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Anyone manage to quit dieting with positive results?

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Old 04-26-2013, 07:53 AM   #241
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Tracking included using the hunger/fullness scale. What I found interesting is that my fullness feelings cannot be described as "satisfied" or "very satisfied" or "full" etc. The feelings are more complex than that. So writing down what I felt after eating made me become more aware of what satiety meant to ME as an individual. For me, I can get from extreme hunger to feeling very sick after drinking coffee to ease my hunger. Hunger on the other hand was quite easy - hunger pangs, getting hungry and so on.
magical - Thanks for sharing this. And I completely agree that determining fullness feelings is quite complex and vary from person to person. That's why I have a problem with arbitrary hunger/fullness "scales." It's where listening to your own body becomes crucial in this process. And frankly I think that scares a lot of people. They don't trust themselves to listen to their own hunger cues and would rather depend on an outside source (read: diet) to tell them when to eat.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:57 AM   #242
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magical - I love the idea of going through different stages. I think that is part of the problem for me. I want to be "normal" in a second and not have food issues anymore. Also I feel that I need to be able to handle having ALL types of junk foods in the house in order to be a intuitive eater. I really have to say that I donīt think the word intuitive works for me. My intuition is to diet and THEN change some things, but I also learned that this does not work.

So I guess thinking about it as a learning process and incorporating my own "guidelines" that work and make me have a more relaxed relationship with food and the losing weight process is key.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:14 AM   #243
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And I completely agree that determining fullness feelings is quite complex
It is hard at first. And my first bout with IE two years ago led me to drastically undereat because when they would say "eat only until satisfaction/hunger goes away" well the actual feeling of having an empty stomach goes away quite fast, but that is NOT fullness. It takes me at least several more bites beyond that to reach fullness. And my level of fullness is not uncomfortable. I don't have to unbutton my pants (that would be beyond stuffed for me) and I don't feel bloated or weighed down. Food just starts to not taste so ravishing anymore, my tummy is comfortable, so I stop.

When I first started IE and read Diets Don't Work by Bob Schwartz, I got terrified that every tiny little overeat by one measly bite would cause me to store fat so I avoided real fullness like the plague. I dropped way too much weight and ended up bingeing for it.

I think a lot of people who are overweight plow through fullness and enter into stuffed territory, but for them that IS comfortable whereas for a naturally thin person that area feels more like Thanksgiving stuffed and they steer clear.

The thing is, no one needs to drastically change their diet to lose weight or to stop eating their favorite foods, or cut out food groups or even exercise, they just need to learn to stop eating just because it's there and to appreciate a lighter level of fullness. JMO. Easier said than done, I know.

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Old 04-26-2013, 01:43 PM   #244
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I think a lot of people who are overweight plow through fullness and enter into stuffed territory, but for them that IS comfortable whereas for a naturally thin person that area feels more like Thanksgiving stuffed and they steer clear.
This reminded me of something I just saw someone talk about, and I thought it was really interesting. (I believe it was one of the Josie Spinardi videos, but I'm not sure). Anyway, she was talking about Thanksgiving dinner & how interesting it was that even people who generally don't overeat sometimes find themselves stuffing their faces at holiday dinners, esp. Thanksgiving. Her theory is that these big, out of the ordinary meals set up the mindset of deprivation...here's a lot of really delicious food that we normally don't have at everyday meals, hence, let's eat until we pop because we only see this once or twice a year...and that's why almost everyone overeats at holiday meals. It makes a lot of sense, actually.

