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  1. #1
    Registered User Girlie's Avatar
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    Sugar Flush? for Binge Eating

    Hi. I've been dealing with a worsening binge eating problem. Recently I was able to identify certain triggers, the most significant of which is a high sensitivity to carbohydrates. (I demonstrate addictive behavior patterns to simple sugars. . . my mom has actually said that I act like an alcoholic around candy, but we thought it was a joke at the time. As a side note I found some interesting research articles on the subject. Apparently the sugars can result in an opioid response with improper eating habits.) My doctor recommended (over the phone) that I do a "sugar flush", but I didn't have a chance to ask what that involved. I will be seeing my doctor Monday, and plan to ask for more details then, but can anyone here clue me in a bit?
    About how long would it last?
    Would I eliminate ALL carbohydrates?
    Would I need to eliminate all artificial sweeteners?
    Does anyone know a good website describing a program like this?

    Thank you ahead of time for your help!
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  2. #2
    Registered User Makeupmonsterdo's Avatar
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    I was in the same boat as you several months ago and I am very happy to say that I am 48 days binge free. While I know that it is a behavior that I am capable of because I struggled with it for 1 year, I can't remember exactly how I was able to do it.

    My triggers were the sugary baked things. I gave myself a 21 day "challenge"--21 days where I will not binge but honor my body and my hunger by eating foods that my body can use for fuel. That meant 6 balanced meals and none of my trigger foods (desserts), not even as a "treat." Also I avoided all refined foods and sugars. I told myself that I could do it for 21 stinkin' days and, hell, if on day 22, I really had the shaking urge to eat and eat and eat, I would.

    Most of it, though, was mental--convincing myself that I could live life without desserts on a regular basis. That life is not bleak if it doesn't include cookies. I had told myself that I had an incurable sweet tooth so I believed it--regardless of the physical and mental harm that sugar was doing to me.

    The first week was hard mostly because it was having the sugar in my system that would trigger actual physical cravings. But, about 10 days into my challenge, not only did I really start enjoying what I was eating, but I was actually craving it. The thought of cakes and candies physically repulsed me. And, after 10 days, at some points it was just a matter of not wanting to ruin my "streak," as it had been an entire year that I had gone that long without a binge.

    I can honestly say that kicking the binge eating habit was the biggest physical, mental, and emotional challenge of my life but it IS possible. Please feel free to PM me at any time with questions, advice, or with ANYthing! I am such a happier and more balanced person--I feel "normal" now and I would be glad to help anyone else get to that place by shedding more light on my own experiences.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Girlie's Avatar
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    Thank you for your experience. It sounds like you were able to bring a really great strategy.

    I actually was doing pretty well for a while. I was almost 2 months binge free. I was able to have small treats and it was ok. I'm not sure what happened after that. . . I'm still trying to figure it out. My doctor said trying this type of diet for a bit might help. I just don't know the precise details.
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    Thanks Makeupmonsterdo for your suggestions. I've had this problem for a year now. In the new year I told myself I wanted to cure this problem so I told myself I can have small treats in moderation. Well for all of January I didn't binge. But then in the beginning of February I ate bad for about 4 days, not binges for 4 days but close.

    I have alot of trouble with moderation. I just cannot eat only 1 peace of chocolate cake. When I have sugar, I want more until I'm stuffed and can't breath. After one of my co-workers's birthday choclate cake last thursday I ate 3 boxes of smarties and it doesn't stop there I wanted more satisfying bad food.

    So that's my problem, I don't want to deny myself bad food but if I have some I can't stop. I going at it again now since this week, we'll see how far I get this time.
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  5. #5
    Balance23 balance23's Avatar
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    I am experiencing the same pattern!

