1

votes

Overeating one day and undereating the next = is it harmful?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 17, 2013 at 5:03 AM

If I take a typical week, my calories would be average. But on some days I binge, and others I eat hardly at all. It seems to even out for the week, but I'm worried about the days where I don't eat much; is that really harmful to me? Is what I'm doing some kind of intermittent fasting or something totally different and messed up?

Say I eat 3,500cal one day and 500cal the next. Is this kind of pattern going to be harmful to me?

Da2c728c093488e4f2ea87b81619682f

(388)

on August 18, 2013
at 05:38 PM

I'm not late teens or underweight (I am female thought!) I've decided that what I'm doing is not healthy. Plus, I haven't been 100% paleo (which may be fueling my unhealthy eating patterns, but also making it really hard for me to stop, and be more paleo) I'm thinking now of the best strategy to use from here...it's tough. Maybe I can make a separate question for this.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 18, 2013
at 10:53 AM

Cavemen had extremely limited ways to store meat (no refrigeration or salt), so if they down a mammoth, I bet they were feasting. How common such feasts were is a different matter.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 17, 2013
at 10:19 PM

Question history, use of the word 'binge', already eating in a pattern... paleo... all points to ED. I mean, I'm almost willing to bet the OP is female, late teens and slightly underweight. I mean, they all start to sound the same after a while.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on August 17, 2013
at 08:34 PM

I think that going with your actual physical desires is the opposite of disordered eating. You might have weird physical issues or incorrect interpretations of physical signals that lead that to not be optimally healthy, but I don't think you can have an eating disorder without your brain somehow getting in the way. Of course, the OP might be doing that without realizing it (or without telling us).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 17, 2013
at 03:26 PM

Yes, but it's not 2-3x normal and then essentially nothing. We are not anacondas who survive on a single large meal once in a great while, we more or less require regularly (daily) food consumption.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 17, 2013
at 03:24 PM

Considering you've previous asked questions about EDs, this type of eating is leading your right down the same path you've been before. Disappointing that PH'er come across as supportive for disordered eating.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 17, 2013
at 02:17 PM

But on those days where they ate lots and lots of plants, they weren't getting nearly the calories as those days on or after a kill.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 17, 2013
at 01:54 PM

The idea that paleo people were feasting regularly is silly. They weren't gorging on racks of brono-ribs a la the Flintstones. On the other hand, they'd be eating as most hunter-gatherers have been documented eating, lots and lots of plants daily.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 17, 2013
at 01:45 PM

The short answer is no, and the long answer is still NO.

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5 Answers

4
14b8422e9b449a21e06fa3349953d4f7

on August 17, 2013
at 12:02 PM

Not at all. In fact, it's just like Paleolithic times where they would gorge on all the food they had gathered and then might not eat for a few days after that. Our body were designed to eat like you are

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 18, 2013
at 10:53 AM

Cavemen had extremely limited ways to store meat (no refrigeration or salt), so if they down a mammoth, I bet they were feasting. How common such feasts were is a different matter.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 17, 2013
at 02:17 PM

But on those days where they ate lots and lots of plants, they weren't getting nearly the calories as those days on or after a kill.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 17, 2013
at 01:54 PM

The idea that paleo people were feasting regularly is silly. They weren't gorging on racks of brono-ribs a la the Flintstones. On the other hand, they'd be eating as most hunter-gatherers have been documented eating, lots and lots of plants daily.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 17, 2013
at 03:26 PM

Yes, but it's not 2-3x normal and then essentially nothing. We are not anacondas who survive on a single large meal once in a great while, we more or less require regularly (daily) food consumption.

2
5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on August 17, 2013
at 01:09 PM

I tend to do this naturally depending on my activity levels.

If I have a hard workout one day, I might feel mad hungry and eat 3000+ cals. The next day if I'm doing light activity, I usually won't be hungry and often end up passing on breakfast/lunch without noticing and having a small dinner.

As long as you're not suffering in any way (brain fog, digestion issues, less energy, poor performance when exercising etc) or ignoring your body's cues for fuel, you'll be fine.

1
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 17, 2013
at 01:22 PM

My eating levels vary quite a bit also, and I feel it is due to allowing hunger hormones to truly do their job. If one day I am not very active and maybe I eat only 2500 kcal, I am not going to force myself to eat more just because my average is a lot higher than that. Then the next day, I might eat 4500 kcal due to hunger also. If your hormones and metabolism are working correctly, you won't always eat the same exact amount every day, but you will stay the roughly the same weight when you eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are full. Billions of animals do this every day without fail, so can humans.

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on August 18, 2013
at 03:12 AM

I wouldn't see why not...Grok probably had days where he ate a lot followed by days where he ate very little...our bodies are adapted for that...but if you're concerned, you could try to normallize how much you eat each day.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 17, 2013
at 01:06 PM

Sounds like disordered eating to me. Not necessarily bad as you describe it now, but when it leads to other issues, that's the problem.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on August 17, 2013
at 08:34 PM

I think that going with your actual physical desires is the opposite of disordered eating. You might have weird physical issues or incorrect interpretations of physical signals that lead that to not be optimally healthy, but I don't think you can have an eating disorder without your brain somehow getting in the way. Of course, the OP might be doing that without realizing it (or without telling us).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 17, 2013
at 10:19 PM

Question history, use of the word 'binge', already eating in a pattern... paleo... all points to ED. I mean, I'm almost willing to bet the OP is female, late teens and slightly underweight. I mean, they all start to sound the same after a while.

Da2c728c093488e4f2ea87b81619682f

(388)

on August 18, 2013
at 05:38 PM

I'm not late teens or underweight (I am female thought!) I've decided that what I'm doing is not healthy. Plus, I haven't been 100% paleo (which may be fueling my unhealthy eating patterns, but also making it really hard for me to stop, and be more paleo) I'm thinking now of the best strategy to use from here...it's tough. Maybe I can make a separate question for this.

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