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  1. #11
    emmie's Avatar
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    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.

  2. #12
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    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.

  3. #13
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    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", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

  4. #14
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    Quote 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.

  5. #15
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  6. #16
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    I think in your case "if in doubt, go without". I have an ED and have used IF in an unhealthy way - as a legitimate and healthily acclaimed reason not to eat. I'm still learning here and have used some great information from these forums to help me. I am using primal living to help recover from anorexia and I am making great progress. I'm at the stage when I am learning to listen very carefully to my body and sometimes I am genuinely not hungry and don't desire breakfast. But sometimes I'm not sure and will IF to restrict calories (on a bad day) or eat anyway to nourish and care for myself (on a good day). My hunger signals are currently in a state of chaos. I ate and ate last night and went into the fear, decided I must IF every day this week to make up for it but woke up this morning ravenous and have learned (through these forums) that this is probably a good time to eat.

    If IF might trigger you, be gentle with yourself and for now maybe 3 primal meals a day will be most helpful. Wait a few months and see how you go. I use IF because I'm frightened on gaining weight, and that's not what it's for.

  7. #17
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    As a former ED person myself, I have to be very mindful if I do decide to do an IF. I think about my reasons for doing it and if I need to do it. For me it's the matter of taking a step back and viewing it differently..... Am I starving myself bc of control reasons, or to jump start my metabolism or something else?

    I'd be careful about the IF bc it can trigger those disordered thoughts, but I have to say that I've never felt better than I do now with my eating choices and the PB. You know your body and you ED best

  8. #18
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    I devolped anorexia at 14, when i had my tonsils and adnoids removed. I was in bed for a month, and lived off of broth. I lost 30 pounds, and felt elated, that after bed-rest, I no longer felt compelled to eat. It was an elated feeling of power, after having been previously chubby. I got lavish praise for my slimness (105 lbs at 5'3) and was even offered modeling contracts. It was nearly a decade of malnourishement, that left me with health problems, that I still struggle with today (as well as alcohilsm). I feel your struggle!

    I do not intentionally IF, but am perfectly comfortable just eating one, filling, satisfying lunch per day. My husband watches me like a hawk, though, and will NOT let me skip dinner. I love cooking and make big gourmet meals for him, but he won't believe that I'm not hungry enough to eat them. When I met him, nine years ago, I had only mustard and beer in my fridge. He won't let me forget that or believe that I am not starving myself.

    My advice is to eat consciously, when you are hungry. Don't force a fast and don't force-feed yourself, if you've already eaten your basal number of calories for the day. I wish you luck, you can do this!!! *hugs*

  9. #19
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    Rasputina - It's so interesting how eating disorders can develop. I developed anorexia after unintentionally losing about 15 pounds (from an already very slim figure) at 18 during a serious case of mono with lots of complications. I was also in bed for over a month and barely ate anything at all.

    Personally, I would not mess with IF. It can be great for some people, but I don't think it's necessary for good health, and I think that for most people with eating disordered histories, it can be very dangerous. I have been recovered for a good amount of time and I have attempted IF several times, and it has never led anywhere good! Skipping breakfast can easily lead to skipping lunch, etc. Also I find that the feeling of being hungry, in general, can be triggering; thus, I eat when I'm hungry! Simple.

    Just like there are special considerations for Primal/Paleo for people with autoimmune disorders, people who need to lose a lot of weight, diabetics, etc., there are special considerations for people with histories of eating disorders, and I just don't think IF is in the cards for us! Having said that, no one knows you better than you know yourself, so ultimately the decision is your to make.

  10. #20
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    I'm a former bulimic, so while I have some insight about the struggle over control, my ED didn't take the shape of starving myself.

    IF may be triggering, so it might be wise to avoid it for now. Meanwhile, maybe focus on picking up your body's signals -- recognizing when you're hungry, and making sure to eat at that time (instead of forcing yourself not to eat at that time).

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