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  • Sugar binge! So frustrated and down :(

    I am new to primal but I KNOW it makes perfect sense for me. I got on board about new year and had a weekend blowout on sugar/grains in Jan. Then I refocused and have come 20 days in till last night when I opened the door to the sugar monster, hello chocolate! Now crisps and milk chocolate. Gawd I feel mentally drained. The pattern is get going then about 20 days in have some freaking nutritional meltdown fortunetly not involving gluten this time.

    I am frustrated! I am disappointed I may have undone all my good, getting out of carb burn to fat burn work. I love primal and it suit how I want to live but poor sleep and work stress have pushed the nutritional meltdown button. How predictable!

    Any advice about how to get back on track? Recovery strategies? I think I am going to see a councillor for this binge eating disorder? I can't keep repeating this pattern!

    You know, I realise I don't even friggin like dark chocolate that much!

  • #2
    Are you sure this is a true "binge eating disorder" or simply giving in to cravings and eating off plan? There's a significant difference, since the former is a serious eating disorder, but the latter is simply a matter of giving into stress (which we often have learned to relieve with food).

    You might try changing your 'self-talk' the way we convince ourselves that we 'need' the candy or bagels, etc. It's taken me a long time, but I've learned to stop myself when tempted to indulge in junk by asking myself why I am feeling so self-destructive? (Sugar in any form increases the pain of my arthritis rather dramatically, so I really am self-destructive if I have sweets.) As with you, it's usually weakness caused by stress or fatigue, and once I identify it, I ask myself what other indulgence will suffice.

    Sometimes a hot shower, good book, and early bedtime works for me. Other times, I really DO want some 'indulgence' in food, so I'd suggest never having the bad trigger foods around and deciding on something primal that may supply that same need to 'indulge.' For me, it's almond butter or a coconut flour muffin or pancake. I don't eat my 'indulgence' foods on a regular basis, so that when I feel the need for something 'different' than my standard fish, meat, eggs, veggies (my basic foods), they provide a primal treat for me.

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    • #3
      What I love about this blog is it helps you understand all the science behind your cravings. I'm a writer and frequently feel like melting down and buying cookies or something to get through a difficult writing assignment. But then I slow down and consider what's going on in my body. I'm stressing and cortisol is flooding my body. Cortisol can completely throw off blood sugar and your adrenals in general and spike the cravings that result in sugar binges. When I'm in the middle of that craving, I tell myself all I need is a little sugar to get through this stressful task. But it never helps - EVER. That's like saying more alcohol will help you get over a hangover.

      You have to accept that sugar is not the right answer when you stress out. You have to a) just realize what's going on in your body and not make it worse with sugar and/or b) look for things that will help you destress.

      I will say that if you've already made that sugar binge and are having a really crazy craving for sugar as you transition back into low-carb, dark chocolate is the best compromise. For me, it's the perfect bridge. The sugar-crazy side of me gets a slight fix, and the primal part of me likes the high fat, anti-oxidants and minerals. Enjoy a whole bar, but then you have to behave.

      One more thing: If you don't get enough sleep, all is lost. I'm hoping my schedule doesn't get too screwed up after accidentally going to bed too early yesterday!

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      • #4
        I find that reading a bit every day about the paleo diet keeps my motivation going, and participating in forum discussions.

        Edit:
        But don't think that a binge is the end of the world, what matters most is getting back on the diet afterwards.

        I used to think I had binge eating disorder myself, I'd get these uncontrollable cravings which would end with me going to the store and buying ice cream, donuts, etc etc and just stuff myself until I got sick. I once calculated my calorie intake in a binge and it was above 5000 calories. And that was in an hour long feeding window.

        Then it just went away on it's own after a few weeks, I never binge anymore.
        Last edited by krassi; 02-06-2011, 05:48 AM.
        Kriskris.com

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        • #5
          It happens to the best of us. You will feel crappy for a few days, but you will get back on track. You have NOT undone everything because your brain and your body KNOW what you want. The mental shift is at least half the battle.

          I have dabbled in all sorts of eating patterns (anorexia, bulimia, binging, high carb, zero sugar, etc). I rarely have any issues now that I'm sugar, grain, and dairy free. Once your body adjusts, and once you learn to get through the triggers (stress, PMS, etc), you will be fine. Mistakes are a natural part of it, and you have to forgive yourself.

