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Looking to start IF to deal with emotional eating. Advice?

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  • Looking to start IF to deal with emotional eating. Advice?

    Hi.... I'm a busy mom/dancer looking to start some IF-ing. I've been primal for about 3 months and feel good. The only problem is that I love, love the food and want to eat it all the time, especially nuts, dried fruit and chocolate. I'm trying to listen to my body about when to eat, but that message gets muddled when my kids are screaming at me! So I stuff my face with these snack foods to soothe. So, I'm wondering if IF will help with the emotional eating, if not at least make up for it. KWIM? .... Or maybe this should be an emotional eating thread!?

  • #2
    IF really helped me with emotional eating, something I've been trying to work on for a very long time. It helped me reconnect with my actual physical hunger, it's probably the only thing I've tried that has made a tangible difference.


    • #3
      IFing has helped me get a better perspective on my eating habits, also I think you would benefit from removing your trigger/binge foods from your house for a while.
      My whole life, I've felt like an animal......but I've ignored my instincts. I ignored what I really am. That will never happen again.

      My blog


      • #4
        Yes, I believe IF will help you. I follow the eat eight, fast sixteen program. (dinner, and lunch only, no snacks,


        • #5
          I think if it's done to positively key into your hunger, then maybe OK. But if you do it for the second reason you mentioned "or maybe make up for it?" I would be very cautious. I was very prone to the "binge, punish, binge, punish" cycle. If you use IF to allow you to emotionally eat or compensate for you emotionally eating, I doubt it's going to work. It becomes an enabler.

          How about, instead, having really good primal snacks lying around? What are you snacking on emotionally at the moment?

          Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
          Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


          • #6
            Listen to Liz. Having said that, IFing certainly has helped me with leaving emotional eating behind - and it was a huge problem for me before. If you need that 'crutch' when you've still got five hours of work before you can go home and eat, it really forces you to sort your issues out!
            The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist


            • #7
              I'm with Liz; if your 'emotional eating' was the root cause of an ED (not saying it was, but it is for a good many) then it's not a good idea. I've only really started taking it seriously (and doing it properly - I follow the Lean Gains route; Martin Berkhan does give very clear advice (amazing when you consider that English is his second language - he writes it better than many folk I know whose it is! He's Swedish).

              Two or three times a week I also practise fasted cardio (and I find I have better sessions when I do).

              But DON'T use it as emotional punishment, for gods' sakes!
              La tristesse durera toujours...


              • #8
                I think that IFing does teach discipline and it teaches you the difference between emotional and physical hunger. Your body is more that capable of going for quite some time without eating, but your mind and emotions wouldn't normally understand it.


                • #9
                  thanks for your responses. i'm a stay at home mom by day and dance teacher by night so what triggers me is the afternoon child mayhem when i find myself stuffing my face with nuts, cheese, pieces of chocolate, fruit. it's all good food (i think), just too much and done without any hunger. i've felt good fasting a little bit (skip breakfast, but still have coffee) but i find that my head starts getting tingly.... which freaks me out and puts me into obsession mode of "when do i get to eat?" has anyone felt that tingle?


                  • #10
                    I don't think anyone has addressed this point yet, so I'll give it a go: I don't really think those foods listed are "good" foods in the primal sense (nuts, cheese, chocolate, dried fruit). Yes they're much better than SADsnacks, but they're still "cheats" in my mind, not everyday staples. But you're also running one hell of a schedule, and need energy, and those are easy satisfying foods that feed the need. It's telling that you identify afternoons as your trigger time, as that's when lots of folks encounter their daily energy dip.

                    I IF constantly, and usually only eat around dinner time, but I think it's overrated and maybe counterproductive for some people (I think I'm lucky this way). Though I (almost) never snack, I can imagine IFing might actually increase your craving for snackie foods. When I first started PB I did eat every snack you listed except for dried fruit, but as I adapted I found my cravings fell off one by one (first sugar, then nuts, then chocolate, and recently cheese). I'd say go ahead and try IF, gently, and gauge your response - I'm assuming you don't have any deeper ED problems which might interfere with your ability to read your body's signals. But the more important thing by far is to make sure that your actual meals are sufficiently satisfying to prevent the energy crashes that will drive you back to the cupboard.


                    • #11
                      Eeek! Tread very, very carefully with the IFing if you have an eating disorder. (I'm not sure if you do or not.)

                      One surefire way to set up a binge is to restrict food.

                      It's best to eat a LOT of fat and meat to keep you satiated. It helps to a surprising degree. I am amazed that I can go hours without the notion of food even occurring to me (and I've had a raging ED that has stolen my life away from me for 20+ years). The last time my food was really shaky and I was in a bad place, someone here said to eat a pack of bacon. I did. Boom! Stopped the death spiral cold in its tracks.

                      I am also taking 400 mg (200 twice a day) of 5-HTP. Stops bingeing and curbs appetite. Helps with depression as well, since it's a precursor to serotonin. I am so grateful every day.
                      "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                      • #12
                        No, i don't have an ED.... just an over-tired-on-the-go-mom-disorder. But thanks for the insight. More bacon, more fat. Yum.


                        • #13
                          Is there a chance some yoga skills might be useful?


                          • #14
                            Instead of truly IFing, maybe try holding off on lunch a few hours until near that time in the afternoon when you are typically triggered to eat? My experience has been that using IF to either control binges or deal with an earlier binge backfires, and I eat more when the time is up. But, I'm finding that re-working the times I eat to cover when I would typically binge has helped.
                            My Journal:


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lizch View Post
                              I think if it's done to positively key into your hunger, then maybe OK. But if you do it for the second reason you mentioned "or maybe make up for it?" I would be very cautious.
                              I agree. I don't think IF is appropriate as a "cure" for emotional eating -- if forced, particularly as a self-imposed consequence -- it is likely to lead to failure, which will only perpetuate the cycle.

                              I'm not a fan of forced or "tactical" IF in general. When it happens easily and naturally, from a place of emotional and physical health -- that's the right time to do IF.

                              How about this as an alternate method of learning to identify true hunger: Choose a primal food. One food, not something like a salad that is a mixture of different foods. Hard boiled eggs would be my top recommendation. Eat that food, and ONLY that food, whenever you are hungry. Eggs are nourishing and filling; you can live on them alone for quite a while if necessary for your brain/emotions to adjust. You might get sick of them, but that's the point. When you're hungry, you'll eat them. When you're not hungry, you won't eat because you don't want eggs and nothing else is an option.

                              Obviously, it would be a good idea to clear all problem foods (even the primal ones) out of your house until you have a handle on this.

                              ETA: You could also try a watered-down version of this by eating regular meals, but making the HB eggs your ONLY snacking option. (Choose something else if you really really really love HB eggs and could consume too many during a snacking session!)
                              Last edited by BarbeyGirl; 11-02-2010, 07:01 AM.
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