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Thread: Primal living and binging page

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    Enamel's Avatar
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    Primal living and binging

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    Something I've noticed about this forum is how common it is for people to 'binge', whether it's simply eating more than you planned, or 'real' binging, i.e. losing control and eating and eating even if it becomes painful to do so.
    For those of you who do things like this, did you do this before your started eating primaly? Is there something about trying to stay primal that causes people to binge, or do most strict ways of eating have that effect on people?

    I just found it strange how common and openly discussed it is here, because I've had problems with binge-eating for quite a while now, but never realized how many other people also deal with it. For me, eating primaly has helped with my problems, but, unfortunately, it's still something that I can't say I'm over.

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    Hi Enamel,

    I have always been a binge eater, usually on carbs. Since I have turned Primal I am controlled most of the time except during PMS week. I am there right now, fantasizing about bread etc. My hope is to get through without eating sugar or grains. I am trying several survival strategies including more fat, more primal food, supplements, and just plain determination. I will never lose the weight I need to lose if I keep eating crap 1 week per month.
    Paula Primal since 9/24/2010
    "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

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    Your average hunter-gatherer is/was most likely not opposed to the odd binge... I don't think there's anything inherently bad about eating a whole pile in one sitting, just so long as it doesn't happen day after day after day and doesn't include much really awful food, and it's done for the right reasons. I mean, there's a vast difference between a celebratory feast with family or friends, and locking yourself in the closet with a bag of doritos and a family-sized Dairy Milk bar, right?

    I've found that since I cut starch and sugar from my diet, I can "handle" a binge - in that it doesn't spark a complete fall off the wagon - kind of the same way that I can handle a 24-hour fast. It's not a big deal. Last night was our family's Chinese New Year feast, which certainly qualified as a binge. I didn't have any rice or noodles, but I certainly partook of the deep-fried spicy squid and other delights, and was uncomfortably stuffed at the end. Today, I just didn't feel like eating - I didn't have anything until 5 pm. Previously, I would have actually woken up starving, and craved junk all day.

    Just my experience - I think the odd binge isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as you don't freak out about it.
    Last edited by spughy; 02-06-2011 at 05:36 PM. Reason: add distinction between ok binge and not ok binge.

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    Any website where diet is a major part of the discussion will have more binge eaters than the proportion in the population. I would venture that most on this forum don't binge and that no-one who has fully adapted to PB binges
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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    Enamel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pebbles67 View Post
    Hi Enamel,

    I have always been a binge eater, usually on carbs. Since I have turned Primal I am controlled most of the time except during PMS week. I am there right now, fantasizing about bread etc. My hope is to get through without eating sugar or grains. I am trying several survival strategies including more fat, more primal food, supplements, and just plain determination. I will never lose the weight I need to lose if I keep eating crap 1 week per month.
    It's good that you've been getting better at controlling it. My problem is coming up with a plan to help myself - I've got absolutely nobody I can turn to for help with this, so I've got to be my own therapist. Sometimes I feel like I've made loads of progress, but that feeling leaves as soon as I relapse. I was doing a lot of self-reflection this past day to see if I could think of some way to help myself, and I realized that I'd had this problem waaay longer than I had thought. Makes me wonder if I'll ever be 100% free of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by spughy View Post
    Your average hunter-gatherer is/was most likely not opposed to the odd binge... I don't think there's anything inherently bad about eating a whole pile in one sitting, just so long as it doesn't happen day after day after day and doesn't include much really awful food, and it's done for the right reasons. I mean, there's a vast difference between a celebratory feast with family or friends, and locking yourself in the closet with a bag of doritos and a family-sized Dairy Milk bar, right?

    I've found that since I cut starch and sugar from my diet, I can "handle" a binge - in that it doesn't spark a complete fall off the wagon - kind of the same way that I can handle a 24-hour fast. It's not a big deal. Last night was our family's Chinese New Year feast, which certainly qualified as a binge. I didn't have any rice or noodles, but I certainly partook of the deep-fried spicy squid and other delights, and was uncomfortably stuffed at the end. Today, I just didn't feel like eating - I didn't have anything until 5 pm. Previously, I would have actually woken up starving, and craved junk all day.

