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Dr. Lustig, Mark Sisson and Gary Taubes are changing my life.

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Old 03-02-2013, 11:35 PM   #1
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Default Dr. Lustig, Mark Sisson and Gary Taubes are changing my life.

I have been doing intense research over the past couple days. Ever since I realized I have BED I've been looking for a cure. Something to help me overcome this illness. It began with many of the traditional "You're eating because you're sad books". But I wasn't always sad. Was I subconsciously sad? Why was I sad? Nothing I tried worked.

Then I read Brain Over Binge, which gave me a different look at my binges. While it helped me realize they might not be coming purely from a place of emotion I still was having horrendous urges that hit every evening or every other evening. How long were they going to last? On top of that I wasn't eating even close to maintenance. I was hanging on for dear life.

Then came Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint. This is where things too a sharp turn. Maybe my binging isn't caused by emotions and maybe it isn't even a mental illness. Maybe it's purely physical and in direct relation to the food I'm eating?

So I switched to eating primal. Great success! I love it, but I found kicking sugar wasn't as easy as I thought it'd be. What gives? Everything else is fine. When I eat primal I consistently eat, without thinking, enough to lose about a pound a week BUT in a 30 day period I've binged 5 times on sugar.

Then comes Dr. Lustig and Gary Taubes. I'm in the process of absorbing all the information these guys have to offer.

A few months ago I was a struggling Weight Watchers subscriber, eating grains that I had to cover in honey to make palatable and was still binging, even while eating tons of 'filling fiber' and following conventional wisdom. Now, even while I've binged a few times this month, on the days in between I feel amazing. I'm convinced that kicking sugar will be the end of my BED, so long as I stay away from it, and then my weight loss can finally commence.

Maybe I sound a little overenthusiastic but it's taken me a lot of research and heartache to get here, to a place where I feel like there might be hope for me. If there's an inkling of hope I want to share it with everyone else in my situation. I'm tired of hearing that I'll need years of expensive therapy to cure me, or that I'm just weak willed. I don't think that's the case.

Huzzah! I'm feeling alright.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #2
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I agree! They changed my life. For the first time I am eating healthy nourishing foods, not counting calories, losing weight, and have really broke the binge cycle. One thing I do to keep on track is leanring how to be a little bit in the "grey". I allow myself one cheat meal a week (and on occassion one cheat day). But the cheat meal/day isn't a binge meal - its a chance to eat high quality things that aren't really on my plan. I tend to save it for special events or to indulge in fine Italian pastires!

I work with a great nutritionist who has helped me with this. I'm not sure it will let me post the link but google Cate's Nutrition Kitchen (her name is Cate Ritter). There are a lot of great resources there - inspiration, recipes etc. She's in the phoenix area and does do skype consulting if you aren't local (and its affordable). Anyway, I'm just a client - only promoting her because it was such a blessing for me to find her to help me navigate through Mark Sisson and Taubes mentality - has helped a lot. I originally found a nutritionist who told me to stop eating avocados - I immediately said this isn't for me and was so glad to find Cate.

I'm sure you already read it , but I also love Mark Sisson's blog.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:10 PM   #3
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I should add, that it took me a long time to do the research and get to this same place of hope! I'm glad to find another. I should add that I am a PhD student, and a researcher by nature, and I feel convinced I finally found the real scientifically based answers to my issues.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:41 PM   #4
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I know I am way late on this thread but found it after buying Gary Taubes' book. I am only a couple chapters in but agree that this can be the answer I have been looking for! I also binge and have known for years that eating carbs/sugar leads to more eating and never feeling satisfied. I have always had success losing weight when eating low(er) carb and can keep my appetite in check. I can't wait to read the rest of the book and have science to back a lifestyle change that needs to be made! Best wishes with your weightloss journey!
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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I wish that eliminating or reducing carbs would work for me. I just end up feeling deprived, then I go nuts and have to binge. I have never been able to make the paleo/primal thing stick long term. Glad it works for some.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:54 PM   #6
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I used to think that low and reduced carb eating didn't work for me, because I would always inevitably binge and feel deprived and frustrated that I couldn't make the lifestyle stick.

I continue to struggle with "making it stick," but for me, I had to see the addiction-like component.

If I were addicted to heroine, alcohol, or any other substance, trying to quit would lead to feelings of deprivation (not to mention physiological symptoms of withdrawal) and the binges would be especially difficult to control if I indulged in thoughts and feelings of deprivation.

I'm not sure I agree with the lc and paleo authors who argue that the entire human race is addicted to high glycemic carbs, but I definitely am, so I have to treat it that way.

I envy those who can eat high glycemic carbs moderately. I also envy those who can "make the lifestyle stick" without seeing it as deprivation and without bingeing or otherwise falling off the wagon.

