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  • Can't stop bingeing



    I started following MDA about nine months ago and felt the best I ever felt but in the last two months I just can't stop binge eating.

    I was always pre-dispositioned to this and was a little over-weight when younger and then in my teens through CW and steely iron will I lost two stone. Then I took it further and cut out the grains and strongly believed it to be the best thing for my health but now I am going back to my binging ways.

    I don't crave sugar or grains and don't enjoy eating them and know it makes me feel crap but I can't stop! It is like the forbidden fruit! It only happens when nobody is around and I will easily finish off a whole box of cereal/packet of biscuits in half an hour. It is happening more frequently now - maybe once/twice a week and I really need help. I feel so depressed after it and I know that the control must be in my mind somewhere but I can't seem to employ it. Everyone considers me to be super health conscious but this is like my dirty secret!

    Anyone else have similar problems or can anyone offer some sort of solution?


  • #2
    1



    Hmmmm, with the onset of winter and shorter days, perhaps there's something signaling your cravings? And it becomes a vicious cycle. Sleep patterns, exercise, etc are worth looking at to get back on the straight and narrow.


    I had carb binges that I fixed by making pound of bacon at a time. When ever I felt like a carby snack, I had bacon. Bacon bacon bacon!

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    • #3
      1



      Don't keep the stuff you binge on in the house.


      If you get the 'urge'...put it off. Procrastinating is a great in this case.


      Be nice to yourself and understand that mistakes happen...but at the same time, understand that you also have to be 'tough' on yourself and discipline yourself not to do the thing(s) you know are counter-productive to your goals.

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      • #4
        1



        I agree with the suggestion that there could be something 'seasonal' going on--especially since this is your first cold season eating primally, so you're probably dealing with all sorts of psychological triggers for traditional carby 'comfort food' and the like... I found the same thing was happening to me to a degree once the weather started getting colder, and just recognizing it was helpful in being able to curb it (though I won't say I've been perfect!).

        Check out my blog here.

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        • #5
          1



          I don't usually struggle with major cravings, but when I do feel like eating but am not hungry, a hard (even if brief) workout cures it. 15 minutes of Tabata sets or HIIT, or a few rapid, max-out rotations of air squats, pushups, and situps are all good options. Maybe try that next time you feel the craving coming on?


          If you can't work out, try finding another way to distract yourself. You have to break the cycle that begins with a physiological response to the idea of the carby food, progresses to active thought (which you can learn to control), and finally to the actual behavior (which you can also control). The key is to short-circuit the cycle at the thinking stage. Distract yourself. Get out of the vicinity of the food, for starters. Involve yourself in a project, whether it be cleaning the hall closet or starting on a report for work or writing a letter to Aunt Genevive. Consciously shift your thoughts away from the food -- and if this causes panicky feelings, remind yourself that the carby food won't vanish from the earth in the time you're doing other things.

          Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

          Latest post: Stop Being Stupid

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          • #6
            1



            I have been doing this lately too since I stopped chewing gum. Used to be I would immediately stuff a piece of sugar free gum in my mouth once I felt satisfied with my food and that would stop the desire to eat, but I've quit all artificial sweeteners now. One substitute is to jump up and brush your teeth when you feel like you might have eaten enough. Another is to focus on cleaning up after your meal -- don't leave food containers out or open, because if you're me, you'll keep picking at them. And just don't buy binge triggers. For me it's almond butter. If I even see the jar, I'll eat spoon after spoon, so I just don't buy it anymore. I just know I can't be trusted with it! Good luck!

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            • #7
              1



              Don't be too hard on yourself. You aren't alone in this problem.

              I too struggle with this, and have that same "health conscious" title at work and with my friends. I've come to realize that the bingeing is an action I undertake in order to distract myself from an emotion or task that I don't want to deal with.

              I have found that journalling is an extremely affective tool to not only mitigate the binge, but to start sorting out what triggered it in the first place. I always have my journal on hand, and when I feel the urge to get up and eat the batch of cookies in the kitchen I just start free writing. All of the above suggestions are brilliant, and can be employed, but until you start exploring why you 'need' to binge, it will probably always come back to haunt you. Goodluck, I completely understand how you feel.

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              • #8
                1



