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What triggers my binge eating?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

(Real binge eating, by the way, is considerably more intense than what I've experienced - clinically defined as eating 5000 calories or more in a single sitting. I'm using the term loosely because I think I share a lot of the symptoms, albeit on a smaller scale.)

So I was really proud of myself yesterday - I got an early start (night person here), I got done everything I needed to do, I did yoga and strengthening exercises and cardio (Bollywood Burn - and I thought I was going to die during those jumps and my face was red for an hour afterward as it is prone to be and today I'm all sore in muscles I didn't know existed - but so worth it!). And I stayed within my calorie target. Until midnight, that is, when I'd lain in bed for two hours trying to go to sleep and finally got up to eat some cereal, which usually works like a charm as a sleep aid for me. One bowl became two...and then some chocolate...and then some pudding. Sigh, it's all detailed in my nutrition tracker for the world to see. I couldn't stop. I felt this uncontrollable urge to keep eating despite the fact that by the end I was uncomfortably full.

This happens to me fairly often, and I think it's worth analyzing what causes it instead of beating myself up over spilt milk. One, I ate dinner too early - around five o'clock. Since I go to bed late and am used to dinner being the biggest meal, this meant my stomach was rumbling by the time eleven o'clock rolled around. In this case I knew that I would be hungry later on but decided to eat anyway, cause hey, free food, and anyway that's something future me can deal with.

Two, I'd done a lot of exercise (for me). You know when you're a kid and you run around outside all day and don't think about food but then when you come inside you realize you're ravenous? I hadn't had occasion to feel that in a while but I felt something of it last night. Plus, you feel justified because hey, I did all this exercise, I can eat whatever I want! Even though the exercise burned maybe a hundred calories and I ended up eating about a thousand... Mixing exercise with a diet plan is going to be very difficult for me in the beginning, I think, because of this added hunger I get with exercise.

Three...well, I need to get on a decent sleep schedule. If given the chance I'll stay up til dawn, even though I feel absolutely horrible afterwards. Sometimes I can trick myself into going to sleep early, but if I'm not actually tired I'll wake up a couple hours later starving - as happened last night. I really think that regularity and consistency have been my core obstacles in getting in shape, and my irregular sleeping plays a huge role in that. Fixing it, though, it easier said than done - I can take sleep aids but they leave me a little like a zombie the next day. And if I just force myself to wake up early I feel horrendous around midday and fall into a sleep coma at the first opportunity.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLUCRETIA 7/17/2013 5:11AM

    It was a moment of weakness, don't beat yourself up over it... tomorrow is a new day! Don't give up, pick yourself up, dust off, and move forward girl...you got this!!!

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DANI-N 7/16/2013 8:45PM

    Good thoughts! I used to never go to bed feeling hungry. Not sure if it will help but: Now when I go to bed a little bit hungry or otherwise feel hungry at night, I know that my body is working on burning calories I have already stored instead of digesting food. I just try to look at it differently so I don't grab a bite to eat too close to bed time or in the middle of the night.

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TINADEE86 7/16/2013 1:28PM

    Don't give up! 1 step at a time. emoticon

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One month in - why haven't I lost weight?

Friday, July 12, 2013

I just had an epiphany. I just weighed myself to find that I'd only lost 1.6 pounds since I began using SparkPeople over a month ago. Which is basically nothing, because I'd rounded up my weight to begin with. While I've had a few binge-eating episodes during that time, and gone above my calorie recommendation pretty often, I still had about ten or twelve days of eating under 1500 calories - which is ten to twelve more days of successful dieting than I've had in previous months, before I joined. The thing is, before this, my weight was stable. So why would eating less on some days (even though I ate normally other days) not cause some sort of weight loss?

So I had a look at my calorie differential over the past month (which is a really cool tool, by the way). Turns out my average caloric intake was 1860 per day, while the amount I burned was 1926. That's a difference of 66 calories a day, or around 2000 calories over the whole month. Losing one pound requires a deficit of about 3500 calories. So no wonder I haven't lost much weight!

I guess I've been overestimating how much my "good" days do for me, and underestimating the negative impact of my "bad" days. It's also possible that a few days of dieting cause me to binge more heavily than I would normally. I'd also assumed that I burned around 2200 calories a day, so even though I went over SparkPeople's recommendation and ate 1800 or 1900 calories, I still thought I was making progress.

The good thing about all this is that I *have* lost weight. Not as much as I'd like, maybe, but hell, anything is good. Learning how to eat properly is a process, and I'd rather it be hard at the beginning and easy at the end than the other way around. Awareness is key: tracking all my food every day and being able to analyze it with these reports is incredibly eye-opening. Plus, I'm excited - if I've lost a pound with only a 66 calorie deficit average for June, what will I be able to do in July? So far I have a 300 calorie deficit average. People say not to focus on numbers, but hey, I'm a math major. Play to your strengths.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

A_BIT_AT_A_TIME 7/12/2013 11:57PM

    Good for you figuring that out so quickly - and making changes to be more successful this month! You sound like you're going about things the right way. I know you'll meet your goals if you continue to be so positive about it! Well done!
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MSLUCRETIA 7/12/2013 8:00PM

    Thank you so much! This was very informative. Although I love math myself I did not know it took a caloric deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound. I am new here and have done weight watchers in the past. It only taught you about points, not the caloric aspect of weight loss. It's kind of like being "brand new" to dieting, having to learn a whole new system. Thanks for the insight, it will help me down the road I'm sure. Good luck! emoticon

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