Dear KATIELEE1412 I don't usually post but I felt compelled to respond.
I've lost a lot of weight since January not that I was big before ( about 19 lbs., over what I felt comfortable with. I’m only 5" 3 and small boned) but I’ve now managed to maintain 98lbs without much effort. From the age of 17 I was what you would call a serious binge eater to the point where my food overload would cause severe stomach cramps, social anxiety and agoraphobia.
I tried reading books and scouring the internet in search of the “answer” but I found that all of their suggestions worked temporarily. Despite being at my goal weight I still occasionally get the urge to binge …………however............... I now have a strategy!
The strategy doesn’t stop the need to eat, it simply reduces the severity of the binge session which I now call “over eating “ ( term sound's less serious ) which has so far worked perfectly, even when surrounded by temptation. Now.....................
Every time I get the desire to “ over eat “ , instead of telling myself “I want to binge, what food can I buy? " (At this point I’m visualizing every supermarket and trying to remember who makes the best cookies).I say to myself " let’s make a really big healthy and tasty meal” and the best part is it can be fatty with no restriction on the meal size ......just as long as it's
1. Natural so (lowish carb) 2. An actual meal.. 3. Is healthy and tasty
So now my mind focuses on what kind of big healthy, tasty meal I can eat rather than what kind of food and how much food will satisfy my binge session.
So last week when I did have the overwhelming desire to binge, I said “why don't you treat yourself to a big healthy tasty meal"……great idea……..so I went out and bought a large steak (man size) and made a huge creamy, feta salad with balsamic dressing plus half a tub of Hummus.
So rather than stopping the negative thought “I want to binge “I just changed the sentence to “ I’m going to treat myself to a huge top notch meal , so what kind of big delicious healthy meal can I eat ?"
Also when I have days that involve “over eating” I do not count calories as my main objective is to control the over eating. If I’m over eating then it’s because I feel bad so knowing the calorie intake of my (over eating day) is not exactly going to fill me with joy just more food.
Plus I don't diet...........nor do I use the word “diet” just healthy eating. My idea of healthy eating is probably different from other peoples but in my 30 years of experience if you use the word diet then that's usually a recipe for failure. Just keep saying “healthy"! And I don’t mean rabbit healthy......
Also I concentrated on making small changes. I think that’s a huge problem for many people I know and that’s why for me shows like “biggest looser” really irk me. The fitness regimes they put these couch potatoes through seems like a fruitless exercise as the amount and intensity of the exercise sessions are surely going to evoke feelings of pain and boredom. The trick is to link feelings of joy to exercise by starting small.
So for me (might not be for everyone) is that I wanted to take up running but lacked the motivation so I said to myself just “15 minutes” and now not only do I do 25 min runs on a regular basis I actually look forward to doing it and I feel the same formula applies to “ diets” as well.
Before embarking on my weight loss journey I decided that I was firstly going to concentrate on my portion size rather than the nutritional value.So for the next month I ate anything I wanted such as pizza, chips etc but just smaller portions. Once I achieved this I then looked at the nutritional side of things.
As Shakespeare says “To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first”
Edited by: DARKUNA at: 9/14/2012 (22:40)
Fitness Minutes: (4,362)
9/14/12 9:38 P
Sometimes, people on here say they have problems with binging, but it's just overeating.
However, in your case, you have been averaging a monthly gain of about 2.7 pounds for the past 18 months.....
I also had problems with binge eating (that comes with bulimia) and it really helped me to get nutritional counseling and therapy at my university.
I had a weekly goal and I was held accountable!!! (I also went to overeater's anonymous meetings but I didn't really feel accountable there--I mostly just went to stay motivated/focused.)
If you are still in college check out what resources are available..
Mindful Eating books are also another option. I would NOT follow any plan that suggests restricting foods, going on a diet, or one that has foods that are off limits.
It's taken me about 3 solid years of hard work to end binge eating..i'm still working on the restricting part .LOL
Fitness Minutes: (173,180)
9/14/12 9:30 P
I have some dark chocolate every day, and a Skinny Cow or Healthy Choice frozen fudge bar on a stick every night at 7 pm, every day. And that's the way it has to stay, I need 2 treats a day, to keep the focus on the rest of the day's healthy choices. Plus exercise. The ads for diet plans like to make it sound easy, but it isn't, addiction is not EASY, never will be, either.
