Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Body › Science of intermittent fasting › I am a binger – any info on fasting and bingeing
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3 Mar 15
Oh no, I hope you’re ok! What is it about the fast days that you find so easy? If it’s the element of control, then perhaps you could set yourself some limits on the other days?
For example, a specific number of calories? Only 3 meals? No eating after 7pm? Three days to be healthy and one day a week to eat anything you want?
Saying it aloud, or telling us, or writing it and sticking it on the fridge might help you stick to it?
Mcca, I sympathize. I am the same way, and even though I’ve had some success, I know the day is coming when it all flies out the window. I’m no expert, so I can only share with you the few things that help (sometimes) when I’m feeling particularly hungry.
1. I keep a food journal. A public one. Every day, every bit of food. I DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT count calories on non-fast days. It would drive me insane. But I do log it. Even when I overdo it, knowing that someone else can see it keeps me a little more in check. Here’s mine: https://livingthe52life.wordpress.com/
2. I allow myself the things that are the worst for me, but I portion them. I do not keep doughnuts in the house, but I go to the coffee shop across the street and have one for breakfast. I make sure I put dip in a bowl, even if it’s a lot, because I know that otherwise I’ll eat the whole container.
3. Someone once told me this: “If you drop your cell phone and crack the screen, you pick it up, dust it off and keep going. You don’t jump up and down on the thing to smash it completely to bits.” I don’t know why that has stuck with me for so long, but it has and I think it’s particularly relevant to food for me. If I binge in the afternoon, I really, really try to piece it back together for the evening. I try not to say “eff it, the day is ruined, might as well keep going. Sometimes I do, though, I’m not a saint!
I feel for you. If you want to log food here, I say do so! The hardest part is to get past the guilt and shame in logging what you eat, but I think that if it keeps you in better control, it’s worth it. If not, and you binge anyway, screw it. Log it anyway, face it, talk to yourself about what happened. Talk to us about what happened. I think it will help. And just take it one day at a time!
Hi Helen & Penguin, thanks so much for your support, I really appreciate it.
I’m going to do what you both suggested and write everything down that I eat tomorrow. And Penguin that’s a good idea about not counting calories when I do this (hey – I saw your updated blog and photo of the washing line – it looks so lovely where you live! Like an American film, where everyone has good teeth and nobody has an eating disorder….).
I like the broken phone analogy too. It’s a good one to keep in mind because I definitely get into the “well I have started so I will finish” thing.
I’m also going to try the Paul McKenna (or, as my daughter calls him, Paul McKnicker) hypnosis app tonight as well which has sometimes worked in the past.
Thanks again ladies, I’ll let you know tomorrow evening how my non-fast day went (isn’t it funny how now I am worrying about the non-fast day rather than the fast day??? I mean, funny in the sort of not-funny-at-all-crikey-I-thought-I-would-have-grown-out-of-this-crap kind of way….).
4 Mar 15
Hi all, and special hello to you mcca, I so, so, so relate to what you’re saying and have been there a lot of times doing this 5:2, especially in the early days when fast days were relatively ‘easy’ in that I could somehow do them, but the other days I would go nuts. Not sure really what I did to manage them back then and I’ve been feeling quite smug the last few months as I haven’t been binging at all really, but just the last week or so it’s been a real struggle. Part of it for me is that binging is ‘secret eating’ and with my partner away for a couple of weeks I’ve found myself thinking “I could eat whatever I like”. I haven’t really, and I’ve done 3 fast days with another due tomorrow (groan) but somehow not having him around it’s almost like I’m wanting to ‘rebel’. Probably makes no sense but there you go.
I think the idea of journalling everything you eat is a great idea, and doing it here would be great for the accountability. Which is why I’m about to share another thing I am v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y l-e-a-r-n-i-n-g and that’s the difference between hunger and craving. Probably sounds crazy after months and months of fasting and really ‘getting to know hungry’ but I’ve realised only today that I can still be fooled into thinking that craving is hunger. Today I thought I was really hungry (had 2 boiled eggs at 7:30am) and I had a few almonds and a cup of soup about 12:30pm at work and then I came home for lunch and had a lettuce/cucumber/tomato salad with 6 vitaweats (a grain cracker and 6 is worth about equal to a slice of decent grain bread) and cottage cheese. Normally I’d feel satisfied but then I went shopping and thought “I’m still hungry” so I bought 2 Vietnamese cold rolls and a chocolate-chip hot-cross bun… Oh dear, binge alert. Even after I’d eaten that, it took sometime to get through to my brain that there was NO WAY in h*ll I could still be hungry and what I was, was CRAVING… Writing this is almost as embarrassing as admitting to having an eating disorder, but it was a bit of a low-wattage light bulb moment to put my finger on what was really happening. And yes, after eating all that by 3pm,I seriously thought I still felt hungry…
So now I’m putting it all down here and trying to remain mindful of what I am really feeling and telling myself (and you patient, long-suffering cyber buddies) that more food that my body does NOT need is not going to provide a solution to any problem I might have, and DEFINITELY won’t be a solution to craving unhealthy food.
