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Thread: Advice for a binge eater?

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  1. #1
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    Advice for a binge eater?

    Hello, I am new here, or at least newly registered to post, though I've been following the blog and reading the articles and browsing the forums for some time, and I would love to ask some advice from the community here.

    I hadn't heard about the whole Primal idea until a couple months ago, but I very much liked the concept from the beginning, as it seemed to fit more or less with the way I have always tended to eat, without knowing there was a name for it. Since learning to make my own food decisions in my early teens, I have always known my favourite foods were basically only meats and vegetables of all kinds, occasional fruits, with no taste or interest in grains or processed foods, and no regular dairy as it upsets my stomach. For the sake of providing more background, I also have generally always informally done IF-style eating, again just coming into it naturally before I knew what it was, with an average 5-7 hour window and the bulk at one large meal; and my exercise consists of regular strength training, some interval cardio several days a week, and walking for about an hour or so as part of my weekday commute.

    My issue is with binge eating. I've had, I believe, classifiable binge eating disorder for about four years now. Though I eat healthfully as I described above 90% of the time, with honestly and truly no cravings for junk food in everyday situations, I binge on frozen yogurt, 3-4 half gallons of it at a time, at least once a week and occsionally more often. I never binge on anything other than frozen yogurt, and I have zero desire to eat frozen yogurt in normal quantities or outside of a binge. When there are periods of time, such as vacations or whatever, where I cannot have access to the opportunity, time, and proper food, I will not binge; but after that period is over, even if it's been a couple of months, as soon as the opportunity arises again, I find myself with the urge to binge again and slip back into the regular behavior.

    I've tried hundreds of ideologies and strategies over the years, but I have yet to kick the habit, addiction, whatever you want to call it. Gotten close, yes, gotten it more manageable, yes, but it's never just gone away completely.
    I have a lot of respect for the people following the PB lifestyle, from what I've learned so far, so I'd really love to hear from someone any advice you would give me from a PB perspective. I've an open ear for criticism and an open mind to try anything. Thank you very much for any thoughts at all!

  2. #2
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    As you start eating healthfully and you are getting quality foods, I've found that my cravings do lessen. Cutting out the processed crap will retrain your taste buds so that things you used to binge on will taste strange or too chemically or too sweet. The cravings will still be there, but I've found them to be more manageable the longer I go primal. Also, trigger foods...just don't keep them in the house. You can't eat them if you can't easily access them, and by the time you run to the store to buy ice cream, you might find that your craving has diminished.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

  3. #3
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    Yogurt is my weakness. For me, it's full-fat plain yogurt, bananas, and whatever nut butter I can get my hands on. Spread nut butter on banana, bite, eat spoonful of yogurt, repeat until my stomach literally can't take it anymore. I go through cycles where, for a week, I won't eat any yogurt, and by day 7 or 8, I'm craving it, I buy it, I binge on it.

    I think maybe the answer is in not restricting myself until my craving is that intense. Maybe a bit of yogurt everyday instead of trying to cut it out entirely for 7 days and then eating almost a whole container on day 8. But of course, if I keep in it the house, it's gone in one day.

    I'm interested in the replies you get... I wonder what it is about yogurt that triggers binging? Dairy is quite insulinogenic (sp?) so that probably has something to do with it... I'm not sure what to do about my relationship with yogurt, though. Every time I try to cut it entirely, I end up binging. And when I try to NOT restrict myself, to eat a little yogurt frequently instead of a lot of yogurt infrequently, I still end up binging... Yogurt wins every time!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damiana View Post
    As you start eating healthfully and you are getting quality foods, I've found that my cravings do lessen. Cutting out the processed crap will retrain your taste buds so that things you used to binge on will taste strange or too chemically or too sweet. The cravings will still be there, but I've found them to be more manageable the longer I go primal. Also, trigger foods...just don't keep them in the house. You can't eat them if you can't easily access them, and by the time you run to the store to buy ice cream, you might find that your craving has diminished.
    Thank you for your response. The problem is, I have cut out all the processed crap EXCEPT that frozen yogurt, and my urge to binge on it never goes away. Earlier this year I went nearly six months without being having it, due to not having any alone time to binge, but yet I still thought about it all the time, and once I did get the opportunity, I went back to binge on it. It's not just the food itself I'm addicted to-- it's the whole binge "package," the way I binge and the feelings and the whole ritual of it. I don't even like the frozen yogurt that much, to be honest, I just feel compelled to eat it! I never ever keep it in the house either. I always go out to buy it. In fact, that's part of the binge for me. I'd never think to eat it if it were just sitting around....


