you just need to stop eating and start doing something else, and it's going to suck and be hard you will feel like shit for a while. there will always be temptation and you may backslide, it's ok just keep at it.

it took me years and years to get to the point where i was just ready to give it up and be miserable until i felt better, but life now is way better.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 05:23 PM

Ah, good point. There's no such thing as a binge that makes me feel good about myself.

351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

(597)

on July 24, 2011
at 11:50 AM

This answer is spot-on. An unhealthy habit is unhealthy, period, no matter how you gift wrap it. In this case, it's not about what you put in your mouth, it's the why. The poster need to address the underlying issues that lead to binge-eating.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 23, 2011
at 02:15 PM

wow, awesome answer. No bullshit, straight shooting. nothing speaks like experience.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 24, 2012
at 01:11 AM

You give me hope. I am bulimic and I can binge on ANYTHING. You're right...the emotional and psychological damage is the same.

Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 01:51 AM

@kay can you please give a little more detail in regards to stop doing it. I like this method. Are you saying use will power to break through the habits of bingeing?

8
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 23, 2011
at 12:14 PM

You say you know binging on something will stall your weight loss, but what about just ruminating on the fact that you are binging on something. Forget about the weight. Why not focus on the fact that you are not controlling yourself?

I think for one to stop their binging they prolly have to really, really think about it. I don???t mean just acknowledge it like, Oh I know that I binge, that sucks. I mean, focus. The word ???meditate??? is used a lot but it???s all but meaningless. Think deeply on it. Realize and understand that you are choosing to eat your thin slices of kerrygold, your coconut milk with frozen blueberries, whatever. You really have to get to a deep understanding that it???s you choosing to eat more than you think is wise here. You, that???s it. You. I would offer that once you realize and truly deeply understand that it???s you doing this, that then you will be more able to stop yourself when it gets dire.

Health-wise, I don???t think you have to be concerned about eating an enormous amount of, say, chicken. Certainly not to the level that eating an enormous amount of, say, snickers bar (or essentially anything with a lot of sugar) would bring about. I would say that yes, most likely the main issue you will have to deal with would be the weight gain caused by your choice to eat more than you thought wise.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 05:19 PM

Believe me, Ben, I've gotten to that place in the past. I was at a point where I felt good, felt in control. When I was in that mind-set, bingeing didn't appeal to me. I knew the difference between "hungry" and "upset" or "frustrated." I thought I was permanently in that mind-set... and then I fell out of it, and it just seems so hard to get back there. But thanks for the reminder to not just accept it.

Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

(2854)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:38 PM

As someone who struggles with this, I really appreciate your response, Ben. It's empowering!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:52 PM

I'n glad you found it useful. Its only what I've learned from alcohol and cigarettes. Its hard to get to that deep understanding - if only because most of us just have so much going on day in and day out that we just don't have the time/wherewithall to focus on one thing for too long. You really have to choose to make it a priority; sit and focus focus on it; hopefully you come out the other end just knowing yourself, your choices, your actions, things you are responsible for - all the more. I hate to make one feel guilty but its more a level of acknowledging responsibility and POWER.

4
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 23, 2011
at 06:17 PM

You have already identified some binge foods. Sadly, some of them for you are paleo. This can be confusing, but the strategy is still the same. You've gotta get them out of your house. Switch from butter to tallow. Switch from pork/chicken to beef/lamb/goat. Don't add any fat to your dishes. Stop buying coconut milk and fruit. If you still want the nutrition from fruit, buy a bag of frozen cranberries. Haha, no binging on those :)

Maybe you need to adopt Stephan's unpalatable approach? I found that once I was able to stop binging for a month or so, the behavior waned. It has only returned a few times, when I stupidly ate triggering foods like chips. What can I say...it's like being an alcoholic.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 10:10 PM

I actually started on the chicken/butter thing to try and cut out some of the foods (fruit mostly) that make me crave non-paleo foods. I considered trying what Stephan suggests before, but I don't think I have the strength for it - it'll just drive me straight to the nearest ice cream freezer. You''re probably right about me needing to cut out the chicken and coconut milk, though. And probably the Kerrygold too. Sigh. Thanks.

3
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 24, 2011
at 08:49 AM

If carrot cake is what you really want, substituting another food is not going to sooth the beast in the belly. You can however sit with that craving, observe it, look it straight in the eye, and not fear it, retreat from it, or replace it. Crave the hell out of it, crave it until your sick of craving it, just sit there and be with it until your ready to let the craving go.