End of rant, thanks for listening, and thanks for all the support 🙂
I am almost 20kg down and I so want to go all the way to goal this time. I’ve lost 20kg many times and then gained it all back so this is a bit of a familiar place. Hopefully with support from all of you I can push through for the last 20kg. keep up the great work my fellow-crazy folk!
I haven’t been on these boards for over a year! It’s been fun reading all the posts and getting back into it. I’m totally with you on the binging and have some dark, dark sectrets. I have yo go to work but here’s wishing you a good and strong day!.
Hi everyone! Welcome Chrissie – dark secrets abound here, you’re in company!
Spring thanks for your words of support, it’s good to know (a) that others have had this problem while on the 5:2 and that (b) there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Today was…. Ok. Kind of in the middle… So trying to look positively on it, it’s an improvement. Not where I need to be, but better than where I was at the weekend. I definitely ate too much (around 2,400 calories …. I wasn’t going to count calories but the only tracker I had handy was ‘my fitness pal’ so maybe next time I will just make a list) but less than I would have if I had really let rip on a binge, and my stomach hurt from too much food but I tried to gorge on fruit rather than cake, and it’s 8pm and I have cleaned my teeth and will not eat again today (normally unheard of).
Onwards and upwards! Sending out happy thoughts to my fellow binge eaters 🙂
Spring – I meant to add – I completely relate to what you said about secret eating and wanting to rebel…. I find there is an element of self sabotage, a kind of “well I knew I was going to binge it was just a matter of time, I bettef start to binge and get it done now”. Not sure that makes any sense.
5 Mar 15
Good morning! Fasting today. Yesterday was ruined by me just having one chip…. you can guess the rest. Thought I’d be good in the evening but just can’t lose that ‘well you’ve ruined it now’ feeling and stuffed my fat face again. Have a lovely day!
I understand fully what you are feeling! Had 5 days of binging on a business trip! Terrified I gained the 7 pounds I lost! It was all eating and drinking every day! It was business and very grueling so impossible to say no! I’m not going to weigh myself for at least a week and doing fast day today! Plan to do 3 this week to counteract all the damage. Maybe we can encourage each other? The bottom line is we can get back control! A couple fast days and we can fix things. That’s what’s great about 5-2. 🙂 not to mention that we can check in on eachother since no one in my real life is part of this …good luck today and don’t beat yourself up! It’s not hopeless! You can get back on track
Chrissie – I am sure everyone on this thread has been there too – try to remember, it’s not how you fall, it’s how you get up again. We’re all going to ‘relapse’ here, it’s just a matter of dusting yourself off and carrying on. Let us know how you got on today.
DbD – I find ‘checking in’ on here is really helpful, yes, let’s definitely encourage each other, and indeed all of our fellow bingers! So much of this stuff is secret for everyone, it’s great to have somewhere you can come and be honest.
I don’t know if this is any help but I do find that the weight you put on through a short-ish binge period is easier to loose than that weight that has been there a long time. Also I tend to copy the eating habits of those around me so if you are on a work trip and everyone is eating and drinking, it’s 100 x harder to abstain. You can definitely get back control, let us know how you get on this week. 🙂
Hi everyone. I’m practically bingeing as I write this. on trail mix, of all things. Just had a super stressful presentation – I’m not sure why as I teach in front of a large-ish class, but this was for a grade, so I guess that makes the stakes higher for me. Now I’m stress eating.
And now I’m stopping. I’m going to get water.
I completed two fast days in a row and they weren’t too hard at all. And I actually didn’t find myself very hungry this morning, but I ate a doughnut anyway. And it was GOOD.
Oh, and on the subject of eating while the “cat’s” away… oh yeah, I do that too. Actually, I’d say that’s the only time I really binge. Unfortunately, my cat’s gone about every other week, so lots of binge opportunities. That’s a big obstacle that I’m trying to overcome.
I’ve had good day. I had soup at lunchtime and two slices of toast with a thin scrape of agave on. Drowned myself in tea so have spent a lot of time in the smallest room but not therefore in the kitchen! I’ve just made my last mug of tea and I’m off to ben before the fridge starts making little, harmless suggestions to me!
Penguin – well done on stopping the binge, that’s the hardest thing. Try to focus on how positive it is that you were able to do that, that you were honest with yourself and aware of your eating. Please let us know how the rest of your day went, my fingers are crossed for you.
Chrissie – well done on getting back on the waggon 🙂
6 Mar 15
Morning all! Be strong today. I’m trying for a normal, no binge day.
