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  • IF And Eating Disorders

    I have a question for all of you, especially anyone who has experience with any sort of eating disorder. I had a brief stint during a chaotic time in my life where I would starve myself, eating maybe one meal and one snack over a two or three day period, because I felt empowered to know that when I felt those hunger pangs I could choose to ignore them. In a time where the rest of my life was out of control (parents separating, me being shuffled around between friends and relatives houses all summer, etc etc), it felt good to feel hungry and ignore it.

    Now I'm going primal, and I know now that it's okay and good for your body to skip breakfast if you're not hungry, and do some IF (especially as I'm trying to lose weight). I'm just worried a little that IFing will morph into the same sort of thing as before. Does anyone have advice on how to distinguish healthy IF vs. unhealthy deprivation, or maybe some guidelines (eat at least xxx per day/wk), or a way that YOU eat only what you need and avoid compulsive eating, yet don't slip into undereating? I just really want this to be a healthy and positive experience for me. I can go a full day and only eat one meal and just ignore the times that I'm hungry - I wasn't doing that before switching, but since I'm only a week into primal I wonder if it's less about being a fat burning beast and more about enjoying the control and all that.


    Any tips and experiences would be awesome! Thanks!
    ~Mollie

    Started PB on Monday, June 4. I'm focusing on my health in 2012, including taking natural supplements, zumba and strength training, regular church attendance and studying the Bible, spending time with good friends, and reading more. I want to see what health milestones I can achieve this year!

    Starting body fat - 41%
    Starting weight - 170 lbs
    9/4 body fat - 33%
    9/4 weight - 150 lbs

  • #2
    Not really sure what you're asking. Is it ok/healthy to skip most meals for a couple days at at time, from time to time? Sure. Can it trigger issues with folks who are already susceptible to eating disorder issues? Sure.

    I think this may require the kind of answer only the individual involved can properly provide.

    Comment


    • #3
      Does IF cause binge eating or overeating for you? Because for me it does. I also kind of had an eating disorder.
      I want to start IF'ing but it goes wrong most of the time. The night before I want to skip breakfast I can't handle the idea of skipping breakfast which makes me overeat. So basically I now tell myself that I will try to skip breakfast but if I can't then so be it. This takes the stress away and makes everything so much easier
      well then

      Comment


      • #4
        A lot of people around here have recommended that you do not do IF if you have a history of eating disorders. Particularly while transitioning to a new diet - which can already stir things up for some people.

        Personally, I would avoid IF for now.
        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

        http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jammies View Post
          A lot of people around here have recommended that you do not do IF if you have a history of eating disorders. Particularly while transitioning to a new diet - which can already stir things up for some people.

          Personally, I would avoid IF for now.
          I hate when people advice against it because of a disorder history. It's kind of like saying "We can IF because we are normal but you can't because you are weak and mentally retarted"

          That makes me want to IF even more
          But I'll stop talking about me because this thread isn't about me
          well then

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gadsie View Post
            I hate when people advice against it because of a disorder history. It's kind of like saying "We can IF because we are normal but you can't because you are weak and mentally retarted"

            That makes me want to IF even more
            But I'll stop talking about me because this thread isn't about me
            An eating disorder is a medical condition not some type of weakness. Why take a chance of triggering the recurrence of a life-threatening illness when it is not necessary?

            I have rheumatoid arthritis and I can't eat nightshades without getting a terrible flare up. So I don't eat them. It's not a sign that I am too "weak" to eat them. My biochemistry can't handle them.
            Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

            http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PearlTigress View Post
              I have a question for all of you, especially anyone who has experience with any sort of eating disorder. I had a brief stint during a chaotic time in my life where I would starve myself, eating maybe one meal and one snack over a two or three day period, because I felt empowered to know that when I felt those hunger pangs I could choose to ignore them. In a time where the rest of my life was out of control (parents separating, me being shuffled around between friends and relatives houses all summer, etc etc), it felt good to feel hungry and ignore it.

