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Has anyone succeeded in stopping binge eating?

I don't mean stopping a single binge, but that you used to binge eat and you no longer do so.

What worked for you? Thanks!

Tue. Jan 9, 12:29pm

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Binging help

I don't know if this will help you but it's helped me tremendously.

The past 5 days mark the first time I've ever gone that long without bingeing. I've joined WeightWatchers 5 times in the past 30 years and these few days mark the first I've EVER been able to eat within the suggested guidelines. I've actually lost 5 lbs in 5 days and I'm eating great food, plenty of it, having dessert (normally I don't dare, "if I get started I can't stop").

But most importantly, it's been amazingly effortless.

I don't mean effortless in the sense of no effort. Just effortless in the sense that I'm not spending most of the day in that nail-biting state of mind that "I can't have that..oh god why did someone have to bring choc chip cookies to work today...the candy machine is calling my name all day... if you binge you know what I mean! I"m actually putting forth a lot of effort in the way of doing the mental exercises over and over, and re-reading the magazine every night.

What has finally clicked for me (again, the success is short so I'm still wary, but then again it's so much better and different than any other success I've ever had) are some articles in the Jan edition of Oprah Magazine.

This series of articles talked about the science behind changing habits, how your brain's chemistry works to keep habits going, etc. Never have I read anything like it (and I read a LOT about dieting and nutrition). Everything I've read in the past just repeats the same old things that I know by heart, in various formats (you know -- "eat less, move more, distract yourself till the craving passes, remind yourself how much you want to be healthy & slim," yadayadayada).

For some reason this really made sense and has allowed me to move beyond my usual all-day-long bingeing. Maybe because it finally allowed me to do some effective interventions, and because it allowed me to truly gentle the critical voice that keeps me eating.

I hope this helps. You are not alone!!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 2:03 PM

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I have a friend that I go to work with, and she is what they would call morbidly obese. I find myself copying her eating habits by saying yes when she asks me to go out to eat or stop at the drive-thru for our lunch and supper (we work nights). I usually say no because I take my lunch. But now that I'm on vacation, I'm doing very well. I hate to avoid her because she is my friend, but I don't know what to do because her influence is hindering my weight loss goals.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 3:44 PM

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no offense to the above poster, but i think that we are each responsible for the food choices we make, no matter what others around us decide is good for them. i don't believe that "her influence is hindering my weight loss goals" is a viable excuse for letting go of lessons learned and binging. if you really find that you are out of control with your eating choices when you go to eat with her, it is your responsibility to tell her that it is in YOUR best interest to stay away from the typical eating establishments the two of you frequent together. maybe you could suggest a healthier place or invite her to make a lunch for herself and the two of you could go for a walk together instead. poeple all around me make unhealthy choices day in and day out, but i have stuck to what is best for me and am not abandoned or admonished by my friends for following my conscience. look, your friend is behaving the way she is around you because you accept it. maybe by taking it upon yourself to make better food choices, she will benefit as well. good luck!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 3:56 PM

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Of course the best way to deal with it is honesty -- tell her that you are trying to eat healthier and are therefore avoiding fast food, and would she like to bring lunch and join you?

If that doesn't work or being honest doesn't seem feasible, then until your habit of NOT binge eating is stronger, I'd take a page from AA and realize you have to hang out with people who don't overeat. She is to your eating what a "drinking buddy" is to an alcoholic's drinking (and vice versa; she's depended on you to be her "eating buddy").

Invite her along too, if she's your friend and don't want her to feel left out. Chances are that if you're with a majority of thin people, she and you both will respond somewhat to that peer pressure of not overeating in front of them, so you can enjoy her company as well as eating out.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 3:59 PM

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To the 2:03 poster. Can you give us more information about that article? I don't have the magazine. Is it still on newstands? I'd be curious to know what it says about the brain and binging. Thanks

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 4:11 PM

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I read the O mag articles too, and they were fascinating. Not sure if they're still on the stands though. Maybe try the website? They often upload old articles.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 8:24 PM

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maybe you can give the rest of us a summary of what it said about the brain chemicals? I don't see it on the website :(

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 9:17 PM

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I have stopped binge eating with the following exercise. It's simple and easy and the only thing you have to get over is self-conciousness if you're in public. When confronted with a food that usually triggers a binge:
Close your eyes.
Breathe in slowly.
Breathe out slowly.
Do this 5 times. Then ask yourself if you really truly want to eat it? Are you hungry? Is it really that good? 9 times out of 10, you'll answer yourself no, putting yourself back in control. Why close your eyes? Because even the sight of food makes our bodies react. It make our salivary glands start working and our tummies rumbling and you don't ned that when you're trying to think. Use your rational mind, not primitive impulse.
You can do it!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 10:23 AM

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I have gone from binging every day (at least once) to only binging every few weeks.

