How I Eliminated Binge Eating Completely

Binge Eating according to Wikipedia is a pattern of disordered eating which consists of episodes of uncontrollable overeating. 

The Problem

Binge eating is a fairly common issue in the bodybuilding and fitness circle. I myself have experienced the woes of this disorder as have many others I know and have worked with personally. Now I believe there to be two different scenarios to Binge Eating. First you have the small group of fitness enthusiasts who have mini binges and then you have people who experience severe psychological issues with food. The latter group typically will struggle with the disorder for a prolonged period of time and often take drastic measures to compensate for their actions. If you are reading this and you are in the second group, I highly recommend seeking professional help.

This article is mainly for the fitness enthusiast who, like myself has struggled with binge eating in the past.

How I Got Into Trouble

It all started about four years ago when I began counting calories. I was brainwashed into the whole “clean” food phenomenon as I was reading every bodybuilding and fitness related magazine I could get my meat hooks on. I was so obsessed with the “you gotta eat clean, bro!” mentality that I threw all other sanity to the wind. I was immediately obsessed with brown rice, oatmeal, natural peanut butter, lean chicken breast etc. I was basically consuming most of the foods deemed “clean” by the infamous, dogma laden health and fitness community. I somehow adopted the assumption that pizza, burgers, pasta, white bread and any other fast or “dirty” food would only be stored as fat and would be suboptimal in terms of energy needs.

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This wasn’t so bad when on a bulking diet because I was eating plenty of food and keeping full most of the time. However I was developing a really sour relationship with food. I began to look down on others who ate out and those who ordered pizza instead of cooking a chicken breast and brown rice. I found myself constantly craving the food I was restricting. The main reasons were because I could not count the calories and because I assumed it would go straight to my gut. I also began to feel superior to my peers for my abstinence of unhealthy food.

It Only Got Worse

As I said the bingeing wasn’t too much of a problem when on a bulking diet. On a fat loss diet though, it was my worst nightmare. While I found myself severely restricting my intake, I decided to allow one cheat meal per week. This was an absolute disaster. I would eat “clean” all week long and end up almost completely reversing my previous weeks efforts on Sunday. It would start with a breakfast of lots and lots of bacon, eggs and hash browns soaked in grease. Then for lunch I would pig out on whatever was around. May be some peanut butter and jelly, cookies or whatever I could find that was “dirty.” Then for dinner it was usually a race to see how sick I could make myself. I would eat an entire pizza, then I would top it off with ice cream, brownies, cookies and anything else sugary I could get my paws on. I literally ate myself sick on many occasions. The next few days were often filled with overexercising, calorie restriction and feelings of guilt and anxiety. The mirror wasn’t flattering as I usually was holding a ton of water and the scale always revealed an 8-10lb weight swing.

What Did I Do?

I went to a therapist, got religion and joined a convent. I kid. I did however seek help, although not through traditional methods. I sought help through self-study and personal research. I knew that what I was doing was unhealthy and could not be maintained long term. I began seeking out those in the field who were smarter and more experienced than I.  I looked to Lyle McDonald for the science behind nutrition and macro composition. Everything I could read about science based nutrition, I read. I soon found that in theory, a calorie is just a calorie. If calories can be controlled, it doesn’t make an iota of difference as to what effects they will have on body composition. When I say calories I am more so referring to energy calories such as carbohydrates and fat. Of course protein is required to maintain lean body mass, but once a certain minimum of protein is met, the other calories are simply used for energy.

So I had to make a decision. I could believe all the old school dogma that was leading to my bingeing or I could adopt a new mindset and belief system around food and change my life for the better.

My Experiment

I began controlling my calories but allowing myself to eat the foods I was craving more often. For instance instead of a boring chicken breast and brown rice I had a few slices of pizza and then a protein shake to meet my protein requirements. For breakfast I would eat the same amount of carbs in the form of sugary cereal as opposed to plain oatmeal. I did this for a couple of months to gather my thoughts and collect data. What did I discover? Food choices do not make a difference at all as long as calories are controlled. A calorie is a calorie. I also lowered my meal frequency to about 2-3 meals a day instead of 6-8. This allowed for better satiety with each meal. I found that I no longer had the urge to binge anymore.

How To Eliminate Binge Eating in 3 Easy Steps

Make A Choice – Decide you want to stop this behavior and make a plan to do so.

