Binge eating and feeling helpless.

I am so frustrated. I'm desperate for help or guidance. Or even just someone who can relate.

I am currently almost back at my highest weight ever. None of my clothes fit and I feel gross and unattractive. I want to lose this weight so badly, but almost every day, I come home and eat hundreds if not thousands of extra calories. Even if I don't have "junk food" in the house, I will find something to binge on (bread and peanut butter, cheese, whatever).

I have a feeling my anxiety and stress is contributing to this, but I can't afford mental health services right now. What can I do? Has anyone successfully overcome this behavior without professional help?

It feels stupid to even keep trying. I do well every day--fruits and veggies and good protein and lots of water and exercise--only to completely ruin all my effort within a few hours of getting home at night.

I'm beginning to feel like I'll never lose this weight, which is really depressing.

Can anyone offer any advice or feedback?
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Replies

  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,741 Member
    There are free online support resources you can access
  • concordancia
    concordancia Posts: 5,320 Member
    You eat veg and fruit and good protein, but what about fats?
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,147 Member
    There’s good advice in this thread, consider all of it.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,298 Member
    +1 on the walking. That is the best thing for me. That and distractions like housecleaning or chores of some type.

    My anxiety is made worse by overeating and especially if I'm overeating sugars, carbs, wheat products. I have to watch my nutrition pretty carefully to keep my mind clear.

    It affects me to have too many carbs or too much wheat. Or really, too much of any one nutrient. Recently I ate a whole bag of Trader Joe's raw trail mix over a couple days and it affected me negatively too. If I don't do that kind of thing I feel much better physically and psychologically.
  • Rocknut53
    Rocknut53 Posts: 1,795 Member
    I am a binger too and @cmriverside nailed it. Distraction is the only tool that works for me. This article may (or may not) be helpful. It doesn't address binging, but does address the yoyo cycle and although we are not mice, some of it makes sense to me.
    The number of calories I eat in a day (or week) has absolutely no impact on whether I have a binge episode.

    https://www.healthcentral.com/article/weight-cycling-and-the-microbiome?ic=6107
  • naomilife3000
    naomilife3000 Posts: 4 Member
    I emotional eat... I know my triggers but dealing with depression makes it hard to actually beat it every time.... But one thing that did help me was finding a WHY... Why do you want to change? It can't be a generic statement like I want to be healthy, I want to be around for my kids or I'm tiered of being like this... It has to be YOUR reality check.... My WHY is... I don't want it to be 16 years from now and the kids are almost out of the house and I am still trying to figure out who I am... I don't want to be like some success stories I have heard about women in their 50s starting weight or fitness transformations... Even though they were successful, I don't want to wait till I'm 50 to start! By that time I want to enjoy where im at. Find your WHY.... Then start making simple changes then it's like a snow ball... Things will start rolling for you. Good luck.
  • bethberryjuice
    bethberryjuice Posts: 23 Member
    Is your calorie goal set too low that it makes you want to binge?

    I highly recommend listening to “Half Size Me” podcasts. There are several she does that address binge eating. But also her approach to weighloss is very sensible. She interviews lots of people with different approaches to weight loss. I can’t remember the episode number but there was one several months back that gave specific strategies for binging. (Eating more protein was one strategy). I generally will listen in my phone while walking. I’ll dig around to see if I can find the specific episode number for you.

    Thank you for this recommendation! I love podcasts and I'm always looking for new ones to help pass the time on the treadmill. It never occurred to me to look for weight loss related podcasts!
  • bethberryjuice
    bethberryjuice Posts: 23 Member
    There are free online support resources you can access

    Thank you, I will get to googlin'.
  • bethberryjuice
    bethberryjuice Posts: 23 Member
    You eat veg and fruit and good protein, but what about fats?

    I eat nuts and cheese in moderation during the day. Any other recommendations?
  • bethberryjuice
    bethberryjuice Posts: 23 Member
    dfarley60 wrote: »
    I understand you bethberryjuice completely. I have the same issue, habit, whatever you want to call it. You can chat with me about it if you want. I don't have the answers but I do understand the feelings.

    Thank you so much. It really does help to know that I'm not alone in this struggle. Your support and kind words are so appreciated.
  • bethberryjuice
    bethberryjuice Posts: 23 Member
    jgnatca wrote: »
    Here are some free self help materials.

    https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself

    You deserve self care after a stressful day. A trick is to replace the eating with something else that is more satisfying.

