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eating disorder, tried paleo before, what to do?

Answered on October 12, 2013
Created October 11, 2013 at 8:38 AM

I'm 19, female, and have suffered from binge eating since I was 5. My weight has been everywhere from 140lbs, (underweight for me) and 290lbs, which was obviously obese. I've tried lots of diets, but they seem to make things worse.. I always feel isolated from my peers and end up chucking it in. I was paleo for a month, and I felt good I guess, although if im honest I felt just as good physically while eating wholewheat bread... I dunno what to do, I can eat well for my body for awhile and then devour whole large pizzas and loaves of bread or chocolate, potato chips etc... I've tried intuitive eating, andlost weight, but I was living off mainly sandwiches nuts and fruit smoothies... I doubt tthat's healthy... im trying to be healthy and lose weight because im sick of hating my body and worrying about food! Any advice?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 11, 2013
at 04:47 PM

May Grok have mercy your soul for mentioning sandwiches without spitting on them.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 11, 2013
at 03:37 PM

Very true. Any restrctiive diet is not a good idea for someone with an eating disorder. Seek professional help immediately. You probably know what things are good for you and what is not. Don't worry about how it fits into some arbitray diet paradigm. Be good to yourself. Eat well and get some real help. Sandwiches, nuts and fruit smoothies doesn't sound aweful, by the way. (Sacrilege, I know!)

C2fefd191418f9a7bd691077ab9b527a

(287)

on October 11, 2013
at 01:09 PM

@glacierkn I find it so confusing though, why do I feel the need to do something so destructive? It seems counterintuitive. I know stress, loneliness and wanting comfort like a baby can trigger it, but then sometimes it feels like its just coming from nowhere?

C2fefd191418f9a7bd691077ab9b527a

(287)

on October 11, 2013
at 01:04 PM

I do think this is more of a mental issue, because I don't have to be hungry to eat. However if I eat "intuitively" I eat maybe twice a day, and while I don't usually experience hunger, worry I'm eatingtoo little then. Saying this, it doesn't always seem mental either because it can be so automatic... Thanks for your answer :)

10ec51c0e6e41939215a55316ad3d0b7

(40)

on October 11, 2013
at 12:42 PM

It is a mental battle and although Paleo has helped me, it hasn't completely prevented my bingeing either. You have to become more aware of binge urges and have a plan to deal with them. You have to really want to stop--it's all up to your confidence in your food knowledge and eating choices. I've developed peptic ulcer disease and probably because I binged for so many years--there will eventually be consequences and it's a huge bummer.

C2fefd191418f9a7bd691077ab9b527a

(287)

on October 11, 2013
at 08:40 AM

I'm 5ft 4, 180lbs right now.

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5 Answers

0
Medium avatar

on October 12, 2013
at 02:33 PM

Eating disorder has actually been linked to imbalance in hormones in some studies. So getting your hormones in better balance with Paleo food might actually help a little. But as someone else wrote you also need to make friends with your body and mind. Hating your self will probably not make the Paleotransistion easy and if you binge on fast carbs your body will quickly take several steps back again. I've read alot about this, digging in to all information I've found since my hormones have gone completely nuts and then I also came across that finding.

Thing is it tales time to get endocrine balance again, more than a month. And if you have binges on high carb food during this time you'll get a major set back and almost need to start all over. Make sure to have full support around, tell them about you problem and make a decision that you simply will make it.

Problem with binge eating s that it hit the reward system, the body learn that food will heal your soul. It's the same as with drugs, the increase in insulin triggers dopamine but also makes you leptin resistant. Leptin controls hunger, normally when leptin levels are high you don't feel hungry but when becoming leptin resistant high insulin levels won't make you feel satisfied with the meal you just had, and make your body crave more food. It's a negative spiral but you'll brake it if you make sure that you can control your insulin levels and Paleo can help you do so.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 11, 2013
at 02:04 PM

Paleo is often pouring "gasoline" on a disordered eating "fire".

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 11, 2013
at 03:37 PM

Very true. Any restrctiive diet is not a good idea for someone with an eating disorder. Seek professional help immediately. You probably know what things are good for you and what is not. Don't worry about how it fits into some arbitray diet paradigm. Be good to yourself. Eat well and get some real help. Sandwiches, nuts and fruit smoothies doesn't sound aweful, by the way. (Sacrilege, I know!)

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on October 11, 2013
at 01:40 PM

The other two answers are great. I've been an overeater most of my life and I can tell you for sure that Paleo is the first eating plan that has finally allowed me to control my food intake easily. All my demon foods and cravings are gone. It has been a great success so hang in, follow some of what the other 2 posters have generously offered.

0
Medium avatar

on October 11, 2013
at 01:18 PM

I suffered from a trauma-induced eating disorder for many years. After many ups and downs, I finally realized that I was using food as a crutch, so that I felt more in control of my actions and my body. Food was my best friend... it didn't judge me, it there when I needed it. It wasn't until I hit rock bottom and realized that I needed professional help that I began to recover and move towards a healthy lifestyle.

I finally gathered the courage to chronicle my journey from ED to Paleo here. If I can do anything to support you or if you just want someone to talk to who has gone through something similar, let me know.

0
2a6025992746ff6cd4ffb6ccf0aa03fc

on October 11, 2013
at 11:37 AM

"im sick of hating my body and worrying about food"

You need to address this first. Paleo could definitely help you with health and weight goals (one month is not a lot of time to evaluate either of these things), but the most important thing for you will be restoring a healthy relationship between you and food and also you and your body. There are a lot of good online communities and resources on this subject, and you may also find therapy very helpful.

You can start eating more healthily straight away. Certainly this can help with some of the underlying problems that may contribute to eating disorders - nutrient deficiency and hormonal and metabolic problems. But you also need to sort out the mental side. Do not box yourself in to a style of eating that feels so restrictive that you panic about what foods are good and bad. Do not find a new diet to obsess over. Do not plan to heavily restrict calories. I would say this last one is the most important. Years of dieting can really screw your body up. You need to learn to nourish yourself without fear again.

Here's a website that you may find useful: http://www.youreatopia.com/

If you are interested in paleo and feel you could do it without it becoming a new obsession/ mental problem, by all means do. Try it without doing a lot of restriction or fasting and certainly keep an eye on excessive exercise. See if it helps you with food cravings and blood sugar stuff. But take it easy on yourself.

Wishing you the best with this. I suffered from anorexia and bulimia (with severe binging episodes followed by purging) for years as a teenager. I corrected some major nutrient deficiencies and addressed mental stuff and I am in an excellent place now. Funnily enough eating disorders are very often not about food or weight at all when you get to the root of it - my problems certainly weren't! Control is often a major issue which is why you should be cautious about "fixing" your problems with a new diet, as new obsession however "healthy" it may be will not help. Paleo has been good for me because I eat foods I genuinely love and feel satisfied by them, with no fear of good or bad foods or calories. I wouldn't be doing it if it made me feel restricted. But I'm lucky in that I wasn't really a grain or sugar fiend before (I love fat and salt :)). Giving them up was easy and I don't even feel like making or eating paleo "treats" (liked baked stuff, pseudo breads, etc.).

C2fefd191418f9a7bd691077ab9b527a

(287)

on October 11, 2013
at 01:04 PM

I do think this is more of a mental issue, because I don't have to be hungry to eat. However if I eat "intuitively" I eat maybe twice a day, and while I don't usually experience hunger, worry I'm eatingtoo little then. Saying this, it doesn't always seem mental either because it can be so automatic... Thanks for your answer :)

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