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Question
Posted by: Munchy | 2009-02-16

Binging " involuntarily" 

Hi Doc

I follow a healthy diet and exercise 6 days a week. During the day I have no problem or difficulty keeping to healthy portion sizes and I don' t have any cravings. However, in the evening after gym and supper I ' suffer'  from extreme cravings and an unstopable urge to just EAT. Also, when I do indulge in unhealthy foods I enjoy (chocolate or other sweet things, not junk foods) I find that I cannot stop. I cannot have 2 blocks of a slab, I finish the whole thing. And once I' ve done this, I feel such a failure that I just eat whatever else I can find that I usually wouldn' t eat. After all this I sit with emmence feelings of guilt and failure and I feel that I have to do cardio exercise to combat potential weight gain. I don' t exercise excessively, though, since I just don' t really have the time. I am not over weight. This is driving me crazy because I feel completely out of control and miserable about that fact.

I would appreciate any advice.

Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Munchy
I think that you may be suffering from a type of eating disorder, but before suggesting that you see a clinical psychologist to help you sort out your attitude towards food, eating and guilt, I would like to suggest that you make quite sure that you are eating sufficient carbohydrates. A lack of carbs can trigger these cravings a) because carbs are out best source of readily available energy for physical activity and because your do a lot of exercise your need for carbs in greater than if you were living a sedentary lifestyle, and b) because carbs help to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain thus suppressing cravings. Try eating at least one low-GI carb at each meal (click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index' and read the articles on the GI) and use an energy drink while you are exercising (e.g. Powerade, Energade, EnerG, etc). Experiment with these energy drinks to find one that agrees with you. It is important that you replace your glycogen stores in the liver and muscles that get used up when you do exercise, hence the need for carbs. Try this for 2-3 weeks to see if you cravings are due to a lack of carbs. If this still does not stop the cravings which are then followed by binging, then please see a clinical psychologist to assist you with your attitude to food and the guilt and to take control of your life again.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: lala | 2009-02-19

Hi

I suffer the exact same fate!!! i dont know what to do as the guilt simply just consumes me afterwards!! I can safely say i know exactly what you ar going through as i am in the exact situation.

Reply to lala

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