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The thing is, no one needs to drastically change their diet to lose weight or to stop eating their favorite foods, or cut out food groups or even exercise, they just need to learn to stop eating just because it's there and to appreciate a lighter level of fullness. JMO. Easier said than done, I know.
I'm finding it easier each day to determine my own level of satiety. If I were to have to define and describe it to anyone, I'd find it impossible to do. That's probably not super-encouraging to people reading this who'd like to move toward non-dieting, but it really does take some time to understand what your body is trying to tell you. It's far from an exact science, that's for sure.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:16 PM   #245
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I actually find it hard to describe satiety to myself, let alone to others. What I've been writing down are things like "tummy expanded, full feeling, belt tight" "feeling sick but still hungry?" and "okay-ish only, can still eat more" and I've noticed that when I have the full feeling, I don't need to eat for another 8 hours or so but if I'm only okay-ish, I get hungry sooner. Which of course, makes sense and I'm self-regulating that way.

Xena2013, I agree with SouthernMaven that it is very difficult to get out of the diet mentality. Someone asked in this thread previously whether intuitive eating would work for an obese or very overweight person.

IMO, I think we need to distinguish between the following:

1. Eating disorder vs. overeating; and
2. Non-restricting vs. intuitive eating.

To me, non-restricting is eating what you want to when you want to while intuitive eating is eating only when you are hungry.

I believe that non-restricting can cure a person from an eating disorder (whether the bingeing is part of a bulimia cycle or the disorder itself), while intuitive eating can help with overeating.

When a person does not have an eating disorder, it becomes easier to control the appetite. The problem I see is that many dieters binge.

An obese individual who becomes obese due to (or mainly due to) bingeing must cure him/herself of the eating disorder first. This is where non-restricting comes in.

On the other hand, an obese individual who becomes obese due to overeating (or remains obese after curing him/herself of the eating disorder) needs to learn how to eat only when he/she is hungry. This is where intuitive eating comes in. Someone on this thread also said previously that she was "hungry all the time". Certainly, learning about "hunger" and "satiety" is not an easy thing to do, as we have discussed.

To me, a good way to learn about your body is to identify the patterns of physical feelings for food. Write the feelings down if necessary (I'm anal that way - if I want to learn something, I have to write them down) and try experimenting. For example, the always hungry feeling could be a desire for water rather than for food and the experiment could be about examining the hunger feeling again after consuming water but not food.

ETA: Just to add, after getting to the stage of eating only when hungry, the individual can then turn his/her attention to eating healthier foods. I think we all know thin people who eat only junk food all the time? They would be the people that eat when hungry only but their actual food consumption is crap.

Last edited by magical : 04-26-2013 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:41 PM   #246
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IMO, I think we need to distinguish between the following:

1. Eating disorder vs. overeating; and
2. Non-restricting vs. intuitive eating.

To me, non-restricting is eating what you want to when you want to while intuitive eating is eating only when you are hungry.

I believe that non-restricting can cure a person from an eating disorder (whether the bingeing is part of a bulimia cycle or the disorder itself), while intuitive eating can help with overeating.

When a person does not have an eating disorder, it becomes easier to control the appetite. The problem I see is that many dieters binge.

An obese individual who becomes obese due to (or mainly due to) bingeing must cure him/herself of the eating disorder first. This is where non-restricting comes in.

On the other hand, an obese individual who becomes obese due to overeating (or remains obese after curing him/herself of the eating disorder) needs to learn how to eat only when he/she is hungry. This is where intuitive eating comes in. Someone on this thread also said previously that she was "hungry all the time". Certainly, learning about "hunger" and "satiety" is not an easy thing to do, as we have discussed.
What a great post, magical!

I love the way you broke it down, and it makes perfect sense to me. I definitely fall into the overeater category, and I suppose that's why intuitive eating seems to be working well for me. I don't restrict in the sense that I allow myself to eat whatever I want, but not whenever I want.
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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:23 PM   #247
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I actually find it hard to describe satiety to myself, let alone to others. What I've been writing down are things like "tummy expanded, full feeling, belt tight" "feeling sick but still hungry?" and "okay-ish only, can still eat more" and I've noticed that when I have the full feeling, I don't need to eat for another 8 hours or so but if I'm only okay-ish, I get hungry sooner. Which of course, makes sense and I'm self-regulating that way.