  • Decide the route you are going to take. Plan your work and work your plan.
  • Do not give up if you fail at first. You will not conquer this habit over night.

Experiment – Try new approaches until you find something that works for you.

  • Experiment with Intermittent Fasting and place most of your food around workouts or later in the evening. This will provide more satiety and I have had great success with IFing.
  • Manipulate your energy macros. If carbs tend to make you ravenous, switch to a lower carb diet and eat more fat as fat is known to be a bit more satiating. If you like to pig out on fatty foods, switch to a higher carb diet with most of the energy coming from fruits and veggies.
  • Try different strategies until one sticks.

Seek Accountability – Make sure others know what you are doing and what your goals are.

  • Tell your friends that you are committing to this. Ask them to check up on you every so often.
  • Write in a journal daily or start a blog to document your progress. Many have started weight loss blogs for nothing else but accountability. John from JohnIsFit is a perfect example. He recently wrote a piece on Binge Eating as well.
  • If all else fails, get help. There is no shame in asking for help.

If there is anything I can do to assist you, feel free to contact me directly. I am always open to helping in any way that I can. If you have conquered binge eating, how did you go about it?

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73 thoughts on “How I Eliminated Binge Eating Completely”

  1. There is a psychological component to all binge eating and so I don’t agree with what you said about there being fitness mini binges and then another category. You have the same behaviors and thoughts as someone who doesn’t workout and binges .

    • I agree I feel like a combination of both which males me fail to see the difference. I think it was a helpful article though. My binging went a way for a long time but appears to come back when I over obsess about food and try to go on diets. I know the restriction screws everything up but it had been so long since I sifted I forgot about how it eventually makes me want to binge. Done with the paleo diet and going back to eating normally. Maybe in the direction if mindful eating.

  2. Hi,

    I think if has helped me. Recognising I don’t have to have breakfast then a snack. I was finding whatever I did I would always binge at 3pm… So now I have lunch then, with a few dark choc treats too. I have quite a lot of kcal in one sitting but it suits me much better.

    I do find I binge on foods I’m not consciously restricting too- cereal and bread I actually, as a response have started slightly restricting in that I try not to have too much to hand as when I’m low or tired I just grab them and don’t enjoy it . I do find I have. A massive appetite and being slightly lower carb seems to help that.

  3. Hello! I actually stumbled across this article researching binge-eating disorder, as I believe I am developing it. I have been severely restricting my calories for about 6 months, even though I was not overwight to begin with. I was actually on the low end of average. I lost about 20 pounds the unhealthy way (no exercising, just not eating anything I considered ‘bad’ and not much of what I considered ‘good’). I am now at a very low and unhealthy weight, and I know I need to put on a few pounds. I decided to have a cheat meal once a week, but this triggered something terrifying. I began to think about sweets 24/7, and my cheat meals turned ugly, and ended in over-eating. After about 3 of these episodes, I lost control one day (that wasn’t a cheat day) and ate tons of cereal and other sugary snacks. I felt so angry and depressed, all I could do was cry. I swore I wouldn’t do it again, but I’ve done it 4 times since then, each time increasing the amount of food. I’ll stand in the kitchen for about an hour and a half going back and forth from the pantry with different sweets and cereals. After every incident, I wrote in my journal that I would never do it again, but I find myself losing control about every 2 days. I’m starting to think this is going to be a long-term issue, and it’s terrifying me. I’m going to get help in a few weeks, but how can I prevent this from happening again? Any advice, please?! I cannot do this again!

    • Angela,

      Did you ever get the help you need? I did the same thing with my weight. I started having episodes like that because I think once I let me body eat what it needed, it screamed, “GIVE ME FOOD” because it was starving for so long. I let myself do this for several months, but I only let myself eat foods that would be good for me– I ate tons and tons and tons of nuts. I wouldn’t recommend this method for more than a week, because now, when I reach satiety at a meal, I still have this primal urge to keep eating and eating lest I starve again. I would recommend meeting with a dietician and tell her you need to put on 20 pounds or whatever your doctor / obgyn recommends. She can help you change your diet so that you put on your weight more slowly than I did.

