5

votes

Binging on paleo...and NOT from cravings/lack of nutrients. Help!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 26, 2012 at 5:25 AM

I've read so many posts on here about people overcoming binging after being paleo. I read them with a feverish hope that I too, could overcome this horrible monster.

The problem is that many people here who binge say that they craved something, or that they weren't getting enough fat, protein, carbs, etc. Or that eating better made their depression go away and then their binging went away. Many people here say that nourishing their bodies also helped heal their minds. My mind must be missing. And the problem is that they're not selling new ones on ebay...

I binge, NO MATTER WHAT. I had a great, healthy day. I was about to shower when my boyfriend went to bed. I went to put a cup away, and I just opened the fridge and made eggs...and then the binge started. I seriously think I need to hire some teenage babysitter to watch me. It's like I'm auto-driven to eat, no matter what. I always want to eat, even when I don't feel hungry. I don't get cravings. It's just that when I see food, I want to eat it. It doesn't matter if I even like it. If they're stale crackers, I'll want to eat them. If it's fruit, I'll want it. If it is questionable, processed lunch meat, I'll want a bite. I think I consume about 6-8 (??) pounds of food in a binge. That's just an estimate, because that's not including water I take in during that period.

How should I go about handling this? Are there any good tips or advice that anyone has to offer that might help me stop this nonsense? Is there any sort of reason I might be doing this? I suspect that it is just habitual.

For ex-bingers, do you pre-plan your meals? Write it down somewhere? Post notes and silly quotes on your fridge? Smash your head against the wall?!!

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on March 27, 2012
at 04:26 AM

Okay, thanks for the further information and reply. Yep, that does indeed sound like some sort of compulsive overeating eating disorder, the purging (pretty much) clinches it. I only very occasionally overeat a bit when I make some super extra tasty, but it's rare now that I keep my fats up and my carbs minimal. Check out The Diet Cure or The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, I'm hoping her amino acid recommendations will helps you. She's had great success with her protocols! Disordered eating SUCKS! Best of luck : )

F514c59692c45189d46cc01c34961153

(375)

on March 27, 2012
at 03:45 AM

I understand what you mean, maybe I shouldn't have suggested it... sometimes I need the motivation. With some more thought I do agree though that it does cause an unhealthy relationship.

Fb677d93955eb0fac597e3d94db92980

(1115)

on March 26, 2012
at 10:40 PM

I know you're coming from a place I empathy, but I completely disagree with your idea of "punishments." if someone has an unhealthy relationship with food, suggesting a punishment for not following through only serves to encourage this bad relationship. Besides, the binge is punishment enough.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:04 PM

It makes me sad that others struggle with the same thing. *hugs* if you want it, as lame as that might be. I'm glad you've been working on it. I think the mental saying is a great tool. Good luck...I hope you can conquer this as well.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 07:49 PM

You were so sweet in your response. Thank you for reminding me of the support that exists out there. I often forget that is not just about *what* I eat, but having a healthy relationship with food, my mind, and body.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 26, 2012
at 06:11 PM

this seems like amore serious mental health issue, I would try to see a mental health professional about it

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 26, 2012
at 03:24 PM

good answer, it's also worth noting that ghrelin rhythyms are trainable, and so a consistent eating schedule should be helpful too

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 26, 2012
at 03:24 PM

good answer, it's also worth noting that ghrelin levels are trainable, and so a consistent eating schedule should be helpful too

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 09:02 AM

I think being strict with a TINY bit of flexible is important...thanks for reminding me.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 09:00 AM

I do eat well and I've binged even when overweight, so I don't think I binge out of hunger at all. I think it's a horrible habit. I live with someone...otherwise, I'd definitely do this! I love the idea of preplanning and am hoping to do this after work tomorrow. Thank you for all your input!!

