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Eating the food is great, but will I ever be able to do it in "moderation"

Blog Forums Eat the Food! Eating the food is great, but will I ever be able to do it in "moderation"

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    When it comes to certain foods, I am pretty much incapable of not eating too much of it at once, and often follow on to want something else to the same degree afterwards.

    I say “too much” because it is often to a point where I feel very ill, really don’t want more, but somehow can’t stop myself – I suppose it could be called “binging”, though nothing compared to the binging I used to do.

    Lately, I haven’t been able to keep my hands off Ben n Jerry’s ice cream. I make my own ice cream as well, which is delicious, but I overdo that as well. And afterwards, I end up wanting some sort of super-flavoured chips, even though I feel terribly ill and full already. Is this really a sign that I need to “eat the food” whenever I want? I’m sick of being sick all the time!

    When it comes to more “meal”-y food like meat/veg/starches, I don’t have the same desire to “overdo”* it unless there is something with a starch/fat combo (eg some kind of fries of baked chips, whatever).

    So is this really normal? I’ve been into the whole “eat the food” thing for a year and a half now, with ups and downs, and very short periods of moderate “restriction” in between but nothing like before (I restricted a lot 5-6 years ago, and then continued to semi-restrict mildly with episodes of insane binges until the beginning of 2012, after which I began “eating the food” and I’ve gained more weight than I’d like and have less energy than ever).

    I have less energy, motivation, or drive in life when I’m “eating the food”, but my taste buds are happier I guess. All I think about is food and what I will eat next, and have very little mental energy left for thinking about work/studies/friends/hobbies. What gives, is it still normal to be like this?

    *Again, I mean overdo in a sense of continuing after I feel full, almost ill, and no longer want it.


    I’m struggling with the same issue. I’ve been doing it for a year and a half as well. Improvements only seem to be temporary, and I find that it just gives me an excuse to overindulge. I used to be a smoker, drinker, drug user, gym fanatic, chronic dieter. If you have an addictive type personality, “eating the food” can have some negative consequences.


    Ughhh the dreaded “A” word! I definitely have an addictive personality, though have rarely taken anything to too much of an extreme. Was never an exercise fanatic though. As sick and twisted as this sounds, it’s the one thing I wish I had an addiction for.

    So is there no true solution for people like us? Except of course, magically being cured of our issues.


    How interesting to hear from people who have been on the diet for so long.Have you been tracking your temperatures? I don’t have any history of addictive behaviour and no extreme dieting either, I was just eating low calorie and starving whilst breastfeeding so this has finally allowed me to fill up my tummy. I thought that the HED is something Matt no longer recommends. Last time I spoke to him a few days ago, he said that now it is only to eat until one is full, no more, but must eat enough. I actually find this diet creates the opposite effect for me. As I am allowed to eat the food, I don’t crave it or want it and so I sometimes struggle with eating as nothing seems appealing to me as nothing is off limits.

    Matt Stone

    One should eat every last bite of whatever they feel like eating until they don’t desire another bite. Every time they eat. Every day. Without thinking about what it is, how much, etc. But of course you have to mentally “allow” yourself to do it. If not, you’ll always be compelled to “be naughty,” or overeat on foods you think you shouldn’t eat. Only when there’s nothing wrong with eating ice cream does it lose some of that psychological grip.

    If your metabolism is recovered, pigging out all day on ice cream and chips will keep you feeling kinda tired. But you can’t eat cleaner and eat in a way that does make you feel good and energetic unless you go through the process. Otherwise you’ll just create cravings and repeat the same scenario again and again.

    No matter what though, for someone who suffers from binge tendencies, it’s important to take it to the point where food is just food and is something that’s not very appealing. No longer a form of “crack.” With full commitment, that doesn’t usually take very long.


    I too have an addictive personality and get addicted to the high from exercise (long distance running, biking, spinning, crossfit, jump rope, anything!) and was bulimic when I was a teen. When I was restricting and had a “cheat day” where I was advised to eat more that always lead to a binge. When I first started eating the food I felt a little crazy and wanted to throw up but that passed as I just breathed and told myself it was okay.

    I read Diet 2 and Matt mentioned what he did above about not having anything be “bad” or to feel guilt over anything and I’ve really been working on that and now I often don’t finish things. Not all the time but almost daily. It’s often when I’m out and then I’ll just bring home my food and eat it a few hours later. I’ve done that with pizza, burgers, cake, etc… Never would have thought I would do that before as those were such “bad” foods. I still think about food a little too much and especially if I’m hungry or thirsty but I’m hoping that will fade soon…

    So I don’t think you’re abnormal, I just think it takes time. What is the story you’re telling yourself when you’re eating and you “overdo” it? Maybe it’s even in thinking that you’re overdoing it? There should be no overdoing it (although I know what you mean). IF there’s things that you tend to eat even after you’re full maybe stock your house up with those. If your stock gets low keep refilling so it never runs out. Let yourself know that you can eat as much as you want.


    I myself personally like to ram the hell out of the pleasure spot in my brain. I’ve always had a sort of “restlessness” about me.


    In my honest opinion ALL humans have an “addictive” personallity. It’s just that some “addictions” get a more neggetive rep then others. That and some have multiple “addictions” as while some have fewer, thus are taken to more extreme due to the extra concentrated attention.

    I find it to be very very hard to quit an “addiction” (especially ones that have a lot of repetition- habit) by trying to focus on said “addiction” and force it away by will. Rather I find it a lot easier to find something els to do that I find more inspiring and fun to do (hopefully something constructive, as apposed to destructive).

