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  • Question for the IF crowd

    This turned into a super-long post. I apologize in advance.

    I've been doing PB for just about 3 weeks now. For years I've been dealing with a bear of an eating disorder (exercise bulimia). One thing I noticed in the last year and a half to 2 years is that when I binge, it is always in the morning, after having had a good-sized breakfast (about 650-700 cals), and it occurs 2-3 hours after that first meal.

    When I was eating the SAD, I was consuming insane amounts of carbs on a binge day (750g was not uncommon). When I started PB I made the commitment to myself that if I felt I needed to binge, it would only be on primal foods. I have actually stuck to this and have had only a few binges.

    It dawned on me the other day after reading about how a number of you IF that if I eat a ton by mid-morning, I completely stop thinking about food and don't want anymore for many, many hours. I used to be all anxious about the binges, workout like mad, and eat anyway after the 4 hour CW window even if I was full. Usually then it would lead to more anxiety and more bingeing later on.

    Yesterday and today I experimented with something. I ate a ton of food by 10:30am (I wanted it) and did not eat for 8 hours afterward. This was not hard (going 8 hours) and it felt good. What I'm wondering is if maybe that's what my body wants. Maybe all this time it's been wanting to eat this way and that is why the binges always occurred early.

    Do you think this sounds far fetched and maybe just my way of trying to rationalize the binges or make excuses even? After I consume a whole lot, it's like a switch gets flipped and there's no desire to eat again or even the thoughts of food. Since I'm now eating all good stuff, I'm not feeling those crazy carb cravings, and so I'm not on the roller coaster ride.

    Sorry this wound up being long-winded. I'm curious what your thoughts are. I am determined to get this ED under control. I've made huge progress by getting rid of grains and processed food. My poor body was so malnourished for so long. I know it's going to take a long time to get it healthy again. I've gained weight in the last 3 weeks. BUT, this is okay. I'm trying to stay the primal course. I think some weight gain is inevitable for me for a little while until I stabilize and stop counting calories and all that nonsense. I'm trying to be forgiving of myself.

    If you've read this far, thank you. Again, I'm just curious if you think my body was trying to tell me all along that it really did want to eat primally in terms of when (a really big meal in the am and dinner at night). It seems plausible, right? Or, do you think maybe my body is just so used to the binges that for a while I'm going to want to eat this much this early in the day?

    This site is full of such knowledgeable people and I appreciate the various viewpoints. Eating disorders are such a beast, so gaining any insight into my crazy ways can be very helpful. I am determined to figure this out and turn things around.

    Thanks so much!


  • #2
    check out my blog, i am SURE you will relate

    i used primal & IF to recover
    Get on my Level


    • #3
      Hm. I believe my situation is somewhat near your's, except I like to eat a lot at night now (as opposed to morning for you).

      Anyway, I had a problem controlling hunger, similar to what you mention. This went on despite trying various things, 3 meals a day, 5 meals a day, skip or don't skip breakfast, you name it, I tried it. I could eat 3-5 meals a day, then after dinner just snack until I fell asleep. Usually I would feel full, but not satisfied.

      Been primal for about a year now - at some point along the way I discovered IF. It was nice to dispel all those horror stories about "my metabolism will stop if I don't eat every 62 1/2 minutes" and "skipping breakfast is how people get fat" and "your muscles will vanish without food in them!!". That is, I usually fast 12-20 hours per day (usually 16, 12 is weekends when I slack, 20 is just if I'm busy during the week), and have a corresponding eating window of 4-12 hours.

      I feel like I've got a better grasp on hunger (tho, admittedly, I do sometimes binge a little at night, so I feel fuller than I would prefer. Food CHOICE matters a lot here, so sticking whole/primal is the way to go). All in all though, I don't cut calories too much as result of fasting (still get 1800-3000 / day, depending). Love the freedom IF affords me, not having to worry about feeding myself so often.

      Also, its nice working out on an empty stomach, you feel lighter and more energetic.

      To answer your questions directly... I do know that if you want to binge, do it. Maybe even plan for it (cheat day once a week or more often if need) Keep the food choices primal or what you're okay with. Try not to dwell or stress about it since that usually fuels another binge-fest.


      • #4
        I'm a definite binger, and it goes a lot like Mr. M. My binges come at dinner time. I'll eat a salad for lunch about half the time, but the other half, I don't eat all day. It's my way of not overeating over the course of the day, and limiting the overeating to just one meal. You really have to listen to your body. I think IF is a really good way to find out when your body needs food for real, or if the hunger is a learned response from years of scheduled feeding. I really don't need to eat in the mornings, and in fact, I have more energy and can focus more if I don't.

        Your body knows what's up, so listen to it. If it says you don't need to eat, don't eat and vice versa.