Fitness Minutes: (13,056)
219 9/14/12 9:20 P
popcorn. this is the only thing that really works when i am in serious binge mode. I didnt use to binge often, but the past week or so has been hard.
Fitness Minutes: (5,794)
9/14/12 8:56 P
With me, I try to plan out 1 or 2 treats a week, one in the begginning of the week and one on the weekends when all the fun stuff is happening and everyone is indulging. My problem is that the second treat of the week tends to spark a bingeing craze in me and I have almost uncontrollable urges to eat massive amounts of the treat I just had. for instance, I had my second treat of the week yesterday. My kids and I met up with a fellow mom and rugrats and we went on a short hike near our home. Afterwords it was hot and so we stopped at a burger place and got some small ice creams for our kids. I was not going to order any for myself and steal a couple of bites from my boys'. It was so good (ice cream is a MAJOR weakness of mine) that I got my own, caramel caribou mmmm! I ate it and didn't feel guilty but after that I just wanted more and more and more! I got grouchy just thinking about it and I ALMOST WENT TO THE STORE AND BOUGHT A WHOLE CARTON! Thankfully I just kept denying myself and unfortunatlly I was so grumply because of it. But I woke up proud of myself! I am so glad I didn't! The craving went away today though. My husband got my kids a small frozen yoghurt and they gave me a bite and it was SO GOOD but I was happy with what I had and didn't want more, well I did but not bad enough to actually be tempted to get some. For me, when I feel a binge coming on, I have to deny it and feel the pride of not doing it the next day. When I crave something just a little, I will have a small treat and feel pride in not eating more, but if I am feeling those extreme cravings I know I won't be able to stop with one reasonable craving so I stay away from junk and eat extra sweet fruit like juicy peaches or watermelon. Good luck!
My suggestion is not to diet. Diets are about restriction and deprivation, and neither of those things are sustainable long term. Start by tracking your food. Then make small changes based on what you see. Reducing your portion sizes is an easy place to start. Once you are tracking you will see how many empty calories junk food provides, and will hopefully start cutting junk food out so you can eat more good food. BUT I think you should always include a 200 or so calories for dessert. I eat dessert every night, and I have only binged twice in 9 months. That is because I know I'm getting more dessert the next night, so there is no need to go overboard.
Fitness Minutes: (15,376)
1,939 9/14/12 3:24 P
Binging is a sign that something is not right in the rest of your day/week. It is not a willpower thing or a sign of weakness. If you are eating the wrong amounts or wrong foods then you will get hungry until you just have to go for it.
The first thing that I would suggest is for you to look at your meals and maybe add some more calories to them or add a snack or two of sustaining foods like nuts or cheese mixed in with some fruit/veg.
If this doesn't help, then I would suggest that you look at the kinds of foods you are eating and make some adjustments. Some of us can't handle carbs well. That means that if we eat a diet rich in carbohydrates then we might eat 3000 calories per day and STILL be starving (and binging) while we can eat lower or even very low carbs and be totally stuffed on 1800 calories per day. You may have certain foods (carbs for me) that set you up for hunger and binging. Find out what those are by experimenting.
9/14/12 1:53 P
I think binging is a bad idea in general. You're better off to figure out why it's happening so that you can fix the problem instead of just replacing the bad food with good food (but still eating too much.)
Fitness Minutes: (35)
2 9/14/12 1:50 P
thanks for the article! it is very helpful. I have one question though, is it also just as bad to binge on healthy food? like just fruits, vegetables, oatmeal etc?
9/14/12 1:46 P
Maybe you're being too restrictive when you start your "diet", and that's why you binge. Whenever you're making changes to how you eat, they should be things you can live with for the rest of your life. That's how you take the weight off and keep it off for good. It's okay to enjoy the foods you love now and then. You just need to eat them in moderation and find a way to work them into your calorie budget for the day.
Fitness Minutes: (35)
2 9/14/12 10:55 A
I used to be pretty skinny and when I started going to university, I developed really bad eating habits and at the time I didn't know they were bad. I gained about 50lbs in a year and a half and every time when I want to go on a diet, after 1 or 2 days of starting I end up binging and eating uncontrollably. I search online about how to restrict myself from binging but I still end up failing, does anybody have any suggestions?
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