              Now I'm going primal, and I know now that it's okay and good for your body to skip breakfast if you're not hungry, and do some IF (especially as I'm trying to lose weight). I'm just worried a little that IFing will morph into the same sort of thing as before. Does anyone have advice on how to distinguish healthy IF vs. unhealthy deprivation, or maybe some guidelines (eat at least xxx per day/wk), or a way that YOU eat only what you need and avoid compulsive eating, yet don't slip into undereating? I just really want this to be a healthy and positive experience for me. I can go a full day and only eat one meal and just ignore the times that I'm hungry - I wasn't doing that before switching, but since I'm only a week into primal I wonder if it's less about being a fat burning beast and more about enjoying the control and all that.


              Any tips and experiences would be awesome! Thanks!

              Your Brain On Ketones | Psychology Today
              (A caveat - I don't recommend intermittent fasting for anyone with an eating disorder without some extra support and consideration).
              When you're a fat burning beast, you will have the control.

              Comment


              • #8
                In my case I had a binge eating disorder with bread where I'd eat about 15 loaves almost everyday for about a year, though I managed to stay lean (but not very healthy), I would then compensate on my next meals by eating very little so I decided to stop eating it and haven't touched it since February (more a less when I discovered about the primal lifestyle) - I then started IF (leangains) in April and haven't had any problems with IF so far.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jammies View Post
                  An eating disorder is a medical condition not some type of weakness. Why take a chance of triggering the recurrence of a life-threatening illness when it is not necessary?
                  well it's just something that I want to do. For health reasons, but also because I'd love to stay in my bed a little longer in the morning instead of having to make breakfast
                  well then

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I hear you on the IF. Personally I think it's a good idea to wait a little bit before you do it. I was doing really well with the Primal way, then I started listening to people saying they only eat twice a day, threw an IF in and it triggered a whole binging episode. Up til then I was eating a lot, and snacking, but I was actually gaining muscle and losing fat. The thought of shedding more fat by IFing was very alluring, but I don't think I was ready for it.

                    I'm not saying that it will be like that for you, but I think it's sensible to take time to contemplate why you are doing it. I think when people have a history of disordered eating it's sensible to really take your time adjusting to the new diet before you throw in a curve ball like an IF. From tomorrow I'm back on the wagon, but I think it will be a long time before I try another IF.

                    This forum has been a real eye opener for me, cos' I see how male eating disorders manifest differently to females. With women it's about being an thin as possible; with men it's about being lean and muscular. Both amount to the same thing - counting calories, and obsessively thinking about food and your weight. It's a good idea to read Mark's info more than what people on the forum say - he's found the way that works for him: the rest of us are still muddling through
                    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                    - Ray Peat

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I lost weight eating Primal but following an 'alternate day diet' where I ate very low calories (400) three days a week. The medical doctor who designed the plan warns that people with an ED history should NOT do it because any type of severe restriction is known to cause flare ups of the ED.

                      For some time, I frequented a discussion board of people (mainly women) who were doing this plan, and many of those who had an ED history and ignored the warning found themselves back in the throes of their disorder.

                      From reading, it's my understanding that anyone with an ED history is advised to focus on moderate eating and must be especially careful during any attempts to lose weight not to restrict too much.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What bothers me is how the term "eating disorder" gets tossed around this forum as an insult, as a way to discredit a person and their ideas. When I have talked about IF, carb restriction, and calorie restriction, in each separate instance I was accused of having an eating disorder by several people.

                        I don't have and never have had an eating disorder. My sister, otoh, nearly died of bulimia/anorexia. I don't know if the difference between us is biochemical or psychological or, more probably, some mix of the two. In any case, we are very different people and I would never recommend for her the kind of dietary restrictions that I have used to reach my goal.

                        Eating disorders are very real very deadly things but we should avoid projecting one onto people who are just trying to improve their health and appearance.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've had moderate eating disorders for a long time.

                          I was able to control my appetite briefly in my teens and the sense of power and mastery over my hunger was incredibly alluring. I went a little overboard on that and dieted myself to quite a small size, but it wasn't sustainable and I ballooned up after that and have struggled ever since.

