I’ve been reading a book on a starvation experiment, which I will talk about when I finish it (quite interesting, actually) and it got me thinking.
I have never been a real emotional binge eater. I do eat from emotions sometimes, but not necessarily in a binge way. It would be more like just saying – “I want something comforting, let’s go out for ice cream”. Then I would eat that and be done.
However, I do have what I would term as physical bingeing, where I just can’t seem to get full. Without any emotional trigger or stress or anything like that. I had one of those this weekend with cashews. It was like I could not physically stop myself from eating them. I know someone who doesn’t binge can’t really understand what this is like, but those of you that do know exactly what I mean. I would walk away from the jar, then come back, walk away, think about them, come back. Until I got really full. I can’t even get away with saying that it was a healthy binge – a term I don’t like anyway because a binge is a binge.
So anyway, reading this book made me think it was actually just my body forcing me to eat. When we restrict calories, we literally are trying to starve our bodies into submission (i.e. weight loss). Calories in, calories out. However – the body itself does not comprehend that what you are doing is supposed to be good for it. It just requires x number of calories to function and isn’t getting them – so it sends signals to the brain to find food. I wonder if prolonged calorie restriction taken on by those of us with a significant amount of weight to lose doesn’t create this effect in the body. Like the body just pushes and pushes you to eat more, and since there is food available (as we aren’t in a rationed or famine situation today) the biological urge is too strong to resist. Not that that means weakness by any stretch, but a survival mechanism. Does maybe give some credence to a high-calorie day, I suppose.
Sometimes I wish I were a scientist that studied weight loss, there is so much we don’t know.