First of all thank you for your support over the last posts. I felt amazing reading your comments. Your words made me to embrace the journey to my beautiful self even more. THANK YOU!

I was so sad when my British friend (who tries to recover from binge eating disorder) has sent me this new book with a note that the Primal diet she’s trying does not work for her. She eats Primal, and she binges on Primal and more. This made me rethink the advocating of the latter diet on my blog.

Remember this. I take it back!

Yes I eat The Primal/Paleo diet. Today’s breakfast!

And yes, it has helped in my recovery a lot. But you are not me! The diet on the whole is a bad way to end ones eating disorder. Changing your thinking, lifestyle, letting go of fears and perfection and much more are the true key. The way of eating is important, but is not crucial so before ditching all grains and sugars and even fruit, read this, please.

I do not eat:

  • · Gluten (Wheat, Barley, Rye, Couscous)
  • · Vegetable and Seed Oils
  • · Sugar
  • · Soy
  • · Legumes that haven’t been soaked and sprouted
  • · Milk
  • · Peanuts

While this works for me, I would hate to see a situation where bulimic using the addiction model of recovery is told to give up everything but meat/veggies/healthy fats in order to live free of binge eating. To make these types of sweeping changes in the way you eat is very, very, difficult. My BF’s family is very health conscious, but none of them follows a perfect paleo diet, and all of them certainly eat fruit. I think asking a binge eater to only eat paleo foods is asking too much, when even a normal eater can struggle greatly with this.

The reality is, grains are everywhere and we have to learn to live with them. If I choose not to eat them, I believe it has to be just that – a choice – not a requirement for recovery.  Avoiding those foods for health reasons might indeed be a healthy choice as long as one is making sure to be eating enough and getting enough nutrients/vitamins/minerals. However, as far as being helpful in recovery from bulimia/binge eating, I think there are several reasons why a paleo diet might not be the answer, which I’ve listed below.

  1.  Avoiding certain foods with the belief that one bite will spiral into a binge can be self-fulfilling.  What if I happen to eat some legumes or grains (which I won’t being celiac, but if it’s you for example) again one day? Does this mean I’m destined to relapse?  Feeling like you can control yourself around any food seems to be the safer option.
  2.  Bulimics can binge on ANYTHING.  Even though carbohydrates are the most common binge foods, the reality is that binge eaters can and do binge on all types of foods. (Me!!!) When I was looking for opportunities to binge I found them on any eating regimen, including the paleo diet.
  3. The pleasure problem – binge eating alters the reward system in the brain and it becomes a habit of pleasure. A paleo diet is not going to take away that desire for the pleasure of binge eating…at least not right away. .
  4.  The self-control issue. A sense of lack of control over eating is fundamental to all cases of bulimia; so telling a binge eater to simply avoid grains (which requires a ton of self-control) doesn’t seem to make much sense. When you can control yourself around any food, you are free to make any dietary changes you see fit.

I understand that grains/sugar/carbs are “trigger” foods, and then eating a paleo diet would eliminate some triggers and eliminate some urges. But, on the other hand, feelings of deprivation are also very common triggers for a lot of binge eaters, so I believe the elimination of all grains/sugar/carbs might create even more urges to binge. What I’m rambling here about is that there’s no ultimate diet for recovery nor (I believe) for life. Bulimia is so complicated, stressful and life consuming. Work on your brain first and then make the best resolutions for your health and life.

I would like to hear your opinion on how a diet can/can’t assist one’s recovery?