Xena2013, I agree with SouthernMaven that it is very difficult to get out of the diet mentality. Someone asked in this thread previously whether intuitive eating would work for an obese or very overweight person.

IMO, I think we need to distinguish between the following:

1. Eating disorder vs. overeating; and
2. Non-restricting vs. intuitive eating.

To me, non-restricting is eating what you want to when you want to while intuitive eating is eating only when you are hungry.

I believe that non-restricting can cure a person from an eating disorder (whether the bingeing is part of a bulimia cycle or the disorder itself), while intuitive eating can help with overeating.

When a person does not have an eating disorder, it becomes easier to control the appetite. The problem I see is that many dieters binge.

An obese individual who becomes obese due to (or mainly due to) bingeing must cure him/herself of the eating disorder first. This is where non-restricting comes in.

On the other hand, an obese individual who becomes obese due to overeating (or remains obese after curing him/herself of the eating disorder) needs to learn how to eat only when he/she is hungry. This is where intuitive eating comes in. Someone on this thread also said previously that she was "hungry all the time". Certainly, learning about "hunger" and "satiety" is not an easy thing to do, as we have discussed.

To me, a good way to learn about your body is to identify the patterns of physical feelings for food. Write the feelings down if necessary (I'm anal that way - if I want to learn something, I have to write them down) and try experimenting. For example, the always hungry feeling could be a desire for water rather than for food and the experiment could be about examining the hunger feeling again after consuming water but not food.

ETA: Just to add, after getting to the stage of eating only when hungry, the individual can then turn his/her attention to eating healthier foods. I think we all know thin people who eat only junk food all the time? They would be the people that eat when hungry only but their actual food consumption is crap.

Southernmavin beat me too it but I just wanted to also say how brilliant this post is. Because i clearly have an eating disorder first and foremost, I usually talk in my posts as "not restricting" or "trying not to restrict" as opposed to saying intuitive eating. I may have used the former a couple times only because the terms are being used a bit interchangingly on this thread. Also, the title of this thread "quit dieting" doesn't neccessarily mean adopting "intuitive eating". It really means just not being restrictive and eating what you want when you want, not neccessarily only when hungry.

I am so happy you have made this distinction becasue some people like you said are overweight due to just mindless eating, but really don't have an eating disorder (southermavin is one of these). Obviously I don't know for sure, but I would guess that others on this thread have an actual eating disorder which is why they are overweight. I think society is f---ked in a way in regards to eating disorders because they seem to only recognize people that are underweight or normal weight as having eating disorders; and the people who are overweight with eating disorders are encouraged to lose weight as if that is the cure. If you look at treatment recommended for someone with anorexia or bulimia, the number one thing recommended by all experts is to stop dieting/restricting immediately. Somehow this message is lost when dealing with someone overweight with an eating disorder.

I have no doubt either that not restricting has helped me tremendously this last month to get the bingeing under control. However it really meant not restricting and not really intuitive eating. Sure I would eat when I was hungry, but there were plenty of instances where I indulged on something purely out of desire/pleasure that would not have been accepted as intuitive eating. Had I made myself wait until I was hungry I would have felt restricted and binged. Therefore had I followed "intuitive eating" exactly it would have contributed to bingeing on some occasions.

This is why I truly believe that actively trying to lose weight while having an eating disorder is like wanting to continue smoking while being treated for lung cancer. It just doesn't make sense and the only reason why society seems to allow this and encourage this is due to society's negative opinion on "being fat".

