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  • "Post-Binge" Fasting

    As most individuals of "the world," I have had the pleasure of experiencing both genetic and emotional disease within my family. On my father's side of the family diabetes reigns. On my mother's side of the family it's obesity through emotional eating.

    Regardless, I've been primal for over a year now and find myself falling into fairly typical pattern. I eat primal and feel great for about 2-3 weeks (including intermittent fasting), my self-control wanes, I have a bad food day and eat a bunch of crap (typically on a weekend when I'm not busy), and then the next day I immediately feel the need to fast.

    It's almost as if I feel the urge to cleanse my body both physically/nutritionally as well as emotionally/spiritually.

    Just wanted to know if anyone else out there has similar urges/patterns. I'm not worried overall about my weight, body fat, etc - I just started noticing this rigmarole and wanted some feedback.

    Thanks everyone in advance!
    Andrew
    Yes, I'm a real person.

  • #2
    +1 and for me its 7 weeks in........
    Not sure what it is but I think its bordom.....sitting in front of TV on evening when I'm not training is the killer.....
    Like you seems to be a cycle of a few weeks (three ish)...

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    • #3
      You're not alone.

      Sometimes I worry about the line between "rebooting" your system and "disordered eating" though :/

      I've settled on deciding that if it feels natural, then fasting after a bad day is fine; but I don't force it. If hungry, I instead "force" myself to eat full on Primal/Paleo/carnivore/Whatever. I would hope that the time between bad days is increasing though...?

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      • #4
        It DOES seem to be increasing, although this is really the first time I've noticed a pattern.

        Sometimes I don't know what I'd do without my wife, she keeps me focused and in the game with awesome primal meals and snacks. I'm not much of a cook anymore (went to culinary school for a year) so instead of me cooking for her as a treat I just let her know I'm fasting for 'X' meals and she just orders some take away for herself.

        I realize this need to fast after diverting is partial emotional and partially physical - as if I'm walking a thin line between my mother's emotional eating disorder and not. All I know is that when I eat primal I feel good about myself and when I don't... well, then I fast.

        I'm really on board with eating less overall though. I'm a glutton for punishment (including overeating) and truly believe that generally, as Americans, we eat entirely too much food. I'm no Olympic athlete but being in the Marines does have its physical demands and even still I think that I partake more often than I should at times.
        Yes, I'm a real person.

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        • #5
          It may suit you to eat once or twice a day (look up intermittant fasting on the forums), if you're happy to do so - it gives you the feeling of true hunger and also lets you eat until you're full. Really full.

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          • #6
            I enjoy fasting, I truly do. I also enjoy the fact that it's a choice and that on some days I just don't feel like doing it at all.

            I've found that I used to typically fast on Sundays during the summer for the entire day, but ever since I went back to uni it has been hard to do because I mainly get most of my school work for the week done on Sundays. So now instead I fast generally two meals on Sunday (since the school workload doesn't kick up until later in the day - a bit of a procrastinator, what can I say.).

            I'll also typically fast one or two meals 2x-3x per "work week." I find it easier to go about my day at school keeping busy and doing work then when I'm just sitting around at home. I always joke with my wife that we'd better have plans on the weekend when I fast otherwise I'll be miserable (and I usually AM if I'm bored, fasting and watching her eat all day).

            --

            On another note, a month or two after I went primal last year I spent two weeks at the US Navy-run SERE school (SERE - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Spent five days "evading and resisting" without ANY food going into the body. Compared to my peers who were on a typical diet I was in MUCH better shape overall due to what I can only assume was my body's primal acclimatization to fasting.
            Last edited by bemental; 04-18-2011, 05:33 AM.
            Yes, I'm a real person.

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            • #7
              If you're fasting to punish yourself I think that is unhealthy and indicative of an eating disordered mindset. But if you're actually not very hungry and/or simply don't feel like eating, I think that's fine. However, if it's sugary/carby things you're binging on (without much fat or protein), they may increase your body hunger substantially the next day (or at least that's how it is for me). And fasting doesn't 'cleanse' your body nutritionally; once you've ingested junk, you've ingested it. The best way to counteract it would be to eat lots of nutritious food. But all this doesn't get to the root of the problem which is the binging to begin with, so it's good that you're becoming aware of your habits. How about next time you're tempted, you make yourself eat only meat/eggs/vegetables?
              Last edited by spakesneaker; 04-18-2011, 06:44 AM.

