Stop Binge Eating..Forever. (How I did it)

 

If only I could count the number of times I researched this question..the endless amount of videos I watched, people I followed, books I read, techniques I tried..

But still to no avail.

I’m sure some of you are in the same boat. (I’m assuming that’s why you’re here).

Hopefully, this will not be “just another article” that you pass by.

This is probably a take on binge eating that you haven’t yet come across (at least, not quite as commonly).

Binge eating is something you do, not a disease you have. You don’t need a magical cure, you just need to change what you’re doing.

Binge eating is something I have struggled with since my post-competition days.

This was after competing in a figure (bodybuilding) competition and following my diet plan to a T (LITERALLY, I wouldn’t even take a bite of a food that was not on my plan, I measured everything to the gram and suffered watching others devour pizza while I ate my sad, dry piece of chicken breast and spinach with 5 calorie dressing).

I never binged on foods before my competition or during the prep. I got lean and felt great!

But post-show when I tried a second contest preparation (cutting calories, eating “clean” again), I just couldn’t do it. My cravings were INSANE. I wanted anything and everything. All I could think about was food, when my next meal was, how many calories I could eat, “if I eat 2 of my meals now maybe I could just fast for the rest of the day..”, maybe if I chew enough gum I can delay the hunger a bit…etc.

Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and the binging began.

Cookies, pizza, dry cereal, raisins, almonds, left over spaghetti, cold kraft dinner, stale chips, YOU NAME IT. I ate it.

And all at once, until I felt like I was on the verge of exploding..and then I’d eat some more.

All while wondering what had happened to my perfect disciplined self who used to be able to diet so well.

How did I get to this point? Where is my self-control??

This went on for months and then years. I slowly gained back about 20 pounds (most of it healthy weight but probably a little more than necessary).

I would go through phases of different diets such as vegan, paleo, keto, intermittent fasting..etc.

With each new-found diet and a short-lived burst of motivation, I would think “YES, I FINALLY FOUND THE CURE”

But alas, each time I would find myself slowly falling back into old habits and binging once again.

 

One day, as I was scouring the internet for my next diet-cure, I came across the book “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole.

(Intuitive eating is basically where you mindfully, eat whatever you want when your body craves it and stop when full).

I found the concept interesting and set-out on on my own intuitive eating journey after purchasing additional books on “mindful eating”.

But again, after 2 weeks, I was still binging.

Now I was really concerned.

“I am allowing myself to eat whatever I want! Why, still, can I not stop binge eating???”

I was utterly confused and ready to throw in the towel for the last time, officially classifying myself as a “binge eater” for life.

That is, until I came across the website “The Fuckitdiet“, created by Caroline Dooner. (Definitely check this site out if you haven’t already!)

After reading several of her posts and listening to her podcasts, I suddenly had the most insane epiphany, moment of clarity, break through, fantastic realization EVER.

The reason “Intuitive eating” was not working for me is that I WAS MAKING IT ANOTHER DIET.

While the intuitive eating book was very insightful (and I still recommend reading it for a great intro to intuitive eating!), there are some flaws or at least red flags if you are someone who comes from a very rigid dieting past.

For one, they use a hunger scale to measure your hunger.

For me this meant “I REALLY want this donut my coworker is offering me but I know I just ate not long ago..and I’m only like a 6 on the hunger scale right now, it says you should eat around 3 or 4..so maybe I should skip the donut and eat something later on.”

Second, you are told to eat mindfully. Eat slow, small bites, chew each bite thoroughly, eat with no distractions like the T.V or

 

computer, stop half-way, wait 5 minutes then ask yourself if you really want more, leave food on your plate, etc.

 

All of these suggestions had me and my “diet brain” going crazy.

I would eat without watching my favourite show, try to leave food on my plate and only eat until “satisfied” then I’d be hungry again an hour later, I’d try to chew my food a ton and gross myself out with the texture rather than actually enjoying it. I would not eat unless I felt it acceptable on the hunger scale, I’d feel disappointed if I finished all the food on my plate..ETC. It wasn’t fun and I spent just as much time thinking about food as I did on any other diet.

SO. With the guidance of Caroline’s site (fuckitdiet.com), I decided to do just that.

 

F*ck it.

I started eating while watching T.V again.

I ate the donut if I REALLY wanted the donut EVEN if I wasn’t extremely hungry.

