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Old 12-24-2009, 09:48 AM   #1  
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Default Is this unhealthy and eating disorder-ish?

A few weeks ago, I got an early box of Christmas chocolates. I was tempted to toss the whole thing to avoid any tempation, but I figured that'd be such a rude waste of somebody's Christmas present. These are nice rich filled chocolate truffles.

So I had them sitting in my cupboard and nearly forgot about them. Well one night I had a chocolate craving and figured I'd have a truffle. I had already eaten my daily allowance for calories (I eat between 1300-1800), and I didn't want to go overboard. So, I popped a truffle in my mouth, chewed it up, savored it, and spit it out in the garbage (sorry, I know that's gross). I then drank a glass of water and brushed my teeth and went on about my night completely satisfied.

Well I've done this with my chocolate truffels a few times. Not every night, just when the thought occurs to me. It seemed to be a pretty good system to enjoy an occasional "off limits" treat without consuming all the calories. So I googled it to see if anybody else does it. Well I found a bunch of stuff on the internet that pretty much said it was the eating disorder that nobody learns about. People will spend $15/day on junk food, lock themselves in their room, and chew/spit/rinse, chew/spit/rinse. For hours. It's basically bulimia with the binging, the food just doesn't go all the way own to the stomach.

Well I have to wonder if my truffle eating is really THAT unhealthy. When these truffles are gone, I don't plan on getting more tempting food so I can continue doing this. I don't feel a need to do it or controlled by it. I certainly don't see chewing and spitting working itself into my lifestyle, but for a once in awhile treat that I wouldn't otherwise allow myself, then yea. I'm much more interested in having a healthy balanced diet with planned treats than starving myself by chewing and spitting everything. I do allow myself to have a piece of candy or dark chocolate planned into my daily calories, but it's not a 200cal cream-filled truffle.

I guess I can see how this would be an eating disorder, but I don't feel that my one truffle every few nights is that big of a deal. And I was wondering if anybody else has done this in a not-eating disorderish way?
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:15 AM   #2  
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Well then you can add wine tasters in with your eating disorder group. They spit so they don't get drunk. Why can't you spit so you don't gain weight?

Personally, and I am not a doctor, you sound in control with it not out of control.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:32 AM   #3  
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To me it sounds like the beginning of an eating disorder. Why not allow the calories for 1 truffle a day and enjoy it. You may think you'll not do this again after the truffles are gone, but until you get there you really don't know. Let's face it, many fall off the wagon over the holidays and have a hard time getting back on despite thinking they would get right back OP after the holidays were over.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:37 AM   #4  
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According to the DSM-IV, (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) which is the manual used by doctors and medical professionals for diagnosing, that is disordered eating behavior, specifically EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified).

See below:

DSM-IV Criteria

NOS

An eating disorder which cannot be classified as either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. A person suffering from NOS may exhibit behaviour characteristic of both specific eating disorders, or may alternate between the two disorders. NOS may also occur in a person who has not yet developed the full clinical disorder of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. This form of eating disorder is relatively easy to treat compared with the full clinical disorders.

The EDNOS category include disorders that do not meet the criteria for a specific eating disorder. Each one of the following disorders is an example:

Repeatedly chewing and spitting out, but not swallowing, large amounts of food.


Check this out too: http://trishagura.com/gura-truth-article-chewing1.htm
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:11 AM   #5  
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Sounds like an eating disorder to me. I say eat one and count the calories in your daily allowance and give the rest away.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:35 AM   #6  
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I don't personally see it as an eating disorder or even the beginnings of one; I mean I can understand the difference between trating yourself and not wanting to go overboard~ as long as you know that you control this, and it's just a one off with this box of chocolates, then don't worry too much
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:46 AM   #7  
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The thing is that LATER it might get worse. I'm not saying now "omg you have an eating disorder" but that's how it starts right? A person skips a meal here and there- then starts vomitting now and then- then it spirals out of control. Obviously you aren't anywhere near that point- so you might want to just stop doing it now- either account for the truffle and eat it- or give the rest away- seriously I have given away 2 boxes of chocolate that were given to me as gifts already- the person who gave them to me doesn't have to know about it AND I'm not throwing it away

And reading around online you must be absorbing some calories from that chocolate because sugar is the first thing broken down by your saliva (if I understood correctly) and even if you spit it out you still have absorbed some calories- maybe not a large amount- but some.

Don't keep up the habit- Although it's not really harmful to your body like other disorders (unless you ate this way ALL the time) but it'll start like this then get worse.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:50 AM   #8  
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Thanks for the replies, you guys Passionista, that's the information that I found also. But keywords, "Repeatedly chewing and spitting out, not swallowing large amounts of food." That's not at all what I do. It's the one truffle and I'm done. I do it every few days, and it really is just when the thought crosses my mind. The people that I read about that had problems with this would spend all their extra money on junk food and all their free time chewing and spitting.

Honestly, these truffels are 190 calories each. That's frankly too much to be bugeted in. I eat 4 or 5 small meal/snacks throughout the day. Each one is as nutritionally packed as I can with whole healthy foods. One of these truffles has about the same amount of calories as half of my entire meals and most certainly does not have the nutritional value. I DO budget chocolate into my meal plans, and I have no guilt or feeling like I should spit them out.