Hi guys! Wanted to tell you that although I had all those days of binging on business I weighed myself this morning and was only up 1.4 pounds! I couldn’t believe it! Thought would have gained so much more!
7 Mar 15
Blimey! That’s good.
I had another bad day yesterday. I seem to binge every 2nd or 3rd day. It’s very wearing. I feel like I’m forever playing ‘catch-up’!
A very busy day for me today so I’ll be thinking less of food…
9 Mar 15
I’ve actually had a good week, I let myself eat choccie if I wanted in the afternoons last week, and I think because of this I was able to relax in the evenings. The only day I ate something in the evening was on Friday, when I was watching the new Godzilla! (What a fab movie!) I had crumpets with Biscoff Spread; this is a new find for me, it is vegan and too delicious, I should be worried about having a massive jar of it in the kitchen.
I left my diet days to the end of the week, Thursday and Sunday. I might do this again this week as it was easier for me to manage than two weekdays. Not sure why, but if I repeat this I might be able to work it out.
I have now lost a whole stone! I am really pleased, as compared to other diets this has been so easy, and it makes a massive difference having you all here to chat with! My goal weight is 32lbs away, and I can actually imagine this happening
Chrissie, hope you’ve had a better day, we can only take it one day at a time, one hour at a time sometimes.
Hope everyone had a good weekend!
Hi everyone. Bad day. Weighed in this morning. I’m up almost 6 pounds, despite two fast days this week. I’m back, very nearly, to the weight I began at. There’s a few things going on here: 1) It’s that time of the month and I feel VERY bloated, very heavy, more so than usual. I hope I’m not actually pregnant, because that would mean some serious medical complications due to the type of BC I’m on. 2) I had a crazy night this week with friends and drank much too much – resulting in a massive hangover. 3) I have been having intestinal issues for the past three days, which is unusual for me as I normally have a very strong stomach.
Sorry if this all just TMI, but I felt that I needed to put it down somewhere. Wondering if anyone else has had a set back like this before? I think there’s more going on than my having eaten too many calories.
Unless you’re feeling poorly, all those things could easily account for the weight gain.
I don’t even weigh myself during my period, as I often go up 3lbs for those few days and get an ””’irritated bowel”””. Please get checked out by your doctor if you’re worried about your birth control, or your cycle, just to reassure yourself.
If you enjoyed your night with your friends then it’s totally worth it, fun and memories are usually worth a bit of a rough day, yes?
Can you do a fast day to get back on track? Peppermint tea is good for the digestive system, have you tried it for this? Peppermint capsules are good too, and something to try.
Can you have a restful couple of days or are you very busy?
Thank you for being a voice of wisdom. I am doing a fast day today and have started with some lemon-ginger decaf tea that I’m hoping will settle everything down. I’m going hiking with some friends later today and they usually go to lunch after, but I’m going to have to sit this one out.
I’m wondering about making an appointment with my doctor. I hate to go, but this time might be worth it.
And yes, nights out with friends are totally worth it, and that’s why I love this diet/lifestyle so much, because I can have a night out and not feel terribly guilty the next day. But this time seemed to coincide with other factors to make for a terrifically bad weigh-in.
In terms of restful days, the ones coming up will be restful enough, physically wise, but rather stressful mentally and emotionally. It’s the end of the term for classes so I have a big paper to turn in and I still have lots of grading to do for my own students. Thursday can’t come fast enough!
I’m no doctor but from my (vast) experience of the amount one can overeat in a week and the effects, I just don’t think this can be down to food alone. I’ve had similarly terrible weeks and max gained 3lbs so 6 lbs seems like there is something else going on.
Did you weigh at the same time of day? Same clothes? After a trip to the loo? I can be 3 or 4 lbs heavier by the end of the day so my weigh-in routine is first thing in the morning, in as few clothes as possible and after the loo!
I know it’s hard not to get disheartened by a setback like this, but I really do feel that at least half of that must be water / bowel / period retention. Try to have a good day and flush yourself out with lots of fluids. Please let us know how you get on x
Yep, every Monday morning, as soon as I wake up. Naked 🙂
Thanks, everyone, for your encouraging words. And Helen, huge congrats to you on losing a stone! I don’t even know how much a stone is, but stones are heavy so it must be a lot! You all are the best people a girl could (virtually) have!
Well enjoy your hike, it will blow the cobwebs away and get your heart pumping and a good night’s sleep will follow I’m sure. Have some salad for lunch so you can join in with your friends and talk to them about how you feel if you can.
Take care of yourself!
Oh Thankyou! (I posted my comment before I read your reply because I had the page open and hadn’t refreshed it.)