                          I have never been able to achieve that mastery over hunger ever again, until I started a low carb high fat primal diet. I was able to go 24 hours without eating once a week and with hardly any hunger. I thought awesome, maybe I can attain the mastery and the low weight I had in my teens.

                          Well it was pretty easy at first because I had weight to lose. After a while, I had lost enough weight and the IF became very difficult. I got very cold, extremely cold. I worried I was slowing my metabolism.

                          I read the fast-5 book and thought maybe this is the answer to making fasting work for me. I made a couple of attempts and found that firstly I couldn't go that long without eating on a daily basis and secondly, I felt totally out of control. I felt out of control during the fast with out of control hunger and thoughts of food and out of control after breaking my fast with out of control eating and obsessive thoughts about how I would try harder tomorrow.

                          I realized I had better give it all up. I haven't fasted at all since then. I think it's a good idea to try it, but be on the lookout for negative results. It's not worth the negative results. The Primal Blueprint works just fine without fasting.
                          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                            What bothers me is how the term "eating disorder" gets tossed around this forum as an insult, as a way to discredit a person and their ideas. When I have talked about IF, carb restriction, and calorie restriction, in each separate instance I was accused of having an eating disorder by several people.

                            I don't have and never have had an eating disorder. My sister, otoh, nearly died of bulimia/anorexia. I don't know if the difference between us is biochemical or psychological or, more probably, some mix of the two. In any case, we are very different people and I would never recommend for her the kind of dietary restrictions that I have used to reach my goal.

                            Eating disorders are very real very deadly things but we should avoid projecting one onto people who are just trying to improve their health and appearance.
                            +1

                            It's the same as alcohol. I can and have drunk spirits, wine and beer. But I wouldn't offer some to a recovering alcoholic and I wouldn't drink in front of them too.

                            I won't pretend to know everything that is going on inside the head of a person with an eating disorder (since i do not have one myself). As long as that person is doing things which are in their own long term health interests, then I could see IF as being of benefit. The problem is that motive is something that can't be known by anyone else, and sometimes even the person who has the disorder doesn't understand their fasting motives. So I think it's definitely an area to tread carefully.

                            Does anyone have advice on how to distinguish healthy IF vs. unhealthy deprivation, or maybe some guidelines (eat at least xxx per day/wk), or a way that YOU eat only what you need and avoid compulsive eating, yet don't slip into undereating?
                            I think that if you are capable of having a large fat filled breakfast (without having emotional/body issues about what is being consumed) then I would think that you are probably ok with skipping lunch that day. Just take care that it's not causing a flare up of your disorder.

                            I'm personally not capable of skipping lunch unless I've had a larger than average breakfat involving meats and fats.
                            Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                            Griff's cholesterol primer
                            5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                            Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                            TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                            bloodorchid is always right

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
                              The problem is that motive is something that can't be known by anyone else, and sometimes even the person who has the disorder doesn't understand their fasting motives. So I think it's definitely an area to tread carefully.

                              I think that if you are capable of having a large fat filled breakfast (without having emotional/body issues about what is being consumed) then I would think that you are probably ok with skipping lunch that day. Just take care that it's not causing a flare up of your disorder.

                              I'm personally not capable of skipping lunch unless I've had a larger than average breakfat involving meats and fats.
                              I agree. I also find skipping lunch to be much easier than breakfast. A lot of the IF sites are run by young bodybuilder dudes who power through the morning on nothing but high octane coffee. Good for them. In my experience, that is the best way to set yourself up to give into off plan foods like workplace cookies or to pigging out at lunch. If you get a good protein rich breakfast in you, that other stuff loses its appeal.

                              I eat two substantial meals a day about 9am and 5pm but I don't consider that to be IFing (although technically it is the 16/8 "window"). It's just what feels right to my body. I think the eating disorder may be triggered not so much by the eating plan itself but by feeling the need to adhere perfectly to someone else's idea of perfection.

                              Comment

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