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:58 AM

I could probably binge on cardboard with butter if it was digestible to be honest. Ha.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:57 AM

I honestly don't know why I even binge anymore. I FIND reasons and excuses to binge. Sometimes I'll binge out of boredom or depression but it's just...every time I see food, I want to graze. It doesn't matter if I've eaten well. I've had binges in the same calorie binge as yours, so I am really hope you're in a better place right now. I think the worst possible thing that could happen is that I'd die in the middle of purging with a horribly messy kitchen with evidence of what a horrible pig I am. Not because I'm scared of dying but gosh darn it, how embarrassing...

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:52 AM

I don't know if there is something physiologically wrong with me in a typical "genetic disorder/disease" sense, but I do feel that I've stretched my stomach out over the years with unhealthy eating. I binge even when I'm completely full and have had adequate protein, fats, and some carbs. I should check out that book. Thank you for the recommendation. I didn't mention this in my post because I'm embarrassed, but since it's relevant, I guess I should note that I also purge. Pre-paleo, I also binged on high-carb foods but now I'm STILL binging, just with fewer carbs.

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on March 26, 2012
at 07:21 AM

It sounds like she is using healthy foods (she mentions eggs, I never EVER binged on eggs) and this is not about your typical high-reward food binge. This is not a normal binge eating disorder (see my reply). Something is really off!

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 26, 2012
at 06:34 AM

I have updated my response with more information.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 26, 2012
at 06:23 AM

Grehlin information is hard to find. Boiling it down to practical terms. grehlin levels increase during the day. Every time you eat a meal they go back down. At night they increase a lot and so going to bed early is important. Also proper sleep keeps cortisol down which is important as well.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 06:14 AM

Thank you very much for this...I used to try and get my carbs in the morning and go no-carb for dinner. Go to bed early-REALLY need to work on this. I'll look up grehlin levels since I haven't read up on this

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11 Answers

best answer

7
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 26, 2012
at 06:10 AM

Hello Sunny Beaches,

Plan your meals in advance. Eat a large breakfast and lunch. Low or no carbs in either. Then have a large dinner with carbs.

Go to bed early (Before 10 PM). Grehlin levels build as the night goes on.

Example of grehlin winning:

Stay up late, rise late. Eat a small breakfast/no breakfast. Eat lunch. Eat dinner.

Then sometime before dinner or after dinner snacking comes into play. The later you stay up the higher grehlin increases. Grehlin makes you want to eat.

Example to beat grehlin:

Go to bed early, rise early (after 7.5 hours or more sleep). Eat a large breakfast no carbs. Eat a large lunch no carbs. Eat dinner with carbs.

Because you slept well cortisol levels are lower (which is important as well.). Your large breakfast drops your grehlin levels back down reducing the grehlin level in your body. Also the lunch and also the dinner do the same. By going to bed before 10 PM you are sleeping (and hence not eating) as the grehlin levels are increasing.

If you like cottage cheese have a cup or so of it right before going to bed. This would be a planned 4th meal.

Have Hope. I know you can do it.

Best Wishes - Eric

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 26, 2012
at 06:23 AM

Grehlin information is hard to find. Boiling it down to practical terms. grehlin levels increase during the day. Every time you eat a meal they go back down. At night they increase a lot and so going to bed early is important. Also proper sleep keeps cortisol down which is important as well.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 26, 2012
at 06:34 AM

I have updated my response with more information.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 26, 2012
at 03:24 PM

good answer, it's also worth noting that ghrelin rhythyms are trainable, and so a consistent eating schedule should be helpful too

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 26, 2012
at 03:24 PM

good answer, it's also worth noting that ghrelin levels are trainable, and so a consistent eating schedule should be helpful too

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 06:14 AM

Thank you very much for this...I used to try and get my carbs in the morning and go no-carb for dinner. Go to bed early-REALLY need to work on this. I'll look up grehlin levels since I haven't read up on this

4
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 26, 2012
at 05:56 PM

I would consider, on top of a lot of the great advice that is given out here, going to a support group for disordered eating. I know there's a lot of stigma just looking one up then walking in the door, but honestly I went to several different support groups over quite a few years, and it really was the single most helpful thing to deal with the guilt and feeling of helplessness associated with having disordered eating. You learn so much from other people experiences, feel like there is a group of people that stays one step behind you every time you walk into the kitchen. Once you can clear your head by talking to other people, and listening to so many stories about people and their relationships with food, it seems much more "controllable". You don't have to feel as lost and guilty, and can spend years wondering what's wrong. It really is such a supportive community, and most local hospitals, community centers, or universities will have at least one group like this. You can take a friend or family member to support you at first if you'd like, people are generally cool with that. I built friendships there that I still reflect on and think about every time I go down the disordered-eating rabbit hole.