10 Mar 15
Hi there all you amazing people. I’ve just checked your thread for the first time and WOW. You are all me !!! I have binge eatten for a number of years and bread is also my downfall. Bread, pasta, white rice. I can consume continuously all day long. I hide food from my husband and sneak it out to eat after he’s gone to work or to bed at night. To say I’m ashamed is putting it mildly, but I’ve until now been unable to stop. Two days ago my sister introduced me to the 5/2 diet and I’m hopeful for the first time in years. So far I’ve managed to fast for one day and restrict my eatting successfully today. The whole premise of this plan is so simple yet so incredibly obvious that it could work. Not ever having to wait more than a day before eatting is simply brilliant. I hope you’ll welcome me to your group because you are most certainly the people I relate to the most. You are all awesome, and I’d love to share my progress with you and cheer you on as we go at this together. Just a few stats to let you know how long and hard my journey is going to be; I’m 66 years old, 5’2” and started at 240 lbs. I plan on weighing myself every Monday so if I don’t do well on any given day I won’t be inclined to give up ( my usual way to deal with failure ). Take care everyone and have a great day.
One of the things I do, to keep myself distracted from food, is to keep me always busy and go to bed early 🙂 so as not to binge on dinner/snacks.
1) Trying to go to bed early.
2) Trying to see some motivational videos in YouTube. Practically once we see those fitness videos, we won’t tend to binge (at least for that point of time).
3) Engaging in some activity.
Hope this helps
I like your list! Some ideas I can use there. I had a great day yesterday ….. until about 7pm when I undid all my good work. Feeling really cross with myself. I WILL have a good day today.
Best wishes to all.
Queen – oh trailblazer of the secret bingers – where are you? Check in with us! Hope you are ok.
Penguin – how are you getting on? I meant to say…. every loss I have had on 5:2 has been followed by a little jump back up again. Usually about 1-2 lbs which is why I thought your 6 lbs might be something else as well and worth checking with the doc. But I read somewhere that the fat cells like to be full so when you loose fat they fill themselves up with water for a while before deciding to release it. Also I remember when I did Weight Watchers I had a REALLY good week and saved my points up for one measly one-portion pizza that I ate the night before my weigh in. It was not big at all, dinner plate sized, and I didn’t have pudding. Anyway the following day I weighed in at TWO POUNDS heavier. I spoke to a seasoned Weight Watcher-er and she was all “oh, a beginners mistake” and said that any kind of bread-y things go on like lead the day before a weigh in and can give you a falsely high reading. Sure enough, the following week (making sure of a non carb-y day the day before weigh in) I was back down about 3 lbs.
11 Mar 15
I DID have a good day yesterday. It wasn’t perfect as someone bought a packet of biscuits to the English lesson! … But it was a darn sight better than days of late so I’m super motivated today. Have a lovely day everyone!
13 Mar 15
I have a problem with binge eating too (my definition: eating way too much in one sitting)!
What I’m doing this time around on 5:2, is that I’m going to fast low cal, low carb for two consecutive days a week, and then eat normally the other five. I read it’s the two consecutive days of lowcarbing/low calorie that lowers your insulin so you want less food the remaining five, and you burn more fat than just any two days a week. So that’s my game plan! 5:2 works if you stick to it (which unfortunately I did not do). This time I’m doing it differently, as described above, and I feel I will have even better results.
We can do this!
14 Mar 15
Hi All, and welcome Franee2 & irisblue and all other new folk – you will find kindred souls here who know the realities of food-related addictions.
I last posted about some demon craving but thankfully that’s settled (turned out to be PMS which I should have anticipated, probably TMI 🙂 ) but I’m still in a plateau right now which is very frustrating. I’ve lost nearly 20kg (just BUSTING to be able to say I’ve lost 20kg) and have been a bit stuck for about 3 weeks, still not going over TDEE on most days and fasting on about 400 cals on FD). I know it’s normal but it does stimulate the ‘What the hell, just eat cause you’re always going to be a fatty-poom-ba’ loop in my binge-brain. Have been ‘good’ so far but it’s a struggle.
I post on another thread with lots of lovely ‘normal’ people and sometimes I just think to myself ‘Wow, you make it sound SO easy!!’ Anyway, I just wanted to say hi to all (have also wondered where you are BingingQueen? I hope all is well?) and encourage us all to keep on trying to find the keys that will help unlock some space and freedom around food.
Up 3 lbs. Grrrrrr.
We HAVE to move away from calling ourselves ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This internal dialogue does nothing but allow us to demonise ourselves and provide an excuse when we do binge.
I’m not going to use the word ‘binge’ anymore. I’m going to say “I ate some food when it wasn’t a set meal time”.
I’m terrified of Monday’s weigh-in. And I’ll have no one to blame but myself.
Hang in there, mcca.
