Common wisdom says that it’s not possible to healthily lose weight (through restriction) when you have binge eating disorder (BED). Restriction triggers bingeing, pretty much without fail, for most bingers. Okay… so how do you lose weight with this eating disorder?
Folks have made many suggestions as to how to circumvent restriction to lose weight. Some claim that vegan diets will help you lose weight without restriction, or that a low-carb diet will do the trick. But in my experience, that never works. If you eat enough to not binge, you’re not losing weight, no matter whether or not you’re eating animal products, carbs, or what have you.
Of course, sheer willpower doesn’t do it, either. Believe me, I’ve tried simply digging my toes into the ground when the urge to binge arrives, and I always cave. The urge to binge is more like possession than it is just an “urge.” It’s overwhelming, overpowering, unbeatable.
So here’s one thing I’ve been able to do to lose weight without bingeing, with relative success. I restrict to lose a few pounds, and naturally, the urge to binge arrives. But I don’t keep any food in the house other than the minimum necessary to sustain myself, and I don’t keep any binge-worthy foods in the house. When you’re craving breads, sweets, cheese or carbs, but there aren’t any in the house, there’s not much you can do other than resist the desire. It works.
I’ll admit, once my roommate made herself a pot of pasta with tomato sauce (one of my favorites). I’d restricted pretty thoroughly all day, and was hungry. Well, I gorged myself on her pasta (to a limited extent — I wasn’t supposed to eat it, so I had to hide the gaps and hope she wouldn’t notice). But I ate a fair amount and derailed my diet for the day. It’s not a perfect method, and completely relies on the absence of foods. When you live with other people, that’s not always an option.
Until I find a different method for losing weight as a binge eater, this is what I’ll be sticking to. But I’ll keep looking out for a different approach.
*Note: losing weight in a restrictive fashion is questionable for any person who’s had an eating disorder, so I’m not really condoning my actions. But this is my experience right now, so I may as well share it.