Seeking help with coping with any kind of disordered eating I would say is the most important thing, first and foremost. I would caution against experimenting with intermittent fasting if you have a problem with purging in the past- if you're relationship with food is already a muddled one, I found that fasting was a trigger towards anorexic-tendencies of restricting food more and more, which can be the flip-side of kicking binging- not want to eat, full stop, for fear of binging is a risk.

If going to a support group is too intimidating, there is still lots of support on the internet, and many different techniques of bringing consciousness to yourself and your eating, such as practicing meditation and grounding yourself before meals. I still strongly recommend the group though- so many people would benefit just from hearing the stories and learning to express themselves, I think that regardless of the extent that the mental component has (maybe there's a physical trigger, but you still have the guilt and lack of control to deal with) it would be a great experience.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 07:49 PM

You were so sweet in your response. Thank you for reminding me of the support that exists out there. I often forget that is not just about *what* I eat, but having a healthy relationship with food, my mind, and body.

4
A115b8aa3c375f10d5bde0c0d06b6143

on March 26, 2012
at 05:46 PM

I struggle with binges, though less lately. For me, it's completely mental. Once I start, I cannot stop. Intermittent fasting has helped me re-identify my hunger signals, which I have largely ignored for years, and that has helped - but it hasn't completely solved my binge problem.

My advice? Dig deeper. What is driving you to the kitchen when you're not hungry? What makes you eat faster and faster until you're shoving food down your throat without tasting it? What is the feeling that's driving you to... potentially binge on cardboard with butter (to be honest, there have been times when I would've done the same)? If you're getting the nutrients you need to survive, then this isn't a physical problem. It's mental. Figure out what's really going on, and the urge to binge should diminish.

When it comes to bingers, if hungry isn't the problem, food isn't the solution. Period. Some people with a healthier relationship with food may be able to "munch" or "graze" without doing considerable damage. I can't, and I've had to accept that fully in order to stop myself from "grazing." If I stop it before it starts, it doesn't happen. If I let it happen - even just "a little taste" of something - well, it isn't pretty.

1
1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:49 PM

I have exactly the same problem. After a perfectly paleo day, I came down hard on about half a jar of peanut butter, some bread, cake, and a protein bar right before bed. I eat healthier than anyone I know for the most part, and I can usually pass on these foods no problem, even when preparing them for others. It's not a nutritional deficit. Sometimes I just see food and grab it.

I find that keeping full on paleo foods and minimizing the number of non-paleo options in the house helps somewhat (this is hard for me since I'm the sole paleo at my house). If it's just the sensation of eating that you're looking for, reach for something paleo first. More often than not, a handful (or two) of nuts or a couple spoonfuls of nut butter will calm me down, and it never leaves me feeling as bad as a full blown bread bender does.

Mark Sisson has an interesting article on "akrasia," that going against what you know to be the better option.

1
F514c59692c45189d46cc01c34961153

(375)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:40 PM

I'm in a similar situation, I understand how you feel. I wish I could understand whats going on in my brain. Usually I can blame it on a lack of nutrients / emotional disturbance but sometimes there is nothing wrong at all...

I really suggest planning out EVERYTHING for the next day/week. Have set goals/guidelines, have rewards (not food rewards), and punishments if you can't fulfill the plan.

Also helps to have built in mistakes occasionally, like a "optional" planned set snack. Its not a planned binge, just a way to help you not go out of control. But ask yourself, am I hungry or just bored? Am I tired? What could I do right now other than eat. Is eating going to help me feel better except for the few min while i'm consuming?