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          • #6
            My second week into paleo I had lost about 7lbs. I was having cravings real bad and ended up downing like 10 beers and a half a pizza. Gained 6lbs back and felt terrible.

            Haven't cheated again since... the cravings are absolutely gone. The trick is, if you start feeling cravings, eat more fat. Eat some bacon, wings, steak, whatever. It's tastier anyway.

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            • #7
              Ok, so I need to get back in the game....

              Plan for tomorrow:

              Food: x2egg haddock 1kg frozen broccoli pulled pork cucumber, beef curry mince veg
              Exercise: mauy Thai- feel like kicking sh't out of something

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              • #8
                What really helped me was to find the fat I liked the most ...butter. When the sugar binge craving starts I slice off some butter, eat ,follow with some water or club soda. Repeat as necessary. There are days I ate 1/2 a stick like that. During PMS I know to buy an extra package of Kerrygold

                And then of course, remove the stuff from the house....make it hard to get to.
                MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

                "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

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                • #9
                  The wonderful thing is that there's a pattern! And you can work with patterns.

                  You've realized that you have a crisis day at 20 days. Plan ahead for that day....make it full of primal rich food and non-food treats for yourself. Go to the spa and get pampered. Make it a day to look forward, not to dread and find yourself caving again.

                  I was borderline for an eating disorder for many years. I would eat insane amounts of milk chocolate, feeling like I had no control, doing it in private, feeling awful about it afterward, using exercise to ensure I didn't gain weight. That's ALL gone now. GONE GONE GONE! So it's really worth it to push through these early weeks. Life is so much less stressful on the other side.
                  Liz.

                  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

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                  • #10
                    The very beginning may be tough, but it get's easier. As it was for me, but I took it one day at a time and before I knew it I was already months in. I made many mistakes when I first started that probably set me back weeks worth of work. Nevertheless, you just have to brush it off, learn from your mistakes (analyze), correct them and move on. Dwelling for too long just delays your progress. So feel down for a day, reflect on what went wrong and tomorrow get right back up.
                    Last edited by Supersonic; 02-06-2011, 03:31 PM.
                    "You can have it all, but how much do you want it?"

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                    • #11
                      6 months after I started eating primal I still found myself sugar/carb binging occasionally and couldn't figure out where the urges was coming from. My carbs were below 100g and my fat was about 50%. I decided to start listening to what people on this site were saying and cut out all my trigger foods ie fruit, almond butter, sweet potato, and chocolate and upped my fat to 65%. Low and behold I went through another carb flu and then bam, the urges were gone. Not a one. Even around my period things are far mellower. Everytime I get a craving for carbs or sugar I eat some fat (coconut is my liquid gold.) I feel amazing and the pounds started coming off again too. IFing is a breeze now too. Very very happy. Was SO frustrated with the binging. Thought it was a psych problem! Hormones baby hormones:-) Hang in there!!
                      In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. -- Albert Camus

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                      • #12
                        sugar eating / binging means you are lacking fat/ protein and need to up it more .Than if you do give in to your little inner devil on occassion , enjoy and don't feel guilty about it

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by krassi View Post
                          I find that reading a bit every day about the paleo diet keeps my motivation going, and participating in forum discussions.

                          Edit:
                          But don't think that a binge is the end of the world, what matters most is getting back on the diet afterwards.

                          I used to think I had binge eating disorder myself, I'd get these uncontrollable cravings which would end with me going to the store and buying ice cream, donuts, etc etc and just stuff myself until I got sick. I once calculated my calorie intake in a binge and it was above 5000 calories. And that was in an hour long feeding window.

                          Then it just went away on it's own after a few weeks, I never binge anymore.

                          Fantastic, everything you said.
                          Bookmarked your blog, one of the best of the type I've ever seen! Thank you so much.
                          Ancas Largas (or "Wide Hips") | visual primal diaries (in portuguese)

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                          • #14
                            Eating a restricted unsustainable diet will always lead to binge eating. Its not a disorder, its your body telling you something.

                            You can eat primally and still enjoy food.

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                            • #15
                              For me the important part is to not focus on the "failure" but on the restart. If I have a bad day today tomorrow is another chance, a new start. In the long run 1 day will not undo all your work, unless of course it perpetually occurs. It helps me to have "safe food" when I feel like I just want to eat- for me that would be meat, leafy veggies or carrots. I don't keep certain foods in the house either.
                              Mama to 4, wife to my love

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