    Hi there,

    I am so happy to hear another person explain what I deal with daily. I work in theg health field and have always been hard on myself to be perfect with foods eaten. Well get that same feeling for bingeing ifany sugar passes my palette! Whether it be a muffin or a chocolate- it hits me. And i have satisfied it too much cause now my body is wanting it daily and i cant seem to get away from it. I called for help with a counsellor and co-worker yesterday. Big step. But i had it happen to me again today. I relate to what the girl said aboit not having one piece of cake. If i have a morsel - then i need the whole cake.
    Its so frustrating and i am thinking that perhaps its internally regulated by my hormones.
    It would be interesting to hear about the sugar flush. It makes me think it may be like Phase I of the South Beach Diet. That is the purpose of that phase is to regulate insulin levels so cravings/binges subside.

    Cant wait to hear more.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Girlie's Avatar
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    It's more than just hormonal actually. The latest research indicates that sugar surges can, in fact, trigger an opioid response similar to addiction. Basically, every time you eat a simple sugar you're setting off a pleasure response similar to that experienced in alcholism or other addictions.

    Here's the link if you're interested:
    http://www.obesityresearch.org/cgi/c...tract/10/6/478
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    Registered User dixie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link.
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    Registered User Girlie's Avatar
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    oh, just in case anyone misinterprets the post. . . it specifies intermittent overdoses of sugar (like bingeing). . .not sugar in general
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    Registered User bethjody's Avatar
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    Been there...

    Several years ago, I'd had it with my sugar compulsion. I couldn't, COULDN'T control myself with it. January 1, 2001, I decided I had to stop eating sugary foods completely. Every day was horrible and I swore each day that TOMORROW would be the day I'd finally give in and break my streak. It was a full six months before I stopped craving sweets.

    Last February, I started having cravings again and sneaking treats so my family wouldn't know I'd fallen off the wagon. I "came out of the closet" the next month and tried to eat sweets in moderation with the rest of the family. Guess what? Same old addiction came back. I couldn't control myself at all. By August I'd gained about 10 pounds. I cut myself off from sugar on August 13 and have lost (with a good diet and lots of exercise) close to 20 pounds.

    I can't, CAN'T eat sweets. I used to feel it was a weakness of my character to not be able to moderate my intake. But now I truly believe (and scientific literature is backing this up) that I have a physiological makeup that is addicted to sugar. My control, like that of an alcoholic, is to never have the addictive substance!
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  10. #10
    These Hybrid Moments ... Mizfette's Avatar
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    It's so reassuring to hear this from you all!
    I'm the same way with binging and sugar ... once I get a taste if it all I can think about is going to the store and buying something, ANYthing, and eating until it's gone. I do it with "healthy" foods as well, usually high carbohydrate snacks like crackers or rice cakes with jam. I also have a HUGE weakness for nutbutters.

    For me, it's really a fleeting obsession with eating large amounts if food, not so much the food itself. But it's usually triggered by even the smallest taste of sugar.

    I've found that staying away from processed/refined foods is really key in killing my binge demon. I try to eat balanced, whole foods as much as possible.
    And be cautious of your nutritional supps! Most of the bars and shakes out there have tons of corn syrup, sugar and other crap that'll do the same thing to your body as a Snickers bar. Dob't get duped!
    Also, with a few exceptions, I've GOT to start my day with a small, non-sweet meal with a balance of carbs, fat and proteion. Something like oatmeal with honey and soymilk will send me into a sugar tailspin for the rest of the day.

    Pills like chromium picolante, 5-htp and hydroxy-citrate really help me out, too.

    Oh, and try to drink lots of water! Usually my cravings are sometimes a weird crossed signal that I'm just dehydrated.

    Now that I've typed your ear off .... You can do it! I'm here with you all the way, and we ARE stonger than our addictions!
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  11. #11
    Member of Who Dat Nation GetnThere's Avatar
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    I believe I have this problem also. Once I eat something sweet or high in simple sugars, I can't stop, for days.

    I previously had success by not having them in the house. But this last weekend, I fell off the wagon. I bought Oreo's, ice cream, brownies, chips. I was eating and eating and eating. Ordered Pizza, had McDonald's for breakfast, went out drinking Friday night.