I ate fast, slow, medium-paced, whatever.

I chewed as much as felt normal.

I ate ALL of my food if I wanted it and didn’t feel guilty.

And guess what?

I started eating less and slower because I’d get distracted by my really good T.V show.

I wouldn’t be craving loads of sweets late at night because I already ate the donut I wanted earlier that day.

I enjoyed my meals SO much more.

I started leaving food on my plate because it felt natural.

and finally, after all these years of thinking I was diseased and destined to forever eat my entire pantry each night,

I STOPPED BINGE EATING.

The cure to binge eating,

is

to

just eat.

This means, erasing physical restrictions and rules just as much as the mental ones.

If you allow yourself to eat the donut but still feel guilty doing it, then you are still restricting.

If you say you can eat whatever you want but still try to eat low-fat or low-carb then you are still restricting.

Your body knows.

You need to give yourself permission to eat as much as you need AND want without guilt.

Weight-gain or loss should be on the back-burner during this time (trust me, I KNOW how hard this is to do but you will thank yourself later). You need to give your mind and body time to heal.

IT IS SO WORTH IT,

This will take time, it will feel weird and uncomfortable at first but slowly it will become natural, food will no-longer be the center of your whole universe.

If you do happen to binge or eat more than you think you should during this process, keep going.

If you binge for 5 days straight on all the foods you used to restrict, keep going.

If you only want to eat egg salad for a week straight and wonder what’s wrong with you, KEEP GOING (true story, still can’t explain it but I don’t question what my body wants! Haha).

Binge eating is a habit you’ve formed and it will take a bit to break it but the more you allow yourself total freedom with food, and stop putting it up on a pedestal, the faster you will find yourself free from its grasp.

So go ahead, start today.

Go eat something you REALLY WANT.

and thoroughly, completely, whole-heartedly enjoy it.

Then do it again,

and again,

each day until eating is just another part of your day.

You eat, enjoy it, feel satisfied.

Then you move on to the more important things in your day.

That is how life is supposed to be lived.

That is how you STOP binge eating.

~Sam~

The Outline of How I Eat-Finally! What Works.

***Before Reading This, Please Take Into Account That I Wrote This When I First Started My Blog, Since Then My Knowledge of Nutrition And Fitness Has Changed Drastically!( Please read my newer post on IIFYM to find out more). :)***

 

So as some of you may know, I hate the term “diet” because what diet means to me is a food version of the old “get rich, quick” scheme,  you see all these programs that say “3 weeks” or “2 months to the perfect body!” or “abs in minutes!”  and we all know how well that works out..Once you complete your 3 month plan then where do you go? Obviously you would guess that people would just continue to follow the same rules on their own. Right? But that’s hardly ever the case. Once people reach these goals they think “Hey I finished! and they begin to fall back into their old routine feeling that the have accomplished what they needed to. You need to think long-term, lifestyle changes! As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. When it comes to eating healthy and fitness as a lifestyle, you can still set goals, just make sure they are attainable! For example “my goal is to lose/gain 2 pounds every 2 weeks”. Then after reaching that goal. Make another one! Always, Always have a goal! 

  Mistake 1: Now we go into how you can make a lifestyle change properly. It’s not going to happen overnight and remember everything needs time. No program, way of eating, etc. is going to change you instantly, so give every eating style a chance before ditching it! Many people make the mistake of sticking to a plan for a short period of time and then quickly discarding it because they don’t immediately become some greek god in the first week!

Mistake 2: If we look at foods, just because something says gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free..etc. doesn’t mean it’s healthy!! Actually more often than not, the foods that don’t have these sayings on them will actually be better for you! For example, Jiff “Reduced Fat” creamy peanut butter has 6g fat per tbsp, 1g saturated, 1g fibre, 3.5g protein,7.5g carbs and 2g sugar. Regular all natural peanut butter has 8g fat, 2g saturated, 1g fibre, 5g protein, 3g carbs and 1g sugar

Okay so other than Jiff having less fat, they aren’t all that different right? Wrong! Natural as you can see has more protein, less sugar and less carbs than the Jiff. So where are all those extra carbs in Jiff coming from? Hmm..let’s see..

