Binge eating has been apart of my life for a long time. A looooonnnngg time. Emotional eating gone extreme. At some point in my healthiness journey, even though I was losing/had lost weight, I wondered if binges were just a part of me. Just something I’d have to deal with for the rest of my life.
This post is months in the works. I’ve wanted to write it but didn’t want to risk hitting publish and then having a binge. But today, there is something different. I feel different. Mentally. Clear. I haven’t binged in months and I know why. Years of therapy didn’t get me there (although it could for some). It was a conscious change to my diet that did. I stopped binging by changing my diet.
This change to my diet hasn’t really affected the scale. And while I have shared enough frustrations regarding the scale over the past couple months, the scale is really only a part of my journey. There were times when the scale was low but I was still fighting with binging. Except I’m not fighting anymore and haven’t for months. So how did I stop binging? It was so easy yet so hard.
I cut out 80% of sugar and processed carbs.
Wait. Stop. Don’t close the browser, please keep reading and let me tell you about this. I’m not suggesting everyone run out and do this (although if you have considered it I highly recommend it!). Let me just share with you my experience and then, you’ll know what worked for me.
Let me share if not because you are interested, but in case you ever wonder why I haven’t mentioned my binging any more. Let me clarify a bit:
Examples of what I cut out:
- Flavored creamer
- Excess chocolate/dessert
- Sugar-free/low-calorie/low-fat products
- Most pasta, rice and grains
So what do I eat?
- Meat (chicken, fish, beef)
- Fresh veggies (lettuce, peppers, onions, carrots, pea pods, mushrooms, the list goes on!)
- Dairy (pure cream for my coffee, cheese)
- Alcohol (2 glasses a week? But some weeks none)
Carlos made the switch with me which is a big deal because he grew up a meat and potatoes kind of guy. It came about after a conversation he and I were having about getting back to “real” foods. Since we were already eating the vegetables it was really just saying to ourselves “we don’t need pasta or rice every time we eat dinner.”
Now… let me clarify a bit more about what I’ve been eating/not eating.
I am not 100% sugar free/processed carbs free: This is important to clarify because I promise, you’ll see me eat something sugary or a processed carb in the future. I have removed almost all of what I used to eat but every once in awhile, I’ll share a dessert with Carlos and my niece, Gracie, or enjoy Jimmy John’s for lunch.
I still eat sugar: I eat fruit, so there is natural sugar in my diet. But I cut out most of the chemicals or added sugars from my diet. I read labels and if it says any sort of added sugar, I look for another brand. This includes tomato sauce, marinades and other items that sugar can somehow sneak into.
I still eat carbs: Fruits, veggies and beans naturally have carbs. Love them. Love carbs. I’ve stopped eating pasta, breads and grains. I focus on getting my carbs from fruits & veggies. But every once in awhile, I’ll eat Subway for lunch, have a sweet potato with dinner or grab a handful of crackers to go with my snack. Compared to what I was eating, I’ve cut the processed carbs out 80%.
A typical day looks like this:
2 or 3 eggs cooked in BUTTER, a piece of fruit
lettuce w/ meat, sunflower seeds, golden raisins, dressing
Chicken or fish w/ sauteed veggies, sometimes a sweet potato
Snacks (2x a day):
Hard boiled egg w/ slice of cheese
Carrots w/ peanut butter
Cottage cheese (full fat!)
Turkey lunch meat & slice of cheese
Turkey lunch meat & 1/2 avocado
The above is a typical day over the past couple months. Sometimes, it varies. For example, one day last week I met a friend at a restaurant and had a burrito bowl for lunch. No rice but did have black beans, meat, salsa, lettuce and guac. So good. I was so full, it lasted me until dinner.
Now. Let’s get back to the binges. I noticed after about a month that I had stopped obsessing over the candy bowl at work. I would walk past it often without thinking anything of it. Amazing. A powerful feeling.
I’m not sure if it is the fact that I cut so drastically my sugar intake or my processed carbs, or, the combination of both. But all I know is I changed my diet and my binges have disappeared.
Now THAT is something to be thankful for.