Saturday, July 13, 2013

"My last cheat I SWEAR" Approach: How I Stopped Binging

How many times have you used THAT line huh?

From Layne Norton's Instagram

"Oh snap, I'm getting SERIOUS tomorrow... sooooo I might as well eat all the bad stuff I can now because I won't have any for a while..."

The next day comes around. You do fine for a few days... or one.... and then you mess up a tinyyy tiny bit... and that sets you off. You eat one cookie, which turns to 2, and then before you know it you've eaten the whole box!

"Ah crud.... messed up... OK starting fresh TOMORROW.... but since I already messed up, I should finish off that peanut butter too, and then tomorrow I'll start fresh..."

And repeat.

Sound familiar to you?



That is how I used to be EXACTLY! I could not control myself.

I'd have cycles of clean eating and then BAM, one tiny slip up and the binge monster inside my stomach that had no sense or knowledge of the word "full" or "satiated" went crazy.

If you've followed for a while, you know my past with binging!
Read my post on Stopping the Binge Here!
[This was before I knew about IIFYM, but there are still good tips if you're struggling]

I'd eat well, and then before I knew it I found myself in the store buying donuts and snack bars galore and "gluten free" cookies thinking it'd be the healthier choice to regular cookies.. psh who was I kidding? Overeating is overeating, and binging is binging, no matter what you binge on.

So how did I fix this? After months and months of feeling depressed, guilty, fluffy, disgusted at myself for this cycle, HOW in the world did I change my binging ways?

I seriously didn't think it would happen. I thought I'd be STUCK like that the rest of my life. Forever hungry, forever craving junk and eating till I couldn't breathe, and then eating some more. Creeping into the kitchen to finish off the bag of rice cakes. Constantly asking friends to go to buffets so I could stuff myself till my pants were stretched to its limits.

I thought I was a lost cause.
I prayed every night to get out of it, to go back to my OLD ways. Before I started my "healthy" lifestyle. Because back then, I COULD say no to Reese's, and other candies. I could say NO! 

But those months where I was at my worst, I COULD NOT. Anybody asked me or tempted me, I said HECK YES GIMME and GIMME MOREEEE.

Well the answer is right up there! ^^
"Back to my OLD ways, before I started my "healthy" lifestyle"

So what was the variable that changed from BEFORE my lifestyle change and AFTER?
RESTRICTION
I realized that I didn't restrict before, and I could say no.
When I started my "healthy" journey, I took it to an extreme.
  • No carbs except fruit.
  • Was scared to use olive oil because it's not good for you when heated to a certain degree.
  • Was afraid to add sea salt because of added sodium and water retention.
  • Bland condiments
  • Bland cooking because I was afraid to add any zest or flavor
So after my unhealthy weight loss by doing all that, I finally "Reintroduced" other foods, such as carbs. My body had been restricted for so long that it was like,

"What is that delicious carby thing? I MUST GET IT ALLLL IN BEFORE I CAN'T HAVE IT ANYMORE"
AND that's exactly what I did.

Then I gained weight, got a little fluffy, so I decided I was going to get serious again, cut all carbs, salts, etc.

And I said it,
"This is my last cheat, I SWEAR.... soooooo let's eat alll the bad food in the house to get rid of it" 
or "I have to eat all this peanut butter because I won't eat it for a while!" 

And that's how it went.
That cycle continued for MONTHS.
I tried all kinds of extreme diets:
  • Hired a trainer [who had me on 1100 cals and low carb cookie cutter diet he used with countless other clients]
  • keto [no carbs]
  • tried to get ready for a bikini competition thinking the discipline would help... it did not
  • Fat Flush Diet again [what I initially used for my "weightloss"]
These cycles continued..... until a few months ago.
On instagram I kept seeing the tag #iifym, stands for If It Fits Your Macros [to read about my initial post on that, click here].

I read up on it, did my research, looked at others going through this diet and saw that they were living perfectly maintainable lives, and still able to look GOOD! But not only did they look good, they also had the MENTAL health aspect.

That's what I needed.
To be able to have a treat, not think: "OH HOLY I MESSED IT ALL UP GO CRAZY" and move on!

So I started tracking macros, found mine on iifym.com, and guess what.

The binges lessened.

I ate majority healthy food, but still was able to fit in chocolates, or bars, or ferrero rocher [GASP, my favorite], maintain my weight, keep my sanity AND happiness.

