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Binging: ups and downs. How to reset when you begin to slip.

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turkeytaco

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Hi everyone, I am at my wits end. It's so frustrating to feel like you're on track but then completely lose it again. I think talking about this will help me out and I would really like some advice or to at least have anyone else share a similar struggle.

I've struggled with binging over the last 1.5 years, sometimes purging sometimes not. I just want to be healthy, and I focus on proper eating habits, but then I enter the void where somehow food becomes the only option, and the more the better until I'm either in the bathroom trying to avoid (or at least put off) my path from underweight college athlete to obese.

For the last month I was staying with a friend who lives several states away, and during that time I stayed active and ate healthfully. Before my trip I was in a very bad B/P cycle (at least once a day or more) but I didn't have the urge to binge once during my visit. I just got home last night, and within an hour I looked in my cabinet and saw a box of chocolate protein bars and ate one. Then I got a carton of almond milk from the fridge, and drank it and ate all the rest of the bars. Immediately I thought "WTF" and went and purged it all. This morning I woke up and feel like I'm right back where I left off a month ago, like all those good days and weeks didn't even happen all I can think about is food. I live alone, and am working from home, so it is so easy to just eat and eat and dive deeply into a cycle of insanity.

My backstory: I was an athlete in college, and (like many of my teammates) used disordered eating behavior to control my weight for performance. When I graduated last spring I knew that as an "adult" I needed to refocus my diet and exercise on my overall health and well-being, since athletic performance isn't really relevant anymore. I knew my eating was disordered so I expected to gain some "healthy" weight, but when I tried to go from a highly restrictive diet to a "normal" diet then I unleashed a monster that I had no clue was hidden within me. I started binging on anything and everything. I would go to bed, and 30 minutes later run out to my car and drive to every fast food spot in my neighborhood, eating huge desserts between drive throughs until I was completely physically and mentally exhausted. I work for a law office and most of my coworkers are obese and have horrible diets. Often times they brought donuts and cakes and cookies to share, and I would keep stopping by the kitchen until my head was spinning from sugar. I gained weight over the course of several months, until none of my clothes fit anymore! The solution I came up with was to jump back into my familiar college training regiment, which came along with my familiar restrictive eating. I quickly lost some of the gained weight but I also quickly injured myself with the overtraining. At that point I tried to keep the restrictive eating going but without the training I started to binge again. However, this time I was determined not to gain the weight back and I started forcing myself to purge after the binge. For the last year I have been up and down, good for a few weeks or months, and then back to living a nightmare of gallons of ice cream into my stomach and then the toilet. Since march I do all of my work on my computer at my kitchen table and when I'm going well it's honestly better to be at home, I can exercise and I don't have the temptation of my coworkers, but then when it's going poorly I can walk across the street to 711 and buy enough junk food to make me forget my name.
 
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Am33

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Well first off know sugar is a drug it effects the part of the brain for self control .That's why you just cant eat one donut so stay away from it Its hard have to read labels , but you can lose 10 lbs easy just doing that . Try intermediate fasting till 1pm really good to gain back self control once you get over morning hunger its easy . Just be mindful what you are eating sit down enjoy your meal know what good healthy food ( salad . veggies , whole grains , brown rice, proteins ) is doing for your body . Which is keeping it sick free vey self evident especially this year .
 
OmniscientNihilist

OmniscientNihilist

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dont keep anything that taste good in the house.

vegetables, oates, etc... food like this and the brain will start to loose the cravings. it will stop chasing food for dopamine.

get rid of all the sauces and dressings and sugar and any tasty food or things.

slowly the brain will re-calibrate itself away from food for pleasure
 
CharlotteAnne

CharlotteAnne

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I also struggle with binge eating. Now I am on the ketogenic diet and finding it a bit easier to not binge. But You need to figure out the cause of your bingeing and figure out how to deal with that issue in ways that don't involve food. So much easier said than done, I know. Finding a good therapist is a good place to start.
 
