Taming the Feast Beast (Rational Recovery Systems)

Category: Eating Disorders
Author: Jack Trimpey
3.9
This Month Reddit 21

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by Beef_Enchilada   2018-11-10

This post is for those who struggle with:
- Always being hungry.
- Binge eating.
- Stress eating.
- Always thinking about food.
 
The origin of hunger: The hypothalamus, sometimes called the “lizard brain” or “animal brain” or “lower brain”. The hypothalamus controls hunger (among other things). This is the greedy selfish part of the brain that wants you to over eat, it wants you to eat junk food, it wants you to binge eat, it wants instant gratification. If you’re someone who’s always hungry, even when you shouldn’t be, it’s your lizard brain telling the rest of your brain to put food in your mouth because the lizard brain loves it when you eat, and it hates discipline.

The lizard brain will try to rationalize bad decisions. It will tell you things like: “You’ve been so good, you deserve a treat.” “Your day is already ruined, you may as well keep eating.” “You’re stressed out, your favorite food will make you happy.” “You can wait until Monday to start eating healthy again.” It’s your brain, it knows your weaknesses and will exploit them.

Here’s the thing about the lizard brain, it can’t control motor movements on its own, it must convince the rest of your brain to do things for it. The lizard brain can’t make you pick up food and it can’t make you put food in your mouth, it has to convince the rest of your brain to do those things. Because the lizard brain can’t physically make you eat, it becomes very skilled at manipulating you into eating.

 
So how do you stop the urge? How do you strip the hypothalamus of its control, and return control to the rational part of your brain?

 
Step 1: Make sure it’s not true hunger. Don’t under eat! Under eating makes the urge to over eat much worse. Learning the difference between real hunger and fake hunger won’t be possible if you’re putting yourself in a constant state of real hunger. Read this post about why women should eat at least 1200 calories per day, and men should eat at least 1500 calories per day.

 
Step 2: Recognize that your desire to binge is coming from the irrational part of your brain, and that part of your brain can not control motor functions. It can not make you walk to the fridge, it can not make you go through a drive thru, it can not put food in your mouth.

 
Step 3: Choose to let the rational part of your brain say “No.” You get to choose which side wins this internal struggle. The rational part of your brain CAN override the lizard brain.

 


FAQ
 
Q: I want to binge, AND I want to not binge at the same time. How can I want two opposite things at the same time? Am I broken?
A: You are not broken, this is normal. Frustrating, but normal. The irrational part of your brain wants the binge, while the rational part of your brain knows it’s wrong.

 

Q: I was always told that binge eating was a psychological problem that requires therapy. Are you saying I don’t need therapy?
A: If you have problems that require therapy, get therapy! Not everyone who binge eats needs therapy, therapy isn’t useful for all binge eaters, and this method can be used in conjunction with therapy.

 
Q: Are there any apps to help?
A: I use Goal Tracker & Habit List for android. It has a calendar widget that lets you check off successful days. There are lots of goal tracking apps, find one that works for you.

 
Q: Where can I read more about this method to stop bingeing?
A:

 
Q: Will I ever be able to eat my “trigger foods” again?
A: Depends on the individual. With enough practice, you will probably be able to eat trigger foods in a responsible way. However, there’s a good chance you’ll lose interest in these foods all together because many of these foods won’t be a part of achieving your fitness goals. Trigger foods often lose their magical powers once you understand how to control your urges.

by Beef_Enchilada   2018-11-10

This post is for those who struggle with:
- Always being hungry.
- Binge eating.
- Stress eating.
- Always thinking about food.
 
The origin of hunger: The hypothalamus, sometimes called the “lizard brain” or “animal brain” or “lower brain”. The hypothalamus controls hunger (among other things). This is the greedy selfish part of the brain that wants you to over eat, it wants you to eat junk food, it wants you to binge eat, it wants instant gratification. If you’re someone who’s always hungry, even when you shouldn’t be, it’s your lizard brain telling the rest of your brain to put food in your mouth because the lizard brain loves it when you eat, and it hates discipline.

The lizard brain will try to rationalize bad decisions. It will tell you things like: “You’ve been so good, you deserve a treat.” “Your day is already ruined, you may as well keep eating.” “You’re stressed out, your favorite food will make you happy.” “You can wait until Monday to start eating healthy again.” It’s your brain, it knows your weaknesses and will exploit them.

Here’s the thing about the lizard brain, it can’t control motor movements on its own, it must convince the rest of your brain to do things for it. The lizard brain can’t make you pick up food and it can’t make you put food in your mouth, it has to convince the rest of your brain to do those things. Because the lizard brain can’t physically make you eat, it becomes very skilled at manipulating you into eating.

 
So how do you stop the urge? How do you strip the hypothalamus of its control, and return control to the rational part of your brain?