I just read a book called "what are you hungry for" by chelsea obrien. It seems very pro intuitive eating in the beginning as the girl battled pretty much every kind of eating disorder and weight extremes for years. She embraced intuitive eating (and still does) in the beginning and did notice that once she allowed herself to eat all the cake and ice cream she wanted that she didn't want to binge on it anymore. she lost some weight, but her weight still settled at "overweight". She then tried to listen to her body and eat things that made her body feel good like healthy food. And she then had to try to find balance between what she felt her body wanted (healthy food) and what her mind wanted (sometimes not so healthy food) and she would try to rate how much one part wanted what and would base her decisions on that. Towards the end of the book, it's almost like she had a bit of a breakdown mid writing and pretty well admitted she felt like a bit of a fraud (not in those words) and that although she still believes in all the previous things she said, she still binges from time to time but views it as a speedbump and an opportunity to look into what else is going on in her life. She said she has come to the conclusion that she will always be able to use food to fill an emotional void or something along those lines and then goes into some strategies on how to stop eating when you know you're full but you simply want to keep eating like how you could destroy the food by putting lots of salt on it. I thought the book did a bit of an about face. Like the author was kind of kidding herself in the beginning when she started writing it, and then was more honest in the end. But overall she does believe in the principles discussed but also acknowledges that it isn't just a be all end all.

I was happy and relieved to read this because while things are going great for me, I still get the urge every once in a while, usually between the time I eat dinner and the time I go to bed. They haven't been too tough to resist now that I have not been restricting, but they have been extremely disturbing only because I am expecting the urges to just not be there anymore. Also the idea that the urges will vanish seems to contradict what most eating disorder specialists will say in that there will always be an urge no matter how faint, and that someone with and eating disorder will have to deal with it for life even though the symptoms are no longer present. I heard of someone online who relapsed into bulimia after 7 years of being binge and purge free. For me my urges to binge are not because I am hungry, not because there is something I won't allow myself to have, but simply because I would enjoy the "rush", the "zoning out", and that it simply feels like fun after a long and stressful day. Without restricting, the urges are not difficult for me to abstain from. So if this is what recovery looks like for me I'll take it. I don't mind having some urges if I can function in my life and not act on most urges. I would say to others who are wanting to recover from an eating disorder not to get down on yourself because you have an urge from time to time. I was feeling quite bad about this but I'm not going to anymore. I would also say intuitive eating is a great healthy non obsessive way to approach eating in recovery but that it would probably have to follow a period of being completely non restrictive where you would be able eat someting you wanted even when not hungry. Also I would say that if you still have urges not to freak out like you are doing something wrong, and that doing things like going for a walk, surfing the internet, and other distractive things can still be of benefit to avoid acting on those urges. The urges will likely be alot less of a threat and comparatively easy to handle when not restricting.

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Old 04-27-2013, 06:15 AM   #248
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The thing is, no one needs to drastically change their diet to lose weight or to stop eating their favorite foods, or cut out food groups or even exercise, they just need to learn to stop eating just because it's there and to appreciate a lighter level of fullness. JMO. Easier said than done, I know.
I disagree. I think what we eat plays an important role in how and why we eat. Let say I decide to have a grilled chicken sandwich and a diet coke from McDonalds. It's a "reasonable" meal (not fried, no sugar in the drink) compared to other things I could have chosen on the menu and it still fits inside my caloric boundaries. However, this meal sets me up to crave more food later on, it provides little nutrition, too much salt and laced with preservatives. Even if it kept me full for a long time, it still sets off a pattern of behaviors that will (proven!) lead me to eat something possibly even unhealthier later.

For those of us with disordered eating it's the most important thing to eat clean. It's the only way that we can stop reacting physiologically to the crap food we're used to eating.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:22 AM   #249
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SouthernMaven, I'm where you are at now and focusing on eating better types of food. That's why it's working for me too. I don't think IE would have worked if I did not go through my totally non-restrictive stage to get rid of the bingeing urges.