I fall hard, and often, but I just keep getting up, because my health and food logs have shown me repeatedly that I feel better and have fewer health issues and lose weight better with less hunger when I do.

I may never be able to do low-carb or paleo without the binges and other detours, or without periodic feelings of deprivation. I'm sure recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, compusive shoppers and gamblers also feel deprived sometimes when the see family, friends, and even strangers "indulging" in the habit(s) they're trying to give up.

What makes carb-addiction (especially the most addictive, sweet/salty/fatty, treat and celebration carbs) more complicated (not necessarily more difficult, but definitely more complicated) is the intense peer and social pressure to indulge.

Even potatoes are a problem food, but no one has badgered me into eating one (and I don't feel particularly deprived when not eating them. Oh, I do miss eating potatoes and other natural starches, but I'm not distressing over their absence in my life.

The "treat carbs" are a different matter. The ones that are worst for me, are the ones I find hardest to resist, and are the ones most likely to be hardest "pushed" by well-meaning friends and family.

I'm very grateful that I've never been drawn to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, sexual addiction... but my food addiction (which is really a high-glycemic carb addiction) has given me insight and compassion for those who have chronic relapse issues whether their drug of choice is sex with strangers, heroine, or Sweet Maui Onion kettle chips.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:25 AM   #7
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I had to try it a bunch of times before I figured out how to make it work for me. But it has really changed my life!

Gary Taubes is my hero!!!

ETA: Kaplods, I didn't see your post... I have the same crappy addiction. And it really helps me to see it as an addiction and treat it like one. One thing that has really changed is that I am not trying to substitute for my old favorites. Finding things that are bread- or muffin- or cookie-like is a terrible idea when you're trying to get over your addiction to bread, muffins, and cookies. I have also realized that I am better off w no grains at all, probably for the same reason.

And Kaplods, have you read Brain Over Binge? I thought it had some really great insights for dealing w food addiction.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post
I had to try it a bunch of times before I figured out how to make it work for me. But it has really changed my life!

Gary Taubes is my hero!!!

ETA: Kaplods, I didn't see your post... I have the same crappy addiction. And it really helps me to see it as an addiction and treat it like one. One thing that has really changed is that I am not trying to substitute for my old favorites. Finding things that are bread- or muffin- or cookie-like is a terrible idea when you're trying to get over your addiction to bread, muffins, and cookies. I have also realized that I am better off w no grains at all, probably for the same reason.

And Kaplods, have you read Brain Over Binge? I thought it had some really great insights for dealing w food addiction.
Ooh, a book I haven't read on the subject - awesome! Thanks. I've found that reading about food and health helps me stay motivated, and nonbingeing.

I've made a lot of progress over the years. What I now call a binge, I used to call a meal - and a small one at that. It's mind-boggling sometimes to think about how often I would eat to the point of severe pain. Now I hare the feeling of eating even just a little too much.

I never would have gotten here though if I still thought that binges to the point of severe pain were normal and inevitable. Foreseeing the possibility of change is the first step.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:00 AM   #9
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I could've written this post myself! For some of us it takes a long time to figure out the HOW and now that I've figured it out it's just a matter of trusting the course I've chosen. For me that means a low-carb, paleo-inspired, calorie-counting, sugar-is-the-devil approach.

Dr. Lustig will change the world.

I don't know Taubes, which book do you suggest and why?

Brain over Binge is enlightening but led to more binging. But I totally get it and helped me figure out your statement below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by thewalrus0 View Post
I'm tired of hearing that I'll need years of expensive therapy to cure me...
Ok, so there are some emotional ties to food, ok so I used food to help cope with emotions/stress etc. I spent a couple of years in therapy finding out all this information. SO WHAT? It didn't cure me. And now I truly believe that I don't need food as a coping mechanism anymore, but I'm left with a multitude of bad habits that need to be fixed. Like, just stepping into my car my mind automatically thinks about going through a drive thru. It's just a habit and I'm focusing on changing the habit, not berating myself for wanting to eat.... after all I did teach myself that habit, I can unteach it right?
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"Binging is a descent into a world where every restriction... is cut loose. At its core is a feeling of deprivation.. a feeling you can never get enough. Binges do not signify a lack of willpower or inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, binges are a urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are the voice of survival. Binges are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad." - Geneen Roth
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:15 AM   #10
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Low carb is the only way for me to lose, along with portion control. I find that the longer I go without carbs, the less I crave them.

Low carb is not the way for everyone. My husband is a big carb eater. Cakes, cookies, salty snacks, big plates of fried potatoes...but he does not eat large meals. Usually leaves food on his plate. He may go up and down 20 lbs or so, but no one would ever say he was overweight. He worked at a heavy labor job all his life, is tall and muscular. Must burn it all off. He can't understand my need to pass on the starchy carbs.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:20 AM   #11
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In my own case, I discovered that my eating was the cause, not the effect of my emotional fragility. Sure I ate when stressed (many rats do too, especially if they've been put through repeated calorie restriction).