 
Step 1: Make sure it’s not true hunger. Don’t under eat! Under eating makes the urge to over eat much worse. Learning the difference between real hunger and fake hunger won’t be possible if you’re putting yourself in a constant state of real hunger. Read this post about why women should eat at least 1200 calories per day, and men should eat at least 1500 calories per day.

 
Step 2: Recognize that your desire to binge is coming from the irrational part of your brain, and that part of your brain can not control motor functions. It can not make you walk to the fridge, it can not make you go through a drive thru, it can not put food in your mouth.

 
Step 3: Choose to let the rational part of your brain say “No.” You get to choose which side wins this internal struggle. The rational part of your brain CAN override the lizard brain.

 


FAQ
 
Q: I want to binge, AND I want to not binge at the same time. How can I want two opposite things at the same time? Am I broken?
A: You are not broken, this is normal. Frustrating, but normal. The irrational part of your brain wants the binge, while the rational part of your brain knows it’s wrong.

 

Q: I was always told that binge eating was a psychological problem that requires therapy. Are you saying I don’t need therapy?
A: If you have problems that require therapy, get therapy! Not everyone who binge eats needs therapy, therapy isn’t useful for all binge eaters, and this method can be used in conjunction with therapy.

 
Q: Are there any apps to help?
A: I use Goal Tracker & Habit List for android. It has a calendar widget that lets you check off successful days. There are lots of goal tracking apps, find one that works for you.

 
Q: Where can I read more about this method to stop bingeing?
A:

 
Q: Will I ever be able to eat my “trigger foods” again?
A: Depends on the individual. With enough practice, you will probably be able to eat trigger foods in a responsible way. However, there’s a good chance you’ll lose interest in these foods all together because many of these foods won’t be a part of achieving your fitness goals. Trigger foods often lose their magical powers once you understand how to control your urges.

by Beef_Enchilada   2018-11-10

This post is for those who struggle with:
- Always being hungry.
- Binge eating.
- Stress eating.
- Always thinking about food.
 
The origin of hunger: The hypothalamus, sometimes called the “lizard brain” or “animal brain” or “lower brain”. The hypothalamus controls hunger (among other things). This is the greedy selfish part of the brain that wants you to over eat, it wants you to eat junk food, it wants you to binge eat, it wants instant gratification. If you’re someone who’s always hungry, even when you shouldn’t be, it’s your lizard brain telling the rest of your brain to put food in your mouth because the lizard brain loves it when you eat, and it hates discipline.

The lizard brain will try to rationalize bad decisions. It will tell you things like: “You’ve been so good, you deserve a treat.” “Your day is already ruined, you may as well keep eating.” “You’re stressed out, your favorite food will make you happy.” “You can wait until Monday to start eating healthy again.” It’s your brain, it knows your weaknesses and will exploit them.

Here’s the thing about the lizard brain, it can’t control motor movements on its own, it must convince the rest of your brain to do things for it. The lizard brain can’t make you pick up food and it can’t make you put food in your mouth, it has to convince the rest of your brain to do those things. Because the lizard brain can’t physically make you eat, it becomes very skilled at manipulating you into eating.

 
So how do you stop the urge? How do you strip the hypothalamus of its control, and return control to the rational part of your brain?

 
Step 1: Make sure it’s not true hunger. Don’t under eat! Under eating makes the urge to over eat much worse. Learning the difference between real hunger and fake hunger won’t be possible if you’re putting yourself in a constant state of real hunger. Read this post about why women should eat at least 1200 calories per day, and men should eat at least 1500 calories per day.

 
Step 2: Recognize that your desire to binge is coming from the irrational part of your brain, and that part of your brain can not control motor functions. It can not make you walk to the fridge, it can not make you go through a drive thru, it can not put food in your mouth.

 
Step 3: Choose to let the rational part of your brain say “No.” You get to choose which side wins this internal struggle. The rational part of your brain CAN override the lizard brain.

 


FAQ
 
Q: I want to binge, AND I want to not binge at the same time. How can I want two opposite things at the same time? Am I broken?
A: You are not broken, this is normal. Frustrating, but normal. The irrational part of your brain wants the binge, while the rational part of your brain knows it’s wrong.

 

Q: I was always told that binge eating was a psychological problem that requires therapy. Are you saying I don’t need therapy?
A: If you have problems that require therapy, get therapy! Not everyone who binge eats needs therapy, therapy isn’t useful for all binge eaters, and this method can be used in conjunction with therapy.

 
Q: Are there any apps to help?
A: I use Goal Tracker & Habit List for android. It has a calendar widget that lets you check off successful days. There are lots of goal tracking apps, find one that works for you.

 
Q: Where can I read more about this method to stop bingeing?
A:

 
Q: Will I ever be able to eat my “trigger foods” again?
A: Depends on the individual. With enough practice, you will probably be able to eat trigger foods in a responsible way. However, there’s a good chance you’ll lose interest in these foods all together because many of these foods won’t be a part of achieving your fitness goals. Trigger foods often lose their magical powers once you understand how to control your urges.