I personally do not feel like I'm at risk for this developing into an eating disorder. I'd be more than willing to give the last two truffles away and not do the chewing/spitting thing at all. If at any point I start feeling the need to put three bags of M&Ms in my grocery cart so I can go home and chew/spit for hours, then I'd have a problem. That doesn't sound even remotely in the realm of fun to me.

Like I said, I'm having great results with my diet plan so far. I'm content with it, it's a very maintainable lifestyle for me, and I do allow myself to treat my cravings sometimes in a moderate way. I feel no need to chew and spit everything that goes into my mouth, lol.

Last edited by mkendrick; 12-24-2009 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:32 PM   #9  
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I think with any behavior, eating related or not, a good idea is to consider how you'd feel if your friends and family knew about it.

Some things are personal and slightly embarrassing, even though there's nothing wrong with them.

But, usually you can tell the difference between that, and something you're trying to rationalize.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:37 PM   #10  
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Well then why not cut it in half and enjoy half? That's 95 calories. If it's every few days it doesn't seem difficult to budget in.

That being said remember most people with disorders feel they don't have a problem... (not saying you have a disorder) I remember when I read my book on food addiction and I read about a woman who spent like $200 on just M&M's in one month! I thought WOAH- I don't have an addiction like that- but I know I had a problem- even though it was on a much smaller scale. So you may not have a disorder- but you obviously had some small inkling that what you are/were doing wasn't exactly "normal" or healthy. As long as this is where it ends and you don't continue this with other foods- I think you'll be fine.

And remember it's an online forum so you'll always get a wide variety of opinions, and you won't always agree with some of them
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:47 PM   #11  
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This is something I've thought about and also something I VERY OCCASIONALLY do. It is definitely a disordered eating habit, that could very quickly become an eating disorder if you decide its OK to do and stop thinking of it as disordered.

When I do it its because, as usual, there's random candy at work and I really want some, but just a bit, but I'm not hungry, or whatever. Sometimes I'll use the method where I take a piece and discretely throw out half while I eat it, which is not disordered. Sometimes, I'll take a bite, savor the taste, and spit out the rest. I do this maybe once a month, maybe less often. I KNOW its disordered while I'm doing it. I think that as long as I don't decide it's okay, and the frequency doesn't change, it won't develop into a full blown disorder.

Lately of course, I just eat everything.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:19 PM   #12  
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As others have said here, you're going to get a wide variety of opinions on this.

Disordered eating is such a difficult thing to identify. It starts gradually. First it's a way of thinking & then it becomes a set of behaviors. I know it in myself; I'm no clinician or therapist, so that's all I can offer: My experience. For me, it's a combination of things: I feel compelled. There is something ritualistic about the behavior. I "zone out," sort of, for a few seconds or minutes. Sometimes I do it too quickly. I am inordinately attached to the food. (Kind of like a dog with his bone: Mine, mine, mine.)

The thing is: If I can break out of the trance-like state the behavior puts me in, I can stop it. I can stop it when it's just starting. I can stop it in the middle. I can stop it when I feel premonitory sensations that it's going to occur. It took me a long time to learn that, though.

So my questions for you to ask yourself privately are:

- Does it feel somewhat ritualistic to you? Is there a reason you have to go through **every single** truffle in that box, till you have finished them all? And you have got to eat them this certain way?

- Can you stop now? Tomorrow? Would you be really bothered if somehow you got rid of that box now, without having another?

- How do you feel about really eating -- chewing, swallowing, digesting -- a single truffle, or half a truffle? Is there a reason this can never, ever happen?

For myself, if I got ding-ding-ding-that's it exactly on any of those questions, I'd know I was getting into the disordered zone.

With my background, I don't want to be anywhere near the disordered zone. Not even mildly. There's no sliding scale for me here.

You haven't been there, as I have, but if my experience resonates with you in any way, please think this over a little more.

Last edited by saef; 12-24-2009 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:29 PM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarisaande View Post
This is something I've thought about and also something I VERY OCCASIONALLY do. It is definitely a disordered eating habit, that could very quickly become an eating disorder if you decide its OK to do and stop thinking of it as disordered.

When I do it its because, as usual, there's random candy at work and I really want some, but just a bit, but I'm not hungry, or whatever. Sometimes I'll use the method where I take a piece and discretely throw out half while I eat it, which is not disordered. Sometimes, I'll take a bite, savor the taste, and spit out the rest. I do this maybe once a month, maybe less often. I KNOW its disordered while I'm doing it. I think that as long as I don't decide it's okay, and the frequency doesn't change, it won't develop into a full blown disorder.

Lately of course, I just eat everything.
I think this is about how I feel.

I probably sound like I'm rationalizing it and making it sound like I think it's okay. I know it's disordered in the sense that it's a wrong and unhealthy way to enjoy food. But at the same time, me 6 months ago would have eaten this entire box of truffles in one sitting without a second thought. That is also disordered. I will in no way justify chewing and spitting as a legitimate way to enjoy any old snack any time.