Also, if you HAVE to eat something eat something that is going to suppress your appetite. Coconut oil, raw veg, chunk of plain meat, hard boiled egg. If your really hungry those should satisfy you or turn off the binge. Sometimes I drink a huge glass of water, or make tea to help when I want to munch.

Good luck, I understand your frustration.

F514c59692c45189d46cc01c34961153

(375)

on March 27, 2012
at 03:45 AM

I understand what you mean, maybe I shouldn't have suggested it... sometimes I need the motivation. With some more thought I do agree though that it does cause an unhealthy relationship.

Fb677d93955eb0fac597e3d94db92980

(1115)

on March 26, 2012
at 10:40 PM

I know you're coming from a place I empathy, but I completely disagree with your idea of "punishments." if someone has an unhealthy relationship with food, suggesting a punishment for not following through only serves to encourage this bad relationship. Besides, the binge is punishment enough.

1
560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on March 26, 2012
at 07:17 AM

Two ideas.

First, have you considered you may have something physiologically wrong with you that is compelling you to eat when you have NO cravings and NO nutritional needs? I remember seeing a news story about a woman that couldn't stop eating, she ate and ate and ate, it sounded similar to what you're describing. Her family had to keep a lock on the refrigerator and the cabinets her whole life (she lived with them as an adult as well, because she was so out of control and needed taking care of). Her body never registered that is was full and/or satisfied, she ALWAYS felt hungry. Does that resonate?

Second, I love the work of Julia Ross for people with eating disorders or mood disorders. I would look at her book "The Diet Cure" to see what she recommends for binge eating disorder. Her prescriptions are usually part diet oriented (very Weston Price type recommendations / Primal -- so you've already got that part down, make sure you're getting adequate coconut oil / butter / animal fats and limiting anything high in omega-6) and amino acid supplementation and other supplements. Very easy to follow.

I suffered from binge eating disorder starting at age 8 or so, but because I was skinny and hid how much I ate no one knew. I got fat in my 20's and had 5-10,000 calorie binges every Friday evening for months, if not years, and would have other, smaller binges, at other times throughout the week, depending on my mood and food availability. But this was very much about high-reward foods (pizza, pastries, ice cream, alcohol, etc.), stress, depression, and a very bad relationship at the time.

What you're describing in no way sounds like a "classic" binge eating disorder.

I truly hope you figure it out soon! I know how awful it feels to be so out of control.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:52 AM

I don't know if there is something physiologically wrong with me in a typical "genetic disorder/disease" sense, but I do feel that I've stretched my stomach out over the years with unhealthy eating. I binge even when I'm completely full and have had adequate protein, fats, and some carbs. I should check out that book. Thank you for the recommendation. I didn't mention this in my post because I'm embarrassed, but since it's relevant, I guess I should note that I also purge. Pre-paleo, I also binged on high-carb foods but now I'm STILL binging, just with fewer carbs.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:57 AM

I honestly don't know why I even binge anymore. I FIND reasons and excuses to binge. Sometimes I'll binge out of boredom or depression but it's just...every time I see food, I want to graze. It doesn't matter if I've eaten well. I've had binges in the same calorie binge as yours, so I am really hope you're in a better place right now. I think the worst possible thing that could happen is that I'd die in the middle of purging with a horribly messy kitchen with evidence of what a horrible pig I am. Not because I'm scared of dying but gosh darn it, how embarrassing...

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on March 27, 2012
at 04:26 AM

Okay, thanks for the further information and reply. Yep, that does indeed sound like some sort of compulsive overeating eating disorder, the purging (pretty much) clinches it. I only very occasionally overeat a bit when I make some super extra tasty, but it's rare now that I keep my fats up and my carbs minimal. Check out The Diet Cure or The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, I'm hoping her amino acid recommendations will helps you. She's had great success with her protocols! Disordered eating SUCKS! Best of luck : )

0
Ed2157b3a5560af0f2c507c8fc4f5a2a

on March 26, 2012
at 05:10 PM

I'm an ex-binger and the best thing to help me is...

http://www.leangains.com/

This is a mental game. IF, or intermittent fasting, works well for bingers when you think you want to binge as long as you have some willpower. Case in point, IF for about 14-16 hrs, workout still on fast, and after your workout BINGE ON PALEO FOODS. It's wonderful. And only eat within your window of eating. At the end of the day, you end up eating the same that you would've over a span of a day. And if you're going to binge, try binging on veggies.

