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TOPIC: Binge eating and what to do about it...

 
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October 31, 2013 4:05 AM
Hey MPFers!

A little background, I recently lost about 60 pounds (YAY!) but I am finding the struggle to maintain the weight loss to be much much more of a battle then it was to loose it to begin with.

To loose the weight I simply found a good deficit, and ran about 5 miles a day. One year later, 50 pounds gone. I didn't struggle with anything, didn't deny myself anything. I simply ate better, ate higher volume foods, had my weekly cheatmeal, and went about my business.

Now I have switched to trying to maintain (In preparation for a bulking cycle, because now I'm scrawny lol) and now...as soon as I started eating more to STOP loosing weight, now is when I am getting huge cravings and binging about once a week.

I'm seeing my doctor, a dietrician, and soon the psychologist (The binging makes me feel like utter crap, so I figure lets treat it as a full blown disorder before it even becomes one and nip it in the bud). I know a large amount of it is probably entirely psychological, a lack of willpower and numerous other things. But could their also be physical or diet related issues that contribute to binge eating?

Example...I have been eating about 2000 calories a day. I'm 5' 8"-9" male, at around 135 pounds. My activity level is all over the place. I lift weights now, that's new. I don't run the 5 miles a day, but I do walk 15000 steps a day. Run a couple miles some days, bike a couple miles some days, and hit the gym 4 times a week to lift.

I have noticed that the binges tend to happen the day AFTER I am more active. For example, I had an episode yesterday. The day before that I walked 15000 steps, ran 2 miles, biked 4 miles, and weight lifted for an hour. So on the days I am active.

Am I underrating? Does under eating cause binging?
October 31, 2013 4:11 AM
I think I read somewhere that you basically need to eat something with a high protein content right after you've been active and that should curb the hunger... Not quite sure about it though and I don't, unfortunately, remember what thread I read this in...
I'm the same, btw, only that I'm still trying to lose!
  48317453
October 31, 2013 4:12 AM
QUOTE:

Am I underrating? Does under eating cause binging?


are you under eating? possibly, i am 5ft5 and about the same weight as you and i maintain on NET 2000 cals, so if you are trying to gain muscle you need ot be eating in a surplus, whihc is probably more than your current intake.

does under eating cause binging? definitely!
October 31, 2013 4:12 AM
I would assume that your body is essentially asking for more fuel, as you say the 'binge' generally follows heavier activity. Are you still logging exercise and eating back at least a proportion of calories burned?

Also, what exactly does this binge eating consist of? Are we talking episodes of eating a large amount of reasonably-nutritious food, perhaps in a shorter time frame than would otherwise be the case, or is this a situation where you are consuming a lot of high-calorie, low-volume 'junk' in a sort of frenzy?
Edited by castadiva On October 31, 2013 4:13 AM
  9371113
October 31, 2013 4:13 AM
You might look at food quality too. Don't know if your quality has stayed high, but even mixing in highly processed foods (with lots of added synthetic ingredients) with an otherwise healthy diet can mess with your chemistry and incite binge eating. MSG, especially ...
October 31, 2013 4:18 AM
There are many things that can trigger you to binge eat. Yes undereating is def one of them and i fell victim to that when i was at end of my cutting phase. Keeping away trigger foods is an obvious #1. Some foods i refuse to touch because i know mentally i would not be able to stop from going to pound more of them before the bag was empty. Another good thing is to keep your blood sugar from spiking. Peeps always so IIFYM which may be true but for me eating foods that wont suddenly drop my blood sugar and make me wanna binge on anything is key.
October 31, 2013 4:20 AM
The whole time you were losing the weight, were you eating 2000 calories a day? And just running for exercise? Just wondering to satisfy my own curiosity since we're the same height.

And on the binge, i would guess your brain is giving you the wrong signals. Just like my stupid brain! When i get a lot of exercise and i'm allowed to eat more, for whatever reason, my brain says "ohhhh you can? Well in that case, let's eat the worst food possible!" and in my dumb excuse-making habit, i say to myself "well since i ate so much crap, i pretty much ruined my diet. May as well use the rest of the day as a cheat day and eat whatever i want. Then rinse and repeat.

Now that you're lifting weights, you might need to up your calories because really, to make any gains in weight and muscle you're gonna have to eat at a surplus and you're probably still at a deficit. There are people on the bodybuilding.com forums that eat 3000+ calories a day so for you eating 2000? 2000 is at about maintenance for sedentary for your height isn't it?Adding you workouts, you're probably not getting enough fuel, then triggering cravings which leads you to wanting food. But not just food in small portions. I'm talking like you're a starving man that just came out of the desert and you need to EAT! Is that how you feel? Or are you just looking for excuses to eat a lot?
  40021730
October 31, 2013 4:20 AM
The binges are a mixture of both high and low quality foods. When I have an episode, I don't exactly care what I put in my face. It's an eat everything sorta thing. If I have healthy stuff, I'll eat that...if I have access to junk I'll eat that too.

Which was fine, I ate a mixture of healthy stuff and junk when I was loosing all the weight, if anything my diet is probably 'cleaner' now then it was during my weightloss journey.

As far as eating back calories. I'm trying to shoot for TDEE instead of the whole NET system.

Also during my weightloss my caloric intake was anywhere between 1500-2000 calories. Depending on how hungry I was that day. The running was used for exercise, plus calisthenics thrown in. Didn't weight lift...which was a mistake cause now I'm skinny-fat...but you live and learn. So run to burn those cals, but for god's sake lift heavy ****.

