BIOLOGICAL REASONS WHY YOU BINGE: METABOLISM KENS CASE
I ask some of my clients to keep a written journal of their binge episodes so that we can analyze and understand them. Ken, a 42-year-old engineer, was very motivated to change and kept detailed written records of his binges. He was doing this even before he came to me for help. He would often try to lose weight by using canned formula diet drinks and avoiding food altogether. Without realizing it he was drastically suppressing his metabolism and setting himself up for failure.
The following is a typical entry in his journal:
Friday, April 17, 1998
Today was not a good day for my diet. I have been drinking my diet formula drinks every day for two weeks and trying to avoid high-calorie food. I had a tough day at work because our company had lost an important customer because of a stupid mistake by one of our salespeople. On my way home from the office I was starving. I felt weak and drained. I saw a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop just up ahead and couldn't resist. I ordered a half-dozen chocolate-covered, cream-filled doughnuts at the drive-through window. I could hardly wait to get at them. As I continued driving home, I ate the doughnuts one after another until they were all gone. As I drove into the driveway, I felt miserable. Why did I do it? I couldn't believe how stupid I had been. I even hid the doughnut box so my wife wouldn't find out what I had done.
This incident threw Ken off his diet for the weekend. He felt like a failure and had three more binge episodes on Saturday and one on Sunday. On Monday morning he woke up, determined to do better.
Monday, April 20, 1998
This morning I was ready to get myself back in control. I was not going to let one bad weekend ruin my diet. I had lost weight for the past three weeks and I was feeling proud of myself. I made the mistake of weighing myself first thing in the morning. I couldn't believe it! I had gained four pounds from Friday to Monday. I've never gained so much weight in such a short period of time in my life. This upset and discouraged me so much that I said, "What's the use? I'll never lose weight. It just doesn't matter anymore." I lost all of my enthusiasm for getting back on the diet.
If Ken had not been following such a drastic, low-calorie diet he never would have gained so much in a weekend. His diet, which provided only 600 calories a day, drastically lowered his metabolism so that the weekend of binge eating resulted in a four-pound weight gain and total discouragement.
As I have discussed in my book The New Hilton Head Metabolism Diet, there are ways to overcome this metabolic suppression while dieting. I have included these methods in my binge-eating program so that an occasional slip will not have such devastating effects on your weight.