The binges lessened, until I realized one day,
"I haven't binged since.... I can't even remember!"

That's right.
I thought I was a lost cause, BUT I wasn't!
I finally fixed my problem!

It was "RESTRICTION".

And the moment I changed my  
MINDSET 
[dingding KEY WORD - you HAVE TO change the mind - the mind controls everything]
that's when I changed how my body reacted to food.

Food no longer controls me.
I can have a treat, one treat, and stop at that.
I don't go into the night eating a bag of ezekiel bread slathered in almond butter anymore.
I have one, and I'm done!

Why?
Because I don't have the mindset of "OHH THIS IS MY LAST ONE SO I HAVE TO EAT IT ALL!"

Because with IIFYM, it's not your last one! If you can fit it into your macros, then HAVE IT!
It's not RESTRICTED! You can MAKE something fit your macros!

And while counting macros, you get a greater sense of what you're putting into your body! The macros, AND micronutrients [vitamins and minerals] and fiber! I ALWAYS make sure I hit my micronutrients & fiber and essential nutrients before adding in any fun stuff.
So for those of you complaining,

"Oh em geee, you do IIFYM? You mean the eat crap diet? Uck how disgusting... you're going to get diseases and heart problems and all sorts of bad things..."



Just know I'm more aware of my nutrients now than I was in the past! I'm consuming more healthy fats than I was before, and instead of eating bland veggies, I can find tastier ones with just the same or better nutrient values!

 AND with IIFYM I realized I was UNDEReating as well!

I didn't use to track my calories, so I didn't know how much I was eating. I realized that what I was usually eating was SO much lower than my maintenance cals, so of course my body was starving for some food!

When I ate more and matched my macros, I wasn't HUNGRY anymore. I wasn't starving mentally or physically. Therefor, NO CRAVINGS because I was actually full! I know it may seem like:
"Come on Josie, DUHH. You didn't realize you were doing this all to yourself before?"
Well when you're in a screwed up cycle like that one above, it's not so easy to see the big main problem!


IIFYM, what did it do for me?
  • Made me realize I was eating too little
  • Increase in food = more satiety = less cravings
  • Changed my mental view on food
  • Actually eating more nutritious food
  • Got rid of my "last cheat I swear" approach
  • Allows me to go out with friends or family on social events [lots of restaurants have nutritional info on their websites! Or through myfitnesspal.com!]
  • Stopped my binges
  • Made me realize this process TAKES TIME
I don't know why I though restriction was the way to go.

Seriously, did I think I could live my life ZERO carb forever?! NO.

Why would I want to get my body USED TO having LOW CARBS anyway, only to balloon and swell up the moment I have a carby treat?!
I want to eat AS MANY carbs as I can and still maintain! BECAUSE I LOVEEE THEM.

And that's what I aim to do!
I'm going to slowly increase my carb intake until the point I start gaining. I'd love to be like one of Layne Norton's clients who are female AND have their carbs in the 200s or even 300 grams!

CAN YOU SAY CARB HEAVEN?!?!


Hahaha ok ok I'm done rambling.
Just wanted to give my story and input on the whole clean eating vs iifym approach.

Again, not shoving my views down your throats and telling you IIFYM IS THE WAY TO GO.
I'm not saying that.
I'm saying if you have a problem, try different techniques and ways to fit it.
Find the lifestyle, diet, program that works for you.

ALL PROGRAMS WORK
Eating 6x a day, eating 3x a day, eating small meals, or eating big meals. It's just about YOU the individual.
What will work for you NOW and most importantly in the LONG RUN.
The way you're eating now, can you see yourself doing that 5 months down the road, 5 years down the road?
If not, time to reevaluate your lifestyle choices.
This will take time.

But you know what?
Quick fixes = fast results = short temporary success
Realizing it's a process = longer time = sustained changes = long term success

Wishing you all the luck in finding what works best for YOU.

- Josie
@Vmfitness

44 comments :

  1. Thank you very much for sharing your story, you gave me a big boost!
    I had serious problems with binge eating in the last 6 months and I'm still struggling a little bit...
    Today I've calculated my macros and I've decided to start this journey, hope it will work also for me!
    N.

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  2. This is an awesome article, it is so me......

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  3. but you are limiting your calories and setting specific goals for each macro. how is that not restriction?

    also, it is a pain in the ass weighing and calculating so many stuff. imagine wanting to add a sauce to your sandwich in the middle of eating it.