Hi there sanguine penguin, I too am waiting with dred for my Monday weigh-in. Although for the most part I was on point, there were definite slip-ups from time to time. But let’s face it, being a long time binge eater will not magically go away just because you’ve started to be sensible. Being sensible can not cure a long term addiction overnight. I feel that sometimes a totally different person has taken over my body as I rummage mindlessly through to fridge looking for just about anything to stuff into my mouth. I could cry at my stupidity but I remain unable to stop myself. I may not be the slightest bit hungry but as we all know, it’s not about hunger at all. Let’s just deside that in spite of all the slip ups now or in the future will not take away our resolve. And that although it might take us longer than some of the other dieters to reach our goals, we will reach them, none the less. I’ll be thinking of you and wishing you every ounce of success.
Fran ( franee2) xx
One more thought: my binge food of choice right now is alcohol. There, I said it. I go into my thoughts on this a lot more on my blog, but the fact is that I need to begin treating alcohol the same as I treat any other food. It is a food, and I consume too much of it, never mind the health ramifications.
Sweet sanguinepenguin, you can’t let this struggle be your undoing. You need to talk to someone who can help you. I’ll be praying that you have an all out fantastic weigh-in on Monday and that everything else in your life is just as great. Take care of yourself.
Thank you for your kind thoughts and words, Fran. I really, really appreciate them. I’m a lucky girl to have lots of support, virtual or otherwise 🙂
I don’t think that I’m near giving up, I’m just reaching a point where I need to be honest with myself about my choices. Alcohol isn’t a “problem” for me, per se, in that it’s not something that I struggle with as an addiction and it doesn’t cause problems for me at home or work, but I take in an enormous amount of calories through casual drinking with friends. It’s easy for my husband and I to have a glass or two of wine with dinner, but when we’re out we tend to over-do it.
I’ve always known I need to be mindful in my approach to food, but I need to extend that mindfulness to alcohol, as well.
16 Mar 15
Hello Team (:-) )
Sorry I have not written, I have been watching avidly, on the iPhone, but for some reason I couldn’t sign back in.
Just my two pennies of the current situation, I have gained quite a lot but been away and had a poorly child so my night’s have been disturbed. We have been staying at other people’s houses… so not having good nights’s sleep, and I have to say this hugely effects my propensity to binge and the fact other people seem to quite happily eat (and very kindly prepare for me too) pancakes for breakfast and regularly eat Chinese food and drink wine (I don’t usually drink that much but it hugely increases my appetite). The one thing I have learnt, a good thing about being a food lover, is I love all food, so when I go somewhere else whereby (every one is slim) all the food is beige (I’m sounding very ungrateful, I appreciated the hospitality but it sends me into a frenzy) but it’s not as satisfying as filling my plate pile high with greens to fill myself up more. Maybe it was a good learning experience, but I found myself stuffing oatcakes on the sly, secretly in my room…. in the bath…! I was like a woman possessed and I feel pretty ashamed at the immaturity of it. I can’t say that I can find much info on food addiction to “healthy foods”, and I can’t bring myself to let myself off the hook, but I was frantically trying to get time on my own to eat more, to eat wholegrains, protein bars, cereals and I was polishing off whatever was offered to me. I was frantic, I think my behaviour was like that of someone with an addiction. I think If I could view it as an addiction it would be helpful, but it must be some deep routed psychological thing, or low serotonin (I can’t understand why I crave healthy carbs – ones I don’t ban, ones I perceive as being healthy). I wish someone would say it is a food addiction as then I could pan better, does that sound bizarre..
I had a good night’s sleep last night, we are home and the little one only woke once, and this morning that desire to seek loads of food isn’t there. On reflection if anyone had seen me I would have been embarrassed … maybe it’s also social anxiety but lack of sleep, I am sure, is a huge, huge trigger. I literally don’t stop eating. Even today, feeling now full of cold, but having had more sleep, I am reflecting on behaviour thinking “why” I didn’t focus on the moment at all. i did feel exhausted but again, I just ate and ate….
So that is the madness from my world. It wasn’t a great place to be, it wasn’t like I was stuffing a yummy cheese cake or a load of cupcakes (which would always send into overdrive) it was things like bread and cereal! There was no stop button.
However, today back on track. I won’t fast today as I have all day with my child and I don’t want o tip myself over the edge. I haven’t been fasting recently. I want to get back on track.
My little one is demanding breakfast but I will respond to others in a bit. Good luck to all. x
I totally relate to what you are saying about alcohol. Fortunately for me, I am not addicted to alcohol, but because of my large appetite and gluttony, I can easily swig down glasses when offered, even though I can take or leave alcohol. At the weekend, my glass was refilled whenever empty and between four of us we got through a lot of wine. The next night, I think I may have seemed very party poooper but I was very careful about making that one glass last and had to keep saying no to top ups and people going to refill y glass anyway! my heart goes out to anyone who has a problem with alcohol. It certainly is worth being mindful! Remembering alcohol increases the appetite too!
