A word about eating disorders and fasting

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  • posted by Britta

    So this is one of those ‘have to get this off my chest’ posts. If you have never had an eating disorder or never suspected you may have an eating disorder, this is not for you. But if you’re still reading you might at least suspect that something isn’t quite right.
    I’m recovering from Binge Eating Disorder. (If you don’t know what that is, this is a good place to learn about it: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/.)
    I’m doing great, I’ve done the treatment bit, my BED is dormant, and I know (at least in theory) how not to wake it up. And this is the point of my post. Skipping meals and doing long periods of fasting is very popular on the 800 calorie diet and keto/LCHF diets. It works wonders for some people and there is good science to back it up. If you have an eating disorder, or if you are recovering from one, it is however a pretty disastrous approach, in fact the number one rule in BED treatment is predictability and ‘never skip a meal’. In my case it might not lead straight to a binge, it may come later in the day, later in the week, after a couple of weeks… but it will come, and one binge very rarely comes alone. And a binge for me is not a big piece of cake, it is like a trance, it is total loss of control, it is scary.
    This is not an eating disorder forum so I won’t go into detail about this, I just wanted to say that while it works for some, maybe most people, fasting isn’t for everyone. I’m 6 weeks into this diet, I have 3 meals a day. I eat pretty much at the same time every single day. My body knows what to expect and it does not offer me more resistance or cravings than I can cope with.
    I may be the only person on this forum to be affected by BED or another eating disorder, but statistics say that is unlikely.
    It is now off my chest.

  • posted by GreenGal

    Britt, thank you for that informative post, really appreciate the sentiments and practical advice. I do think that it’s important for me to get a handle on my eating and on counting the carbs & cals as ultimately you can’t fast your way to good health, what you put in is just as important as what you don’t put in. I find fasting is like a tool in my weight loss toolbox but ultimately the nuts and bolts of it all and what will get me to goal in the long run are really healthy, low carb, balanced food choices. Thanks for posting what is on your mind, it is important to do so! GreenGal 🥦

  • posted by WindyJulz

    Britta you are quite right that there needs to be caution in this area. I have a very good friend who works with eating disorders and i certainly recognise a healthy relationship with food is essential and a fundamental of this way of eating.
    I am guilty of looking at fasting at the moment, as GreenGal, for me i am hoping it is a tool to learn about myself and to reap some benefits, I have done a fair bit of reading on the subject. As far as I am aware i have no eating disorder, I dont think i have a great relationship with food due to years of being conscious of my weight, I do like to eat, eat til I am full, but i have never full on binged I dont think. Interesting to be prompted to review and consider though. A lot of this is about self discovery and mindfulness.

    I am glad you have found a good, safe and controlled routine Britta and that you have made this work for you. It is brave to embark on a new regime when you know there is a dormant disorder lurking in the background, good on you, genuinely! And thank you for being open and concerned in a public place.


  • posted by sunshine-girl

    Can I just add my own warning. This is site was originally for diabetics and, although not everyone is following BSD, if you are diabetic I would be very careful about fasting. This site now includes several different dieting methods from one to reduce blood sugar, 5:2, Med, TRE, ITE and fast 800 with a nod to total fasting so you have to do the one that is right and safe for you. Some diabetics are able to manage quite well without food for extended periods but just know yourself. I personally would be in deep trouble if I tried to fast. We all need to be looking out for one another. Take care.

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