Weight Loss Support - Anyone else suffer from a binge/starve cylce??

05-09-2012, 08:04 PM
I realized the reason why I've been able to maintain my weight for the last 8 months- and it's not good:

I binge for like two days, and then the following day I'll eat 1000 calories and burn about 700, and then I'll binge again the next day, and then the day after I'll eat very little and go to the gym hard.

I know it's not healthy, but I haven't been able to shake binge eating disorder yet, so "making up for it" the next day is the only thing that keeps me somewhat in control.

Does anyone else suffer with this problem? I mean I guess it's better than binging every single day.

05-09-2012, 08:13 PM
:hug: getting stuck in the binge cycle is how I gained all my weight, but I did this constantly in high school.
If I were you I would relax on your calorie amount and not freak out if your body gains a little while it's getting settled. You're going to gain a little water weight back just because you're eating "normal." the trouble with your current method is that it's a vicious cycle. As long as you starve, you will rebound and binge. I haven't figured out the answer yet but cutting way back on refined carbs helps me avoid the trigger to binge because carbs make you crave more carbs, but fat and protein keep you full longer.
Just my two cents. Hang in there.

Lori Bell
05-09-2012, 08:40 PM
What do you mean by binge? In my humble opinion, if you can maintain your low weight by "binging" every other day, even at 1000 calories on your "on plan" days, then I'd say you are not really binging. A binge is eating 1000's of calories in a very short amount of time, often in private. If your were truly binging everyother day, there is no way you'd be able to maintain 139 pounds even if you were eating 1000 calories a day 3-4 days a week.

I often juggle my calories and have high calorie days and low calorie days. I don't see anything wrong with it.

05-09-2012, 08:48 PM
Some people confuse "munching" with binging. Like LORI BELL says ...

A binge is eating 1000's of calories in a very short amount of time ...

If you are munching all day one day, with a total of 2400 calories; then eat 1000 calories the next day, that equals 3400 calories for two days OR only 1700 calories each day averaged out. That would be the real reason you are maintaining your weight. ;)

05-09-2012, 08:50 PM
I mean binge! Like 5000 calories 3 days in a row

Lori Bell
05-09-2012, 09:18 PM
WOW, so you can eat 5000 calories a day most days a week and sprinkle a few 1000 calorie days in the mix and maintain 139 pounds? That is truly incredible. So what would you say your weekly average caloric intake is?

05-09-2012, 09:21 PM
I'm with Lori on this one.

Calories matter.

05-09-2012, 09:29 PM
Can we remove the sarcasm :/ I was genuinely seeking advice. I clearly stated in my last post "3 days" not "most days of the week." It was a dumb question- forget I posted it, no hard feelings

05-09-2012, 09:32 PM
Some people have a lot of success with calorie cycling, which is essentially what you're doing.

However, it sounds like this makes you unhappy. And I assume you're eating food that has low nutritional value when you binge?

I would start paying attention to the emotions and thought processes before, during and after a binge, and see if you can learn to predict, deflect or control the binge. For example, I find that there is often a point during a binge when eating stops being pleasureable. The salt and sugar starts to hurt my mouth, the back of my throat is all gunked up, and my stomach hurts. I used to keep eating at this point, at least partially to punish myself for eating so much! If I pay attention though, I can now stop myself, have a large glass of water and throw the rest of the food out. I don't feel better immediately, but I know that eating more won't help either:)

There's a book called "Fat is a Feminist Issue" by Susie Orbach that has an interesting take on emotional eating. It's worth a read.

05-09-2012, 09:38 PM
I didn't sense any sarcasm here, OP. I think people are just asking for your eating habits like they would for any other poster on the site so they can get some insight into your problem.

Personally, I am definitely more of a muncher than a binger, but it seems to me that the simple solution is to balance your calories differently. Maybe your body wants 20,000kcal a week (assuming you binge three times for 5k each time and then limit yourself significantly on the other days). Can you try to shift those calories around? Eat 2,800 a day instead. I'm sure whatever your decide to do, your body will have a bit of a reaction–you may see a temporary gain, feel bloated, etc.–but don't be discouraged!

Obviously there are mental aspects at play or you would already be following a more "normal" plan, but I'm sure that there are people here who know where you're coming from!

05-09-2012, 09:51 PM
Well, the above poster is right - no matter what label you put on it, it sounds like it is making you very unhappy. Is that because you feel it is an unhealthy pattern of eating? It sounds like it could lead to a pretty dangerous place if you let it... out of control eating followed by strict over-control of the low calorie days with over-exercising. Aside from examining your thoughts and emotions when in the midst of these cycles, have you thought about consulting with a therapist or counselor? Maybe a trained professional can help you figure out why you feel stuck in this pattern. Those are really the only things that have a chance of getting you out of a bad place... Good luck with everything. (You might also take a look at the Chicks in Control forum.)

05-09-2012, 09:53 PM
Check on Amazon for a book entitled Brain over Binge. It seems that many people have had success with it. It's an unconventional approach.

Good luck!

Lori Bell
05-09-2012, 09:57 PM
I binge for like two days, and then the following day I'll eat 1000 calories and burn about 700, and then I'll binge again the next day, and then the day after I'll eat very little and go to the gym hard.

