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.
asked bybarefeet (2038)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.