Overeaters Anonymous - Anyone using fasting to get "unstuck?"

07-02-2009, 07:15 PM
Hello, everyone! This is my first post. I joined a week or so ago and have been reading through all the posts, as best as I can. I didn't see one on this topic, so I'm starting one. I was wondering if any of you have tried fasting for a few days when totally in the throws of a binge-fest, to snap yourself out of it? I have; sometimes it's just something like making skim milk shakes with frozen fruit and flavored extracts and sweetners. It helps to tame the beast. What do you all think? What have you experienced in this area?

New Kid on the Block


07-02-2009, 07:28 PM
I wouldn't. It doesn't take a big painful (unhealthy) gesture to start getting your weight under control.

Please read this thread - http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=175767 It's got a link to an article from today about the craziness of fasting diets.

07-02-2009, 08:30 PM
... I was wondering if any of you have tried fasting for a few days when totally in the throws of a binge-fest, to snap yourself out of it?...

While I won't fast for a few days, what I have felt to do in the past, after a binge-fest (when I would feel so bloated & lethargic), I would have water - to help flush the excess salt away, until I would feel hungry again - could be until 3-6pm the next day. Then get back into eating healthy foods again.

07-03-2009, 02:12 PM
Thank you for those who responded, and to the lady who wrote me a PM. (I tried to PM you back, but I need 10 posts before I can do that, per the rules.)

I don't in any way suggest that someone fast to drop pounds. That is never the right thing to do. But, I have found that when I just can't seem to get started, and I have been binging on drivethrough and delivery foods for weeks or longer, I have to do something to break the cycle. It's not enough for me sometimes to just decide to start eating healthy foods.

At those times, I almost do feel like I'm possessed and out of control. I'm certain that many of you have or are still feeling that way, from what I'm reading in the posts. Once I decided to go a few days drinking what was allowed on the post-op diet following weight loss surgery. I was a hairsbreath away from having surgery just about a year and a half ago, and the only thing that stopped me was seeing how much discipline was still going to be required to carry off the weight loss for the rest of my life. Suddenly, it was as if the light was turned on and I saw that surgery was not the answer.

Sometimes after I break away from the things that have been ensnaring me for so long (easy, cheesy, fattening, starchy, carb-laden, right-to-your-door foods), I can then begin to make smarter food choices. Then, even a salad seems like a treat!

I think we need to find what works for each of us, and for us to know ourselves intimately. No one thing or way works for any one group of people. That's why there are so many darn diets on the market, and so many magazines flying off the shelves, if they mention the word "diet" on the cover.

As far as what to eat when the exercise in controling our lust for food is over for those initial few days, I find that following a healthy eating plan like the Biggest Loser Diet works for me. It's not too low in calories and it's full of nutriton and variety. And once my taste buds have been "purged" of all the super-saturated flavors of the old, impulsive foods I was consuming, the low fat and high glycemic index carbs are more than enough to satisfy.

If you don't agree, that's okay. But we're all different and I just put this post on this site to see what others who have had success with this method of "breaking the spell" of compulsive eating, had to say.

((Again, if anyone PM's me, I can't reply in a PM because this is only my second post. IMHO, I think the rule should be changed, to allow a reply to someone who PM's a person who has not met the required number of posts.))

Peace and God bless you all


07-03-2009, 04:19 PM
My concern for you in doing this is that it appears to be more extreme behavior - the antithesis of binging out of control. I think to be successful long term, you need to learn that it's OKAY and NECESSARY to live in the middle of the spectrum. Black and white thinking, all or nothing thinking, eating everything in sight or eating nothing at all thinking are all part and parcel of the same problem - an unhealthy relationship with food.

Why does it need to be a drastic step away from the way you ate before? It doesn't need to start with a grand gesture shunning food. It can start with your next meal being a balanced and healthy one. It can start with deciding that you will not eat compulsively the next time you are compelled to, hard as that may be. This is not about perfection. It can't be, because if it is, you'll fail for sure. It's about making more good decisions than harmful ones. And it's about finding a different way to get your needs met than turning to food when it's not about hunger.

I just wanted you to know I totally understand where you are coming from, I've been there. But fasting to start isn't the magic answer to the problem.

Good luck to you! I sincerely wish the best for you!

