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Thread: Has anyone successfully conquered food addiction? page

  1. #1
    HeatherW's Avatar
    HeatherW is offline Junior Member
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    Has anyone successfully conquered food addiction?

    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    I'm hoping to hear that it can be done and maybe even get some tips for success. A quick background - I am F, 40, 5'7", 180lbs. 5 years ago I was 315, a daily drinker and pack a day smoker. I managed to get sober, quit smoking and lose 120 or so lbs. I got stuck around 200 for a few years and then found Primal in April of this year. Things really seemed to click for me, I felt amazing, energetic, no mood swings, dropped 20+ lbs and seemingly ended the cycle of carb binge, starvation diet, carb binge etc.

    It was awesome, THE answer I had been seeking my whole life. And then it happened. One day I ate a cookie, and it resulted in a 5 day carb/sugar binge. I got back on track for another few months, but now it's happened again. I ate one sugary thing a few days ago and have been binging on junk since then. It's frustrating to keep doing something that its making me feel like shit both physically and mentally. Stopping booze and cigarettes was hard, but now that its been years, I don't crave it and don't think about it. Food is much harder in some ways. I have to make decisions about food multiple times a day.

    My goal here is to feel good and make choices that support that. I realize that ultimately it's my choice and my choice alone what i put in my body, but sometimes it feels like I'm on autopilot making bad choices even though it is literally making me sick.

    So I'm wondering if anyone else in this community has dealt with this with any success? What has worked for you?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    CaveBug's Avatar
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    Yes and no. I'm no where as bad as I used to be, I can say no to sugary bad foods whereas old me would have said, "thank you sir may I have another."

    I do think it is an on going internal battle but I've found that using some sort of food tracker app or website helps. If you are always entering what you are eating you will be less likely to have something crappy, at least for me it works.

    What did it for me will be of no help to you at all but I lives in Africa for 2 years and just getting away from how westerners eat is what really allowed me to break a lot of bad relationships I had with food.

    It's a conscious choice you make on a daily basis. If you have crap in the house you'll eat it. Get it out. Go for a walk, call a friend and chat. Anything. A little distraction goes a long way


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  3. #3
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    I'm so sorry to hear that Heather.

    I come from a long history of EDs: 13 years of BED with some periods of borderline anorexica. And I'll tell you - going low carb made my BED the worst it's ever been.

    Anyway, now my ED is pretty much gone. It was a long process but I:

    - stopped restricting macros (the BED began when I became vegetarian, and went to another league when I was low carb)
    - allowed myself to have pure, refined sugar in tea or coffee (I know this is contrary to Primal, but I don't believe white sugar is harmful, and I don't mean that it's okay to eat junk food)

    And... my cravings abated, which meant no more binging.

    BUT, I was still eating huge amounts of food because I was always hungry. Then I gave up starch, and my appetite got under control.

    I believe that in my case the BED was caused by unstable blood sugar, and macronutrient deficiencies.

    I need to make sure that I get adequate protein and carbs, a little bit of fat, and that I don't stress my body with the wrong kinds of exercise, and I no longer feel "bingey". I still have body hate issues (the anorexia mindset) but I've pretty much made a full recovery from the BED, so it can be done!

    If you want any more info please feel free to PM me.
    Last edited by YogaBare; 09-07-2013 at 02:48 AM.
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  4. #4
    Knifegill's Avatar
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    I used to eat every three hours, now I eat once or twice a day. Based on those cold hard facts alone, I do think so.


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  5. #5
    loafingcactus's Avatar
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    In real life, I know people who have managed it, but I don't know anyone who has been able to walk away from it.

    And by managed it, I mean people like you. Fewer than 1% of people who lose 65 pounds or more keep it off for 5 years or more. You are a hero that has accomplished a miracle! If you have not registered with the National Weight Maintence Registry so that your success can be studied, I hope you will do so- National Weight Control Registry
    “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
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  6. #6
    Knifegill's Avatar
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    WHat? There are tons of success stories!


    Turquoisepassion:
    Knifegill is christened to be high carb now!
    notontherug:
    the buttstuff...never interested.
    He gives me Lamprey Kisses in the midnight sea
    Flubby tubby gums latching onto me
    For all that I've done wrong, I mastodon something right...

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  7. #7
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    I've gotten to the point where "eating bad foods" doesn't set me off for days. I can eat something I know is "bad", enjoy it, forget about it and move on.

    I think the first step is getting your body renourished so you don't have wild cravings. It can take a while. At first, I'd binge on fat, then started craving carbs. By feeding those cravings with whole foods, I got "what I needed" and looked at it as topping off nutrients and not being a bad thing. Eating 3 bananas after a week of low carb isn't a moral weakness, it's probably a body needing some carbs and potassium! So I never freak out about overeating whole foods, but I stay aware that they can be overeaten. I've never had a long time trend of overeating whole foods.

    I fully admit that I still eat some crap, and I own it. LOL, I had a Cuban sandwich a couple months ago. It was awesome, I enjoyed every bite, and went back to eating normally afterwards. I wanted the bread and the taste of it, so I ate it. I've stopped justifying or excusing humoring my cravings. I don't obsess over hating myself or messing up or the impact on the scale.