As for the question about being a starving man coming out of the desert. That depends on the day. Like I said, in between binges I'm completely fine. I hit my goal, I eat my foods, I don't freak out. Hell, I don't really have cravings. Sure I have the typical day to day "That looks tasty." but not the "OMFG I NEED TO HAVE THAT RIGHT NOW!"
Edited by NickHall1988 On October 31, 2013 4:24 AM
October 31, 2013 4:26 AM
I have noticed that the binges tend to happen the day AFTER I am more active. For example, I had an episode yesterday. The day before that I walked 15000 steps, ran 2 miles, biked 4 miles, and weight lifted for an hour. So on the days I am active.


have you any idea how many calories you burnt there. How much did you eat back? That's like driving a car till it runs out of fuel, then expecting it to still run the next day.

I go to the gym most days, 45 mins lifting, and 15 mins cardio one day, half hour cardio the next, I eat carbs as soon as I am done and a protein shake. never had a problem. But if you are lifting weights, which is new, are you putting on muscle or fat. Are you concerned about the number on the scales, or do your clothes feel tight?

If you are craving a bad food, maybe you are deficient in something an alternative food could fix. See my profile pic.
if you are loading up on sugar, bam, blood sugar high, followed by huge craving for more sugary stuff.
Are you eating enough protein to feed your muscles now you are lifting, say 1g protein per llb body weight. Since I started doing this, no more hunger problems.
And lastly, all that exercise requires lots of fluid, and by fluid I mean water :-)
October 31, 2013 4:30 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Am I underrating? Does under eating cause binging?


are you under eating? possibly, i am 5ft5 and about the same weight as you and i maintain on NET 2000 cals, so if you are trying to gain muscle you need ot be eating in a surplus, whihc is probably more than your current intake.

does under eating cause binging? definitely!

Low calories = low leptine = cravings.
My suggestion is to forget losing weight for a little bit. start upping calories till you reach any calorie calculator at least. then you can chose what to do.
Having more cals will make you crave less and you will suffer less by your binging as you will have more cals to play with
October 31, 2013 5:15 AM
QUOTE:

The binges are a mixture of both high and low quality foods. When I have an episode, I don't exactly care what I put in my face. It's an eat everything sorta thing. If I have healthy stuff, I'll eat that...if I have access to junk I'll eat that too.

Which was fine, I ate a mixture of healthy stuff and junk when I was loosing all the weight, if anything my diet is probably 'cleaner' now then it was during my weightloss journey.

As far as eating back calories. I'm trying to shoot for TDEE instead of the whole NET system.

Also during my weightloss my caloric intake was anywhere between 1500-2000 calories. Depending on how hungry I was that day. The running was used for exercise, plus calisthenics thrown in. Didn't weight lift...which was a mistake cause now I'm skinny-fat...but you live and learn. So run to burn those cals, but for god's sake lift heavy ****.



Sounds to me like you're not eating enough to sustain your level of output. TDEE and Net are, at base, different ways of expressing the same thing - calories out v. calories in. Your body wants fuel to sustain the activity you're asking of it - that's why you're hungry after exercise and eating whatever's in reach. It doesn't sound like you're having issues with massive sugar/additive cravings, just an under-fueled body demanding more than you have given it. I echo the suggestion about checking your protein intake, especially if you are concerned about overall calories - it simply does make you feel fuller for fewer overall cal's than most other food groups, and may help to prevent the binges you are concerned about. I have protein both before and after a workout - most days that stops me from getting too hungry.
  9371113
October 31, 2013 5:56 AM
I'm no longer focused on loosing weight, like I said before I was planning on beginning to bulk up and actually gain weight after a few weeks of maintaining. I'm getting about 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, more then that most days. I tend to average around 130-160 grams of protein per day, which at 135 pounds should be more then sufficient. Protein isn't really my problem. I'm carnivorous by nature and cottage cheese and yogurt happen to also be two of my favorite foods.

That being said, I do need to incorporate more fat into my diet, which according to my dietrician is pretty low.

Also that being said, I'm at a pretty low body fat percentage, and I only dropped down to this level within the past month or so. It's not -really- low, only around 10%. But could that also be a part of it?

@Jackie lou,

I don't really have any idea how much output my expenditure actually is. I wear a fitbit for the walking. But I don't wear it all the time...I only use it to track my 'active' walking, where I'm actually doing it for exercise. It doesn't really get worn for just my day to day activity. So I probably take 20k steps a day on average. That being said the fitbit tells me that for 15000 steps I'm burning about 900 calories (Which I highly doubt is accurate) then I just assume for the running and the biking about 70ish cals a mile.
October 31, 2013 10:00 AM
I'm trying to work this out with one of these TDEE calculators. With the activities that I have stated...would you guys put me at lightly or moderately active?
October 31, 2013 10:03 AM
If you're running or cycling most days and going to the gym four times a week to lift weights, I'd say moderate at least.
  9371113
October 31, 2013 10:10 AM
here is what you do.
just stop.
no more binge eating.
  18764101
October 31, 2013 10:16 AM
Rather than worry about what an online calculator says, why arent' you using your own data? I mean, if you're binging and still maintaining why don't you look at your weekly calorie intake and divide it evenly over the days. Vs having 2000x6 days and 4500 on your binge day why not do 2350 each day instead?
  39653770

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