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Thread: Help With Sugar Binges/Cheat Meals page

  1. #1
    Primal_Bruin's Avatar
    Primal_Bruin is offline Junior Member
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    Help With Sugar Binges/Cheat Meals

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    Hello Primal Blueprinters,
    I have been living primally (for the most part) for a little over a month now and love the way I feel when my eating and living choices align with those in the Primal Blueprint. However, I am having some difficulty adhering to a couple of major points. When first going Primal I told myself I would have 4 cheat days per year (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthday, and Valentines day) and besides that, I would not diverge from the Primal diet (my primary concern was with sugary things, the grains, legumes, and other like offenders I have honestly no difficulty giving up entirely). However, now I'm finding myself cheating much more often than I'd planned (every 3-5 days usually), and these cheats are usually large binge evenings with a ridiculous overload on sugary desserts.
    The binges always start with just one bite of a sugary treat, where after I feel an unstoppable urge to eat everything that comes in front of my face, and even go out of my way to eat more than that. I tell myself in those moments that binges are incredibly unhealthy and "it wouldn't be too bad if I just stop now, think of how much worse it can get," and then it just gets worse anyways. I just can't seem to control it no matter what I do.
    In my mind, my ideal eating habits would be maybe one cheat "item" per 1-2 weeks (like *A* piece of cheesecake) so I don't feel too deprived of culinary experiences (a bit of a foodie over here), but this seems to just spur on my uncontrollable eating, something I certainly cannot continue to do for any extended period of time.
    Does anyone have any advice on controlling the amount of "cheat" foods you eat and/or any advice on controlling binges?

    Thanks in Advance

    Andrew

    P.S. I realize that I tended to overeat when I was bored or didn't feel like studying, but I feel as if I can recognize this urge and prevent it. It is the "just one bite" moments that really seem to screw me up now.

    P.P.S. I tend to eat HP, MF, LC on non-cheat days (carbs come only from mostly cruciferous veggies, sometimes salad dressings, and 1-2 servings of berries per day), and strength train 5 times/week and randomly partake in interval cardio (1-2 times/week).

  2. #2
    FrenchFry's Avatar
    FrenchFry is offline Senior Member
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    Hello,
    Is it "home binges" ? i.e. the sugary foods / desserts are already in your fridge / pantry ? Then it is quite easy: dump them and don't store any at home ever. Binge on fruits instead (not dried fruits but real fruits) if you have to.

  3. #3
    RittenRemedy's Avatar
    RittenRemedy is online now Senior Member
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    I wonder what exactly are the sugary foods that make you binge? I know if I have dried fruit, I'm eating the whole bag. Whole fruit, potatoes, other whole, primal carbohydrates don't do that to me.

    Cruciferous vegetables have verrrrry little carbohydrate. Even the lower end of primal (50g) has plenty of room for an apple or bowl of berries a day, and Mark's "sweet spot" allows up to 100g. Primal doesn't need to be keto long term unless you're using it to treat something. I think ketosis is better as a temporary tool (naturally occurring nightly before breakfast) for fat adaptation.

    If it's baked good or other SAD food, keep it out of the house if you can and out of sight at least. If you live with SAD eaters, ask them to decrease the amount of crap in the household and keep it to one location in the house not right next to your good foods.

    Enjoy your fruit. Seriously, go buy a juicy ripe pear. You're welcome.

  4. #4
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    zoebird is offline Senior Member
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    Since I unrestricted fruit in my diet, I no longer have any cravings.

    The first few weeks of unrestricted fruit was a bit of a free for all (lots and lots of fruit); but now, it's much more moderate.

    But definitely got rid of all of my cravings.

  5. #5
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    From what I have observed from other forum members who have struggled with binge behavior, LESS restriction in terms of carb intake (specifically fruit & starchy carbs, all primal things) results in LESS binge behavior. My assumption is that you are under-eating or not eating enough of something, maybe a nutrient or macronutrient (like carbs).
    Journal on depression/anxiety
    Currently trying to figure out WTF to eat (for IBS-C).