      – amy

      • OMG I AM TOTLLY THE SAME. I am glad in a way i am not the only one. I am a PT, I advise people what to train and how to diet. But I restrict myself a lot, train hard and then friday-monday totally loose control. Six slices of white toast last night along with a full box of chocolates and two large chocolate bars. i could not move. I swore I’d be clean again today. &.30am my first PT I ate 3 bowls of porridge then at 10am 20 minutes until my next client I had time to go to the supermarket finish a whole bag of granola and three protein bars! Then one more PT session and at only 12 mid day then ate three eggs, beans and a slice of toast. i am now sitting with green tea and praying this shit will stop!

    • Hi I am struggling with counting calories and excercising and if I eat over the amount of calories I tell myself to eat I will get mad at myself and have to workout extra. However I used to have an eating disorder where I binge, Over excercise, and restrict and on and on cycle. I just need help because I stopped binging for about 3 months and just today I ate so much I feel sick because I’ve been so strict with my diet for awhile. What do I do. I was doing so good and just binged now I feel like I need to go workout a ton!!:(

  4. I am going through the exact same thing i eat ‘clean’ all week and then when i allow myself a cheat meal i end up binging to the point of feeling sick then i exercise all week and feel so depressed because i feel fat… I used to weigh 85kg and now i weigh around 44kg i hate myself for everything i am doing to my body but i cant seem to stop and just live life i am so un happy and do not know what to do anymore i just want to live normally and enjoyy life 🙁

    • I have found some amazing relief and healing from this within the last 2 months and it was from learning about the 12 steps and working the program. Even getting a sponser. Binge eating or food addiction is no different than an addiction to drugs and alcohol as far as your emotional state goes. You can get just as depressed, even suicidal, over your constant successes of eating ‘clean’ for so long and then ‘falling off the wagon.’ This program really works if you’ll work it I promise you. I even attend AA meetings once a week. Granted I have had issues in the last with recreational drug use, but my greatest vice has always been binge eating. I’ve never known freedom like I am finding now. Even moments like last night when I felt depressed because of loneliness and it was time to eat, I’m a bodybuilder, normally I would have binged but found myself stopping. It truly is amazing. Please consider it and you are in my prayers because I know the hurt and hopelessness you are experiencing.

  5. JC,
    I once weighed 300 lbs when I was 15 but have maintained over a 100lb weight loss since then, which is now 12 years. I am really big into bodybuilding and train 5-6 days a week. I have struggled with ‘eating clean’ and strict for a long time and then go off into junk food binges. Also, I’ll over eat on ‘clean foods’ at times to make up for never eating junk food. However, I have started to incorporate sweets and things back into my diet to adopt ‘balance’ and moderation. I haven’t really ‘binged’ since doing this but have ran in to over doing it. I am in counseling and this was actually something recommended. Learning to eat foods in moderation and learning balance. Did you run into this when you first started to add in foods considered ‘dirty’? Over doing some days and finally learning to find balance? I know the all or nothing eating mindset can be broken and for me, it’s time. I was just wandering it you went through this here and then as well? Thank you

      • Thank you JC! I have been taking a 12 steps course to help and you basically just said what I’ve been learning in there. That it takes time and you have to forgive yourself. Looking at it like that really takes the pressure off and gives a great glimpse of hope. Thank you for being honest! That’s what gives people hope. Knowing that we all mess up but we can and will get it right in time with and faith.

    • One more thing JC, with lowering your meal from 6 to 2-3 are you still able to get all the protein in you need for muscle growth? I’ve been doing more instinctive eating now to keep from binges, slowly but surely its beginning to work, and that’s dropped my meals down as well from around 6 to 4 or 3 but I get concerned I’m not getting enough protein in now for growth and maintaining the muscle I’ve put on.

  6. Hi JC,
    Thank you so much for writing this article. I could not pull my eyes away from this page and only became more and more wrapped in your words the further I got. What you have gone through describes me to a T. I am in my mid-20’s and fitness and weight lifting is a passion of mine. I lift 5 days a week and eat what most would consider a “perfectly clean” diet throughout the week of training sessions. I have a ferocious appetite, and have found Intermittent Fasting to be my savior. As soon as Friday evening comes, and a few drinks have been had – I completely lose all inhibitions and binge. This starts the down-ward spiral of me over training and over restricting my calories throughout the week to try and “make up” for the binges of up to 10K in a day. At this point, my body is dead; I believe it is due to overtraining on such a calorie restriction throughout the week. I have read a lot of the people’s comments here, and they consider there “few extra calories” binges. When I binge – I am talking an entire large pizza on top of a regular eating day, or an entire box of cereal in a sitting, a family sized bag of Doritos for a snack, or an entire box of pop-tarts… I commend you in your ability to quit the cycle. I envy your change, and hope to follow in your footsteps. Do you have any advice for me? Should I add in that bag of chips or pizza into my daily goals throughout the week when I am lifting, and hope that keeps me from binging on the weekend, since they are part of my weekly regiment? My goal is to increase muscle mass, and as always “look great naked”. My BF is roughly 5% (caliper testing, etc.), and yet my abs look as though I’m far over 10%, which I attribute to the weekends off from the gym and the weekly binges.

