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"Brain over Binge"

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Old 03-19-2015, 04:50 PM   #1
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Smile "Brain over Binge"

Hi, I'm new here!

I read Kathryn Hansen’s “Brain over binge” and got a whole other perspective on my overeating. I REALLY recommend that book for all of you who's struggling with binge eating and have tried therapy without results.

It's an easy-read and you will not regret it!


Have any one of you read it?

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Old 03-20-2015, 10:01 AM   #2
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Hi Cinderina, I too found that book to resonate. I am a compulsive eater & then experienced some binge eating after I phased off a long stretch of a very restrictive diet. Thanks to the book, my binge eating made sense and I was eventually able to let go of it.
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:18 AM   #3
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I read it and it really resonated with me. But it left me with a lot of questions on how to put it into use. I didn't start seeing results until I did Intuitive Eating.
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:02 PM   #4
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This is honestly one of my favorite books ever. It's help shape the current relationship I have with food & eating, and I don't think I'm ever going back to any other philosophy on binge eating & overeating. This one is just "it" for me.
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:26 PM   #5
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Sounds interesting. Is it just a matter of telling yourself to ignore that urge to go into the kitchen for ice cream or is a substitution thing?
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:28 PM   #6
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I have just started reading this book as per suggestion of this forum. Wonderful insight. Fluffyfat: from what I read so far the author describes her life as a binge eater. She was a teenager that was anorexic and the restrictiveness (can be compared to someone going on a very restrictive diet 1200 cal a day etc) led to her binge eating. The author claims that the restrictiveness of dieting leads your "animal" brain into going into binge mode. Once you gain all your lost dieting weight back, your brain is still wired to binge and the instinct to binge then turns into a habit to binge. She relates this habit to drugs, alcohol etc from a book she read called rational recovery. The author then goes and explains how she went through "steps" to try and re-wire her brain to understand that her binges aren't a deeply seated emotional disturbance to feed an emptiness (like she was taught in therapy) but that it was a normal biological function of her brain. She claims that without using the so called blaming method of binging that therapists mostly use for eating disorders, that binging can be controlled by understanding its your logical reasoning brain versus your animal brain. did i make sense here? lol!
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:37 PM   #7
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As your question about the "substitution" thing--no it is FAR from that idea. The author is against all the teachings of conventional eating disorder therapies. She is very adamant about this. She is very angry with herself and the professionals that led her to believe that she had to journal, find "activities" to do instead of binge (i believe thats what you mean by substitutions), re-hashing childhood experiences, and doing relaxation techniques etc etc instead of tackling the habit head on of her binging URGES. Her stance on binge eating is that without URGES to binge you do not binge, so what you really need to do is get rid of the urges, like when you quit smoking or whatever bad habit you can think of.

In my opinion she is pretty much right about that. The thing is I still choose to diet now (I am on medifast) but I will not be as restrictive as some others I hear about. If I want to replace one of my medifast meals with something comparable but not a medifast brand product (i.e. i eat breyers carb smart ice cream pops instead of a medifast meal), and I also will not tell myself that I cannot enjoy a dinner out with a friend--but the choices I make ARE MY CHOICES, just like anybody else--we can make choices. Do not let your habit control you--you hear your habit talking "Eat this, dont you want that, mmm boy I would love to eat 2 boxes of cookies right now" you need to seperate that voice from the real you--and maybe think about why your animal brain is signaling messages like that to you--are you being to restrictive on yourself? are you setting realisitic healthy goals for yourself? This last paragraph is what I gather personally from the book so far. You can get it on your kindle for 8 bucks.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:44 PM   #8
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Juicyfruit thank you so much! I just read a long review of the book and then came here and saw your information. This all speaks so clearly to me! I've always liked the idea of mindful eating and this seems to go along with that.

I firmly believe that I began my food issue when I was 15 and went on a diet to lose five pounds, simply because my friends weighed less than I did. (I weighed 115 at the time.) I lost five pounds in five days and then binged for the first time. A few months later a boy I liked "stood me up," for a date and I found out that a box of Graham crackers and a quart of whole milk could be quite comforting. A problem was born.

I've never liked the books like Dr. Phil's Seven Keys because they seem to expect me to change my entire life. Sure, I could be more assertive in my marriage, seek a more challenging job, take up sky diving -- but just thinking about those things makes me nervous.

It makes perfect sense to me that my animal (survival) brain wants me to drop everything and find rich food when it notices that I'm a bit hungry or bored, but what relief it gives me to think that I could possibly just recognize this urge for what it is, and tell it to calm down, we'll have a nice dinner later.

I also read that we could think of this animal brain as a toddler having a tantrum and teach it that it isn't going to work so it might as well give it up.

Thanks again. I'm loving this stuff.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:17 AM   #9
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I just bought the book thanks to 3FC recommendations and will start reading it today. I've been hanging on to maintenance (barely), but it's not a sustainable equilibrium, and I'm looking for strategies to help pacify my continuing urges to binge. From what you've all described, I'm pretty sure Hansen's approach will resonate with me.

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Old 04-01-2015, 12:52 PM   #10
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freelancemomma - Once you've finished the book it would be great to hear back from you a bit of a review/how useful the book was for you. I've considered it based on 3FC recommendations but haven't bothered to pick it up.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:28 PM   #11
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i know this is off topic but it drives me insane that the main page for this website has pictures of dried fruit on it
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:36 PM   #12
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Heh! I know. One cup of dried apricots has 380 calories and 69 grams sugar.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:57 AM   #13
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Thanks so much, binge eating is the number 1 reason( only reason) I can't get past my plateaus and its really frustrating, losing out due to binge eating when I'm 15-20 pounds away from my goal and I have to start all over again because of binge eating.
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:08 PM   #14
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I read the book some time ago and had high expectations for it, but ultimately, it did not resonate with me. I understood her solution, but not how to attain it. "Ignore your urges" is the gist, but the question of how to do that seemed vague. Maybe I missed something. I ended up donating the book to the public library. (FWIW, though, I did realize while reading her book that I don't think I am a "binger" in that I don't eat anything and everything just for the sake of eating. I DO overeat and I'm a disordered eater, but if I am able to eat exactly what I want and in a decent quantity, I will be satisfied and not look for more food).
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:10 PM   #15
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I've been binge-free for three months and a few days so far. I've read a few books in the past and though I love reading, I'm scared that any new thoughts will upset this precarious balance I've fallen into! If I fall back into old habits I might dig around for suggestions, though when I'm in an unhealthy, binging mood the last thing I want to do is read about being healthy, it just pisses me off. It's like The Biggest Loser, I used to watch that show. When I was eating healthy, I found it interesting, but when I was eating unhealthy it just annoyed the heck out of me!
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