    Bad, bad, bad...

    Told myself yesterday that I was starting over today. But I did it again. There were Oreo's still left over & I ate them.

    I would be seriously interested in this Sugar Flush. Please post more info when you have it.
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  12. #12
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    you all sound like me. actually i'll binge on anything but it usually starts with sugar. yesterday i ate 4000cal of crap and i just couldn't stop shuveling it in. i only got 2 hrs of sleep last night b/c i was so bloated and full. today i'm so puffy and swollen i can't stand it. the bad thing is i just started it again b/c of v-day. i've had a brownie, 10 chocolate truffles, and 8 mini snickers. but i'm stopping now. my stomach is still trying to feel better from yesterdays binge. i have to get the sugar out of my system now. i think i'm setting a goal of not eating sugar till easter. i wish i were normal and could just have a little and be done with it but once i have some i figure i messed up and its time to go all out and eat myself to death. i have an all or none way of thinking. i haven't put on weight yet since doing this weekly b/c i am very active training for a triathlon however it is so hard on the body to over eat like that and i just don't want to do it any. i'm so happy that i found this thread to vent. thanks for listening.
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  13. #13
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    Bump!! Me too. This is good stuff. More advice.
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    Registered User firecracker71's Avatar
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    Unhappy Sugar/binge eating/ recovering ED w/ messed up metabolism

    New to the forum, so excuse any faux pas. Need some words of wisdom, hope there are some to be heard.... recovering from ED-NOS, eating disorder not otherwise specified, was combo compulsive exercise-bulimic-binge eater. I'm in treatment for that, don't worry. this link appealed to me because my big binge food is sugar.

    I tore my achilles in Nov and had mini breakdown when they said I couldn't do ANY working out. Had visions of myself on an arm ergometer, cranking out twice daily sessions, swimming with a pull buoy so as not to use legs ... realized I had major problem and sought help. yay, that is going fine, learning to exercise/ eat in moderation, realized have lots of repressed issues, working on them, great. BUT my metabolism is *whacked*. In the past 12 months I have put on 15 lbs that is killing me. I have been advised to avoid dieting, that my metabolism has been abused for so long (8 years) with the disorder and my weight has been steadily creeping up the past few years as a sign of fighting my destructive patterns (like exercising 2.5 hrs/day on 2100 kcals). At the center they keep telling me to trust my body and that I will eventually lose this weight. Arg! I kind of am afraid to diet because I do feel that I have made great strides and I dont want to start crazy food restrictions again ( no sugar/chocolate/fun)

    OK- so .... any recovered EDs out there? any hope for me? will I be able to lose this weight without dieting? I am back to -clenched teeth- moderate working out. 3x/week total body, lifting heavy-but less than 60 minutes, I periodize, am in 2 week cycle of 12-15 reps, cardio 3-4x/week 25-40 minutes. Im 33 y/o 5'5", 146lbs, BF? when I was 132 it was 16 %.
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  15. #15
    These Hybrid Moments ... Mizfette's Avatar
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    Firecracker, I have a very active friend who tore the ACL in her knee, and it layed her up for a month and a half. It sucked, but a year later she's back to 110 percent, doining things she never even considered before her injury.

    Have you ever thought that maybe the cause of your injury was all that excessive exercize you were doing? Why do you want to go back to that? I don't know too much about eating disorders, but it sounds like you need some mental/emotional support/outlet OTHER than working it out in the gym. Do you have any hobbies that don't involve "fitness" to focus on? You go to a center for eating disorders ... do they have therapy that you can take advantage of? Good luck!

    OK, back to the sugar flush stuff--

    I had candida a few summers ago. Candida is like a yeast infection but of your digestive system. To kick it, I had to completely eliminate sugar (even honey!), alcohol, dairy and refined foods for a few months. The first week was TORTURE. I craved pancakes and enchiladas constantly. But you know what? Makeupmonster do is right. Just give it some time and you won't want to go anywhere near junk foods. Your body will adapt, and things like fresh fruit will feel like a treat. Sugar creates a lot of "noise" in your system, and getting rid of it makes it really easy to listen to your body's real needs.
    Of course, I've fallen off the wagon since ... but I still follow a modified, high-protein version of it.