    Thanks for all of your help! You are an inspiration.

  7. You just described me! Within the last 6 months I’ve been on a “clean eating” journey that started when I decided to do the Insanity 90 day fitness program (with the goal of finally having my abs show). I realized quality foods really do give you the most energy! But with increased workouts, my metabolism went up and it was like I had to eat every 2 hours or I was starving! But I figured that was normal. I’ve recently went on a “whole 30” challenge and decided to try the paleo lifestyle after about a year of being a Pescetarian. The challenge went well until about day 24 and I’ve been bingeing at night ever since 🙁 and it happens most at night. But for me it seems to only be a certain time of the month. I’m starting to wonder if its just self control or if I really have a problem… How did you make the switch to eating within your macros. I feel like it’ll just be me trying another nutrition program, I also wouldn’t know how to calculate calories

    • I think making the change to paleo might be part of the cause for your bingeing. there’s a lot of food restriction with that diet. Why not just eat normally (well-rounded diet), that fits your lifestyle and activity?

  8. Hey I’m a 15 year old boy and this past summer I lost 15 pounds now this past 2 months I have had 6 extreme binges! After a binge I would have 2 days of eating in my calorie limit and the night of the second day I would binge once again telling myself the same thing “tomorrow ill be back to normal” help me please I can’t get out of this cycle! And btw I use my fitness pal and my calorie goal is 1500 because I like having my new six pack I achieved over the summer but now it is slowly slipping away because of these non stop binges please help me!

  9. I’ve had the odd problem with bingeing in the past, and had psychological issues with food as a child. My binges always take the form of either sugar (candy), as in 2 or 3 packets of wine gums + a whole bar of chocolate or late night fridge raiding – which in that instance is usually ‘healthy’ food at least. Over the last two years I thought I’d really got things under control and have brought my physique on in leaps and bounds to the point where I’ve just finished a cut at 4% bodyfat, not doing it by starvation either but by solid training, great diet and tracking of diet and recently intermittent fasting, which has been great. However, due to other committments I’ve stopped training for an ‘off period’ and the whole diet has gone to pot, binges are starting, the culmination of which is just now eating 1 packet of wine gums, 1 packet of toffee, 1 packet of caramel, 1 bar of chocolate, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter and about 1/4 packet (100g) of raisins. Along with about a pint of black coffee. Now I feel sick sick sick, to the point I’ve been over the toilet with my fingers down my throat! But not much was coming in the way of expulsion. Now this is something I have NEVER done before and find it rather worrying. I’ve taken sugar in before to the point where I’m going high/sweaty/hyper/faint/passing out but have never induced vomiting. What I can’t figure is what is the trigger for this…WHY? I mean I don’t have those sweets in the house, I purposely go out and buy them, knowing that I will eat the lot in one go. Once I start I just cannot stop. Now it’s done it won’t happen again for another 2-3 months. I just hope I’m stronger next time.

  10. Ugh! I feel like you have been reading my diary, I am going through the food obsession and binge eatig now, and am currently on my very first 3day fast. I really enjoy your site and this article! Thanks!

  11. I bookmarked this post and keep coming back to because it makes so much sense! Thank you!

  12. Great advice! I’m finally learning the art of balance and moderation, in regard to my eating and exercise routine. For years I tried being “perfect” with my eating, which only ended up in a downward spiral of binges. I wanted to have the body of a fitness model, but all of my hard work never showed because of the constant binges. Almost three decades of dieting (my parents put me on a diet in elementary school) led to my picking up an assortment of food rules (meal timing, food combining, “bad” foods, etc). I had so many fears that on a cheat day I would stand in front of the fridge afraid to consume anything out of the norm. Eventually, my body could only take so much and I started my binge cycle. I was so ashamed. Just recently I was working with a trainer whose nutrition advice made no sense to me. I tried to argue my point, but she was set in her ways (it was a cookie cutter type program). That was it for me. I’m better off doing what I know will work and will allow me to live a healthy, happy and balanced life. I never want my (future) kids to go through what I did or see their mom struggling with what I have been for so long. I missed out on so much over the years, but I’m not going to look back with regrets any longer. Sorry for the wordy post. 😉