I don't think you should worry about stuffing your face with paleo friendly foods. Half a chicken, a whole can of coconut milk, and a whole bunch of blueberries all seem like a reasonable meal/snack to me. I wouldn't constitute that as a binge. Are your ideas of serving sizes too small for non-SAD eating?

If you are truly getting enough to eat , especially enough fat, I can't help but wonder, is it really about food? I've always felt like binging was a symptom, but not the "illness" for lack of a better word. I agree with turkeytyme about trying to find the emotional base. If you've gotten a handle on this before through trained conditioning, but slipped back into it, I'm even more inclined to think that there is something deep down you're not letting yourself have, or isn't being provided for you.

If however, your inner landscape is an idyllic place, you feel like you're living up to your potential, love life is good, work is good, stress is low, you're getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep, and you don't feel like you have emotional triggers bringing this on, it is time to get a full hormone panel test, and maybe test your vitamin/mineral levels too. Sometimes you can eat the best diet in the world, but having a damaged gut from your previous diet can prevent you from absorbing everything you need, and your body will insist on putting more food in your mouth until it feels "nourished" regardless of how much you've already eaten.

At the very least you need to be kind to yourself. Habits are hard to change, and guilt/shame/fear rarely change our patterns for more than a short period of time. Love yourself enough to try and eat mindfully (not in front of the tv, paleohacking, driving, etc.).

Make sure you aren't punishing yourself with food. Be aware of the stories you tell yourself about who you are. Is being someone who binges, part of your identity? If so, does it serve who you want to be to identify with it.

Thank your body when it shares satiety cues with you, deliver that message to your brain out loud if necessary. Sometimes there is a communication breakdown between the stomach and the brain.

If you feel that itchy bingey feeling coming on maybe try a spoonful of coconut oil or tallow, a dropperful of valerian root tincture, and go for a walk or go see a movie. If it is something habitual you are trying to change you might just need to kill enough time to let the craving pass on its own.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 24, 2011
at 09:28 AM

Happy Now, you've made me think of this a little differently with your question about quantities - thanks! I've been trying to keep protein to 12 Zone servings a day (and yes I get more than enough fat - I try for 3x or 4x fat compared to protein). Maybe 10 oz of chicken at a sitting isn't so bad. And yes there's a reason I slipped in resolve - I broke my collarbone 8 weeks ago, it's in a bad location, it's not healing well, and I haven't gotten the go-ahead to begin exercising again. I'm going stir crazy. http://paleohacks.com/questions/41135/hack-my-broken-collarbone#axzz1SxAzXT5V

Ee7c5b7b9d4cd48d61dc259e6966a725

(90)

on July 24, 2011
at 11:38 AM

Agree so much with this answer and comment. I think once your health normalizes due to eating paleo types of foods, the desire to eat unreasonable quantities might just dissipate. Congratulate yourself on the step you've already taken, make it your highest priority to eat good foods, regardless of quantities for now, and have satisfying activities (and people!) in your life.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 24, 2011
at 10:05 AM

Ouch! That sucks. It takes a lot of energy to heal a broken bone. I think your body is just hungry for that extra energy, and if you are craving sweets and whole sticks of butter, your body is wanting energy and a lot of it. I think you should eat all the berries, coconut milk, butter, bananas, sweet potatoes and chicken you want until you are fully healed. Then you can re-evaluate. Weight loss will happen on it's own schedule if you are eating paleo, no need to push the river. If you think you are eating out of boredom, it is time to start inviting friends over to entertain you.

2
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on July 24, 2011
at 04:32 AM

I would look into some of the many intuitive eating books out there, especially the ones by Geneen Roth like "When Food Is Love." You are going to have to take a hard look at why it is you are seeking that stuffed belly sensation and going beyond the point if satiety. Just to give you an example, one of my triggers to stuff in that manner was eating out. Growing up, my parents had drilled it into consciousness that we didn't have enough money, that you shouldn't be wasteful, so whenever I ate out there was this feeling that I should get my money's worth and not leave food behind. Unless I left the restaurant feeling stuffed I felt guilty, like I was somehow being wasteful. It took a lot of work to get beyond that reaction, but having a conscious realization of what I was doing helped tremendously. I read everything I could get my hands on related to intuitive reading and did the exercises and it helped me so much. I think it would help you too.