    If your open to it, getting some colonics may help you "flush" the gunk out of your system. I'll admit that I've had a few, and I think they're great for that kind of thing. Really helped get the holidays out of my system ... and I stopped drinking coffee without even trying!

    If I can think of more, I'll post it up. Take care, ladies!
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    DonnaW donnaw's Avatar
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    After reading all this I have to admit that I suffer from similar problems. I am 38 and have had weight issues all my life. I was the heavy girl is school. I am obsessed with exercise and eating clean. Last July I was 140lbs and 11.6% BF. Since winter has set in and I am feeling a little down my weight has gone up to 148 and Im not sure what my BF is. I am one that can't have one of something. If I grab a handful of pretzels or crackers I will end up with the entire bag in hand. I thought is was a salt craving but think now that it's the carbs & sugar. I don't go for desserts or ice cream or candy. I don't know what a "colonic" is, I suspect it's like an enema? I am also going to try the none at all approach instead of trying to just have a little. Also curious about the sugar flush.
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    Smile

    Thanks mizfette...

    I *know* my crazy running & extra cardio was definitely the cause of my torn achilles! Why would i want to go back to that? That's why I'm in therapy LOL. I am in a bad marriage is the basic easy answer and my exercising kept my away from that ( and my DD and friends and family I see in hindsight) there are other issues too and I just was literally running away from them.

    Thank you for the suggestion about non-fitness activities. I work at a gym, doing personal training and group fitness, so I can see how that helped cocoon me. My major in school is exercise science so even there I am surrounded by it! Luckily I am doing my internship, exercise physiology in a cardiac rehab center, and I love it. Quite a difference from the go hard or go home mentality that I needed to put in perspective.

    I have tried to find metabolism and eating disorders all over the net. medical databases, blah blah nothing! I just want reassurance that all my yo-yo-ing didnt permanently mess up my metab. As I am going to grad school for MS in ex phys maybe I just found my thesis! None of the girls in therapy lift like I do. They're all 5 lb bicep curl girlies, so they're not really stimulating muscle growth, and thus their metabs. Sigh.

    Y'know maybe if I just believe I will readjust slowly over time and keep up my steady workouts, it will happen. I just have to believe it and trust my body. I am alway telling patients that the body wants to heal... maybe I need to trust my words.

    Sorry for dumping, feeling down, scratch that *was* feeling bad, now feel hopeful. thanks
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    Registered User Girlie's Avatar
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    hey! so I talked to a psych about what a sugar flush really meant. basically it's what everyone here has been talking about. I'm not supposed to eat: sugar of any sort, refined foods, artificial sweetener (including my sugarless gum and diet soda ), for at least 3 weeks (basically until the cravings go away completely). Also, for the first 2 weeks I'm not even supposed to have complex carbs (though I have to cut back on my workouts and be really gentle on myself during these 2 weeks).

    I actually started last weekend based on what I guessed the program would be (I was pretty much right). . . so it's been about 4/5 days. My energy level is incredibly low and I had mild headaches the first day or two.

    On the positive side, I'm eating probably double the protein I was eating before, and I'm NEVER hungry. I have to force myself to eat enough to reach my caloric totals. It's actually really nice not to be constantly counting the minutes until I'm "allowed" to eat again.

    I don't know if this program will work long term. I admit that I still stare when I see people eating sweet stuff. . . . and wish I could eat it, but since I'm always full I think about food so much less! it's actually really liberating in some ways.
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    firecracker, this has nothing to do with the subject but i just wanted to say that i'm also majoring in exercise science and then i plan on getting my phd in physical therapy. i have another year before my internship so you are way ahead of me. good luck with it. i love this major.
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  20. #20
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    Good for you, Girlie!
    Stay strong .. you can do this! And, hey, no harm in just looking, right?
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    Sounds kind of like the induction period of Atkins doesn't it. Right down to the cutting of complex carbs.