    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndChance View Post
    Yogurt is my weakness. For me, it's full-fat plain yogurt, bananas, and whatever nut butter I can get my hands on. Spread nut butter on banana, bite, eat spoonful of yogurt, repeat until my stomach literally can't take it anymore. I go through cycles where, for a week, I won't eat any yogurt, and by day 7 or 8, I'm craving it, I buy it, I binge on it.

    I think maybe the answer is in not restricting myself until my craving is that intense. Maybe a bit of yogurt everyday instead of trying to cut it out entirely for 7 days and then eating almost a whole container on day 8. But of course, if I keep in it the house, it's gone in one day.

    I'm interested in the replies you get... I wonder what it is about yogurt that triggers binging? Dairy is quite insulinogenic (sp?) so that probably has something to do with it... I'm not sure what to do about my relationship with yogurt, though. Every time I try to cut it entirely, I end up binging. And when I try to NOT restrict myself, to eat a little yogurt frequently instead of a lot of yogurt infrequently, I still end up binging... Yogurt wins every time!
    Hi, thanks for replying!
    The thing is, I really don't want to have just a little bit of it. I only want a gallon of it, lol. Truly. If I can't have the ice cream in a half-gallon bucket, I don't want to eat it. I don't want a spoonful, don't want a pint, only want to binge on it until I can't eat any more. That's what I crave, more than the ice cream itself.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mottainai View Post
    Thank you for your response. The problem is, I have cut out all the processed crap EXCEPT that frozen yogurt, and my urge to binge on it never goes away. Earlier this year I went nearly six months without being having it, due to not having any alone time to binge, but yet I still thought about it all the time, and once I did get the opportunity, I went back to binge on it. It's not just the food itself I'm addicted to-- it's the whole binge "package," the way I binge and the feelings and the whole ritual of it. I don't even like the frozen yogurt that much, to be honest, I just feel compelled to eat it! I never ever keep it in the house either. I always go out to buy it. In fact, that's part of the binge for me. I'd never think to eat it if it were just sitting around....




    Hi, thanks for replying!
    The thing is, I really don't want to have just a little bit of it. I only want a gallon of it, lol. Truly. If I can't have the ice cream in a half-gallon bucket, I don't want to eat it. I don't want a spoonful, don't want a pint, only want to binge on it until I can't eat any more. That's what I crave, more than the ice cream itself.
    Try hypnosis. Seriously.
    ----------------------------------------
    F, 48, 5'10"
    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louisa655 View Post
    Try hypnosis. Seriously.
    I'll take it, if you're serious! Any resources you could provide me on that? Like, should I look into seeing a professional, or is it something I can do myself?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mottainai View Post
    I'll take it, if you're serious! Any resources you could provide me on that? Like, should I look into seeing a professional, or is it something I can do myself?
    I'm totally serious. When I was younger, I had 4 wisdom teeth removed and I was at a NY's party. I was in so much pain, that I wasn't eating any food and this woman asked me why I wasn't eating. And I shared with her that I was in too much pain with my wisdom teeth having been recently extracted. She confided that she was a hypnosis expert (whatever they call themselves), and she took me into another room and performed her 'magic'. All I remember is lying down on a couch, and going into a very deep relaxing state -- almost asleep -- and then being sort of 'woken up abruptlyl'. She told me that I could go and enjoy the food, and that I would feel great. I was not really a believer, but I complied. Sure enough, I literally had NO PAIN for the rest of the evening. It was the strangest experience I've ever had. I was so comfortable and ate and had conversation as if nothing was wrong with me. Anyway, from that time forward, I've thought to myself that If I ever needed to confront an addiction or deal with something difficult, that I would be open to trying hypnosis again. What's the worst that can happen???? it fails.....or it may succeed.......
    ----------------------------------------
    F, 48, 5'10"
    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mottainai View Post
    The problem is, I have cut out all the processed crap EXCEPT that frozen yogurt, and my urge to binge on it never goes away. Earlier this year I went nearly six months without being having it, due to not having any alone time to binge, but yet I still thought about it all the time, and once I did get the opportunity, I went back to binge on it. It's not just the food itself I'm addicted to-- it's the whole binge "package," the way I binge and the feelings and the whole ritual of it. I don't even like the frozen yogurt that much, to be honest, I just feel compelled to eat it! I never ever keep it in the house either. I always go out to buy it. In fact, that's part of the binge for me. I'd never think to eat it if it were just sitting around....
    Oh I feel your pain. Been there many times. Got to the point where I knew what to eat and not eat. I knew if I chewed my food slowly and mindfully, that would help, but I didn't. More protein, cook in bulk, see a counselor, nope nope nope!! I just didn't want to. All I wanted to do was EAT! I've been binge free for a couple of months. I just got so sick of feeling so sick from all the binging. So I told myself, "I want to feel good". Then done. No more binging. Will this work for you? Maybe, maybe not. But it all boils down to you making a decision to stop. Otherwise, all the solutions in the world wont do a god damn thing.