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Jiff Ingredients:

PEANUTS, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, SUGAR, SOY PROTEIN, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (RAPESEED AND SOYBEAN), MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, MOLASSES, MAGNESIUM OXIDE, NIACINAMIDE, FERRIC ORTHOPHOSPHATE, ZINC OXIDE, COPPER SULFATE, FOLIC ACID, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE.

Yumm! Who doesn’t love some corn syrup solids in the morning? Doesn’t look quite as appetizing does it?

Now check out natural peanut butter’s ingredients:

Roasted Peanuts.

Point prosmuckers_natural_pbven 😉 Would you rather have a heap of random ingredients on your toast in the morning or would you rather have ACTUAL PEANUT BUTTER?

Alright so now you know not to go for low-fat/low-carb options etc. just because they look better on the outside. But full-fat options of many things are actually really great! As long as you look for healthy fats. I eat full-fat meats, dairy products, peanut butter, coconut milk etc. and get my other healthy fats from coconut oil(yes it’s saturated but there is a good type of saturated fat!), olive oil, avocados, nuts etc.

Those are just 2 mistakes I have for now but I will be posting a ton more that I have learned from!

Now onto the ultimate outline I almost guarantee will help you meet any fitness goals you want if you follow it:

This is the way I eat and I have seen so much improvement in my fitness and body since changing my eating habits.

whole-grains1#1) Eliminate Grains, This includes quinoa & rice etc. I know this is killing some of you to read but I swear by it now. Our bodies are not meant to eat these and I personally found that my muscles were much more defined after removing these. Although I love breads, pasta & oatmeal, I find that I don’t miss them all too much because there are so many substitutes out there! (Look at some of my most recent recipes for ideas!). Plus you get to eat a ton more vegetables & fruit which is really great for you! So replace your carbs with fruits & veggies such as bananas, apples, strawberries, pears, peaches, berries, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, beats, spaghetti/butternut squash, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas..etc!

#2) Eleminate all refined sugars, Even sweeteners I go easy on now, the only one I will still use is stevia and very rarely a sprinkle of splenda just as a topping for something. Instead replace them with pure maple syrup or honey!

#3) RAISE THAT FAT INTAKE-Still keep a reasonable calorie intake but change the percentages to lower the amount of carbs. Now that you cut out grains, there will be less need for high amounts of carbs. Instead raise your fat to be about 70% or so of your daily intake to help replace the cutting of carbs! This was one of the best things I did because automatically my muscles began to feel stronger, I have more energy, I am eating way better tasting foods than all that low-fat crap, including BUTTER yes I dare say the word(although it is vegan!), peanut butter, almond butter, whole eggs, full-fat meats such as pulled pork, sausages, bacon(yup!), full fat coconut milk, dark chocolate, avocados, coconut etc. Don’t be scared to raise your fat levels. As long as carbs are low and you are at a healthy calorie intake then FATS WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT, They will actually help with weight loss rather than making you put on weight! 

#4) Make sure you are getting enough protein! If you are increasing fats, make sure you are still getting enough protein at about 1g per pound of bodyweight.

#5)Don’t go to crazy with fruit, now that you are mainly eating fruits and veggies you may feel the need to eat all you want but make sure to keep vegetable intake higher and limit fruit to about 2 servings per day for best results! The sugars are natural but still quite high in fruit!

#6)Have a cheat meal once a week, lastly this is most important, we are all human and there comes a type when you realize, there really is no substitute for a plate full of soft warm garlic bread… So once a week take a meal off and go out with friends or just eat at home but eat whatever you’d like! Something you’ve been craving. This won’t affect your results and will keep future cravings at bay. My last cheat meal was when I went out to eat and ordered a huge bowl of shrimp pasta and ate about 1 whole mini loaf of warm italian bread with butter plus a bowl of starter salad. Now that’s how you cheat.

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I hope this helps some of you guys out! Remember, this really is an outline and you can always tailor it to meat your specific needs. My “diet” is a pretty close spin-off of Paleo but I can’t consider myself 100% since I still love to eat peanut butter, occasionally beans and some dairy! Make it your own and go with it. Goodluck!

What did you think of these tips? Let me know in the comments below!

***EDIT*** As some of you may have noticed, my diet has changed quite a bit! I will be posting a new outline sometime soon to share with you how I have gained lean muscle and finally fallen into an easy program that works and guess what…doesn’t involve calorie counting. Stay tuned for more! haha.***