  13. I can relate to the whole ‘it’s my cheat day, let’s see how much Toni can eat this time’! I mean give an Italian girl license to consume carbs after restricting them for awhile and watch out. I was ‘bingeing’ one time with my male cousin who was trying to bulk up at this point and halfway through the meal he said to me, “damn, girl, I didn’t know bitches could eat that much.” I politely smiled at him and then promptly took another bite of garlic bread. I’m. Serious. This is why I don’t really have an all-out cheat day anymore. As for my cousin? I’ve since forgiven him for his insensitive remark. 😉

    I honestly didn’t know men fell subject to this…ridiculousness. I mean, up until VERY recently, I can emphatically say without a doubt that I used to both starve and gorge myself before vacations, social events even my wedding to look perfect. Of course, I wasn’t clinically diagnosed with an eating disorder per say but I was eating very unhealthily and punishing my poor body in the process.

    I still struggle with my eating to be totally honest. I’m in the process of trying to build some muscle on my (extremely) lean body right now and sometimes I hesitate before I eat thinking that the extra 300kcal daily are going to suddenly make me blow up like the Goodyear Blimp. It’s a lot for me to eat above my maintenance calories, we women just aren’t programmed that way. But more than one individual has told me (mostly guys) that I cannot lose both fat AND build muscle at the same time. I can’t concentrate on both cardio and strength training either. I have to pick one or the other. Well, leaning out did make my abs appear but when I really looked in the mirror, I saw I was a smaller version of myself – same body shape and same jiggly bits. So therefore I attempt to gain what little muscle an ectomorph can, lol.

  14. Awesome article mate, everything u have said makes total sense… Just reading your articles completely mirrors my life. e.g. the whole bullshit 6 meals a day, clean foods and 2 60 minute cardio sessions a day… Id always be getting ripped and then balooning up another 20kg every year… Its refreshing to read this stuff mate and I will never ever resort to the old bodybuilding ways that were destroying all my personal relationships and life in general.. Life is meant to be fun, not carrying arround tupperwear containers everywhere

    • I’m glad you’re finding it refreshing. Lie is too short to worry incessantly about all the stuff that doesn’t matter.

  15. Great article, I have had my occasional binge due to eating too strict/clean. I was curious though about the rest of my macros after hitting my protein requirements. If someone is susceptible to carb binges you say to focus on getting your energy from fat but lets take an extremely exaggerated example and say the rest of your energy came from fat. My question is, wouldn’t you need atleast a certain amount of carbs?

    • well you’re going to need some carbs. It’s all dependent on your goals, really. but if you do all-fat or all-carbs every once in a while to prevent a binge, I don’t see it being too big of an issue.

  16. Yes, I’ve heard of it.

    I think the RFL is a much better option simply because Lyle has you eating whole foods which will be more filling + help you maintain better eating habits.

  17. Hey man have you ever heard of the velocity diet? Similar to the “anaconda protocol” (I think all of us have read about that insanity whatsoever), its another T-nation thing. I looked at the diet and its liquid nutrition all the way with only one meal per week, and it has to be like a body builder meal. What do you personally think about this diet? i feel like this is kind of similar to Lyle Mcdonald’s rapid fat loss diet where you just eat protein and veggies but even the rapid fat loss diet seems lenient compared to the v diet.

  18. What’s up Joe?

    My take is this. Life is too short to worry about eating clean for the rest of your life. Do some people do it all the time? Probably.

    Is it sustainable? Most likely not for the majority.

    Then again everyone seems to have a different view of what’s clean and what’s not. I hate the word, actually, when referring to our diets.

    To me, it’s just all about balance. Eat some fruit, veggies, lean protein and have dessert now and again. As long as you maintain an active lifestyle, focus on getting it right 80-90% of the time, you’ll have very little to worry about, IMHO.