07-03-2009, 08:58 PM
This is absolutely the right thing to do IMO, I am a definite binge eater, and the fasting not only resensitizes your body to your insulin, but it curbs hunger and allows your digestive system to rest.

I am a Christian so fasting is a part of my lifestyle. The last time I lost weight and looked great was with a style called alternate day fasting. I would drink water, with applecider vinegar and honey on the fast days and I would eat regularly (meaning healthy food) the next.

I am currently using Fast-5 and I feel terrific. Fasting is like a RESET button for me, and maybe it is for you too. Do you want to be a buddy? I really like fast 5. When I started 2 weeks ago the scale read out 189. This morning it said 181. My pooch area on my tummy is shrinking like crazy as well as my butt. 2 places I definitely need to lose from.

today I even went to 6 pm--no food just lemon water. running around doing errands with MORE ENERGY than I normally have and I am on that TOM>

07-04-2009, 10:17 PM
I was beginning to think I was nuts and completely politically incorrect. Actually, I wouldn't want to fast on that much of a regular basis. I, too am a Christian, but I believe I suffer from hypoglycemia. If I go most of the day without taking in some kind of calories, I actually have loss of peripheral vision! Everything gets all "swimmy" and it is a very bad thing. But, for an initial show of strength over the flesh and for purposes of prayer and worship, I'm all for it. As far as using fasting for weight loss purposes, it can really backfire on you. I watch "The Biggest Loser" all the time and have read their books and I'm convinced that your body will really rebel against not being fed. Your metabolism will throw on the brakes and even if you are really working out hard, the results will not show as well as they would have if calories were consumed every four hours throughout the day.

07-05-2009, 08:19 AM
I tried this for a while, but it neverhelped. It did, for a few days, and then inevitably made me binge. But that`s just me.

07-05-2009, 02:18 PM
CherylB, I am one of the ones who PM you. Bottom line girl, do what works for you! That has been the key to my weight loss. I have taken a little bit from each plan I have been on and made it work for me....... as well as the exercise that I do. It works for ME! If you feel a shake fast or whatever is safe and effective for you GO FOR IT. At the end of the day.......it is your life and you know what works. Good luck!

07-06-2009, 12:57 PM
I've tried it in the recent past and it did help curb the cravings, and I felt full eating less.

07-09-2009, 11:30 AM
To break a stall, I did the Fast-5 for three weeks, found it tolerable and lost 5 pounds. I liked it enough that yesterday I began Eat Stop Eat. I was unsure how I would react to 24 hours without food.

Well, it was not a problem - I had only water, hot tea and one diet soda. I did get hungry around the 20 hour mark - that's when I broke open the Diet Rite soda. I got busy with something on the computer at my 6PM eating time and ended up not eating until 7PM. I eat LC so had a big hamburger with several slices of real cheese, two tomatoes & real mayo. Also 1/2 a cucumber. I was quite full and felt fine.

It is convenient not to have to worry and plan all those meals! We'll see how this works for me.

07-09-2009, 12:12 PM
Well, I have been doing the fast 5 for 3 weeks now. I am 10 lbs down. So I have to say it works for me. My clothes are loose.

east--I am like you. The less time I spend thinking about food the happier I am.

07-10-2009, 10:25 AM
Jendiet: 10 pounds is great!! My biggest problem with Fast-5 was that I could not seem to eat enough in my 5 hours to keep me going the other 19.
I eat LC, which keeps my hunger very low.

That's why I changed to the IF recommended by Dr. Eades and I just started it this week. It is 24 hr fasting, 24 hr eating. In 24 hours of eating, I am able to get enough food in me to still feel good during the 24hr fast.

We'll see how I feel after another week. :hungry:

07-28-2009, 01:15 PM
I too feel that after binging it does me right to fast for a day or so. Nothing long term, but to get ahold of the head hunder and the cravings. It works for me.. After a couple of days I begin to recognize (again) the real signs of physical hunger and it becomes easier to not fall prey to head hunger, eating for boredom or cravings. I did EatStopEat for several months with really great results. IF really is the best way for humans to eat, we were built for it and our bodies were not built for 3 square meals a day and especially not 6 small meals a day. I too am just combining a bunch of methods that work for me. The past week, cravings have become ridiculous and starting now, I am one a veggie fast. Raw veggies, water, and vitamins for 4 days. It really helps with my sweet cravings.

