I've been dieting and now I'm starting to binge. How do I stop?
anonymous Asks ...
I have been dieting pretty strictly for about 8 months and I have lost more than 30pounds during that time but the problem is now I am starting to gain some of the weight back and I seem to be losing control over my eating whereas before I have always been very strong about limiting my calories.
I have been trying to eat no more than 800 to 1000 calories per day and I have been quite serious about journaling what I have been eating and making sure to stick to my goals. But then what happens is that every few days or so I start feeling upset about something and I get these really strong cravings to eat carbs (I am doing a mostly low carb diet otherwise) and I’ll end up having this total pig out session where I eat as many calories in one meal as I might eat in 3 days of normal dieting. I have been too embarrassed to write down what I eat in my food journal after these sessions, even though no one looks at this but me.
I have never had a binging problem before. How can I get this under control?
William Anderson Says ...
Don't beat yourself up, and don't be afraid. You will be able to reverse this. This experience you are having is not unusual, it is nothing to be ashamed of, and it can be helped.
Diets and dieting can have troublesome outcomes when the methods involve denial and deprivation and the goal is focused exclusively on the body and weight loss.
I had these same experiences and learned that even if the diet was successful and the weight was lost, the problem didn't get solved. Often, the problem got worse.
In order to get better, we need to learn to eat what we like, not diet. We need to learn how to enjoy eating in a healthy way, not deny ourselves enjoyment. We need to focus on creating enjoyable habits that naturally result in a healthy weight, not try to lose weight doing something we can't stand or deny ourselves something that we really need. We need to make the behavior healthy to get the body healthy, not engage in unhealthy behavior to force the body into submission.
The Q&A column is not suited to tell you all that you need to know. First, understand that your focus needs to be on behavior, not the body or weight. Create the right behavior, and the body will follow. The behavior needs to be something you can live with, which your diets are not. My book, The Anderson Method, was written to help people get a better understanding of our problems with food and ourselves and lead them to a happy resolution. There also is a lot of free information at my website, www.TheAndersonMethod.com , with the table of contents of articles at the bottom right of the pages. If you need one-on-one help, there are many therapists who help people with eating disorders and my website has a listing of therapists who teach my methods. If you want personal help, call and make an appointment with a therapist/counselor.
A solution is waiting for you. Don't worry. You can fix this.