  19. Hey JC, i was wondering what’s ur take on some people who claim they eat clean all the time? i mean junk food is obviously bad for u, but sometimes i feel like these clean eating ppl are taking things to the extreme

  20. What if I’m hungry on a bulk, and I’m feeling the urge do binge? Would it be OK to do it?

    Thanks.

    • I would say no for 2 reasons.

      1. It only helps to create a bad habit
      2. It’s a good way to get unnecessarily fat.

  21. I really appreciate the article, the website, and work you’ve done. It’s nice to see men talking about eating and their relationship with food once an awhile. All too often, the focus is entirely devoted to women and girls. There truly needs to be a universal approach to this health issue rather than a micro examination of the popular and culturally attractive norms we have come to associate eating disorders with.

  22. I’m not sure I’ve ever binged that extremely, but there have been plenty of times when I’ll get off work from a long day, having watched my food intake all week, only to completely eat junk food until I go to bed that night. Of course, this puts a huge damper on all my hard work during the week. Needless to say, I end up going to sleep feeling like complete crap and feeling guilty as hell too. I’ve since gotten much better, but I think restricting ALL your favorite foods only makes things worse; as the cravings only get more and more intense.

    • I agree completely with regards to the whole guilt thing. I always try to incorporate the more desirable food into any diet to keep those cravings at bay.

  23. Wow, this is a great post your early on dieting “clean” foods thing and binge eating on Sunday till you feel sick and reversing all the previous weeks work is exactly what I have been doing for close to 6 monthes now. I get pretty cut by Friday and Saturday and blow it all Saturday or Sunday. Over and over again. I realize it’s completely unhealthy and a waste of time but by the end of the weak my will power is gone from exercise and fasting/restricting calories and food. I hope this post will help me improve in the future.

    Thanks

    • this is where moderation comes into play. I’m sure there are many others out there like yourself who’ve been struggling the same. I’m glad I could be of some help

  24. Hi JC,
    thank you for posting this. Right now, I have gone through 2 days of extreme 6,000 calorie binges, and I am sitting here in pain, face extremely swollen, and ready to go to sleep with an exploding stomache, knowing that I am going to wake up with a still full, bloated, cramped, painful stomache, and a body shaking with hunger due to the sugar rush (I ate boxes and boxes of cereal, cookies, pizza, a whole loaf of bread, bags of chocolate in a matter of a couple of days). I suffer from Binge Eating Disorder, but had successfully controlled it this summer. But because I am so obsessed with “clean-eating”, my body feels deprive and it has taken a toll on my cravings (I have been eating everything and anything i can get my hands on these past couple days). I don’t want to go back to gaining 40 pounds in a year again. I want it to stop now. But tomorrow I know i will be EXTREMELY down and I feel like everything I have worked so hard for is now gone forever. What do you think I should do tomorrow (the stress of working out also gets me to binge) and will I be okay?

    • Esther, I am not an expert on eating disorders. What I suffered from was a mild case of binge eating.

      I would suggest seeking a medical professional who deals with these types of behavioral issues.

      best of luck

      • This has been going on for two years now. I was anorexic before and because I entered college and lost all control of my eating habits, i gained 40 pounds in one year. Last night and the other night are very reminiscent of my binge episodes during the school year (they were actually worse). As of right now, I woke up and am feeling extremely swollen and I don’t know what to do. Wake up, feel depressed, eat some more, get back on my binge eating episodes. I can’t find the motivation to try to fight it.

        I am thinking about seeking help from the counselors at my school’s health center, but I’m unsure if they will be able to help.

        • I can’t find the motivation to try to fight it.

          this is exactly why you need to seek professional help. I do not mean to sound rude BUT I am not a doctor. I cannot assist you with seeking a cure. Please get help.

          • This may come a bit late, but Overeaters Anonymous is a good place to start for anyone seeking help with BED or any other eating disorder. It’s basically free therapy and available in most cities and many different countries (check their website)

        • Hey Esther, I don’t know if you still check out this site but just wanted to let u know I went through the exact same thing. It’s fcking hell and if you see this, please post and let me know how it’s going. I wish you the best!

          • Hi I saw your post to esther and I go through exactly the same thing. Have you overcome this at all? Can you help me? I dont want to gain weight but I know I need to eat more to stop the need to binge and hence get better. thanks!

  25. Do you have any advice on figuring out how many calories to eat? How to estimate your calories for things like pizza when you eat it out? Also, when you eat only 2-3 meals/day, do you evenly space out your meals?