Sanguinpeguin, I can’t remember if I asked this before but what else do for stress relief…
Helen R you are so right about not demonising ourselves, the more we self loathe the more the “oh well sod it” mentality comes in. I know when I have been lapsing this week I had no willpower to fast. Last night I started thinking although my behaviour had been childlike, the best way to cope with it was to be kind, maybe fill up with veggies tomorrow type mentality. Realising fasting won’t work today so planning my day and thinking about peak times for self sabotage and working around that. You can’t think clearly when in a state of self loathing!
Krishna – your list is great. I can’t remember a time whereby days after a lack of sleep hasn’t caused real problems. Even when I was younger. Also getting involved in an activity is a great idea, something other than food! I am struggling with self rewards, my rewards are always food!
Franee2 you are so right binge eating won’t vanish over night. It’s working out how to manage it. I can remember being four and eating the entire plate on eclairs and being ill! Now I know not to keep eclairs in the house. BTW you sound very like me!
At the moment, what works for me:
1. Not getting too exhausted ( between a rock and a hard place here because some exercise curbs the appetite but too much and I’m tired)
2. Not being around the obvious i.e bread, cakes and cereals when I’m in the house alone or for long periods. I have tested myself many times but when the 3pm slump hits….
3. Having a goal, something that may override the “lizard brain”, don’t find work goals help, as anything tot do with work seems a bit stressful.
What are all your thoughts of carbohydrates. I loathe to ban anything in fear of overeating it, and it’s a food group, but I know Mr Mosley recommends protein and veg on a fast day, so presumably on fast day one may go into ketosis… I also wondered if this would curb the appetite too…
Good luck all and sorry for the quick post I have a little one who needs me! x
Hi Queen, sorry to hear you’ve been having such a rough time. We are all going to fall off the wagon, it’s just a matter of getting back on again when it happens.
I do think there is such a thing as food addiction – there are groups called ‘Overeaters Anonymous’ where basically they do the 12 steps they would do in Alcoholics Anonymous, and it is centered around accepting that you have no control around food and that it is an addiction (someone very close to me did this programme). As I understand it, the food reward systems in the brain activate and stimulate the same parts as a drug addition. Eating a lot of carbs at once ‘rushes’ the system in the same way that sugar does. Unfortunately for us, we have no choice but to ingest our drug of choice each day.
I do understand the compulsion to eat, even not ‘nice’ food, just because it is there. This probably sounds like the impossible (and not suggested on a sleep deprived day) but is there any chance you could try a day without carbs? I did ONE day at the weekend (massive triumph for me) and, I’m not going to lie, I found it difficult, but I did feel better for it and guess what? Even though I ate a lot of cheese, and 1/2 a bar of dark chocolate on that day, after that day + 1 fast day I was down 2 lbs.
Queen, I was going to say that I’m sorry you’re having a rough go of it, but you know what? You’re here, you’re talking about it, and I think that’s the first part of coming back into control. I felt ridiculous saying some of the things I did about my own issues with food and alcohol, but I think it really, really helps. To know that there’s a community that will hear you out and be invested in your wellness. And we are.
For me, carbohydrate bingeing is always centered around my low moods. Like you, I won’t binge only on bad foods, but also on cereal, muesli, bran muffins, saltines, graham cracker, etc. If I’m tired, stressed, or feeling bad about myself because of my weight or because something that has happened, I reach for carbs first. So much of my journey is focused around talking, talking, talking, talking about how I feel, why I do the things that I do, keeping a food journal (even when I’m loathe to because it’s so bad!) and trying to get past those bad days.
Have you ever been treated for depression? I’m not suggesting that you are depressed, I’m not a doctor and would never even want to play one on TV, but I think that I’ve always been on the low end of the depression spectrum and I think that affects my eating habits, at times. Another thing I’ve been told to watch for since moving to the pacific northwest is the amount of Vit. D I get. I don’t actively try to consume more though pill form, but I am mindful of how much time I spend in the sun. It could be something to think about, living in the UK and all. I imagine the weather is something like it is here.
Anyway, I hope I don’t sound like an ass. I just know that my food consumption is SO very susceptible to my moods, and I know I can’t be the only one.
For stress relief… I don’t do much, I suppose. I walk the dog around the farm, I’ll work outside, I’ll groom the horse. That’s about it. I’ve been making friends slowly over the past year (we moved here one year ago, I left all my friends and family on the east coast) and so I’m beginning to get out more with them. But it’s a process, for sure.
On the upside, I weighed-in this morning. 193.4. Six pounds total over five weeks. Still more than I was two weeks ago but I’ll take it.