I know what it is. It's gross, socially unacceptable, could easily snowball into a problem of frequent chewing and spitting. But it's still better than eating the whole box at once.

And somebody mentioned how I'd still be absorbing calories. Saliva contains an enzyme, salivary amylase, which does indeed begin the catabolism of carbohydrates (including sugars) and some will be absorbed through the mucus membranes of my cheeks. However, for 20 seconds of chewed up truffle in my mouth, that's going to be a ridiculously tiny amount. Again, if I sat around for hours chewing and spitting and had sugary stuff in my mouth that whole time, then the calories might add up.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:42 PM   #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saef View Post
As others have said here, you're going to get a wide variety of opinions on this.

Disordered eating is such a difficult thing to identify. It starts gradually. First it's a way of thinking & then it becomes a set of behaviors. I know it in myself; I'm no clinician or therapist, so that's all I can offer: My experience. For me, it's a combination of things: I feel compelled. There is something ritualistic about the behavior. I "zone out," sort of, for a few seconds or minutes. Sometimes I do it too quickly. I am inordinately attached to the food. (Kind of like a dog with his bone: Mine, mine, mine.)

The thing is: If I can break out of the trance-like state the behavior puts me in, I can stop it. I can stop it when it's just starting. I can stop it in the middle. I can stop it when I feel premonitory sensations that it's going to occur. It took me a long time to learn that, though.

So my questions for you to ask yourself privately are:

- Does it feel somewhat ritualistic to you? Is there a reason you have to go through **every single** truffle in that box, till you have finished them all? And you have got to eat them this certain way?
I don't go through every single truffle. I get the box from the cupboard, pluck any old truffle out, pop it in my mouth, enjoy it for a moment, then spit it in a napkin, then toss it into the garbage.

- Can you stop now? Tomorrow? Would you be really bothered if somehow you got rid of that box now, without having another?
Actually since starting this thread, I had a friend come visit this morning and I gave her a truffle. There is exactly one left and I may just toss it for the heck of it.

- How do you feel about really eating -- chewing, swallowing, digesting -- a single truffle, or half a truffle? Is there a reason this can never, ever happen?
If I had had a really light eating day, then shoot, I'd swallow the heck out of that truffle, lol. Even if I'd eaten my max amount of 1800cal for the day and I had to swallow a truffle, I wouldn't guilt too hard over it. The thing is, I can get the same satisfaction from chewing and spitting it out as I would from eating it. Why bother consuming an extra 200cal?

For myself, if I got ding-ding-ding-that's it exactly on any of those questions, I'd know I was getting into the disordered zone.

With my background, I don't want to be anywhere near the disordered zone. Not even mildly. There's no sliding scale for me here.

You haven't been there, as I have, but if my experience resonates with you in any way, please think this over a little more.
I know you said to privately ask myself, but I figured I'd reflect here

I'm really not trying to sound defensive, everyone is offering great insight, and I did ask the question afterall!

I have had disordered eating on the overeating side of things. I've gone into the trance where nothing else mattered except getting as much into my mouth as I could. I do know that feeling.

I don't feel like these truffles are controlling my life, lol. Like I said, I'd toss the last one in the cupboard without a second thought about it. I don't feel like I'm out of control when I'm doing this, or conversely, I don't feel like I'm triumphant for having complete discipline and control over my body for forcing myself to spit it out. It's more of a "hmm...I still have a truffle in the cupboard." <chew chew chew> "mmm, yummy." <spit> "that was good." And then I go on about my business.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:36 PM   #15  
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It's important when bringing up the DSM-IV that a diagnosis is never to be made based on person meeting only one symptom criterion - or even all of the symptoms criteria if the behavior isn't interfering with function.

That's the question you have to answer - is the behavior disrupting the normal function of your life. Are you going out of your way to be secretive about your behavior? Would you be ashamed to tell anyone of the behavior? Are you spending money that you cannot afford on the behavior? Are you in complete control of the behavior, or do you find yourself doing the behavior when you feel you shouldn't or didn't want to? Do you feel guilty or ashamed after the behavior? Are you tempted to take the behavior to a higher or more intense level (does doing it with one piece of candy make you want to do it with two or three or a piece of cake)? Do you feel "euphoric" during or afterward or do you feel a rush of excitement before or during (is there an adrenaline rush from doing something "forbidden)? Has the behavior become one that you do without consciously choosing - is it not just a choice, but a habit?

The thing to remember with disordered eating behaviors, is that they are often "gateway" behaviors. They can snowball, so if you can answer "yes" to any of the questions above, now or in the future, you're at a greater risk for it snowballing. If the answer is yes to several of the questions, I'd be even more concerned.

However, because you say you HAVE experienced disordered eating - that does put you at greater risk than someone who has not. Even if you can answer "no" to all the questions I posed, they're questions you have to continue to monitor, especially because of your history. You have to ask yourself them every time you're going to chew and spit, is this a free choice or is it becoming a compulsion.

I think that you having concerns (or you wouldn't have asked the question) is a warning sign that this could be a problem behavior for you. Is it worth taking the risk? Only you can answer that.
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