    The artifical sweetners, does this include splenda?????? I can't live without splenda.
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    G.I. foods

    This is interesting because I like everyone else restrain myself from eating sugar and then in a moment of weakness binge like a freakin eating disordered person. Then wuts worse is the guilt, and definately the gastro-intestinal problems I have as a result. Anyways I read in a book a while ago that taking in any kind of higher GI foods will like raise your insulin and trigger a craving. This kind of worried me because they even identified fruits, and ya i know you don't get fat eating fruit, but if I can cut anything out to decrease the urge then I would like to. So does anyone know anything about the GI index or is it bull?
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    i am an exercise science major and we had a sports nutrition class. in this class we learned about the GI index but the thing is the ratings for for individual foods alone. when foods are combined you cannot use these ratings. for example if you eat a high gi food with a protein or fat it lowers the rating so i think unless all you are eating is one type of food for a particular meal its a waste of time.
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    Originally Posted by GetnThere
    The artifical sweetners, does this include splenda?????? I can't live without splenda.
    In my case, this includes splenda. Based on my doctor's experience (no scientific backing or research in this case) as long as the individual keeps having the "sweet" taste the cravings never fully go away and the brain isn't "deconditioned." Basically, even if it doesn't trigger a binge, you're still used to having that sweet tooth satisfied and you don't break the cycle.

    Personally I was eating a lot of splenda and a lot of diet soda. . . so overall I'm not enjoying this experience. . . . but it will be worth it if it works I figure!
    Only a dog likes a bone, and when he's done with it he buries it.
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    Balance23 balance23's Avatar
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    any advice on how to best stop a junk food binge---i have been up and down with my intake and i feel overall i am putting on weight b/c of this- its the addiction- i get the taste of the sweet foods and then i feel i need it-
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    theres no trick on getting off the junk food binge roller coaster. i just take it one day at a time and just try to eat the best i can each day. like you when i have a little i end up binging so i'm on the no junk food plan until easter. once the sugar is in your system it usually takes a good 3-4 days until the sugar cravings subside so you first have to get through that. once thats over you just have to take the cravings as they come and really stay busy and focus on what you want your body to look like. it all centers in the mind so you have to make the choice to give into those cravings or not. the mind is more powerful than those cravings so i know you can do it.
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    hey kariev34, yeah we have a cool major!

    Balance23, kariev34 is right on target when she says take it day by day. Of course one has to have long term goals and an eye on the future, but with certain things, it really comes down to one day at a time. I'm recovering from ED-NOS, sometimes called anorexia athletica as is combo anorexia-bulimia commonly found in female athletes.

    Do you notice any feelings *before* you give in to your cravings? I tend to be anxious or worried before I have a sugar attack. Sugar pacifies me, well it used to. I realize the bad effects my consumption has... overwhelming guilt, bloat, gas, snappiness, shame .... and that helps to see that the sugar binge is only a temporary solution, and not a very good one at that. Short term solutions like drinking a large glass of ice water, going for a walk, calling someone etc will help the craving itself pass. But I've learned that there's a bigger usually emotional reason I want sweets.

    BTW kariev34, gave a public health lecture yest at a church in the city and a member of the audience passed out! Yikes.. TG she had a pulse but was clearly unresponsive, I called 911 and kept everyone calm .... her blood glucose later was found to be over 400! yikes. My intern proctor noted the incident, called my advisor at school to inform him and said he was impressed! yay! Not to revel in someone's medical misfortune or anything but..
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    Balance23 balance23's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Thanks for the responses and g\keep the encouragement coming.