    For instance- I train martial arts. I love it, it’s my favorite thing to do to utilize my time. In order for me to do a lot of the movements I want to do I need a not so full belly. Thus not eating so much is a breeze(working against me right now for my personal needs.. ).

    I guess my point is- is that will power is overated. dont beat your self up. Stratagy is a much better tactic imo. It’s a big world we live in, with lots of options; I would suggest you try to find a hobby you like doing. If it’s something with physical activity- make it something playful, not stressful.

    hopefully that makes some since..


    One thing I find helps enormously with this sort of behaviour is mindful eating. By that I mean focussing on eating when you eat. Don’t read, don’t watch TV, don’t surf the web; just eat and enjoy it. I find it becomes quite boring after my hunger has been satisfied and the pleasure of what I’m eating has been fully experienced.

    Try making yourself sit at the table while eating, not just for meals, but for snacks also. Enjoy the experience and think about how eating that food feels to you, the flavours, the textures, the sensation of your stomach filling and don’t do anything else. If it’s a family/social meal, by all means have a conversation, but that’s not usually when the overheating happens is it? It never was for me anyway. Over-eating for me was always a solo affair, typically done while reading, watching TV, driving, etc.

    Don’t attempt to restrict yourself AT ALL, just pay attention.


    Aaah, I find this so difficult, too. My idea of good food and bad food is so ingrained that if I REALLY want to eat “good food” & fill up on it, my script goes like this: “Ah, that’s great. You ate all that good food. Now it’s time for something nice.” “But I REALLY wanted to eat that and now I’m satisfied”. “Yeah, right! You don’t want chocolate! You don’t want custard and apple pie. Come on! You may as well eat it now, otherwise you’ll just crave it later, then you’ll eat too much and you won’t sleep, you’ll get anxious. You’re just trying to be good with all that fancy talk about vegetables & stuff being satisfying. Try hard, do-gooder. Be honest. If you really want to kick this disordered eating thing, you’ve got to eat the bad stuff too.” The problem, apart from all that crazy self talk is that there is such a variety of food that I don’t think I could ever exhaust it’s appeal to me. Sure, I get too full sometimes and stop, but I get right back on the horse with something else the next day. This variety of chocolate, that flavour of chips, that interesting-looking pastry. I get the concept of neutralising food and I don’t necessarily feel guilty, but I can’t seem to get over this perverse compunction to eat “bad food” even when I actually don’t want it. I realise there must be a fundamental bit of the psychological puzzle I’m missing in all this, but I don’t seem able to access it at the moment.

    Matt Stone

    SBC –

    Try restricting “good food” and actually eating more of the bad food when you don’t even want it. That will neutralize some of that enjoyment hopefully and steer you back towards the midline where neither good or bad foods are good or bad. I find it’s always better to eat a little more of a trigger food than to not quite eat enough. That hunger and craving for it is just magnified by not quite fully satisfying the craving.

    Meanwhile, see if you can find something else to think about and do!


    Thanks Matt.
    My name’s Jude. When I made my login, I thought SBC037 would be my password, not my moniker. People might think it stands for Some Bitch Complaining, which is probably pretty accurate, but not what I meant! Bit of an old fart when it comes to technology.
    I’ll give your suggestion a go.
    I read Geneen Roth’s books (Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating and When Food Is Love) a long while ago and those helped to get me out of the worst of my compulsive over-eating (i.e. eating to the point of feeling sick all day every day in a punishing, not enjoyable way) and I learned to enjoy and appreciate all kinds of food. Before that I couldn’t ever eat in company or even say the word “food” or “eat” or “hungry” in conversation I made good progress towards having a healthy relationship with food, but then I started down the path of eating to try to fix physical and mental health problems (stomach ulcer, over-active thyroid, exotic intestinal parasites, anxiety). Since realising I just couldn’t go on with those punishingly restrictive diets (and questioning their efficacy and long-term safety) I found your work and jumped straight from GAPS to RBTI and though I’ve seen some good improvements in sleep, digestion and sugar stability (and thus, a little less anxiety) even the small restrictions of RBTI – no chocolate, white rice, not eating certain things after 2pm make me feel cagey and wanting to break the rules! On the other hand, I fear the effects that unrestricted eating might have on my sleep and anxiety. I guess I’m not sure if I should stick with RBTI or a modified version of it or if wanting to give it the flick and Eat the Food is just the compulsive eating tendencies talking.
    Anyway, at the risk of sounding like a complete sycophant – love your work, you’re the best, you rock and you’re so handsome (Will that get me that a free consultation?)


    The icecream and chips afterwards example,sounds like a sugar salt imbalance. Try to have adequate salt and sugar with every meal. So next time you eat icecream maybe have a bottle of salt or chips next to it and eat some inbetween you. migth find you feel satisfied/done sooner.
    And the eating to uncomfortabillity. Migth be bc of mineralimbalances? Try to remineralize your body by adding generous amounts of himalayan salt to your meals,drinks etc. ?

    I hear you on labelling food(groups) as good or bad.
    Thing is for every healthguru that claims product ‘a’ is good for you,there’s another guru who claims its bad. In the end,only you decide if somethings good or bad.
    I dont believe anything in its original state is bad anymore,yet i experience negative aspects from certain food(groups),so i dont label them as ‘bad’ but just suboptimal for me at least for now. I find this fools my mind a bit and makes cravings for it less.

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