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Question:

Submitted via email by Monica in Eugene, OR.

If I’m going to binge anyway, what foods are safe to binge on?

Monica L.

Hi Monica,

Well, I guess that the short answer is, there are no safe binge foods. If it’s a binge food, then it’s not safe.  If you are wanting to binge eat, then there is clearly something going on with you. Perhaps you’re hungry and actually need to be nourishing yourself with a meal. Perhaps you are sad, anxious, lonely, or bored. Again, check in with yourself and see what is going on for you both emotionally and physically and tend to that. Eating 10 pounds of raw vegetables in a sitting rather than 10 pounds of chocolate is still a way to avoid feelings, which always rebound with a vengeance.

I worked with another client who suffered from binge eating and would binge on broccoli. She would eat between 5 and 10 full stalks of raw broccoli compulsively on a regular basis. She really wanted to be binge eating and thought that this was a safe food. Of course it was unsafe for several reasons. Physically, she became sick because she couldn’t digest all that food. She was also  restricting all other food and compensating by binge eating broccoli. Eventually, she suffered from major gastrointestinal problems, not to mention  the fact that she began to lose her hair and her organ systems began to suffer.  Emotionally, she was avoiding her feelings by alternately restricting and bingeing.

That being said, it is important to know what your non binge foods are and to have those on hand. I had a client who suffered from bulimia, and felt unsafe around most foods. However, she knew that she would never binge on apples and hard boiled eggs. For her, those were the only non binge trigger foods that she could identify. She used to carry a large purse with her so that when she began to feel hungry, she had healthy food on hand to eat to satisfy her hunger. For her, being either too hungry or too full would trigger a binge and purge episode, so keeping herself satiated gave her a clear mind to know what she actually needed to be eating.

Be Good To Yourself,

Leora

Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating disorders? Send an email to bingeeatingtherapy at gmail dot com. All questions will be kept confidential. Include your first name or the name you want to be referred to as and your location.

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  • AydanAesthetic

    What if our binging isn’t triggered by depression? Or if it doesn’t result in horrible feelings afterward? What if we don’t eat as much as the pictures and other media say? Is it still binge eating disorder?

    My triggers are certain activities and certain cravings. If I watch a movie, I eat. If I just worked out, I eat more than I need in order to replenish. I don’t always feel hungry, but when I do, it comes on strong. Like now, I am hungry. This is what normal hunger feels like. I woke up two hours ago, and haven’t eaten. But the problem is that I’m not inclined to go eat anything. Partially because I know there’s nothing to eat, and partly because if I have a craving, I can only eat that without feeling nauseated. Right now, I am craving baby carrots.

    Now, that isn’t a bad craving to have. But it’s unhealthy for me to lay here until my mother gets home and I can borrow the car to buy my carrots and veggies and fruits. I should be eating, but I’m not. But say if I were craving pizza right now, and I had one in the freezer. I would go downstairs, cook it, eat it, and feel nothing. No guilt or remorse. Probably way too full, but no guilt. However, talking about pizza has made me a little nauseated since I want carrots. I can’t even think about junk food when I’m craving healthy. It works the other way around, but to less of an extent.

    So what’s wrong with me? I can’t afford a therapist, and I don’t have a car anymore anyway. I don’t seem to have the emotional signs of binge eating, but this is clearly still binging even if it is a smaller amount of food compared to some people.

    The amount of food I eat when I binge varies. It can be a package of baby carrots, or a whole Digiornos pizza (It’s gone down to 3/4), or a plate and a half of spaghetti with garlic bread. I find that I get full fastest with the carrots.