4

votes

How to break this cycle...?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 16, 2012 at 10:21 PM

This has happened so many times now, that it can't be a coincidence anymore...

I am trying to lose the last few lbs so i tighten things up, reduce calories just a little bit, cut out any extra little sugars hiding anywhere, eat very clean and do great workouts...this feels amazing and lasts for about 2 weeks, around the 14th day, i am sooo happy with how things are feeling and going...

Then like clock work, BANG! out of the midst of great mental strength and determination I crack!

I either have a set back (binge) type night (never on SAD foods, just like weird things like almond butter, or fruit etc) and after that I get sooo mad at myself that is takes me so long to get back "on the horse so to speak"

This just happened for the millionth time..I was about 2 weeks in...about 4 lbs away from my goal...everything is smooth sailing and this past Saturday night ended in a disaster!...Sunday was spent recovering and trying to eat clean to get back on (struggled the whole day) today is Monday and i've already slipped up and can't seem to get back on....

Can anyone offer any advice as to what could be happening here, is this a mental thing? is this a physical thing based on the deprivation from the 2 weeks of slight restriction?

I want to break this cycle so badly...anything could help... thanks

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:25 AM

thank you! I'm a huge Nance fan myself...look at her answers. Wise woman.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 13, 2012
at 08:11 PM

this is the best comment on ph. i know it's old but thank you!

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on January 17, 2012
at 01:48 AM

brilliant. i think i will do this. my boyfriend's birthday is coming up, maybe it'll be the day. hehe thanks

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 17, 2012
at 12:45 AM

I love this idea

9b9b328e50e6fa3afd1ee68495a8bac2

(147)

on January 17, 2012
at 12:45 AM

Happens to me all the time. You're not alone! Can even 'feel' one coming on, like some kind of crazy binge-storm. Relic of past bad habits? Maybe it's metabolically stimulating after all? Think it's also important to not feel guilty (compounds stress hormones) and take a moment to ask yourself 'why'? in an objective, non-judgemental manner. The more aware we are of the underlying mechanisms, the more likely we will have a slow, steady recovery. Perhaps one day we'll wake up, push off the bear-skin covers, gaze out of the cave and realise we haven't 'slipped up' for months. Huzzah!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:10 PM

@Paleo4ever, thanks for giving my spirits a much-needed boost. I'm a Packer fan, so I need all the kindness I can get today. :-))

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Nance, everytime i push submit question, i hope you will offer some of your wonderful experience and advice...thank you dearly...i will keep reminding myself of this

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:01 PM

Mash, thank you...i know that this is likely tied in with a lot of the mental training i need to do around food...and eating, so this will give me some great homework. thanks

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:00 PM

WOW...seriously...i can't believe I'm not the only one. ok, that makes me feel so much better.

6868f693020e11146e6e239af91a661c

(0)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:59 PM

I just wanted to chime in and say that this EXACT thing happens to me when I try to get rid of those last four "vanity" pounds of fat. Every two weeks like clockwork. I even give myself a little treat once a week but on week two I freak out and eat everything in sight and then struggle for a couple days with terrible sugar cravings. I don't think my body wants to be without that fat :/

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:30 PM

I don't know the research to back this up, but in the 4 Hour Body I read that the occasional feast day (every 5 to 12 days I believe it said) protects thyroid function. So, maybe you are doing the right thing for yourself after all. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge about this will chime in here.

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6 Answers

7
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:52 PM

Hmmm, let's see . . .

  1. You're reducing calories just a bit, while
  2. You're having great workouts (possibly "burning" more calories).

The answer is that you're making yourself more hungry. In your case, you can resist hunger for 14 days, but you've found that hunger wins in the end by making you binge.

It's easier said than done, but you need to use plateau-busting techniques that don't involve consciously reducing calories and making you more hungry. Some examples would be more sleep, workouts that are shorter but more intense, or perhaps experimenting with eating windows/intermittent fasting.

Getting through plateaus has been discussed extensively on PaleoHacks. Also, Sisson's site has addressed the issue, for example, here.

Good luck!

7
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:48 PM

This story appears fairly often on PH.

The common elements are:

  • trying to lose "the last 4"
  • eating more on a given day
  • getting really mad at yourself

The part of the cycle where you get mad at yourself is a pretty good formula for stress and not reaching your goal.