I spent DECADES trying to "resolve" the emotional issues (getting therapy and degrees in psychology to figure myself out), only to learn (after reading David Kessler's, The End of Overeating) that when I was off starchy and sugary carbs, I didn't HAVE the emotional instability that I did on sugar.


As an example, I have killer PMS, that crosses into PMDD (almost bipolar). When I'm on the right birth control, and my diet is pristine, the symptoms are mild and manageable. On a carby-diet, I'm in extreme pain and the emotional issues are so bad, hubby used to call me "werewolf" and would joke that it wasn't safe to enter the apartment unless he threw chocolate and burgers through the door and waited to hear munching.

He doesn't call me werewolf anymore and my mental health is no longer something I question. Sugar calms my inner demons (temporarily), but I must always remember that it's also probably sugar that PUT them there, because they fade away to almost nothing when I don't have sugar stirring them into a frenzy).
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:58 PM   #12
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Sugar calms my inner demons (temporarily), but I must always remember that it's also probably sugar that PUT them there, because they fade away to almost nothing when I don't have sugar stirring them into a frenzy).
Kaplods, thanks for this! I just quoted you over in a maintainers' thread. This is it for me, and very well-said indeed.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:26 PM   #13
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Hi! Long time lurker; first post. I couldn't resist the conversation because I so deeply agree with the utility of these authors' works to the science of eating. I think the fact that they state relatively definitively that over-eating is not a pure failure of willpower is so validating.

I also want to point to an additional resource that plays off the ideas posed by this set of authors. This resource is a website - not a book - but I don't want to link it because I believe that violates forum rules. Google "deconditioning diet" and it will be the first result. Here is the gist of the resource: we all have a "pleasure budget." This means that our brain comes to expect a certain amount of pleasure daily, and is very upset when we don't provide it with that pleasure. Food is a simple form of pleasure (as stated on this thread and by other recommend books), and unfortunately when we consume the SAD, hyper palatable foods, or even processed foods there are chemical changes in our body (insulin resistance; "blown-out" dopamine receptors) that distort that pleasure. The "diet" part comes in via behavioral exercises that "re-train" the brain to perceive much pleasure from a moderate, normal amount of food. The aim is to decondition the brain from craving non-nourishing foods.. I like this diet approach bevause takes away feelings of deprivation by reorienting our brain's need for food, and promotes alternative activities that provide alternative, interchangeable pleasure (as detailed in other sections of the website). Along with the other authors mentioned in the thread achieving success in this training is also contingent upon a low-insulin-fluctuation diet (lower in sugar, carbs in general).

Behaviorism and Skinner's experiments (Pavlov's dogs) are the roots of this resource. You can also google limitations of these methodologies to assess flaws in the deconditioning diet. Some may or may not deter you from exploring it further.

I hope this helps!
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:01 PM   #14
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Hi! Long time lurker; first post. I couldn't resist the conversation because I so deeply agree with the utility of these authors' works to the science of eating. I think the fact that they state relatively definitively that over-eating is not a pure failure of willpower is so validating.

I also want to point to an additional resource that plays off the ideas posed by this set of authors. This resource is a website - not a book - but I don't want to link it because I believe that violates forum rules. Google "deconditioning diet" and it will be the first result. Here is the gist of the resource: we all have a "pleasure budget." This means that our brain comes to expect a certain amount of pleasure daily, and is very upset when we don't provide it with that pleasure. Food is a simple form of pleasure (as stated on this thread and by other recommend books), and unfortunately when we consume the SAD, hyper palatable foods, or even processed foods there are chemical changes in our body (insulin resistance; "blown-out" dopamine receptors) that distort that pleasure. The "diet" part comes in via behavioral exercises that "re-train" the brain to perceive much pleasure from a moderate, normal amount of food. The aim is to decondition the brain from craving non-nourishing foods.. I like this diet approach bevause takes away feelings of deprivation by reorienting our brain's need for food, and promotes alternative activities that provide alternative, interchangeable pleasure (as detailed in other sections of the website). Along with the other authors mentioned in the thread achieving success in this training is also contingent upon a low-insulin-fluctuation diet (lower in sugar, carbs in general).

Behaviorism and Skinner's experiments (Pavlov's dogs) are the roots of this resource. You can also google limitations of these methodologies to assess flaws in the deconditioning diet. Some may or may not deter you from exploring it further.

I hope this helps!
Grace
Thanks for the information. I went to the site and read most of it except for the science part which I'll get to later. Below I extracted a few quotes that stood out to me.

"Never reinforce a raging hunger craving by eating when it is most intense, or you will reinforce it!" This kind of makes sense. It's definitely a test of willpower though, isn't this what we're all trying to do with any diet?