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Zoe1

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I find its helpful to have healthy snacks at home
so that if I need to binge I will eat things like bananas and flapjacks
and that way the binge comes to an end quicker

:grouphug: 🕯 🎄
 
CharlotteAnne

CharlotteAnne

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You need Keto......
Keto is good for cravings, especially if you swear off all sweeteners. The thing with keto is that you keep your carbs so low, and then you are eating high fat and moderate protein. Eating high fat keeps you feeling satiated for longer, so it is possible to not snack between meals. I am now just eating 2 meals a day, and today, maybe just one. But if you binge because of stress, you can fall off the wagon, like I did after I had surgery and then COVID hit. If you are going to binge, it's best to binge on something like bacon, since it is still very low carb, as opposed to bingeing on ice cream.
 
MarieRose

MarieRose

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I can't stop overeating either,it is horrific when i lose control and can't stop eating,having fast food take outs and sugary snacks and craving it then cos I'm diabetic when I overdo the sugar foods and my levels go sky high I feel so ill and my eye sight is at riak now so I have to gain control.I don't know if you think it might help you but my sister told me to see sugar as a oison and that helps me to not eat it and once I got used to saying no to sugar it was easier not to have it,also she bought me a fitbit watch which helps me monitor all the foods I eat during the day and shows me how many calories I take in and how many I use up,if gaining weight is an issue this can help.I guess with eating disorders it's all about gaining control if you overeat and giving up control if you refuse to eat and are anorexic.It's finding a balance and learning to eat healthy and taking in good nutrition.
 
Mrs Tiggywinkle

Mrs Tiggywinkle

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I’ve been doing Keto for 9 months and have lost 40 lbs approx. The fat content has kept me satiated, it’s the only diet/way of eating that has truly helped and has also helped with my emotions. I’ve been having mug cakes for example with double cream and using stevia and similar instead of sugar. The only problem is my LDL has gone high. I’ve had more carbs over Christmas and have put on a couple of pounds. Insulin resistance is the culprit too.
 
Mrs Tiggywinkle

Mrs Tiggywinkle

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I can't stop overeating either,it is horrific when i lose control and can't stop eating,having fast food take outs and sugary snacks and craving it then cos I'm diabetic when I overdo the sugar foods and my levels go sky high I feel so ill and my eye sight is at riak now so I have to gain control.I don't know if you think it might help you but my sister told me to see sugar as a oison and that helps me to not eat it and once I got used to saying no to sugar it was easier not to have it,also she bought me a fitbit watch which helps me monitor all the foods I eat during the day and shows me how many calories I take in and how many I use up,if gaining weight is an issue this can help.I guess with eating disorders it's all about gaining control if you overeat and giving up control if you refuse to eat and are anorexic.It's finding a balance and learning to eat healthy and taking in good nutrition.
You definitely need the Keto diet.....it will save your eye sight and your life....you NEED it ASAP my friend.
 
Mrs Tiggywinkle

Mrs Tiggywinkle

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Sugar and cereals are what are killing us. My blood pressure has come right down now and I’m off blood pressure tablets due to having no sugar or grains. Stevia and carbs under 20g a day initially is what I’ve been doing. Don’t be scared of a higher fat diet, fats are good for us...it’s insulin resistance from too much sugar/ sucrose, fructose, glucose etc that is slowly killing everyone in the western world, hence so many diabetic people on the rise.
 
CharlotteAnne

CharlotteAnne

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I can't stop overeating either,it is horrific when i lose control and can't stop eating,having fast food take outs and sugary snacks and craving it then cos I'm diabetic when I overdo the sugar foods and my levels go sky high I feel so ill and my eye sight is at riak now so I have to gain control.I don't know if you think it might help you but my sister told me to see sugar as a oison and that helps me to not eat it and once I got used to saying no to sugar it was easier not to have it,also she bought me a fitbit watch which helps me monitor all the foods I eat during the day and shows me how many calories I take in and how many I use up,if gaining weight is an issue this can help.I guess with eating disorders it's all about gaining control if you overeat and giving up control if you refuse to eat and are anorexic.It's finding a balance and learning to eat healthy and taking in good nutrition.
After videos I've seen on YouTube I don't need to convince myself that sugar is poison. Check out "The Truth About Sugar" on YouTube. With keto, I am basically eating no carbs except for vegetables. If I have any sweetener at all, even stevia, I start craving sugar, so I have my tea either with whipping cream or just black.
 
