Unfortunately I have an eating disorder. It started as emotional eating ( on standard diet before discovering paleo) I hated the weight gain and droped 15.4 lbs, which ended up being 6.6 lbs underweight.
I heavily think that Paleo is the best way of eating, I regained weight by myself and my immune system was as strong as steel, but because i used it in both bad and good ways, they won't let me follow it anymore.
I'm having issues with chocolate and I can't stop semi-binging on it. Eating chocolate after 5 months on paleo is like taking drugs. I had bad reactions to eaing a bowl of ceral and milk and it threw me off, my body has to get used to more carbs i suppose.
I can't break it. Even though i repeatedly make myself sick in the stomach from all the junk. i just go for it. I feel i'm also in some kind of energy fluctuating cycle.
:'( I'm very upset, I wish to get better but it's going to be a difficult journey. I'm at a healthy weight now but I'm scared the whole emotional then restrictive eating will start again. I am getting help but I wouldn't mind seeing if anyone has any advice here.
asked byOFalls (30)
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on May 27, 2012
at 03:26 PM
You need to push your doctor to screen for lactose and fructose intolerance, as well as celiac disease. It's unacceptable that this is not done, especially considering that mal-absorption of these is tied to mental health issues. Once you have a real diagnosis you are more likely to get foods that won't upset your stomach. Also I did paleo for a long time and eventually switched to a more "normal" diet and there are tons of foods that aren't paleo that don't upset my stomach like rice. I think rice is also the least likely to induce cravings.
Also, an ED is more likely to make you sick than non-paleo foods. If you go back to paleo, I highly recommend doing only 80% of your diet paleo and learning to love some very paleo curves.
on May 27, 2012
at 12:20 PM
Hi OFalls, are you on a meal plan for weight gain? Are you in treatment? I did a 3-month outpatient (i.e. day) treatment that I found extremely helpful for regaining weight without binging and for dealing with the underlying issues. Yes, it wasn't a Paleo diet, but when you have 3 meals and 3 snacks of a set quantity, and given a set time to finish them, and eating them with other people in a supervised setting, binging becomes pretty much impossible. Also because you are feeding yourself every 2-3 hours, the urge to binge is greatly reduced.
Even if you cannot get this kind of treatment, I hope you are working with a nutritionist who can set up a meal plan for you to follow. The first time I was diagnosed with anorexia, I was just told to like, gain weight back, with no meal plan to follow. So it was months of binging, erratic eating, erratic weight gain, and a lot of agony. Second time around I had a consistent meal plan and supervision and didn't binge once, and gained the weight back slowly and steadily.
If you have a nutritionist, you could ask her to incorporate chocolate as one of your desserts after lunch, perhaps, a couple of days a week. So instead of seeing it as a prohibited food, you see it as just part of your diet, along with the other foods you are eating.
I could write for ages about the trickiness of dealing with an ED in a world where "recovery" means eating SAD, but I won't here. I think Paleo may be an option for you in the future, but I agree it doesn't seem appropriate right now. And that's okay.
on May 27, 2012
at 12:46 PM
Before going paleo, I dropped from 185 (fairly muscular) to 140 in the hospital with a resting heart rate of 144 bmp. A panic attack. After that, I was recommended to see specialists and psychiatrists out the ass ('scuse my language). Going paleo saved my life in terms of the panic attacks and anxiety/depression. However! Here's what I've noticed that's the elephant in the paleo room (which is even more alarming because it's in a room full of omnivores with nothing else to eat...).
A friend of mine worked as a nurse in a detox center. He told me countless stories of the horrors of people going through withdrawals. People seeing snakes, their skin melting off--very gruesome and graphic stuff! Did they get better? Only when someone tied them to a bed and forced them into withdrawal. No one can/will do that with diets, but I know the effects are the same. Everyone touts the paleo/primal/whatever it's called diet as a panacea, but they forget that the SAD diet is hard to break for a reason: the same people making drugs are making much of that "food" (Hell, their overseeing agency is called the FDA--and yes, I know the FDA doesn't personally create some of that stuff, but c'mon Peter Griffin voice). The SAD diet isn't meant to be broken easily. So while, I hope that you go back to paleo at some point (I don't see how your doctors could argue keeping to fresh fruits and veggies and lean cuts of meat/poultry/fish even with adding grains and such back in).
I guess what all the rambling is trying to say is, you went paleo and probably had an extremely strong reaction to all the withdrawals, and somewhere, unfortunately (and my heart goes out to you) the psychological reaction became stronger than your physical one. But! You will be okay. I have a personal gripe against psychiatrists (I think psychologists are much more efficient at helping you through problems since they can't write you off with a prescription pad), so I can't offer any advice there. What I wonder though...do you think you could adopt a WAPF or primal diet or lacto-paleo and essentially try and include a paleo-esque diet without the restrictions?
Sorry for rambling, my insomnia is definitely not paleo-friendly.
Hang in there!
on May 27, 2012
at 04:43 PM
Have you tried approaching your family with the Paleo diet from a health standpoint? If you're trying to gain weight and deal with your issues, then a healthy diet is definitely more beneficial than one with a bunch of junk. Where are your vitamins and minerals come from? Muscle building proteins? Try to show them that paleo is based on getting everything your body needs from food. I get that they're trying to make you unafraid of the junk and calories to help eliminate your food issues, but try doing that with coconut butter or bacon or avocado. Something that also gives your body what it needs to balance your hormones.
on May 27, 2012
at 12:10 PM
You're probably craving something in it such as the copper, or magnesium. So, a good step would be to switch to dark chocolate, say 85%, then 90%. It's not really a bad thing to consume once in a while. If you're doing milk chocolate, then you're getting a lot more sugar and dairy than the beneficial portions of the chocolate.
Of course, if you've gone off paleo, you've reset your gut to healthy, non-leaky. Introducing dairy and grains back into the diet started fresh attacks on your gut, creating new damage, so you certainly did get reactions to that. Both dairy and grains can be addictive, and it's a hard cycle to break.
I'm not sure why anyone would voluntarily go back to causing this kind of damage to themselves and returning to a SAD. A good first step would be going back to basics - remove all the SAD food out of your house, whenever you crave it, remember the inevitable pain and damage it causes.
If what you're addicted to is sugar, and that could be the reason for the chocolate cravings, if you're doing milk chocolate, you can temporarily try to go with something like stevia, a little bit of L-Glutamine, ALA (or RLA) and using coconut oil/ghee to cut cravings. You'll still get an insulin spike from stevia, and if you're not getting any calories with it, you may go hypoglycemic, but if you only use a little bit, it can be a crutch.
But the first thing is to get rid of is the grains and anything else that might contribute to leaky gut, then sugar. You're probably looking at about a month or so to heal and get back to healthy. Concentrate on fermented foods (kombucha, kraut, kefir, etc.), bone broths, meat, veggies, safe starches such as sweet potatos, yams, rice, carrots, etc. to heal your gut.