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              • #8
                Imasin, great ideas in theory but they don't always work in practice! If it was that easy then it wouldn't be a problem

                I too have had issues with the fact that you should only eat when you're hungry but they were (fortunately) nothing like my mother's. I've all but abolished the cravings for sugar and carb-y foods since I went primal a year ago.

                Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, you know when the cravings come at me hardest? After I go off the reservation and eat some crap I know I'm not supposed to. Now that I think about it I had a slice of cheese cake Friday evening at a banquet dinner. Saturday I was craving sugar. Sunday I gave in.

                Interesting insight imasin and thanks for the input.
                Yes, I'm a real person.

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                • #9
                  I personally would like to see some scientific talk around the whole "cleansing fast to wash out the toxins" stuff. It doesn't seem like eating a potato chip is a proper reason to fast, I mean you could make an argument if you wanted that you should get some natural foods in your quickly to counteract the effects of the junk. I'm not saying that. I just think that fasting as a "thing" ought to be separated from "cheating" on your diet - fast when you want to, when it seems like the right thing, not to punish or cleanse yourself of a specific misdeed. It's just food, it's not religion. /endrant/
                  If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                  • #10
                    Could very well be that fasting after eating junk could actually be detrimental to your health, especially if the statement you make regarding counteracting "the effects of the junk" is actually true.

                    Interesting stuff, keep it coming.
                    Yes, I'm a real person.

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                    • #11
                      Where are your carb levels at? I found that whenever I consciously tried to limit my carbs, I would end up binging sooner or later. Now that often end up in-between 100-150 carbs for the day, I feel much more stable and haven't had the urge to binge in months.

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                      • #12
                        Haven't tracked them for months. Could definitely be an issue though. I'm always complaining that I don't get enough veg at meals.

                        I'll have to monitor and look into it over the next few days to see where we've ended up. Could need to tweak that a little bit.


                        Thanks for the advice Flash.
                        Yes, I'm a real person.

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                        • #13
                          I have the same problem OP, but im already really lean. I also find that I can go low carb for a few days and feel okay, but after 3-4 days I get the urges. The cakes and cookies that disgusted me a few days prior look pretty appealing, and I start fantasizing about buying a loaf of bread and eating the whole thing. Sometimes I do, and I ALWAYS feel like shit afterwords.

                          Also for me, fasting the day afterwords doesn't undo anything because eating all that sugar just keeps fueling the cravings, and I just end up binging again. IMO its best to break a binge by just getting back on track the next day.

                          Look into carb re-feeds too, because I think it's just what I need. I'm gonna have one about 3 times every eight days, and I have to workout to "earn" one.

                          Basicly you keep the fat under 50gs, eat your protein and then load up on healthy carbs like potatoes and rice. This should restore your leptin levels, or the hormones that tell you your full, for a few days.

                          I DO notice that after my carb binges I am less hungry. I crave carbs, but the thought of unlimited steaks and bacon don't appeal to me as much. I realized even after mastering the carb-refeed, one still must seperate carb-cravin and real hunger.

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                            I personally would like to see some scientific talk around the whole "cleansing fast to wash out the toxins" stuff. It doesn't seem like eating a potato chip is a proper reason to fast, I mean you could make an argument if you wanted that you should get some natural foods in your quickly to counteract the effects of the junk. I'm not saying that. I just think that fasting as a "thing" ought to be separated from "cheating" on your diet - fast when you want to, when it seems like the right thing, not to punish or cleanse yourself of a specific misdeed. It's just food, it's not religion. /endrant/
                            I'd like to see a study done on this too since I too, participate in post-binge fasting (and I only fast if I binge, which happens once a very blue moon). I'm definitely not among the IFer crusaders, since I consider my meals to be intermittent already.

                            I utilize fasting to increase insulin sensitivity, but if I already have a low carb diet I'm assuming I already have stable blood sugars. Now if I do post binge fast, how quick does the cleansing occur?
                            Last edited by porcelain; 04-18-2011, 10:12 AM.

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