0
369cc118b66cfcd2e226d0801293edc7

on March 26, 2012
at 03:45 PM

I struggle with the same thing. What I do when I feel a binge coming on is repeat to myself "I am in control. I control my body." I repeat it over and over. Sometimes it helps stop the binging, and sometimes it doesn't. But its better than giving into the binge every single time.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:04 PM

It makes me sad that others struggle with the same thing. *hugs* if you want it, as lame as that might be. I'm glad you've been working on it. I think the mental saying is a great tool. Good luck...I hope you can conquer this as well.

0
76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on March 26, 2012
at 02:23 PM

I have experienced the same exact thing. I see food and I just WANT it - not hungry for it, not craving it, but I just want to eat it. Then, once I eat it, I just want more of anything.

I've found two things so far that have helped me avoid going crazy on stupid stuff I don't really want and shouldn't eat:

  1. I have a couple plain old celery sticks. This way I'm satisfying my desire to eat (something, anything) and the crunch is very fulfilling to me. I think that some of my overeating comes from a desire for a particular texture. Once I've gotten thru those, usually the desire for more food is gone.

  2. I also remind myself, when I see something that I want to shove in my mouth, "Nothing bad will happen if I don't eat that." My very next thought is usually, "In fact, only GOOD things will happen [in terms of body comp, mentally overcoming an urge, will be hungry when it's time for next meal, etc] if I don't eat it!"

Good luck and share anything you try that helps!

0
Db2235cd5e11da1947ab395b3990c759

on March 26, 2012
at 06:57 AM

I also tend to "binge" on things but i have managed over the years to put a cap on in with some steps i take. This is how i keep mine under control.

I plan my meals a week in advance and grocery shop for those meals.

I have 5 small meals a day.

I plan a cheat meal/s into my diet - i started having a cheat day but found i would eat a lot in a day so i brought that into line by either have 3 cheat meals on the same day or 1 cheat meal on that day. I found this keeps my "mind" at bay as there is so many yummy foods out there why cant we indulge every now and again.

I exercise 1 - 1.5 hrs a day 6 times a week.

Im strict on the other 6 days, so i get to indulge guilt free once a week.

I have tried several ways of trying to get on top of mine from calorie counting (allowing something every day), sugar free completely (that was a waste of time!), new diets etc, things worked for a short time period but i always ended up bingeing, so i decided to just enjoy the foods i love but in a control manner. Good luck!

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 09:02 AM

I think being strict with a TINY bit of flexible is important...thanks for reminding me.

0
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on March 26, 2012
at 05:36 AM

A few things.

1) are you eating enough food? If your belly is full with nutritious stuff, there may not be room for the binge.

2) What if you don't keep anything except healthy stuff in your kitchen?

3) What if you planned for the problem and made yourself binge meals that were pre-packaged and ready? Big salads with cut up pieces of chicken/steak, sauteed dark leafy greens, cut up veggies and a yummy baba ghanoush to dunk in them?

Good luck, hope this helps.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:58 AM

I could probably binge on cardboard with butter if it was digestible to be honest. Ha.

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on March 26, 2012
at 07:21 AM

It sounds like she is using healthy foods (she mentions eggs, I never EVER binged on eggs) and this is not about your typical high-reward food binge. This is not a normal binge eating disorder (see my reply). Something is really off!

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on March 26, 2012
at 09:00 AM

I do eat well and I've binged even when overweight, so I don't think I binge out of hunger at all. I think it's a horrible habit. I live with someone...otherwise, I'd definitely do this! I love the idea of preplanning and am hoping to do this after work tomorrow. Thank you for all your input!!

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