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How do YOU prevent binging? HELP!!!!!

I am a healthy individual most of the time. I work out almost everyday, eat healthy, etc. I just have one HUGE flaw: I am overweight and I binge.

I binge BADLY.

Throughout the day (on average) 4-6 times a week, I stay within 1000-1200 mark. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but I never really feel deprived. I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. ALL I WANT TO DO IS LOSE WEIGHT.

Yet the problem is when I slip. I slip SO HARD sometimes. I'll realize I missed the mark, and then I just go nuts. It's really scary, sometimes I feel like it's so hard to stop. I don't know why. I guess I figure I have one shot, might as well eat what I want. I figure I'll work it off the next day (which I always attempt to do).

I need to know, am I the only person who feels overwhelmed by binges? I swear, I just went nuts in the kitchen and must have eaten 400 extra calories in misc bread/fruit/crackers. I usually don't eat junk food, we don't keep it in the house.

How do you guys stop an unraveling binge from occuring? I've read some of the previous blogs, but I wanted some new ideas. Sometimes I tell myself 'this will be here tommorow' and that sort of helps. Im just freaked out. I've thought about working out twice the day after a binge as a recovery. It's not okay, though, I think I'm binging because I feel like it's my only oppurtunity (for however long) to eat whatever.

This is also why I don't want to have an 'off day' weekly for my diet. I usually go too nuts.

HELP! I'm horrifyied. I don't want to continue this destructive behavior.

Thu. Sep 20, 2:52am

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You might have Binge Eating Disorder, in which case you should seek professional help.

Otherwise you're probably not eating enough of the things that satisfy you both physically and psychologically. This happens a lot to people who go too low-cal and use a lot of diet foods that don't do a particularly good job of replacing what they really want to be eating. Add 200 calories of things you really like to your daily intake even if you think that's too much, and see how that feels for a week or two. If it stops the bingeing without stopping the losing, then you've solved your problem.

Oh, and don't load your eating to the end of the day just because that's when you're most likely to binge. A decent breakfast (300 calories) is often your best defense - tons of studies have been published on this.

Thursday, September 20, 2007, 8:03 AM

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Definitely read up on binge eating disorder. You will probably feel better about yourself and feel more hope about getting it to a more manageable place in your life. If the descriptions fit look for someone who can help you...and really look...and try to find a good fit. Trust your gut if the fit doesn't feel right.

I agree with the first poster. You may need to look at your total calories. Maybe you need to work in a higher range to stave off the binge behavior. Have you considered working 1400 to 1800 for a few weeks to see if the binge behavior becomes less a problem? Definitely eat breakfast. Also, it may help to get a strong base of unprocessed food....lots of fruits and veggies, good protein sources, quality fats (olive oil for example), and quality unprocessed grains.

I am a binger. You are not alone. I totally get the shame you are dealing with. I HAVE gotten it under control and I lost more than 85 lbs and I have kept it off for several years. I still go through periods when the struggle is closer at hand (like fall and winter). Right now is tough for me.

Help comes in all forms. One really helpful source for me was a medically affiliated program that focused on sound nutrition, exercise physiology, cognitive awareness, and dealing with STRESS by using meditation to elicit the "relaxation response." I did that program 4 years ago and it helped me turn the tides. PT is really helpful...been here for a season and I post everyday...even the binges. My friends and family help (had to refit some of these relationships).

Anyway, my central message to you is you CAN turn this around. You may not know how to do it right now but you will find a way. It requires a some faith and sitting with "not knowing how" but you did something so powerful by writing what you wrote. You told your truth and believe me, that's a wonderful start.

Thursday, September 20, 2007, 10:17 AM

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I think in this case what you are considering a "binge" is just your body's response to a lack of nutrients. Increase your overall calorie count each day to perhaps 1500. 1200 is the low mark, 1000 cals is too low and you are in danger not only of things like hair loss and malnutrition, but also your body will hang onto the weight you carry because you have gone into "starvation mode." Calorie reduction can be counter productive.

I also agree with the comments on a substantial breakfast. It will keep you in control during the rest of the day.

You may think that you want to eat this little to lose weight, but your body will rebel and find a way to get the cals it needs. Also, if you go too low on cals for too long, you can mess up your ability to lose in the long term.

Thursday, September 20, 2007, 11:23 AM

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I think you are not as out of control as you think you are. Yes, an extra 400 calories in random food can be frusterating, and set you back a day or so on your dietary goals (depending on how much of a calorie deficit you normally have - you probably have a rather large deficit most days, so 400 cals won't even set you back a day - maybe half a day.) But, many of us here on PT binge, and when we do, it's thousands of extra calories.