07-29-2009, 11:53 AM
Hi, everyone. I have been off the site for a while and lost track of the posts on this thread, but now I'm back up to date. In fact, I'm doing my version of a fast right now. Like I said previously, I have gotten hypoglycemic in my "old age" and can't go all day without calories. So, now when I fast, I make a shake and drink it for the first couple meals of the day, then later in the day, when it's the time I really like to eat, I eat something sensible for dinner and then before I go to bed. As for the shake, what I do is take a blender, pour .75 Liters of non-fat milk, one whole egg, fresh or frozen fruit, 2 packets of splenda, 2 heaping tablespoons of benefiber and a few ice cubes (unless the fruit is frozen; then I skip the ice.) I blend it all up and I get 4 glasses of shake out of that, so it lasts me two days. I really enjoy the taste, but you can also add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It's frothy and satisfying. I take a multivitamin on these days and I feel great.

I really feel I detox well when I'm doing this. I think it's a great break for my liver, after binging on extremely high fat foods for long periods of time, as I do when I'm out of control. After this, I will begin to eat small portions of healthy foods throughout the day, and continue to drink lots of water. I find this fast empowering and cleansing, and it is a way to wipe the slate clean and begin anew. Thanks, all of you who have written and who will write in the future. I enjoy learning and growing with you!

Peace and Love,

Cheryl :grouphug:

08-01-2009, 02:00 PM
Cheryl, wow that shake sounds healthy! I lost track of this thread. I have trouble finding some threads lol.

08-02-2009, 02:08 PM
It really is! It has everything a body needs; easily digestible proteins, good carbs, fiber, some fat, and lots of flavor and good'ol yummy satisfaction. I forgot to say that sometimes I also add flavored extracts, like vanilla, or almond, etc. There's plenty of ways you can vary it, and it is so easy to make and takes only a few minutes. I suppose you could even use cocoa powder and make it chocolate! I hope some of you will try it. I do take a good multivitamin when I do this half-day fast, just to make sure I'm not missing anything.

08-04-2009, 07:19 AM
I binged last night. Badly.
This morning (and I've been awake for already 8 hours now) I had just a large cup of very healthy green tea (with no sugar). I feel ok, not hungry, even still full from last night.

I'm already very proud of myself because FIRST, I didn't let the binge take too many meals (I used to binge for a whole day, or if I started at night, I used to binge also the day after)... SECOND, I started the morning very well, I don't feel miserable or too guilty (even if I know I did wrong).

Now I'm just wondering what kind of "plan" I should have for today.
I don't know if to keep on fasting with green tea, or try to eat "normally healthy", dieting like usual and nothing happened.

I also haven't weighed myself yet. I know there will be an higher number. On one hand, I'd like to avoid the scale for a couple of days, because I fear that if I SEE that higher number I could freak out and binge again. On the other hand, I would like to test myself and see if I can handle that situation... because well, OF COURSE I DO KNOW that higher number is just temporary, and logical, naturally and somehow "fake"... why should I freak out?
I feel that for a complete recovery from BED, I should accept my binges and their consequences... and then working "happily" on them.

What do you think? what do you recommend? Fasting or normal dieting?

08-04-2009, 01:01 PM
If you have an eating disorder, I think it's best to just get back on track. Fasting just smacks of punishment or purging. You're already way ahead of the game because you broke your usual pattern of continuing the binge. Go for it!

08-04-2009, 01:46 PM
I had a terrible weekend. Binged like crazy on Saturday and eat a lot Sunday morning while I was still camping with friends...
I just can’t ignore all that delicious food...
For over a month I have been doing the ESE (Eat Stop Eat) diet and it works great for me...
Besides that I try to fast after my binges, so it makes me feel a bit better. It kind shows I am in control again...
Besides, make up for all the thousand calories I just eat.
To me it is more than just fast, it is also piece of mind...
I admit it is like punishing me for my bad behave...
But it works for me... It shows me the consequences of a binge and make me think twice before binging again...
I think that as long as work for you and as long as you try to keep it healthy it is well worth.

08-07-2009, 11:51 PM
I like fasting. I do the fast- 5 plan. I thought it would be a lot harder than it actually is. When I do eat, it's a lot less than I normally would and I think about food so infrequently. I finally feel free.

When I eat the traditional 3 squares meals a day, all I think about is when my next 'fix' is going to come.

I think you just have to do what works for you.