Veggiedaze, oh boy, I know exactly what you mean. My main problem was ED rather than overeating. You were spot on when you mentioned that obese individuals (especially those bingeing) were expected to just go on a diet as if that was the cure for their obesity instead of being treated the way anorexia and bulimic individuals do.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:39 AM   #250
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For those of us with disordered eating it's the most important thing to eat clean. It's the only way that we can stop reacting physiologically to the crap food we're used to eating.
Your statement offers another view on how ED sufferers can be cured (or placed in permanent remission, as such). If you don't mind me asking, what kind of an eating disorder did you have? How did you cure your disorder and move from "crap eating" to "clean eating"? Do you think you can eat clean for the rest of your life and not be tempted by the junk food? Or would you get urges and if so, how would you control these urges?
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:47 AM   #251
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Your statement offers another view on how ED sufferers can be cured (or placed in permanent remission, as such). If you don't mind me asking, what kind of an eating disorder did you have? How did you cure your disorder and move from "crap eating" to "clean eating"? Do you think you can eat clean for the rest of your life and not be tempted by the junk food? Or would you get urges and if so, how would you control these urges?
I've suffered with disordered eating most of my life. For a long time I was a binge eater and a compulsive over eater. I never purged. There was a time in my life when I ate to suppress my emotions. Since then I've learned to work through those emotions and gain an understanding of my eating. But there came a point when there was no excuse anymore for "emotional eating." It was true at one point but it is no longer true. My disordered eating took on the form of reacting to triggers and dealing with my bad habits. I strongly believe that what we eat has an effect on us. Easy to prove - when I eat wheat I'm hungry all day long. When I don't eat wheat I feel normal and happy and able to control myself. Same goes for artificial sweeteners, sugar, highly processed foods, and junk food.

I don't think there is a cure for disordered eating. But you can pinpoint your behaviors, and the triggers that bring them on. Only by abstaining from certain foods do I feel it's possible that I can get better. It's an uphill battle for sure - when you're used to eating burger king 3x/week for 20yrs it's a hard habit to break, especially when it provides a sense of normalcy and satiety. But the more you eat clean foods the easier it becomes, like any addiction to food.

I am not cured, I'm not an expert, I just know that my mind and body feel better when I don't indulge myself in all the things I want. My intuition is to go through a drive thru, always has been, that's my true self. I have to go against my intuition, IE is a pipe dream for me.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:31 AM   #252
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SouthernMaven I saw your post yesterday about new members and wanted to reply, but my phone didnīt have a good signal. I agree!!! I know this from myself. I am here for at least the third time. The only time I was kinda slim AND not on a diet at the same time was when my therapist worked with me on my BED.

I in fact told my real life "diet buddy" with whom I just "started over" that I need to bail on this new diet thing and want to just stop dieting. She was very shocked and said that we need a "plan" and then I would gain weight and that would be so horrible for me. The fact is, that we try to lose weight for 5 years together and have both only put on the pounds.

magical I loved your explanation!!! It really is true, there are different people out there and intuitive eating isntīt for everyone. I think I do better with some flexible guidelines instead of listening to my body. But at the same time it doesnīt mean I am dieting, I am just trying to get into a habit of eating good food, enjoy some junk food/sweets from time to time and get out of this binge-eat-repeat cycle.

Wannabeskinny that is an interesting view and I think I am a little different. The "Clean Eating" thing was the worst diet ever for me. Everything that was not defined as "clean" made me feel bad and sent me into a binge that lasted a couple days. I feel better now where I am allowed to have everything I want. Nothing is off limits, but it is very unlikely that I want to eat crap all the time. So knowing I can have a big salad and a cupcake is way better.

I agree though that starting the day with donuts, then some fries and hot pockets for dinner arenīt really nourishing and give me cravings. But a regular Sandwich and a diet coke donīt do that.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:27 AM   #253
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SouthernMaven I saw your post yesterday about new members and wanted to reply, but my phone didnīt have a good signal. I agree!!! I know this from myself. I am here for at least the third time. The only time I was kinda slim AND not on a diet at the same time was when my therapist worked with me on my BED.