    I find that i struggle with keeping the binges out of my life everyday! If i keep active then that helps which isbnt hard for me as i am a cardio junkie and lift 4x/wk.

    i guess i just am scared to give myself the calories my body needs- i am 5'4''tall, 150lbs. I just would love to get back to 130lb where i was 1 yr ago but b/c pf binging and missing exercise b/c of it---i put on the weight.

    I know what the text books say for kcal---my basal needs are approx 1400kcal (and i will admit i have gone too low with kcal!!). But with a 30 min run daily and 4- 1hr lifting sessions--not too sure what i'd actually need to tkae in to lose the weight. This is a goal for me and i am takin g it dad by day.

    I was doing great yesterday and then had ice cream in the fridge---my hubby struggles to keep his wt up as hes a lifter too and eats high kcal for mass). Well the ice cream fixed the craving--throw in some choc chips and 2 pices of pizza later---ahhh... But i will say i recovered well. I showered and brushed teeth abnd 2 hrs later i was lifting at the gym.

    Hope to hear encouraging responses....i will get off this bandwagon!
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    I make my boyfriend keep his ice cream in the back of the fridge, underneath piles of frozen vegetable and shrimp. Out of sight, out of mind!
    I can't believe you went and lifted after all that ... good for you! You're on the right track.
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    Thumbs up

    I just found this at www.stellaskitchen.com -- some motivational thinking for us all (and recipes-- check out the site!)

    Protein shakes, tuna, broccoli and oatmeal are great for building muscles but let's face it, there are days when pizza & other junk seduces you away from your goals. Whether your dieting for a show or just trying to break bad habits, these 10 tips can help you stick to your diet.

    1. Stay out of the kitchen except when it’s time to eat. After eating, clean up, grab a glass of cold water and turn the lights off. The kitchen and its immediate surrounding area are now CLOSED.

    2. Prepare your meals in advance and stick to PRE-SET eating times. If it means eating cold chicken & broccoli in the car, so be it! Not only is this good for your metabolism, it’s also good for your sense of discipline and control.

    3. Keep Tabs. How many more meals or grams of protein do you have left to go in the day. Do you really want to eat this junk now and then out of guilt, cut back on the meals that are going to actually help you reach your goals?

    4. Do the math! Having a latte a day or some other little vice you just can’t seem to give up? Multiply the calories, fats, and carbs of one portion times 365. The shock value of what “just one a day” can be enough to stop you dead in your tracks. Why not let the collective days of saying “No” add up in a positive direction?

    5. Do something busy and productive. Fold laundry, do the dishes, walk around the backyard, call a friend you haven’t talked to, send a thank you card, go flex in the mirror or look at your abs. Do anything but give in!

    6. Brush your teeth. Heck, floss ‘em since you hardly ever do anyway! Don’t let little sugar bugs eat your pearly whites!

    7. Talk to Yourself. “It’s not as is I’ll never, ever eat this again. I just won’t eat it at the moment. Besides, I already know what it tastes like!”

    8. Beat a Sweet. If your craving sweets, try drinking a glass of Crystal Light with crushed ice or eating a frozen strawberry or peach slice. If your really desperate, try eating a few pickle slices to kill your tastebuds. Sometimes feeding the craving only strengthens the craving, so practice resisting it once in awhile.

    9. Think Realistically. If you want to eat because you feel bad that you’ve already “blown it”, deeply consider how it is that pizza or a burger is going to alleviate that guilt or solve the problem.

    10. Visualize. Take a deep breath and mentally replay your best workout or look through your training journal. Remind yourself of how much time and effort you’ve invested at the gym and ask yourself it you want to hinder results over a stupid cookie here and there.

    You are human. It can be hard to eat clean when everyone around you just doesn’t seem to care. Don’t kick yourself for always seeming like you have to fight cravings. Don’t call yourself weak because you find “dieting” difficult. Simply acknowledging your cravings exist and thinking of silly little mind tricks to stop them can help develop a sense of empowerment. Your mental success will only lead to the very real success of visible results.
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