CharlotteAnne

CharlotteAnne

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Sugar and cereals are what are killing us. My blood pressure has come right down now and I’m off blood pressure tablets due to having no sugar or grains. Stevia and carbs under 20g a day initially is what I’ve been doing. Don’t be scared of a higher fat diet, fats are good for us...it’s insulin resistance from too much sugar/ sucrose, fructose, glucose etc that is slowly killing everyone in the western world, hence so many diabetic people on the rise.
I haven't been tested, but I'm pretty sure I have insulin resistance. I have the big belly that goes along with insulin resistance. I am scared shitless of getting diabetes, so keto it is. I watch Dr. Eric Berg and Dr. Boz on YouTube to keep motivated. Also, AllyMcWowie is another good inspirational keto channel on YouTube.
 
Mrs Tiggywinkle

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I wasn’t tested either, but I think it was Dr Berg who said that most people over the age of 40 are insulin resistant in some way. This doesn’t show up when we are tested at the doctors for diabetes etc as it isn’t tested routinely as you probably are aware. I have tried many diets and this Keto diet really has helped me. My life hasn’t revolved around food and I haven’t been reaching for it as an emotional crutch. It is the sugar cravings, it must be.
 
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ZapBrannigan

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Your story is very similar to my own: going from a period of extreme restriction and malnourishment to binge eating after trying to start “eating normal.” To cut to the chase, the only way I was able to stop the binge/restriction cycle was by increasing my daily calorie intake. Now, before you stop reading, I recognize that this is probably not what you want to hear. But know that increasing my calorie intake did NOT cause me to gain weight. I understand that gaining weight is probably one of your biggest fears, as it was mine, and that you are probably very frustrated with the weight that you have gained through binge eating and impatient to lose it. I should mention that this is an unhealthy mindset, but that is not the point of my post.

I may be wrong here, but when you make statements such as “during that time I stayed active and ate healthy,” I interpret this statement as saying that you were restricting and exercising. You may not recognize your current eating as restrictive because you are likely eating significantly more than you were at your most restrictive. Moreover, you may not believe that your eating is restrictive because you fail to lose weight eating as you currently do. Surely, if you are not losing weight than you must be eating enough? This is not how the metabolism works. Your metabolism will downregulate to meet whatever calorie intake you give it. If you are eating so little that your metabolism cannot account for the deficit, then you will quite literally be starving. On a side note, this does not mean that true weight loss is impossible, as this was a major fear of mine. Nor does it mean that you have to create a starvation deficit to lose weight. Quite the contrary, you should absolutely avoid doing this. But again, this post is not about weight loss.

In my opinion, it is because you previously existed on a starvation deficit for a prolonged period of time that you currently have a binging problem. And now, even though you are eating more, the binging still persists. You are still not eating enough. For me, I had to increase my calorie intake by around 20% of what I was trying to eat (which I erroneously believed to be my maintenance calorie intake) for the binging to subside. Ironically, as soon as I started to eat more, I began to lose weight.

I know that making a conscious effort to eat more is scary when you feel out of control with food and fear gaining weight. However, I encourage you to take stock of the various solutions you have been trying and to honestly assess whether they are working for you. I tried to end my binging in a number of ways before finally resolving to eat more. For me, nothing else worked.

I now eat whatever sort of food I like (including junk food though I watch how much I eat). I weigh less than I did when I was binging and I am at a healthy weight. I no longer obsess over food the entire day. And, I have not binged in over a year. This is after struggling with binging on and off for about eight years. I wish you luck and hope you know that your situation is not impossible.
 
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