2
65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on July 23, 2011
at 06:05 PM

Have you tried eliminating fruit from your diet? The excess sugar may be making you want more food. I've dealt with food issues my whole life, I was 200 lbs when I graduated high school and bulimic for 5 or 6 years. I still sometimes "binge" and I find that I do it when I'm not eating paleo 100%. Some people can do the 80/20 rule but that does t work for me. I can honestly say that the one thing that's gotten me to a place where I don't eat unnecessarily anymore is doing a Whole30 no BS no excuses. The first week or so I was eating a lot within the paleosphere, even lots of coconut milk and berries for a couple days. But as soon as my body got used to only good foods I don't even have a desire to overeat on anything or want any Neolithic foods. I would suggest doing a whole30, cut back on the fruit (berries are "okay" but maybe add them back in later) and eliminate the coconut milk for now. Good luck!

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 10:12 PM

I'm with you - I felt much better after a strict Whole 30. But then I fell off, and now I'm trying to get back there. Blueberries are the only fruit I eat now. And yeah, the coconut milk needs to go for now. Thanks.

2
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 23, 2011
at 12:49 PM

I've never been a huge binger, I'm more of a constant picker of everything in avoidance of what I really want.

Going Paleo really helped me remove the desire for foods but when I get an inkling for something I now know that what I need is to eat something with the right amounts and kinds of fats. For some reason having that fat really can cut out the need for eating everything in the house.

For me also coming to the realization that I need to eat to live, not live to eat did wonders for my mentality. I truly don't have any desires for anything outside paleo, that said, when a basket of hot bread is brought to my table, it does trigger some kind of physical response.....so maybe theres something cueing your binging??

Maybe take a step back and keep a log of intake, triggers, etc. and see if you can discover the real reason you are binging.

Once you get the actual binging under control then you can give yourself a portion controlled primal 'carrot cake' concoction that meets the need for this food yet doesnt have the sugar shock of the normal kind.

good luck!!

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 24, 2011
at 12:56 AM

probably at about month 3 and now on month 8. Once I removed all processed carbs and stayed off (including sugars) and got them out of my system, all cravings disappeared and haven't yet returned. This included at first a craving for wine, I gave that up for 2 months and now I have the weekly 1-2 glasses on weekends, but no 'cravings' like before. Its kind of liberating to eat for fuel instead, I hope I can maintain this with clean eating long term.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:07 PM

nice one, Kelly. A kind, more friendly version of kind of what I was shooting for. As usual, I find myself pretty inline with your answer. Hope I wasn't too harsh.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 05:27 PM

I commented earlier that I've been in that place - where I ate for fuel, not for whatever emotional reason. I've lost that mind-set now. I'm just trying to figure out if I'm better off going with the paleo binge if the alternative is turning to non-paleo foods. You saidf you truly don't have desires for anything non-paleo - how long have you been able to stay in that frame of mind?

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:15 PM

so I'm a kinder, gentler version of you!! ;)

2
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on July 23, 2011
at 11:44 AM

Yes. Yes and Yes. I can absolutely binge on anything. Thought those days were over but after falling off paleo in April and getting back on it eventually, I can very successfully binge on purely paleo foods in the same way I can could and previously did binge on crap. And we're talking binge. Like 5000 cals per day. And I'm 5 feet tall. It's not good.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 05:24 PM

I'd like to know too!

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on July 23, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Out of curiosity, how did you deal/are you dealing with it?

1
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:52 AM

I've found in the past that I have severe binge tendencies when I limit myself or do not receive everything I need from my diet.

First off make sure your getting adequate nutrition. Use fitday.com or a program like chronometer. If your getting all the essential nutrients and still have severe binge tendencies I would try to add a bit more paleo carbs like fruit or potatoes. This will kill the craving for the cake.

I think a certain amount of binging isn't that bad health wise as long as you keep it paleo but if you keep end up eating a stick of butter and a whole chicken in one sitting everyday I would definitely change something up.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 23, 2011
at 05:30 PM

I track on fitday and I'm fairly certain I'm good on the nutrition part. My body isn't asking for more - my mind is. Adding more fruit (such as apples) makes me crave non-paleo foods. Glad it works for yo, though.

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