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    1. I'm actually eating more NOW than i was before, so im not restricting calories.
      and not really, if you have a phone and an app, you can just pop it in. lots of foods have labels and the apps can figure that out too!

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  4. What a glorious article! I laughed alot because this just reminds me so much of myself haha. Yesterday i had a BBQ binge, it will be my last binge ever! Thanks so much.

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  5. LOVE THIS girl! I used to be a binger too. Now I'm IIFYM because of working with Layne and I could not be happier :)

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    1. oh lucky! you're going to have some amazing results!

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  6. Isn't mrgeecue the trainer you hired? I thought he had you on a comfortable prep where you were actually allowed to eat?

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    1. Oh i was! He's not the trainer i was talking about for the 1100 calorie thing!

      but i realized prep in GENERAL is just too strict for me :/

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  7. this read spoke to me, I now will do my own research into IIFYM and see how to apply it to myself. I really do wanna stop binging! I wanna reach and maintain my bodies possibilities of being healthy and lean. thanks for sharing!

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  8. Can you lose weight by following macros or just maintain? I see a lot of people who use macros also workout and body build. If I have a lot of weight to lose, are macros a good way to reach a goal of about 100lb weight loss?

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    1. of course! it's all about calories in vs calories out - so if you want to lose weight - you need a deficit, either in cutting food or more workouts!

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  9. I have been trying out IIFYM..started in April but haven't stuck to it whole heartedly (at first I did). Right away I noticed myself get all super soft and flabby (no real weight gain). I know this is common but have you gotten past this initial stage yet?

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    1. you have to make sure your diet isn't full of completely bad foods! majority of it should be healthy and nutritious!

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  10. Hi, great post! I've had trouble bingeing as well lately-I'm so happy I found your blog. I can't wait to calculate my macronutrients and starts treating my "mind" and body better. What App do you use to keep track of your macros? Thanks!

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    1. aw i wish you allll the best girlie! and i use myfitnesspal!

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  11. Hi Josie.
    Thanks for sharing your story! It is totally inspiring to me as I feel I have fallen down the same path as you with intense workouts and calorie restriction and also the binging. I would love to try the IIFYM approach but I was just curious if you weaned yourself into it by slowly increasing your calories or if you just jumped right in. If I were to jump right in I'd be going from eating 800 cal and burning 700 cal/day to eating 1500 and burning 400. I'm fearful that if I just jump in ill gain more weight. I'm also curious what your results were like the first couple weeks. I'd be so thankful for any advice :)
    Thanks, Kristen
    schmidter-@hotmail.com

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    1. i just jumped right into it! but you could always do it slowly, add 100 calories a week if you feel more comfortable that way!

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    2. Hi! Just a quick question, I am trying to lose fat, should I reverse diet first and then start cutting calories or should I just straight cut calories? But I don't have much to cut from though, I am 5'2 and eating around 1200cals per day.

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    3. i would definitely reverse diet to raise your metabolic capacity! you want it to be EASY to lean out, and right now it may be tough if you're stalled that low! i recommend it :]

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  12. Hi, I am interested in doing IIFYM i feel like it might work for me, because i SO want to eat healthy, but i am a binger, i am weak around chocolate, ): But i am starting college in September, i know you are in college but how do you continue with IIFYM while in college, take your scale everywhere you go? lol

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    1. i'm in college now and do fine! i also live in my own apartment htough and cook my own foods... you could always questimate portions if it comes to it!

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  13. Hi, I've been following you on instagram for awhile now and i finally took a look at your blog! I loved reading your post it was really relate-able to me. I lost 25 pounds about a year and a half a go by under eating and over exercise and now struggle with binge eating once I started to allow myself to eat carbs. I love the idea of IIFYM i think i am going to try it out since it has been so hard to eat the way i use to eat in college and continue intensely working out. Thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. aw i'm glad you're going to give it a go! let me know how it goes! :] <3

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  14. Hi there! I've just started trying the iifym way a couple of days ago, so far I like it but I think it's going to take me a little while to get the hang of trying to hit all those macros without going over one by a lot and still having like 48 of protein to hit like I did last night haha. Just wondering, do you stick by the iifym rule to not add your daily calories burnt through exercise into my fitness pal? I just read today in their FAQ section of iifym that they already calculate your estimated calories burnt through exercise in the tdee calculator so therefore we don't need to add them onto my fitness pal. Thing is though, some days I burn way more calories than other days so i'm not sure how iifym could calculate correctly. And i seem to hit my calorie goal of 1600 so quickly so I always liked the idea of doing some exercise to give me more calories to play around with/eat hehe. Hope that all makes sense!