If you feel like you are out of control when you binge, then it could be binge eating disorder, and you should talk to a doctor or psychiatrist/psychologist. But if it's just an extra 400 calories a few times a month, it's probably not affecting your progress.

Thursday, September 20, 2007, 12:44 PM

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OP Here

You guys are so awesome, thank you, i feel a little better.

I got some rest and I realized that it wasn't so bad. The only thing that concerns me is that when I binge, I'm not hungry, and I'm not in control. It's the lack of control, not the excess in calories, that bothers me most. I'll def look into the binge eating disorder thing.

For now, my goal next week is going to be asking myself 'why am I eating?' before I eat. You'd be surprised how many times I eat things for the wrong reasons...ha.

Thanks again, guys.

Thursday, September 20, 2007, 4:47 PM

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I have been dealing with something similar. I am not binging I think but I do eat a few extra calories than I would like to and then feel so so guilty. Then I just have a really hard time coming out of the guilt. I eat ok but still feel out of control and that is the issue for me anyway the not being in control. And I am the same way with what food I use. I don't have unhealthy food in the house so it's fruit or veggies. But it is the guilt that gets to you.
The one thing that really helped me and I keep trying to remember is something that Dr Oz said. Do a You turn. If you falter immedietly stop and turn around. I was always thinking, tomorrow. Well usually tomorrow doesn't come. So right then make a change. And I do have a free day once a month. I have been able to get right back on track. Not everyone can or you may have to work your way into it. It used to be if I had a trigger food that would be the end of it. And just like the other poster said, most of my overeating is a few thousand calories. You are not doing as badly as you think. It just feels like it.
Remember we are here for you.
Hope this helps

Thursday, September 20, 2007, 8:57 PM

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Yeah I have the same problem.

Let me point out one thing, 1000-1200 is depriving yourself! I've been eating 1700-2000 calories and now that I've been consistent since the start of Sept 1st (I'm in that 3 month challenge team) the pounds are dropping. People make this claim that short ppl need less calories but I'm only 5'2 and I only need to lose 20 pounds! Assuming you're a moderately active person, you should multiply your target goal by 15 to get the approximate calories.

Oh yeah, and I don't understand why the others say you should look into if you have a binge eating disorder. I talked to my therapist about my bingeing (by the way, my "binges" are a lot bigger than your 400 cal extra cals)...and I realized that I shouldn't call them binges..its more like overeating (I'm an emotional eater). Binge eating is a MUCH more serious problem. You're probably eating b/c you're hungry.

Really, my advice to you is to boost your calories and eat a balanced diet and treat losing weight as a lifestyle change.

Friday, September 21, 2007, 2:07 AM

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This may sound flip, but it's not meant to.. And I am SO not here to get into a tiff on meds vs diet and exercise because I am doing both.. But I have had some sort of eating disorder (no purging but lots o binging) since childhood.. I have been taking Lexapro for about 5 months and it has made a world of difference-I never imagined.. Its like that evil voice inside my brain that compelled me to eat like a glutton is gone, I dont crave my "trigger" foods.. It has really done well for me.. Its something to consider..

Friday, September 28, 2007, 3:51 PM

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Also consider Overeaters Anonymous. It's a free 12-step program for people who are binge eaters or emotional eaters. Here's the link:


Saturday, September 29, 2007, 3:03 PM

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Don't let your blood-sugar drop too low

First of all, 400 extra calories is not a bad binge ... don't stress about it. 1,000 calories would be a bad binge, but even that can be forgiven if you usually eat healthy and exercise.

The problem is most likely that you're letting your blood-sugar level drop too low. That's when we have the strongest cravings and binges. If you're eating only 3 meals a day, you may be spiking your blood-sugar level at those times, and then in between it drops dangerously low.

I suggest spreading your calories more evenly (if you're not already) throughout the day, with smaller but more frequent meals. 5-6 meals per day is usually recommended. For instance, my goal is 2,000 calories per day ... so I've split my day into 5 equal meals of 400 calories each ... spread out evenly through the day. That way my blood sugar stays even.

Another suggestion is looking into low-Glycemic Index (GI) foods, which take longer to turn into sugar, and thus keep your blood-sugar levels more regulated. Sugars, and refined carbs, are high-GI, which means they spike your blood-sugar level high (and then it drops quickly), leaving you with binge cravings in a couple hours.

Saturday, September 29, 2007, 3:56 PM

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