                Avey, yes I have dealt with this, yes I have overcome it (and so can you) and yes, the root problem is in the mental plane. The solution lies within reprogramming the subconscious mind from prior negative programming. Think of the mind as an iceberg.The concious part being like the small tip of the iceberg above water and the subconcious being what lies beneath, comprising the other 90%, huge and powerful. The conscious consisting of our thoughts, imagination and perceiving via the five senses, the subconscious carrying out what is programmed as well as governing our autonomic activities such as breathing, circulation, etc. The subconscious absorbs our thoughts and emotions (good or bad) into a storage bank as beliefs and is our emotional governing body. However, it can't analyze like our concious mind...it simply does exactly what it's programmed to do and directs our daily lives by giving us what it perceives we want, based on how we choose to program it. Our subconscious cannot be fooled, for it knows what our true will is and if you don't truly desire to rid yourself of the binging (i.e. you're still entertaining thoughts of junk food in your imagination) it will carry those out, believing this to be what you really want. Reprogramming it is a difficult task but can be done. However, you have to first understand that addictions (drugs, eating disorders,etc) are forms of escapism from emotionally rooted issues which must be identified. Here's an example. You experience a negative feeling due to an emotional issue and seek to escape the unpleasant feeling. Binging will bring you some relief, although temporary. You then misuse your thoughts and imagination via your conscious mind to picture what all of those foods will taste like, smell like, etc. your subconscious takes the orders, believing this to be what you want based on those thoughts and pictures. After visualizing those things, you then binge. You have now programmed your subconscious to believe that binging (escapism) will relieve the unpleasantness of those feelings and you are now caught in an addiciction that you can't seem to break, see? In order to break the cycle, you must rehardwire the subconscious. This starts by first identifying the source which is causing you to indulge in escapism. You must then convince the subconscious that your true will is to no longer binge (remember it cannot be fooled therefore, you can't tell it you want to change but then send it mixed messages by using your imagination to visualize junkfood)You have to learn to ignore the tempting thoughts (yes, there is a way) and stop misusing your imagination (visualizing how good the junkfood will taste,smell) when you are tempted to indulge in escapism. Instead, you begin to use your conscious mind to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones (our thoughts are living entitities requiring "food" and the ideas which we feed those thoughts become our belief system, for example you telling yourself "I can't stop binge-eating" and am predispositioned to such. You programmed your subconscious to believe this and now, that's what it's giving you.. see how that works?) and use your imagination to visualize yourself enjoying only healthy foods, enjoying them and the results. Given enough time, the subconcious receives the new programming, now perceiving this to be your true will and will respond accordingly. At this point, you will no longer have struggles with binging, drugs, smoking....whatever the negative habit may be, it can be applied to any addiction. This was a VERY general answer to resolving your problem and I didn't get into a lot of specifics, but just wanted to provide you with a general framework of how it is accomplished. God Bless.

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                • #9
                  1



                  Wow thanks so much for these replies!

                  I don't actually crave the food so it's definitely psychological. Also I don't buy it - its always lying around in work and I work shift so nobody sees me doing it late at night/early morning. Also when I go home to my parents house its also grain/sugar central.

                  There is probably something in the the fact that it is winter and I would have previously ate a lot of carbs at this time. But predominantly I think crepitte - you hit the nail on the head - I believe its something I do so I just do it without actually asking myself why. Thank you so much for your post and I will try to reprogram my subconscious mind!

                  Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    What helped my husband with the psychological piece of the puzzle was watching endocrinologist Robert Lustig's talk titled Sugar: The Bitter Truth.


                    Now anytime he sees a sugar-sweetened food he thinks "I have no desire to eat that, because it is toxic." When he wants a "treat," he'll have a small piece of 85% cocoa chocolate.


                    You'll need to set aside 90 minutes to watch, but I think it is well worth it.


                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM


                    Good luck!

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                    • #11
                      1



                      What Mr. B said.


                      Also, one somewhat less orthodox way to deal with binging would be eating a huge amount so you end up feeling terrible. Think of it as some sort on inverse Pavlovian effect.

                      “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                      "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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                      • #12
                        1



                        As someone with this problem and struggling, I can tell you the eating a huge amount til you feel sick is NOT a good idea, esp if there are any eating disorder issues here


                        Its hard, such a struggle, but eating this way makes it less of a constant temptation.

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                        • #13
                          1



                          Cravings and binging is a common problem ....... we are surrounded by crappy carbs ....... try having a good quality plain protein shake in the morning and one at 3pm in the afternoon and keep your cupboards bare of crappy carbs ............. and drink lots of water and eat a bit of fruit .. low glycemix when the urge takes over to binge....... these tips have helped me a lot ......... bordem is another trigger ... just keep trying AND never give up ... everyday is a new day ... don't beat yourself up . you are always better than yesterday ..........

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                          • #14
                            1



                            Another point I forgot to mention is that having a PLAIN protein shake helps balance your blood sugar and prevents cravings

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                            • #15
                              1



                              As someone who has battled binge eating and bulimia for much of my life, I do understand. Funny thing is, since going (almost) primal I have a strong aversion to things containing grains. I sometimes give myself permission to have something as a treat, and then I go to the supermarket and find myself looking at desserts or cakes and thinking, no. I can remember exactly how it tastes, and I'll remember exactly how crappy I feel afterwards. It puts me off.


                              I do still overeat things like nut and dried fruit mixtures, and good chocolate (and despite trying hard I still prefer milk) but given I was someone who used to be able to eat her way through a bag of 10 doughnuts without pausing for breath, I'd say that's progress.


                              I know in my case the overeating thing is an act of rebellion on my part. Half the time I'm like a sergeant major "Get off your fat a**e and get to the gym you bloated maggot! No you can NOT have that bar of Green & Blacks!" and half the time I'm a naughty child who is sneaking things she shouldn't to spite the sergeant.


                              In your case it sounds almost as if you are rebelling against the healthy eater your friends perceive.


                              You need to give yourself some time to think things through (go out, away from food - go for a walk and do some thinking) and work out what the main problem is. That will give you a starting point from which to tackle your problem. Just be aware that no one can be perfect and no fix is instant. Cut yourself some slack and if you slip up, dust yourself off and get back on track rather than use it as an excuse to spiral further into binge eating.


                              You may also find it helpful to take some powdered glutamine (I take mine in warm water) on rising and at other points when you may feel the urge to binge. It has been used to control sugar cravings in diabetics and can be helpful for eating disorders.

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