  6. #6
    Jenry Hennings's Avatar
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    how's your mental health? I'd think almost all cases of binges such as you described are caused by something much deeper than just a craving for something sweet. You're weight lifting 5X a week tells me you are a heavy exerciser, and the two might be interlinked between some sort of body dysmorphia which may turn into a full on eating disorder.
    Alternately, you might just be too restrictive or under-eating in your general diet anyway. When I eat PB for example, I find that even if I eat until feeling stuffed, by dinner, I am still vastely under my daily total caloric need, which may just be the body saying 'nope, sorry, needs more food now' and those sugary foods are just the thing that fills the caloric gap?
    With the 1st paragraph, don't get me wrong, I'm not accusing you of anything especially when I say 'almost all'. Every possibility must be explored before we can really figure out the root cause of your binges. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

  7. #7
    Primal_Bruin's Avatar
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    So one issue is that I am on a college meal plan, so the opportunity to eat sugary foods is omnipresent unfortunately. I do try to go to the "healthier" dining hall we have here where the desserts are much more limited though, so I am already minimizing my exposure as much as possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenry Hennings View Post
    how's your mental health?
    Alternately, you might just be too restrictive or under-eating in your general diet anyway. When I eat PB for example, I find that even if I eat until feeling stuffed, by dinner, I am still vastely under my daily total caloric need, which may just be the body saying 'nope, sorry, needs more food now' and those sugary foods are just the thing that fills the caloric gap?
    As far as mental health goes, I usually can tell when a binge is caused by an emotion (I can usually calm myself down and take care of my angst in ways other than bingeing).
    And I think the idea of me under eating on carbs regularly is certainly a possible cause for my cravings. I wasn't sure really where my carb count was compared to other primal eaters, so I think I should probably increase the amount of fruit I eat. Should I save my servings of fruit till after my meals (or in between), so that I don't consume them with any fat?
    Thanks for all the responses, I think this is really going to help me to adhere to Primal eating.

  8. #8
    noodletoy's Avatar
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    you're young and active, presumably your metabolism is in good shape. you don't need to be eating between meals, just eat meals til you feel sated. that means plenty of protein.

    on days you lift, make sure to include tubers and fruit. they are whole healthy foods and it sounds like your body is screaming for fuel. go lower-fat on those days. on off-days you can go lower-carb and a bit higher-fat. are you trying to lose weight or is there another motivator here?
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

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  9. #9
    Jenry Hennings's Avatar
    Jenry Hennings is offline Senior Member
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    It's good to know that you can control yourself, something that you could probably help me with! As far as carbs go, I'm of the opinion that low carb isn't the best. Natural carbs from tubers, and fruits, (and rice has also been deemed 'safe' by the more reasonable paleo athletes) should be eaten regularly, especially since you lift. Heavy exercisers have a leeway with carb intake. When I was into ketogenic dieting, as a runner, I followed a myfitnesspal of a keto runner on myfitnesspal, and some days, he still ate around 80-100gm of carbs, and still remained in ketosis. Peter Attia wrote more in depth about this on his blog. The carb curve Mark outlines is pretty irrelevent in people who's metabolisms and activity levels aren't, well, for lack of a better phrase... fucked up!
    As for timing, your right in your nutrional partitioning theory, but as far as your cravings go, eat your fruit whenever you have the craving for something sweet. Once you have that under control, and your caloric intake dialed in, then thinking about optimal timings may become relevent. I generally eat apples, as they are sweet and also contain a fair amount of water with them which helps fill the stomach, although, dried fruit is my absolute favourite!
    Sorry if I went on a little bit, I've literally been alone all day and need to talk haha

  10. #10
    Primal_Bruin's Avatar
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    as far as your cravings go, eat your fruit whenever you have the craving for something sweet.
    I've contemplated doing this before, but I always tell myself that if I have to give up the sweet I'm craving I might as well just save myself the carbs, but now I realize eating that piece of fruit will curb FURTHER cravings later in the day. I tried eating an extra serving of fruit with my post-work out meal today (alongside not worrying as much about limiting carbs) and finally felt a level of satiety with my meal I haven't felt in a while. Also, I was able to be COMPLETELY satisfied with two small pieces of dark chocolate as a dessert (before I always felt like I needed to "cut myself off" after 3-4 pieces).

    are you trying to lose weight or is there another motivator here?
    Currently I'm just trying to slowly decrease my lovehandles and that last bit of belly fat (coming back down from an outrageous over-the-top dirty bulk, from 155-180 lbs in about 10 weeks) while gaining muscle and strength, and also to start down the path to eating in a way that will hopefully derail my family's history of heart disease.
    you don't need to be eating between meals, just eat meals til you feel sated. that means plenty of protein.
    I think not eating between meals will also help me stop obsessing about food and just eating healthy when I'm hungry, and enjoying other things in life for the other 90% of the time.

    Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Also
    Sorry if I went on a little bit, I've literally been alone all day and need to talk haha
    it is perfectly alright my friend, I know the feeling, and there's no such thing as too much knowledge/insight! (As far as nutrition goes, that is.)

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