Also, I’m not fasting today. Rather, I’ve decided to do the unthinkable, and fast during a social event. A professor of mine is hosting us at her home tomorrow and is feeding us dinner (and, I presume, wine). I think in an effort to prove to myself that moderation is possible, I’ll be fasting tomorrow and will only consume my 500 calories at her house. And it won’t be in the form of 5 glasses of wine 🙂 Is this a suicide mission???
I definitely am prone to low mood, perhaps more lack of motivation and energy, but his improves as the day goes on and I rarely binge in the evenings,as my mood and energy has usually picked up by then. I can’t work out if I am a highly sensitive person, not very resilient or just addicted to food, or greedy – I could happily hide myself away and eat all day… some days, but I can’t tell if that’s just me being a glutton and tired or if this is a low serotonin issue. I wonder if the latter is a factor because, as I said, it’s not like I’m eating cream cakes (although would give the chance) I more crave porridge or “stodge” when I feel like this. I find it very hard to find a non food reward… but I worry that I need rewards. Other people must cope with having down days without seeking rewards. Running helped but only about half an hour into running to I feel great and then afterwards I feel the same again. I am better today though, i don’t know if I’m analysing it too much, but trying to find the best approach for me. Sometimes I’m not sure I know myself that well. I do use food for “cheering myself up” in every circumstance, i.e working gets tough= have a snack, prep for an interview = have a snack, wake up feeling low = caffeine and snack – I self medicate with food, that’s why fasting is interesting, it makes me realise that I quite often turn to food when I hadn’t even noticed that’s what I was doing.
I am glad you have some activities you enjoy Penguin. I do think you’ll do well tomorrow at your friends. i am finding (this is talking about me again, and may not apply to you) but when I think I’m going round someone else’s I will just go with the flow, I think “oh sod it” eat everything that’s offered. If you go with a “cut off” it may be helpful! I wish you the best of luck for tomorrow! Thank you for replying to my rather passive, pessimistic post. i am hoping to provide more optimistic posts in the future!
mcca – you have a real point, when I crave carbs, the “healthy ones” I don’t want a little, I want a lot, so maybe this is to crate the same neuro dopamine rush a more unhealthy carb would provide. If someone said to me I can have half a bowl of porridge in binge mode I would be unimpressed, I could just as easily go without. It’s a vast quantity I’m after!
OOOhhh well done fr the low carb day. I could happily eat a lot of dark choc 🙂 was it a 100gram bar you had half of..! I am going to try the low carb for the weekend (we go swimming Monday- yikes- so I have a reason to not feel too stuffed).
I was driving this morning thinking I have to go to great lengths to avoid food ( but I go to great lengths to get food) it seems mad. I have to force myself to be mindful I can so easily just think “oh whatever” and that’s not because I have a dieting mentality the rest of the time, it’s because I have to think “don’t eat ten boxes” and that can be tough for my poor old brain. I don’t know why I didn’t used to be this bad. This is what made me seek fasting in the first place, as over the past few years (I have to say, it got worse following marriage and a baby- now a toddler) I have binged much more frequently. I would always have phases of it. The fasting thing is very interesting, as I had to fast prior to an op and it was very hard, but my mood increased.
Ok so all our plans for this week then folks … what may they be. Penguin, you have a social function…. any other obstacles fasting ideas for this week…
18 Mar 15
Hi all! Just a brief note to say I made it through the dinner/work function just fine. It was easy to abstain because my co-workers know I have a long drive and that I follow a mostly vegetarian diet. No one said anything about my tiny portions of vegetables. The worst part came when, as I was driving home, a text came in from a friend wanting to meet at the local pub. My husband was going so I agreed to as well. I managed to make it out of there having only consumed one beer and NO TOTS. Amazing.
Today is a non-fast day but I’m not really hungry yet. It’s a shame that our bodies do that… or maybe it’s just mental. How I can STARVING all day on a fast day and then wake up on a non-fast day and be all like, meh, I’m not hungry even though I’ve not eaten much for 50 hours.
Good luck to everyone, fasting today or not!
Well done Penguin! You abstained 🙂 I am not sure my resolve would have lasted.
As you all know I had been struggling. My appetite is through the rough at the moment. I am not getting much sleep so maybe that’s the issue.
I am planning to fast this weekend, one question to you ll, how do you keep busy… when I am home all day with my little one or working at the computer my mind is often on the next meal snack. The day seems very, very long when fasting. I am a bit cross with myself because when I actually do manage to get into a routine with fasting, my mood is lifted, but I am just concenerned it may give me an energy crash the next day.
I am really suffering with energy lapsing on eat days about three hours after breakfast and this seems to happen whether I have a large, small, high carb, low carb breakfast! I am just perplexed as to what it may be causing the energy collapse as I wake feeling fine.
Good luck to all!
PS I also meant to add… does anyone else find not eating tough… not just starving oneself but generally a lot of my happiness is based on food. An issue that needs to be addressed, obviously!
