I promised myself I wouldn't but I did, UGH! Why is it that you always want something you can't have? This relationship, or shall I say struggle with food that I have needs to stop. I always tell myself it's the last time I do this, and a couple of days pass where I am doing amazing controlling my blood sugar levels and then BAM.. oh mmm, ice cream :)
And trust me, it doesn't stop there. I crave carbs like crazy. Anything I can get my hands on. I hate it. I feel like it is destroying and taking over my life. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this.. :(
If I have some fellow binge friends, I could really use some advice right about now, like what do you do to stop yourself from binge eating?
How do you control yourself? What methods do you use?
I would like to hear about some of your similar experiences, just so I know I'm not alone.. well at least I'm hoping I'm not alone.
Any type of advice will be highly appreciated, please and thank you.
DTina - How would you describe your usual diet? Do you eat many processed carbohydrates like bread, crackers, and breakfast cereals?
Up until two months ago, my diet consisted of at least 50% of my daily calories coming from processed carbohydrates. I toyed with the idea of going on a reduced carb diet for at least a few years but it took a diabetes complication diagnosis to finally motivate me to do it. I didn't binge often but I did binge. And it was always carbs -- I was truly a carboholic!
After I limited my daily intake of carbs to 50-100 grams per day, I discovered something wonderful. About two weeks into my new way of eating, I found that I no longer craved carbs. Better yet, I lost about 11% of my body weight and it took very little willpower. I also discovered that my BG control vastly improved and I now use 50% less insulin. It makes me wonder what took me so long to make this change.
I'm neither a diet guru nor a diabetes coach but perhaps a diet with a few less carbs might help with your cravings. Diet changes are highly personal and complicated but I thought I'd just throw in my two cents.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Identifying the problem is usually half way toward solving it!
I should have read your profile info before my last response. I didn't realize that you were just diagnosed with T1 diabetes this last June. You didn't mention in your original post if your food cravings (and binges) came after a low blood sugar episode. You probably already know, but low blood glucose prompts one's body to go into survival mode. And that involves a huge temporary increase in appetite.
It's best to have a low BG strategy figured out in advance (like x number of glucose tablets, wait 15 minutes, measure, and repeat if still low) in order to avoid eating all your favorite things in the refrigerator! We've all done it; I've eaten my way to the bottom of a few ice cream cartons.
Emotionally adjusting to your changed metabolism takes some time. Feelings of fear, grief, and losing control can sometimes get all mixed up with eating habits. I think you need to go easy on yourself and not worry too much about a few eating indiscretions.
Learn as much as you can about insulin dependent diabetes. The more you learn about your food metabolism, the better control you'll have and the better you'll feel, both physically and emotionally. I wish you well.
You are not the only one who does this. I have a very close D friend, who does this on a daily basis. She does this on top of a myriad of problems that causes her stress and depression each day that she lives. This isn't easy fo me to deal with, nor is it easy for her to endure.
Please don;t let this get the best of you. Get help from a professional who deals in eating disorders and take a strong look at Overeaters Anonymous. Both can help you deal with the cravings and the urges. Get help from your CDE as well. There are often suport groups that can help you deal with things, but the one-on-one of OA is much more effective. It works, if you put your mind to it. Failure is okay. Eventually, you will succeed.
DTina, please start by understanding your cravings are not a result of some personal inadequacy. Carbs MAKE you crave them. For some people, they're similar to drugs and just as hard to overcome. Harder, probably, because they're everywhere. What helped me was reading a lot about diabetes and carbs, knowing what happens and why, and knowing that once you do get on the track that's right for you, the cravings won't run your life anymore. Plus I don't want to lose any more toes.
I agree that carbs are very much physically addictive, and the only way to get rid of the cravings is to get rid of the carbs, especially empty carbs like sugar, white bread, rice and flour. If you do that, the cravings will leave you in time.
But it is more than physical, it is psychological, and I 100% agree with Brian, that though every person with D struggles because in effect we are forced into an adversarial relationship with food, for some of us it is harder than others. I had 13 years of recovery from my own eating disorder when I got diagnosed with D and needed all of the tools I'd learned in that recovery. You are not alone and Brian gave you some excellent sources of support. Don't hesitate to friend me if you want to talk.
Hello Tina, My name is Gary and I'm a carboholic. I try to treat my carb addiction the same as I would an alcohol or nicotine addiction. Sometime I fall off the wagon and have a binge. The important thing is to get back on the wagon.
My mentality is that I can't have just one. Sometimes I think that a few potato chips would be nice, then I tell myself that it will just turn into even more chips and pretty soon half the bag is gone along with a cupcake or two and whatever else I can get my hands on.
So I usually say no to the chips. And the vast majority of the time I win the argument but occasionally I loose. Then I have to look myself in the mirror and say "My name is Gary and I'm a carboholic, today I fell off the wagon."
I don't binge on food but part of the reason is that I started restricting my diet for religious reasons about 15 years before my diagnosis. Like Zoe, I found that my previous efforts to manage my eating patterns were invaluable once I was diagnosed. You might try to restructure your diet not by saying - I won't eat carbs - but by taking other foods that you like and positively making them the center of each meal.
I am discouraged by several bad days myself. I wish I had the magic words to get me out of a slump. Here is what I've learned though:
1). It SO helps to have someone who understands and I pretty much have to come here to find someone who understands.
2). I've had to forgive all my friends who don't help and don't understand. I've had to say "no resentment, nothing...water under the bridge...I won't even think about it, I'll think good thoughts about how my friends love me but just don't know how to help.
3). I canNOT keep my trigger foods (chocolate) in the house. I have to say "I can't have that at all" not "I'll eat in moderation."
4). Low-carb works, like what everyone else has said.
5). I forgive the people who have the luxury stare at their blood sugars all day and obsess if their A1c goes from 5.4% to 5.5%. I say "good for them."
5). I forgive myself. I say to others "Well, I'm sure you did your best given your resources at the time." I say that to myself and say "Diabetes is a constant battle physically, emotionally,even spiritually for those who have that consciousness. Keep working at it. Good for you for wanting to be better." I congratuate myself every time I test my blood sugar and I celebrate my good numbers.
6). I try to practice gratitude, even finding gratitude for diabetes.
This is all on a good day..I have bad days too but writing them down here helps impress them in my mind.
I will think
I just watched 60 minutes where a pediatric endocrinologist came on and basically said sugar is the root of all evil. A lot of it is related to evolution. Our bodies are programmed to crave and enjoy sweets because mentally and physiologically we know that sweets are not poisonous. Carbs trigger physical and mental changes, they act on the pleasure center of the brain and are addictive akin to nicotine, heroin, and narcotics. I love carbs, but I also used to love smoking. I managed to quit smoking 22 years ago, I have been a bit slower on the carb front, but I agree with everyone here, cutting back on carbs has really helped get my blood sugars under better control, and while I don't choose exercise to replace carbs, I can see that as being a good strategy. Exercise also triggers endorphin release which is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. But at the same time I don't beat myself up if I have the occasional slide. I just try not to do it too often. I have found though like many here, the fewer carbs I have the fewer I crave. I also make sure there is very little in my fridge or pantry that I could binge on.