    I always before I eat something "junky" I run through a few questions:
    1. Is this going to taste awesome? Store bought cookies? No. Home made éclair? YES If the answer is NO, I skip it.
    2. Is there a better option that will satisfy me? When I want a cheeseburger, maybe a lettuce wrap will satisfy me that day.
    3. How has my diet been lately? Have I been splurging too much? Yes, then it's a no go, No, then go ahead, enjoy!

    I don't look at it as a failure. It's just some food. For me, if I deprive myself constantly, I will way overeat other foods. Like when I gave up chocolate, I way overate nuts, which was stupid. At the same time, you can't just always indulge yourself, so you need to find that balance.

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  8. #8
    JoanieL's Avatar
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    Unlike other addictions, we sadly can't put all food out of our grasp forever or we die. Managing food addictions sounds right. Keep offending foods out of reach as much as possible. Thinking before acting every single time. Do I want to eat this ____________, knowing that I'm going to be out of control for days?

    An old motivational speaker used to say that humans are motivated by two things: pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain. Does that food make me feel better now more than it will result in pain (guilt, weight gain, poor health) later?

    That one percent statistic is one reason why I take all success stories on any site or advertisement with a grain of salt. I won't consider myself a success until I've been at a healthy weight for five+ years.

    Eating in a lower carb manner seems to be working for me right now. And it has worked in the past. Restricting calories also works for me. Food journal, food scale, etc.

    Maybe something like other addicts use might help. Acknowledge that some things make you weak. Avoid those things on a daily basis rather than worrying about never eating them again. Just don't eat them today.

    Maybe you won't ever perfect eating in a healthful manner. But the goal should be to ditch the foods that put you out of control most often. An example might be something like: if there's a bakery you pass on the way to work that calls to you every day, find a different route to work. If eating in the snack room with co-workers sets you off, take a walk for lunch and eat your real lunch at your desk.

    So, I guess my answer is no - I haven't conquered addictions to certain foods. If my refrigerator magickly started producing brie cheese and sourdough loaves all by itself, I'd be in deep doodoo. But as long as those foods are out of reach, or I plan for the once or twice a month cheese fest (without bread), I'm in control instead of the offending food.

    Good luck to you. With all you've accomplished, you do have it in you to accomplish this.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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  9. #9
    Ripped's Avatar
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    I've always LOVED to EAT. However, I've never been big on real sugary junk foods such as ice cream and cookies. It'd be just foods like pizza or what ever for me.

    With my initially dieting, it was high protein that seemed to help a lot with hunger. But with the same tasting foods, it gets boring. I took the advice of Clarence Bass. Plan out your meals, but insert some variety so that you don't get bored. He said for each meal, as soon as he starts to get bored of a specific meal, he switches it immediately and finds a good replacement for it. Keep the variety of yummy foods in there and it should help out a lot.

    Fasting also helps A LOT with hunger. If you can go up to say 24 hours without food, or even 19 hours, you'll learn more what real hunger feels like. And when you finally do have a meal, you'll feel stuffed and satisfied A LOT better than usual.

    Perhaps another thing you might need to learn is simply not to be afraid of food. Don't deprive yourself. Don't have an off limits list. Allow yourself to eat what ever you want, but perhaps have an ideal foods list instead. That way if you aim to eat foods that are highly satisfying, good for you, and don't make you fat, you'll be in a lot better shape. But the junk foods wouldn't be off limits. If you want a cookie once in a while, have it. Just realize what foods you should be eating most of the time and do just that.

    Realize it's a psychological issue. Yo can have anything you want to eat, as long as you don't eat too much of certain foods. A cookie or a piece of candy isn't going to kill you. But eating the whole box is clearly a no-no. As long as you are guilt free and you eat good foods most of the time, it isn't going to hurt you to have a desert once in a while.

    Also, intermittent fasting actually works wonders. A 24 hour fast isn't going to make up for eating a whole box of cookies or anything crazy like that. However, it surely does allow for A LOT more forgiveness than any other typical diet will. Let me explain:

    For example, if you were on one of those calorie counting diets that have you restricting a measly 250-500 calories per day, and then you slip and have a bunch of ice cream or what ever, there really isn't any room for forgiveness because you've already killed your calorie count and ate way too much over maintenance. However, the results of IF tell a much bigger and better story. Personally, I've actually allowed myself to have a few times where I'd eat a whole pizza; I could get away with it because that was the ONLY thing I'd eat for the entire day.

    Mind you I'm not encouraging eating junk food or saying that IF is a magic bullet. But it does help A LOT. It does provide A LOT of forgiveness for when you slip. And knowing that, you can have a much more relaxed attitude about food. Think 80/20. It's SO important and IMHO so important to your success. 80% of the time try to eat yummy primal foods, the other 20% of the time cut yourself some slack. You are human.

  10. #10
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    If you truly have a compulsive overeating addiction problem you may need to add a 12-step program to what you are doing.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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