Can we remove the sarcasm :/ I was genuinely seeking advice. I clearly stated in my last post "3 days" not "most days of the week." It was a dumb question- forget I posted it, no hard feelings

I'm sorry you thought I was being sarcastic. I really wasn't trying to be. :hug: I really am in total amazement, (and a little jealous! ;)) In your first post you said something like you "Binge 2 days, eat low, binge again... repeat this cycle" and then in your next post you said you binge 3 days in a row. From your 2 previous posts it sounded like you are "binging" like most days. Sorry, to offend you. It really is amazing that you have maintained for 8 months eating so many calories. I would have gained 50+ pounds if I would do that. Just goes to show how different we all are.

05-10-2012, 01:21 AM
I reached my lowest weight EVER (138.5) and maintained it for a couple months by doing what you're doing. (In addition, i was also exercising a TON. It was summer and i was unemployed). I was disturbed by what i was doing, but looking back, i don't think it was bad; what was bad was that i felt like it was an endless cycle that was out of my control. I think was eating 3800 calories on high days, and 800 on low days. On low days i'd tell myself "ok just make it through today, then you can eat whatever you want tomorrow morning," and indeed i would do that. I wouldn't necessarily say i was binging, but i was definitely compensating for those low calorie days. But hey it worked. I don't think i could do that now though because i don't have time to exercise all day...i think without that, it wouldnt' have worked.

05-10-2012, 10:56 AM
Binging is not healthy. I assume you're partially eating your feelings and not eating 5000 calories of regular food, and letting guilt push you into compensating for it the next day.

I've had problems with binging where I could barely control my weight (but with less starving). It would creep up on me and I'd get this insane urge that I couldn't ignore to go to the store and buy big packages of chocolate and chips and sh!t, then go home, set up a queue of TV shows, and sit there eating until I felt nauseous. There would be massive guilt and "I'm worthless because I binge eat" thoughts and it was overall really unhealthy. I would eat so much that I'd weigh 5-10 lbs heavier the next day and spend a week trying to get rid of it. I am amazed and lucky that I barely gained weight from these habits.

I can't pinpoint how I stopped - I do think moving across oceans had a big impact. I believe I started wildly overcompensating for being fairly strict with dieting, and that spiraled into emotionally-fueled binges like the above.

If you've been binging regularly for 8 months I'd recommend seeking a support group or reading some websites and blogs from other people with binge eating issues. Also the Chicks in Control subforum.

05-10-2012, 11:27 AM
I had major issues with anorexia and binge eating and was diagnosed with an ED-NOS after suffering with it for almost 15 years!

I went to OA when I was about 22 because I was overeating and it disturbed me. I pretty much stayed within a healthy range because I overate healthy foods (egg whites, onions, cucumbers, brussels sprouts, ANYTHING I had in the house, and I didn't have much because I knew I had a problem) and it helped somewhat.

What really helped was therapy. One on one therapy with an LCSW to talk about issues behind the eating, then I later went to one on one nutritional therapy with an RD/RN who specializes in eating disorders and food plans.

05-10-2012, 11:45 AM
Check on Amazon for a book entitled Brain over Binge. It seems that many people have had success with it. It's an unconventional approach.

Good luck!

I second this!

I used to have problems with Binge eating. I was at my wits end when I read this book, and I'm so glad I did. It's the last book you'll ever need to stop yourself. The author had bulimia and cured herself abruptly and painlessly after years of therapy and other self-help books failed her. The best part about it is she actually had a binge problem unlike the other authors who have only studied them.

She also does not think BED, or bulimia are diseases but normal functions of the brain caused by dieting, and bad habits which can be easily reversed for good, and forever (none of that one day at a time crap) once you understand how eating disorders/habit formations work in the brain. It was a relief alone to read that I was not diseased like the psychological community will have you believe, and that I could quit at any time (something I would have rolled my eyes at before) and I did!

05-10-2012, 11:50 AM
My first thought was, what's wrong with that? People cycle calories all the time. Some people have planned "binge" days, where they pick a day where they are allowed to eat whatever they want. Usually one day a week, on the same day each week, like Sunday. Some people do intermittent fasting as a means of calorie and weight control. I use these methods, myself. If I can plan ahead and reduce calories to prepare for a calorie dense meal or day, I will. I will compensate afterwords too. I like to fast occasionally on my days off, when my calorie requirements are lower. For example, I plan on keeping it really light to make up for yesterday, a high calorie but sedentary day.

But I guess if it upsets you, or if you feel like you're not in control, that's where the problem lies. I like what Couch and Snaggly have to say. You have to find your trigger and figure out how to overcome it. Or maybe it's just a habit now, a way of life. You know you can do it, so you do it.

Altogether, it doesn't sound like it's really physically unhealthy, even if it's emotionally upsetting or if on some psychological level it's unhealthy. At least you have enough control and drive to reduce and control your calories after the fact in order to maintain your weight. At least over the course of a week, you've controlled your calories enough to maintain your weight. I don't know if that's really such a bad thing.

But you asked if anyone else does that. I guess I sort of do. Not regularly, like weekly, but I'm still in the weight loss phase. Who knows what maintenance will bring. I know I have food and control issues. If I didn't, I would have stayed skinny-minnie the last time I lost weight! I can say, I have many times where I feel like I have no control, and I have to compensate for it the next day. Like last night. I thought to myself about what I should eat, and then I ended up over eating anyways. Stupid. I'm going to play calorie catch-up today. But is that really so bad?