    Just my experience - I think the odd binge isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as you don't freak out about it.
    Great post. I agree with the occasional day of excess food being totally fine, especially when it's celebrating with family and friends. Unfortunately, the binging problem I have is the 'doritos in the closet' one - although lately the problem has usually come up at family celebrations - I'll have a bit of sugar, and suddenly I'm in the mindset to eat until I make myself sick, and then maybe do it again. It's disgusting behaviour, and certainly doesn't have any good reasons behind it.
    Quote Originally Posted by peril View Post
    Any website where diet is a major part of the discussion will have more binge eaters than the proportion in the population. I would venture that most on this forum don't binge and that no-one who has fully adapted to PB binges
    True. This is the only diet-centric forum I've ever been on, but I'd probably find a lot of binge-eaters if I picked any other diet forum at random.

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    For me, binging, especially on carbs, is tied to mental health. Stress, depression, sleep deprivation and lack of exercise all exacerbate one another and make me extremely prone to stuffing myself. The guilt and feelings of failure, and especially the physiological response then make the problems that led to the binge that much worse.

    I don't think there's anything about primal that would make someone more likely to binge, except perhaps the 'forbidden factor' that certain foods take on after you go primal; bread and crackers almost get shoveled into the same category as ice cream and candy.
    Last edited by weird fish; 02-06-2011 at 06:39 PM.

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    I wanted to add that even though I do still binge sometimes, I have had great success on Primal (See Stats below). This however is not an excuse to binge. I am aiming for 100% primal eating this month. I cut out dairy and artificial sweeteners this month. That seemed to help with the cravings.
    Paula Primal since 9/24/2010
    "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

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    Primal has helped as the less sugar/carbs I have the better. My binges are so frustrating and come because I am tired, stressed etc. They make me feel terrible.

    I am recovering from a binge yesterday and feel mentally beaten, the cravings are bad. All I wanted to do was binge on chocolates again but I have to climb out of this hole. I hope I can move past it but it's a tough nut to crack.

  9. #9
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    I'm a binge eater. Just had a nasty one on Sunday night actually. My second in the past month. Although, they usually aren't quite so frequent.

    I've always binged regularly to some degree, but it has gotten MUCH worse since I started taking control of my diet. So for me, yes, there is a definite connection. It started before primal, when I was eating the SAD and counting calories, but it has followed me into the primal lifestyle and I'm beginning to think that this is a behavior I'll never be able to shake.

    I'm atrocious when I binge. Absolutely disgusting. It usually starts with stress, I'll give into a craving and go a little off track, and instead of moving on I shit all over myself and go into a frenzy. I just stop caring. I eat until it hurts, to the point where my heart's pounding and my back aches from the pressure of all the food in my stomach and I literally could not down another bite. Then I sit around until the agony passes just enough, then I eat some more. I'm seriously going to give myself a heart attack or something with this shit someday. My binges sometimes turn into a two-day ordeal as well, as I end up too stuffed and bloated to sleep at my regular hour and just stay awake, getting angrier and angrier with myself and continuing to eat, so there's the double-whammy of sleep deprivation thrown in. Once I've stopped and slept, I have absolutely no problem getting back on track the following day, which I find curious. My will power is there, I guess it's all a matter of emotions.

    I'm 6'3, 170 pounds, so not fat. I've lost a lot of weight over the last couple of years (about 120 pounds), so nobody would think that I behave in such a way and I have a hard time talking about it. My mom thinks I'm like the pinnacle of health and discipline and always tells her friends how well I eat.

    It's a tricky demon to deal with, I'm not sure what to do at this point. I hope it's just a matter of time and mental conditioning. As spughy stated, I really don't think the occasional binge is anything to worry about health-wise. But, I've done it much too often since the new year to be comfortable with. And this last one included copious amounts of gluten, which I've stayed strong against and haven't touched since September, so I'm pretty frustrated with myself.

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    Digby's Avatar
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    Brian Wansink's book Mindless Eating (fascinating read!), and some articles the last couple years in NYTime, Newsweek, etc., seem to indicate that humans are primed by evolution to gorge--makes sense in hunter-gatherer times. Check out the following:


    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...e-food-and-sex
    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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