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    1. hey there! yes i do not add my exercise into myfitnesspal. overall i look for a weekly deficit if i'm trying to lose, instead of a daily deficit!
      <3 <3
      and for protein if you need to hit it, easiest thing is protein powder, egg whites, some sort of meat or fish! :)
      if you're feeling hungry, make sure you didnt set your macros too low!

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  15. This was helpful, but I started counting my macros to stop the binges two weeks ago, still had two binges since.. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!!!
    its the carbs, I love them so much :(

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    Replies
    1. you ahve to lose the "diet" mentality and all or nothing view! i'll write another post soon:)

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  16. I've been doing research into IIFYM and your articles have definitely helped. But soemthing I'm still unclear on is: do you track fruits and vegetables? The majority of fruits and veggies are all carbs! Do I count this towards my daily carb intake? Thanks so much for your help!

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    1. yes i counted all those too when i did iifym :)

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  17. I feel like I'm behind on the bandwagon, but it's awesome to hear about progress!! Did you ever feel like you were eating too much? The Macros for my stats seems like a huge amount I don't know if I can actually eat that much!

    Or is it better to trust it and just follow what it says?

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    1. Oops, I meant to add that it also seems like my fitness pal suggests much fewer calories and intake per day. Which is a hard decision to choose between!

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    2. i just trusted the macros and worked out HARD in the gym! it all balanced out! trust me, you'll love it!

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  18. This is probably my 6th time reading this exact article in the period of a few months lol. Great article. Iifym has also lessened my binges too but sometimes I feel like I'll never be able to stop overeating completely. I seem to mess up once every week! Much less and not as bad as when I "ate clean". Just gotta keep at it and not punish myself over it... and keep reading the post lol. Thanks again =) I'm glad you found balance

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  19. True that! I've finally actually managed to stop the binge! Somehow i managed to hold off long enough to see the results and that has kept me on it! I love your blog! x

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  20. Hi Josie - I'm just finding this post now but I love it and can totally relate to it! I started doing IIFYM back in January of this year (2015) and I loved that it helped me move past a "good food / bad food" mentality - ALL foods can be part of a healthful diet. The only problem was that as my macros got more restrictive (there's that magic word), I noticed that I started bingeing more. It was especially bad if I was going on vacation. My coach would tell me not to worry about my target macros and to just eat "intuitively" while on vacation (smart coach - you can drive yourself a little TOO crazy trying to track while on vacation, especially with one-of-a-kind restaurants that don't have calories on a website - plus you don't want to be the weirdo with a food scale at a restaurant or hotel - at least not ALL the time, lol!). The problem was that my "intuition" was telling me: "eat ALL the food now because when you get back from vacation you'll be back to restricted fats and carbs and won't be able to have those things." Now that I'm working my way back up to maintenance macros, I noticed that my mental stress and anxiety have come down and the binges have lessened because I'm not in panic mode - not enough macros to have both an avocado AND coconut butter today? No problem, I can have it tomorrow. Plus it was just a matter of time and experience (and respectfully disagreeing with my coach at times) to realize that I need closer to 30% of my daily calories to come from fat.

    Thanks so much for sharing! Glad to hear we're pretty much ALL a little crazy at times when it comes to food and/or our relationship with it. :-)

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  21. Hi Josie, I just found this article and am so grateful that I did. I have had issues with binge eating for years and years for many of the reasons you touched on with diets, the restriction mentality etc. I have been using IIFYM for 4 months and have successfully lost 15 pounds. It did help a lot with not feeling restricted but I have found myself bingeing again and reading your article made me realize that even though I'm not actually restricted with what I can eat that I was restricting myself by eating the same boring stuff all the time! I would crave chinese food or pizza but eat my chicken and sweet potatoes because that is what I had logged into my tracker and what I had prepared, but it wasn't what I really wanted. So then I binge until I feel like I am going to explode and think "I'll start over tomorrow." Well, something you said in the article really hit me; it's the simplest thing but reading your article was my "aha" moment. By eating the same bland stuff and not allowing myself what I really wanted (within my macros of course), I was setting myself up to binge! I need variety in my life (and chocolate, haha!) And I had forgotten that. Thank you for sharing. I am hoping to get back to the non-bingeing streak I had been on. :)

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