Never reinforce a raging hunger craving by eating when it is most intense, or you will reinforce it! Again, I don't disagree, but this is easier said than done!

By eating less frequently and less reactively, you will avoid the short term insulin spikes that create cravings in the first place.
Amen.

Generally I am not at all opposed and I'm happy to look into the program as they are not actually a diet but a way to confront food and cravings. I do believe that food has a physiological effect on us and that often eating is a habit. Am I just not like Pavlov's dogs anyway? As soon as I even THINK about getting into my car I automatically think about which drive thru I want to visit. That doesn't make me a lazy fat person, it makes me very well trained to respond to that stimulus. I know I should be addressing the behavior at the root of it (getting into my car). I'm not getting into my car because I want to eat, I want to eat because I'm getting into my car. It's wrong, any suggestions on how to change that without feeling like I'm fighting my willpower every time?

And here's a question, is he being serious when suggesting to drink oil as a snack?
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"Binging is a descent into a world where every restriction... is cut loose. At its core is a feeling of deprivation.. a feeling you can never get enough. Binges do not signify a lack of willpower or inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, binges are a urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are the voice of survival. Binges are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad." - Geneen Roth

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Old 07-30-2013, 08:35 PM   #15
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This is so refreshing to see others who have come to the same conclusions as I have. I have spent the last few years doing so much research on this. I basically ended up with a paleo or primal mindset. I'm still working on what works for me though... but am mostly there now. I don't eat completely paleo right now. Last october I cut out wheat and most gluten entirely. That's when most of the binges went away, and my anxiety lessened a bit. I started getting out of the house and doing more, too.

I guess I naturally cut out a lot of sugar when I cut out wheat, too. These days, I don't have much sugar but when I do, I get those horrible and intense cravings again. I do allow myself "cheat" meals or days, but within a Weight Watchers template. I don't ever have wheat as a part of my cheats. I know if I had that again, I would be over the edge. I had been having things like gluten free pizza ordered, or rice pasta and gluten free brownies for cheats...but am realising that these are still pretty dangerous binge foods for me. They don't have as bad of an effect as wheat versions (I do eventually get full, don't usually purge, don't have physical and emotional side effects...) but....I still notice the whole binge mentality coming on, with those foods.

I've started to create some very delicious treat meals that don't cause binges but taste almost exactly the same as those old foods! And I lose weight while eating them. I have taco plates (pretty much all the taco stuff on a bed of lettuce, sans the shell - I guess it's a taco salad,lol. And I do NOT skimp on the beef or cheese!) or pizza bowls (all the delicious toppings of pizza and sauce and cheese, but in a bowl! No crust) and they are just as filling and rewarding.
I think a huge part is also healthy fats. If you cut those out, you'll feel starving all time. Everyone has to find their perfect amount of healthy fats. I find even if I have a spoon of coconut oil, I feel more calm and satisfied and don't want to pig out on carbs.

I was only able to stop wheat by going through a really crazy intense few days/week of terrible agony!! The first few days were the worst. The cravings were sooooo horrible and strong. Yes, I stopped IN THE MIDDLE of a huge craving, without giving in. It was probably, umm.... the hardest thing I've ever done! Seriously. :O

So, my next goal is to make sure I keep my sugar intake down.
I had been in an eating disorders clinic but have realised that their methods did not work in the slightest. Do I have emotional issues? Yes. Do most other people? Yes. I've never really felt as though it was some inner sadness that caused binging. It was a horrible physical craving. A craving that only started once I had certain foods in the first place! And from then on it's a cycle. Because those foods affect me emotionally/mentally, and those emotional feelings cause more binges. When I cut back on those problem foods for me, I feel just fine! So what, my inner turmoil vanishes? Ooops. Guess it was the food. I mean I get sad and everything, but I don't turn to foods to comfort those feelings unless I have those cravings in the first place.

I also don't agree with the clinic on how I should eat. They say it's not right to cut out entire foods groups. Oh, but if you want to cut out meat or dairy then that's fine, even if for personal reasons like you like animals. But if you want to cut out certain food groups for actual health reasons, then NO! omg that's BAD!! Grr.
Also, I don't think I can "train" myself to enjoy a slice or two of wheat pizza or sugary breakfast cereal and then stop, and regulate my mood (which is what they usually want you to do). I truly believe my mood is affected BY those foods, and the cravings come FROM those foods. But they believe cutting them out causes you to label them as BAD foods and feel this sense of lack and deprivation that is unhealthy. I disagree. Quitting drugs is hard too, and you WILL feel a sense of lack and deprivation. But that doesn't mean you can "train" yourself to have bits of those things in moderation! Ridiculous!

Anyway, I should stop rambling now. I really hope I have made some semblance of sense here. O.o
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