What worked for me is: giving myself permission to always have a little of whatever I want. It's when I tell myelf that I'm not allowed to have it is when I want it the most and jump off the deep end. The other really important factor is eating balanced every day and eating every few hours so you don't get crazy when you see food.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 1:05 PM

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for me binge eating was a result of deep underlying emotional issues i had and was trying to solve with food. after going to a therapist for nearly a year, once a week for an hour, i was able to end this behavior. there are plenty of times that i have to talk myself out of a binge nowadays, bu8t i am able to do so before it begins. (yay!!) therapy was really the only way i was able to change this. best of luck!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 1:19 PM

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this is a link to a previous discussion on this topic. there are many strategies on how to stop a binge listed within the thread.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 1:30 PM

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Thanks for posting this. I have similar issues. I feel like it's addictive behavior. I can go months not binging and then one day will sit down and eat 1/2 bag of candy. the only thing that has changed for me is that my binges are not as extreme as they used to be. I used to eat the whole bag of candy!! Honestly, another great thing for me has been going on prozac. I never thought I would-ever go on anti-depressants, but I did and it has helped a lot with binging.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 7:47 PM

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I started a group called Bingers...I'm not really into the team thing; it's too overwhelming for me, but you're welcome to join Bingers.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 8:13 PM

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I am on a team called Cheaters and Bingers. Very supportive and understanding!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 10:52 PM

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Re: brain chemicals and Prozac - from my various reading, it seems like the same few brain chemicals - serotonin, dopamine and norepinephine - control tons of behavior relating to mood. Stuffing oneself with refined carbs produces serotinin. Repeating addictive type behavior stimulates dopamine, no matter what the addiction is. And doctors do prescribe anti-depressants for obsessive-compulsive behavior and the like.

Thursday, January 18, 2007, 9:23 PM

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I went on an anti-depressant hoping it would take away my desire to binge eat. I was on it for 1 1/2 years but it did nothing for the binge eating although it did help my relationship with my boyfriend somewhat. I find I binge on carbs, fats & protein so it's not a neurotransmitter issue. For me, it's a behavioral addiction rather than a chemical addiction. I find logging my food and talking to my mentors here on PT has helped me more than anything else.

Thursday, January 18, 2007, 11:36 PM

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I used to binge - big time. I don't mean that I ate a pint of ice cream every now and then and felt bad - I mean I would constantly eat until I felt painfully full, and then eat some more when I didn't feel uncomfortable anymore. I actually saw a counselor about this and she gave me a great book that you might want to check out. It's called "Eating by the Light of the Moon". This is a book geared towrd women, though. Something just clicked for me. Eating disorders are never about food, food is just the symptom. You may think that you just enjoy food - and lots of it - but thats not the real issue. Maybe try to document what you eat, when you binge, how you feel before, during and after. Once you can pinpoint why you use food as a coping mechanism, you can find a solution to the real problem at hand and have no use for bingeing. It worked for me.
Best wishes. We are all here for you.

Sunday, January 21, 2007, 6:47 PM

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This is just something that's working for me right now. I'm not a binge-er as in having an actual problem with bingeing, I just tend to zone out in front of the TV and eat, as merely an activity for my hands and my mouth.

I just bought a gazelle-like piece of exercise equipment and put it up in front of my television. It's really not very hard, and I don't think I get that great a workout from it, but, when I want to get out a bunch of food to eat b/c I'm mindlessly watching TV, I get up and get on the Gazelle. I don't have to get sneakers and a sports bra and all dressed and whatever - I did it in my PJs and socks yesterday - but it gets me up and in a position where I can't really eat. I don't do it for the cardio, just to have something else to do. And after a half hour or so, I'm tired and hot, and don't really feel like eating.

And, although I don't do it for the exercise, it really can't hurt, right??

Monday, January 22, 2007, 10:25 AM

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