First, you seem to have a clear idea of the body size you wish to be. When you get very close to your goal, you may be fighting your "natural" weight. Many humans are not naturally thin/slender. In bad times, those who did well were those who had accumulated a few "extra" pounds in good times--the Marilyn Monroe look if you will and I mean when she was young rather than when she was very thin from smoking, drinking and starving. So you get to choose what your goal is but your body may fight to keep you strong and "healthy" in weight. You'll need to find a balance your body will accept.

Second, it's pretty natural to eat more/less on a given day so that's not the problem. You can have a very busy or stressful day and wind up eating very little or you may find yourself unusually hungry and eat more than usual. The problem is that you get upset and mad at yourself and your emotional reaction probably does more damage than the food because of the cascade of stress hormones. I ate more than usual over the holidays, including some sugary treats, but I lost weight because I didn't stress over it. Easier to say than do, of course. But if you do get upset your body will react and it will either release stored fat or hoard it--mine does each one at different times so I've learned to accept and gently nudge my body in the direction I prefer.

I hope you can reach the profile you wish. I did that once--the ferocious battle with my body to get where I wanted it to go so I could wear the size I wished. I have to admit I look back at pictures from that time and I think I was too bony. I wound up becoming way too fat, but I wish I had left "that last 5 pounds" on and worn a larger size.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Nance, everytime i push submit question, i hope you will offer some of your wonderful experience and advice...thank you dearly...i will keep reminding myself of this

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:10 PM

@Paleo4ever, thanks for giving my spirits a much-needed boost. I'm a Packer fan, so I need all the kindness I can get today. :-))

6
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:49 PM

perhaps an experiment is in order? start again, but plan to go crazy at the 2 week mark. make it a fabulous event. get all dressed up and set a formal table, light some candles. enjoy the food.

pick a start time and a finish time and carry on as if this day is a part of the grande scheme to your goal.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 17, 2012
at 12:45 AM

I love this idea

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on January 17, 2012
at 01:48 AM

brilliant. i think i will do this. my boyfriend's birthday is coming up, maybe it'll be the day. hehe thanks

4
1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on January 17, 2012
at 04:49 AM

I used to be anorexic, and one day after my 'recovery', I threw my scale out. Haven't weighed myself since then except when the doc makes me. I got so sick and tired of thinking about food all day, every day. Who knows why you binge or cheat or your body won't let go of those 4 lbs. Maybe if you take the weight goal out of the picture and just aim for being radiantly, gorgeously healthy and letting yourself enjoy everything ONCE in a while, you won't cut loose and binge. Maybe you could avoid that crushing 'day after' feeling that you are letting yourself down. Good luck with getting to where you want to be :)

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 13, 2012
at 08:11 PM

this is the best comment on ph. i know it's old but thank you!

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:25 AM

thank you! I'm a huge Nance fan myself...look at her answers. Wise woman.

1
23f79c5241be763ac583fc68d58ee02c

on January 16, 2012
at 11:15 PM

Do you feel the binge coming on? If you know you are going to get hit harness it. Use it. Do some sort of really insane weightlifting workout that is going to completely destroy you and then binge. Use the insulin hit to drive muscle growth and the workout to create "space" in your glycogen stores so the binge doesn't do much.

Can I also say that cheats aren't the caloric issue people think. Take my example for this year. I binged for two weeks on chocolates and rich food over Christmas and thought I had gained 3lbs. 2 days back on diet I was 5lbs lighter. It turns out I'd lost fat but retained water from salt and sugar.

1
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:45 PM

Have a think about what comes before the "crack", and what comes before what comes before the "crack". For example are you working long hours which builds up over two weeks and you then are tired, bored, depressed or just craving some type of food? What do you normally do days or hours before you end up "cracking"?

A couple of other things, I believe YO-YO eating is natural, sure some of the foods may not be great but look at it in terms of the long-term goal of being healthy and fit. I hate the word diet, eating is about eating not about righteousness or perfection. You are already making things easier for yourself by removing certain foods from your house which are not the most beneficial for you, but don't fear food and certainly don't feel guilty about eating. You are probably doing more damage from the cortisol release and stress then you are from eating whatever you were eating.

If you think it is a cycle, then try and work back through the cycle and identify the events that cycle around and around. If you don't know where to begin, maybe keep a diary (not a food diary!) but a normal diary and you may find that two days before you binge you have a log or even notice you didn't write in your diary because you were either too busy, too tired or maybe just feeling down or grumpy.

There you may find an indication of what might be leading you up to the point of flopping on the couch eating a pineapple and watching re-runs of the "Gilmore Girls". ;)

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:01 PM

Mash, thank you...i know that this is likely tied in with a lot of the mental training i need to do around food...and eating, so this will give me some great homework. thanks

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