    Now, there are some advice on this thread that may or may not work for you but try them. You wont know unless you try right?

    For me, I was just not right mentally and that's why I binged. Went through a breakup and having financial problems made me feel so alone, so food kept me company. It's like it was the only thing I had control over. I got some good insights from books by Geneen Roth especially "Women, food and god" and "Lost and found". The latter is about money but it helped me gain some insights about binging as well. Also, I take 5-HTP, it's supposed to be good for mood and appetite.

    You can do this! Please keep us posted.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mottainai View Post
    I'd never think to eat it if it were just sitting around....
    So, what if you kept it in the house and it stopped being this big forbidden thing? It's the only way I can deal with chocolate - have it in the house and know that I'm allowed to have it if I really want it. It means I can eat a couple of squares a day and be satisfied. If I didn't keep chocolate in the house, I'd get a craving then when I tried to stop myself from eating it would get more and more obsessed until I had to go out, buy a huge bar and would end up eating the lot.

    I used to binge and it was a purely psychological thing for me, I'm sure. I'm in the UK and took part in an online 'weightloss' programme (not a diet, but something that looked at changing habits) which did a huge amount to change the way I feel about food and myself. It took a long time, but eventually I decriminalised food - stopped thinking about it as 'good' and 'bad' and instead started to think about how different foods made me feel after I'd eaten them. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I wanted to eat healthy food because it made me feel good. Bingeing made me feel good for seconds, but then comes the hours and days of feeling like cr*p, the guilt, the feeling fat, ugly and unlovable. Over time the urge left - for which I am eternally grateful and I honestly can't remember the last time I had a fully blown binge.

    Going fully primal/paleo is a great starting point. I do sometimes think about having 'cheat days' but when it comes down to it, I feel so good on primal, and know that eating rubbish will make me feel rubbish, that I just can't bring myself to do it.

  10. #10
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    I would look at tapping EFT.

    If you look on youtube, Brad Yates is the best I've found.

    Love Your Body (weight-loss?) - Tapping with Brad Yates - YouTube
    Check out all his videos' and see if any apply to you.

    EFT for 'Emotional Over Eating' - YouTube

    Is another one, I just found it.

    Good luck with it
    55 yr old male


    07/01/2013

    Weight; 199
    Chest; 41.5
    Waist; 42
    Hips; 40
    Thigh; 22.5
    Calf; 15
    Bicep: 13
    Forearm; 11.5
    Neck; 17

    07/20/2013

    Weight; 200
    Chest; 42
    Waist; 42.5
    Hips; 39
    Thigh; 23
    Calf; 15
    Bicep: 13
    Forearm; 11.5
    Neck; 16

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