    Myself my willpower is about done just before dinner time. To disrupt my old binge habit I began having a 100 calorie snack just before I left work. Half a protein bar was about perfect. I would have a slow cooker meal ready for me at home so there was no meal prep or any excuse to eat anything other than my prepared dinner.

    Honestly and truly walking is a known stress reliever. If you can disrupt your eating habit long enough to strap on some running shoes you may find that a walk does a lot more for your mental health than eating.

    That is great advice. Thank you so much. I'm going to start looking for ways to disrupt my eating habit.
  • bethberryjuice
    bethberryjuice Posts: 23 Member
    +1 on the walking. That is the best thing for me. That and distractions like housecleaning or chores of some type.

    My anxiety is made worse by overeating and especially if I'm overeating sugars, carbs, wheat products. I have to watch my nutrition pretty carefully to keep my mind clear.

    It affects me to have too many carbs or too much wheat. Or really, too much of any one nutrient. Recently I ate a whole bag of Trader Joe's raw trail mix over a couple days and it affected me negatively too. If I don't do that kind of thing I feel much better physically and psychologically.

    I've noticed the same thing. I feel so clear headed and calm on the rare days I am able to eat healthfully and in a balanced ways. The days I eat crap, I feel tired and ravenous and grouchy.
  • bethberryjuice
    bethberryjuice Posts: 23 Member
    Rocknut53 wrote: »
    I am a binger too and @cmriverside nailed it. Distraction is the only tool that works for me. This article may (or may not) be helpful. It doesn't address binging, but does address the yoyo cycle and although we are not mice, some of it makes sense to me.
    The number of calories I eat in a day (or week) has absolutely no impact on whether I have a binge episode.

    https://www.healthcentral.com/article/weight-cycling-and-the-microbiome?ic=6107

    Thank you for the link and the support. I really appreciate your reply. I'm desperate to end the yoyo cycle.
  • bethberryjuice
    bethberryjuice Posts: 23 Member
    I’ve been a binge eater for pretty much my entire life. And like you, I no longer keep junk food (chips/anything in a bag that I can endlessly stick my hand into). Like some others have said, distraction is the way to go for me most times. I keep my hands busy by writing/typing or journaling or I’ll play a video game, sometimes I’ll paint my nails so that I’m forced to keep my hands out of the cupboards. Even putting on a lip product like a chapstick has stopped me from binging on occasion.

    When distraction doesn’t work, I set a timer for 20 minutes and tell myself that if I really want something, I can have it then. And because I’ve made it 20 minutes without whatever food I’m craving, I set it for another 20 and over and over until it’s either time for me to go to bed or the urge has passed.

    Are you eating enough throughout the day? Early on in my weight loss journey, I used to eat very little during the day so that I could eat a lot at dinner and have some snacks. That behavior contributed to my binge eating in a massive way because I was always hungry on top of being anxious that I wasn’t making any progress. I now try to only eat three meals a day of 300-400 calories each. For me personally, structure has helped me start to overcome my disordered eating.

    There are also online resources and if you use Reddit, there is a community for binge eaters that is quite supportive as well.

    I hope this helps in some way. Just remember not to be too hard on yourself if you slip up because that just contributes to the cycle.

    Excellent suggestions. Thank you very, very much. And I definitely Reddit, so I'm going to check that out right away.
  • bethberryjuice
    bethberryjuice Posts: 23 Member
    I emotional eat... I know my triggers but dealing with depression makes it hard to actually beat it every time.... But one thing that did help me was finding a WHY... Why do you want to change? It can't be a generic statement like I want to be healthy, I want to be around for my kids or I'm tiered of being like this... It has to be YOUR reality check.... My WHY is... I don't want it to be 16 years from now and the kids are almost out of the house and I am still trying to figure out who I am... I don't want to be like some success stories I have heard about women in their 50s starting weight or fitness transformations... Even though they were successful, I don't want to wait till I'm 50 to start! By that time I want to enjoy where im at. Find your WHY.... Then start making simple changes then it's like a snow ball... Things will start rolling for you. Good luck.

    Thank you for this advice. I need to make a list of my whys.