Queen, I’m not a good one to ask about what to do to distract oneself during fast days at home, as I usually just suffer through it minute to minute. But with regards to breakfast, have you tried skipping breakfast? Even on non-fast days, I try to push a meal off until I really am hungry, which generally isn’t right when I wake up. That way, I have plenty of time to think about what I really want, instead of what just looks good, and I think it helps me stay full longer into the day. Maybe that would help with your energy? I kinda think the whole breakfast thing is a myth, anyway.
19 Mar 15
Pengiun, I think you may be onto something here, thanks! If I get enough sleep I actually don’t need breakfast and by the time my tummy starts to rumble, like you, I can start to make a considered decision on what to have, I think it through and think what I would really like and it’s always savoury because I am truly hungry i.e eating mainly to satisfy hunger (I have no issues with feeling hungry) yet if I eat straightaway I am eating in a half dreamlike state trying to prep food for others too and my food choices can be less healthy, but most importantly I eat because of eating’s sake, it’s breakfast time, not because I am genuinely hungry.
The difficulty for me may be if I have had a bad night’s sleep I find it really hard not to grab something when I wake, that has nothing to do with hunger, I’m not sure why, I just want something to pick me up. Children should come with a warning label: less that six hours sleep per night is your future!
There is also the issue if I have breakfast at 6 am…. not only are my energy levels dropping by 10, but also I’m almost ready for lunch at this time!
My husband thinks I’m a bit of a broken record, but sleep, I am finding is such a tough one in terms of tackling bingeing.
Breakfast myth… I think it depends on the individual. I remember years ago hearing a doctor say she kept warning her son about not eating breakfast and that she used to “force it down”, and her son stayed slim and she was overweight. However, my child, brothers and dad all have genuinely rumbling stomachs as soon as they wake. They get tired and lethargic if they don’t eat. Infant, if I want my child to try new foods I introduce them at breakfast time as that’s his biggest meal – he has been known to have fish for breakfast!!
I am going to try the no breakfast thing (I might have to have coffee though!). Thanks again for listening. I hope everyone else is doing well, is everyone still doing the 5:2…
I know all too well the effects of not having enough sleep. The consensus seems to be that lack of sleep or poor sleep quality definitely leads to weight-gain or difficulty in maintaining weight-loss, so I don’t think you’re just dreaming it up (ha, I made a funny there… sorry). When I worked a job that I had to get up for very early, I would routinely find myself eating two breakfasts. When you eat at 5:30 or 6, it’s easy to be hungry again at 9!
I’m still doing the 5:2, today isn’t a fast day for me, though I’m trying to do a modified fast and put off any food until 1-2 and then cut myself off at 8-9ish tonight. Funny how when I can have food, I’m not hungry for it, and when I can’t, I’m suddenly starving! It’s such an obsession for me.
20 Mar 15
I think putting off the first meal (or just putting off any eating) is a good idea for a compulsive eater (I am thee). Thank you for your advice, it’s greatly appreciated.
Ok well, last night I had fish salad for tea and I was woken by my little one (thank you little man) at two am and I felt hungry and I could not go back to sleep. At 4.40 am I was starting to get annoyed so I came downstairs and had two slices of burden bread.
I need to save my carbs for the evening… but my willpower during the day isn’t great. I’ve also got into the habit of looking forward to getting up and having a big comfortable frothy coffee with chocolate sprinkles! If I could get over the morning hurdle I think it may be easier. I probably just about succeeded with a semi fast last night until 4 am this am, I am probably getting myself a bit worked up as my son and husband wake at six! I have found I sleep best when I have a bowl of soup and a wholegrain bagel ( a big bagel!)… this seems to be my sleep solution- however carbs during the day are a no no. Oddly, I crave carbs during the day and salad at night but my body seems to be disagreeing and has decided it feels more awake with salad and protein and sleepy with carbs. Yet my mood and greed make me want stooge all day. Of course I’m not helping my sleep situation by turning to coffee during the day too! Excuse the excess of exclamation marks, I’m perplexed by my insanity and contradictory nature.
I was like a woman possessed today and ate four bagels in a row… then three hot cross buns…. Oh dear, I am not sure if a fast day can erase that one! If I can get to four pm on a fast day or a normal day… I’m fine, I’ve cracked it, as it were. Just my mood is lowest and appetite it’s highest during the day. I suppose it’s good to make oneself self aware so I know what to strive for!
One lovely thing about fasting is definitely the delayed gratification, when I have achieved it I so appreciate my next meal… I don’t gulp it down, I savour every bite and even salad tastes wonderful.
Penguin, ho do you cope with mornings, how do you “not start on food”….I come down with all the children, all wanting their breakfasts and I think “coffee, chocolate, bread”…..
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