I in fact told my real life "diet buddy" with whom I just "started over" that I need to bail on this new diet thing and want to just stop dieting. She was very shocked and said that we need a "plan" and then I would gain weight and that would be so horrible for me. The fact is, that we try to lose weight for 5 years together and have both only put on the pounds.
Xena - thanks for the reply. I had actually meant that post for the Intuitive Eating thread but accidentally posted it here, so I re-posted there and deleted it here, since I felt it was more suited to that thread. But I'm glad you saw it and agree.

Perhaps when your friend sees you making peace with food she'll come around. Is she a member here as well? If she is, encourage her to read this thread and the Intuitive Eating thread. I'd also direct her to The Overfed Head which she can read online.

I've never even tried dieting with others, other than once when my daughter, sister-in-law and I all joined WW together. I only went to 2-3 meetings and hated it. Dieting was always pretty much a "solo act" for me. Some people like those workplace challenges - you know the kind, where everyone competes against one another. Definitely not my thing.
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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:38 AM   #254
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SouthernMaven I saw your post yesterday about new members and wanted to reply, but my phone didnīt have a good signal. I agree!!! I know this from myself. I am here for at least the third time. The only time I was kinda slim AND not on a diet at the same time was when my therapist worked with me on my BED.

I in fact told my real life "diet buddy" with whom I just "started over" that I need to bail on this new diet thing and want to just stop dieting. She was very shocked and said that we need a "plan" and then I would gain weight and that would be so horrible for me. The fact is, that we try to lose weight for 5 years together and have both only put on the pounds.

magical I loved your explanation!!! It really is true, there are different people out there and intuitive eating isntīt for everyone. I think I do better with some flexible guidelines instead of listening to my body. But at the same time it doesnīt mean I am dieting, I am just trying to get into a habit of eating good food, enjoy some junk food/sweets from time to time and get out of this binge-eat-repeat cycle.

Wannabeskinny that is an interesting view and I think I am a little different. The "Clean Eating" thing was the worst diet ever for me. Everything that was not defined as "clean" made me feel bad and sent me into a binge that lasted a couple days. I feel better now where I am allowed to have everything I want. Nothing is off limits, but it is very unlikely that I want to eat crap all the time. So knowing I can have a big salad and a cupcake is way better.

I agree though that starting the day with donuts, then some fries and hot pockets for dinner arenīt really nourishing and give me cravings. But a regular Sandwich and a diet coke donīt do that.
Totally agree with everything you said Xena. For me Intuitive eating is a great approach but due to my eating disorder I can't follow it exactly otherwise I will binge if I don't allow myself something when I'm not hungry. I think you are wise to do the flexible guideline thing. You could probably incorporate some intuitive eating principles into the flexible guidelines. Also I think mindful eating is very important (where you really pay attention to your meal without distractions).

Also agree with your take on clean eating. I of course agree that it's not a good idea to eat only cheeseburgers and crap because I do believe in the addictive properties of processed food, and sugar does spike the blood sugar leaving people hungrier sooner, but I think there needs to be balance since over restriction only causes binges. My eating disorder is 100% caused by over restriction. My regular diet is 100% clean yet I can still binge on crap like there is no tomorrow. Many bodybuilders and fitness competitors develop eating disorders because they are overly strict with clean eating. It causes them to look at everything as black or white. They feel guilt everytime they eat something not considered clean (as I do) and they end up bingeing because they have the expectation of themselves that they won't ever be able to eat said item again. Interesting article here by a fitness guru: http://www.jcdfitness.com/2009/03/ho...ng-completely/

My bingeing has dramatically improved ever since I started to allow certain non clean treats from time to time.

Last edited by veggiedaze : 04-27-2013 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:21 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by magical View Post
SouthernMaven, I'm where you are at now and focusing on eating better types of food. That's why it's working for me too. I don't think IE would have worked if I did not go through my totally non-restrictive stage to get rid of the bingeing urges.
Totally totally totally agree. I am trying to head in the direction of complete intuitive eating, but due to my state (eating disordered), I must just focus on not restricting for now. Magical, you have been a really wonderful addition to this thread!
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