        • #5
          I totally agree. I can't control myself once I get to the plate - unless I eat enough, and that ends up being a LOT of food. In the end, I feel I eat less with my gluttony and IF than I do with conventional eating - watching portions, breakfast in the early AM, etc. You are right - it totally feels like a switch gets turned off when I get enough fat, and it really feels like it's the fat that's the key.
          Melissa Fritcher - 330/252/150

          Trample the weak, hurdle the dead.


          • #6
            I think looking at the previous posts that it proves we all have different rhythms when it comes to hunger. I personally believe the key to being primal is not to overthink things, you know.... 'what would Grok do?'

            I find it unlikely that Grok would have eaten if he wasn't hungry or felt any compunction at all in stuffing his face if he was starving, he sure as hell wouldn't have felt any guilt about it afterwards

            I know overcoming an ED makes you question your motives but my take on it is: If you feel physically comfortable eating big at 2 meals and then not eating the rest of the time, why not do it? So long as your food choices are good, which it sounds like they are, where's the harm?
            My Journal


            • #7
              Hey, thanks Everyone. So great to hear your perspectives. I guess I just needed a little wisdom and reassurance. The last two days did feel quite freeing in that I allowed the big meals to happen without all the usual mental bashing. What a great feeling!

              MalPaz, I'll check out your blog this weekend. Thanks!

              Have a great weekend All!



              • #8
                I skimmed most of the thread so forgive me if I missed a major plot point.

                You're eating big in the morning then tapering off the rest of the day, rinse and repeat right?

                I don't think that approach is any different than mine/others, I eat nothing in the morning (no hunger, so not entirely premeditated) and I either have a big lunch and a small dinner or a small lunch and a big dinner. However, I'm hardly ever SUPER HUNGRY, I'm only ever mildly hunger and I eat because I don't want to UNDER eat consistently.

                For instance today, I'm having a cup of coffee with cream at the moment (it's 7:00 am) and I've packed a can of wild caught salmon and an avocado to have around 1pm, then I'll probably make a steak if it thaws by the time I get home or I'll throw some chicken in my small oven to have around 6:3o or 7:00pm ... actually scratch that I think I'm supposed to go out with friends to eat at a bar so I'll probably just eat there. Sometimes I wonder if I'm eating too little, but it feels okay and I'm not suffering from lack of strength or energy. I think once I intensify my physical activity my body will naturally ask me for more food...

                so, I think your approach is fine, as long as you're keeping the ED beast under control.
                I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


                • #9
                  I usually IF in the morning and then pick up a meal or 2 throughout the afternoon and evening. This has been working fabulous for me and I am not starving all day long like I was CW. Somedays I can even go with just one meal all day in the middle of the day. Hope you find a happy balance.
                  my Primal journal :
                  my food blog

                  SW 231 as of 1/1/2012
                  CW 192


                  • #10
                    It sounds like a great plan. Eat well when you're hungry, and don't eat if you're not hungry. Sometimes it may end up as a small IF, sometimes you might end up wanting lunch. It seems as if it is helping you to deal with the anxiety, which is great!


                    • #11
                      I've just done my 1 of 2 (in a row) 24 hour fasts. I've done about 8-10 fasts now, and I find once you get past the 6+ hour mark of hunger pangs, they just......go away. 5-6pm was my eating window and upto that time I just wasn't hungry at all. I've had 3 eggs, 3 bacon, 2 slices of corned beef, a chicken leg, a smoothie (bag of herb salad,banana,strawberry), and 25g of dark chocolate. I'm now satisfied and I look foward to having a big ass meal tommorow night.

                      It certainly makes life easier (and food more fun!)


                      • #12
                        I don't intentionally fast, I simply don't eat if I'm not hungry. Some days my first meal isn't until 7 or 8:00 at night.


                        • #13
                          I've been having some indigestion (I believe) and I'm not sure if it's associated with fasting or what but I find myself feeling full hours after eating. It's starting to get a bit uncomfortable but I'm still monitoring it and seeing if it happens all the time or just sometimes. So far it's happened after my first meal of the day which isn't always the biggest, case in point today I ate a can of wild salmon (a small can, I forgot to check the size but what a standard tuna can is like) and an avocado. I would consider that a regular sized meal, if not a small meal. As usual, I had some fish oil and took 6,000 IU of Vit D. I had some water with it (which I'm beginning to think may be what makes me feel so full.. I'm going to see if not drinking while eating might help but I've been doing it forever)

                          It's odd, but maybe I will ease up on the IF-ing and see if that helps, maybe insisting on having my first meal at 1pm worked for a while but maybe it's time to reassess. I was somewhat hungry around 11am today but waited, the hunger went away and I wasn't hungry when I actually ate... ehh, it's a confusing day.
                          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.