    • Yup. The best way is to take a set amount o kcals, eat that for a few weeks, take notes and see what happens with regards to your weight in terms of changes etc.

      For instance if you are fairly active(about an hour of activity per day which can include causal walking, gym time etc) you could start with 14-15xbw in lbs. That is a rough estimate for your daily kcal needs.

      you would monitor this intake over 2 weeks. if you gain weight you adjust downwards, if you lose weight, you adjust upwards slightly.

  26. I did something similar to you, I declared all foods good for eating, and made sure I ate enough of the healthy ones that I didn’t crave the less healthy ones very often. I do not allow myself to feel guilty about food, either eaten or not. As a matter of fact, I ambush any guilt by deliberately eating something that makes me come out of that mindset.

    BTW, that first comment, from James, that is a joke, right? That’s the worst bit of diet advice I’ve ever heard in my life. If I listened to logic like that, I’d be size 36 up from 18, rather than down to 10 and dropping.

    • I just decided that food is only energy and it’s a waste of time to worry about the small stuff in life. besides I really like ice cream.

      I am not sure if james was joking or not.

  27. JMo87:

    Thanks for your commentary. I too have been in that same sea of self-hate where I would go for so long without anything satisfying that I would go nuts on candy, cakes, fried food etc to a point of being sick.

    The main reason I wrote this piece is because of the fact that I know there are many others out there who struggle with this same issue. While I have never suffered from a full blown disorder, I know that I can relate to many people. Most others outside of the health and fitness circle don’t have a clue that us fitness folk, who supposedly have it together regarding diet and nutrition would struggle with our eating habits. I have read and heard about many RD’s having eating disorders as well.

    I am glad you liked the article and hope it helped you in some way.

  28. JC thank you so much for writing this piece. I think eating disorders are so prevalent within the fitness community, but nobody talks about them because it’s often seen as something only teenage girls have issues with.

    I struggled with binge eating myself for months after an intense dieting phase. I didn’t know what was happening to me, because I had always prided myself on my ability to abstain from “unclean” foods. Yet, after weeks and weeks of sub-maintenance calories, it seemed I could no longer control myself around food. I would often binge eat late at night on whatever I could get my hands on.

    Thanks to listening to experts like Lyle McDonald and others, I’ve learned that there’s no magic to “eating clean”, and I CAN eat what I want (not just chicken and broccoli), provided I keep my calories in check.

    Anyway, thank you for calling attention to this issue, as there seem to be more and more people (especially online) that are clearly suffering from an unhealthy relationship with their food.

  29. JC,

    I found the same thing when intermittent fasting, that as long as calories were kept in check and protein needs satisfied, I could feed on chocolate and ice cream…didn’t make a difference. I’d also like to note that, while you don’t agree with Doc Darden, he’s of the same opinion.

    Best,
    Skyler

  30. Dawn: I have been the same person at those parties, so I know exactly how you feel. I feel its very important to keep those “unclean”(how I hate that word!) foods in your diet.

    A diet shouldn’t be boring or depriving as that only leads to undesirable consequences.

  31. I’ve experienced this binge-following-deprivation as well. For example, I will go to a party and “behave” so well at the party that by the time I get home I’m so frustrated I’ll eat every “bad” thing in sight. It’s demoralizing. Currently I’m doing something similar to you in that I just allow myself treats and such, within my calorie allotment. I find that, given permission, the treats are not quite so tempting. Last night I was debating b/w a Milky Way and a bowl of cereal with sugar. It’d been a long time since I’d had something as bad as a candy bar, but I really wanted the cereal. So I went with that.

  32. yes, on a diet you should be hungry. You may not be hungry all the time, but it’s pretty much a given. The whole goal is to manage that hunger in a way that allows you to drop the fat optimally without completely depriving yourself.

  33. I have the opposite problem! I never get ENOUGH calories! If only I could use these tips in reverse to create a binge effect after every workout.

    Though for people who I’ve advised on how to lose weight, I’ve told them that weight loss is not easy, you WILL feel like binging ALL the time, and whenever you get that feeling, you KNOW that you’re succeeding in your goal to lose weight. The stronger the feeling of wanting to binge, the faster you’re going to achieve your goal.

    • Try a post workout joint. It’s the only way my skinny bastard boyfriend can handle bulking!

      And if you’re not one for smoking, get a vaporizer.

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