Binge = Response to Starvation
- POSTED ON: Feb 23, 2017

No one in life gets away
with avoiding all problems.

Some problems are physical. 
Some problems are mental.
Some problems are the two combined.
If it’s my problem,
I’m the one who has to deal with it.

Defining a problem helps me understand it,
which helps give me
wisdom to know the difference
between what I can change,
and what cannot be changed.

What is a Binge?

The dictionary definition of bingeing is:

  • to be immoderately self-indulgent and unrestrained;

    to engage in excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in food or drink.

Bingeing isn’t usually because of lack of self control and weakness.  We binge because of a complex interaction of habit, brain chemistry, and external cues that signal us to eat. This interaction can be overcome, but it's harder to do and takes longer to change than most of us realize.

Current scientific research indicates that bingeing has a physical (PHYSIOLOGICAL) cause, and that mental & emotional (PSYCHOLOGICAL) problems are a RESULT of the condition, not the CAUSE of the condition.

Neuroscientists say that Bingeing is a normal response to Dieting because:  

Metabolic suppression is one of several powerful tools that the brain uses to keep the body within a certain weight range, called the set point. The range, which varies from person to person, is determined by genes and life experience. When dieters’ weight drops below it, they not only burn fewer calories but also produce more hunger-inducing hormones and find eating more rewarding.

The brain’s weight-regulation system considers your set point to be the correct weight for you, whether or not your doctor agrees. If someone starts at 120 pounds and drops to 80, her brain rightfully declares a starvation state of emergency, using every method available to get that weight back up to normal. The same thing happens to someone who starts at 300 pounds and diets down to 200.

Our brains send signals to the rest of our body that it is starving when our weight is below its Set Point range.  A person’s Set Point is determined by a person’s genes and life experience. 

Life experience involves a person’s weight history, because when a person gains and holds “excess” weight, their Set Point can rachet up, and up and up.  (A rachet is a mechanical device consisting of a toothed wheel or rack engaged with a pawl that permits it to move in only one direction.)  

However,  thus far all of the evidence shows that this is a one-way-street survival issue. While Set Points can go up with weight-gain,  they don’t go back down with weight-loss. 

Lots of body functions are naturally one-way as we grow, age, and experience life.  When our life experience changes our Set Point, it’s like our scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, grey hair etc. in that there is no “natural” way our bodies will revert back to the way they once were.

Weight-loss and maintenance have less to do with motivation and will-power than most people think. In fact it has far more to do with how the individual body adjusts to, and is capable of, resisting a calorie deficit. Putting less fuel in the tank of one's car will always cause the car to drive a shorter distance.  However, the human body adapts to less fuel .... meaning eating fewer calories .... by becoming more ‘efficient’ and running the same distance on less fuel than before. That is the big difference between simple physics and biology.

Is Dieting a form of STARVATION?

The dictionary definition of STARVATION is defined as “to suffer or die from lack of food”. 

To “SUFFER” is defined as “to experience something unpleasant”.  Although we might not be in any danger of dying from lack of food, most Dieting does involve “suffering… from lack of food”.  Therefore, the term “starvation” isn’t completely inaccurate, but, of course, there are a great many different degrees of suffering.

However, most Diet Guru’s, including medical doctors, say that a Dieter is not experiencing “starvation” as long as there is any excess fat left on that person’s body. Excess fat defined as: there is “less than an inch of fat to pinch”, and the body weight is near the bottom border of its 18 BMI “underweight” category. 

This is true for some people, but not ALL people.  Although all human bodies operate in a similar fashion,  there are differences in the ways that they function. The regulatory mechanisms which allow our cells to deal effectively with fluctuations in nutrient supply can vary from person to person, and there is a still a great deal that science has not yet discovered about the body’s inner workings.

Research studies involving lab rodents have demonstrated genetic differences. Certain genetically obese mice will fatten excessively regardless of how little or how much they eat. Some of them, … while dieting, … will consumed their own muscles and organs and die before all of their “excess” fat is gone.

Researcher Jean Mayer reported: “These mice will make fat out of their food under the most unlikely circumstances, even when half starved”.  If starved sufficiently, these animals can be reduced to the same weight as lean mice, but they’ll still be fatter.  They will consume the protein in their muscles and organs rather than surrender the fat in their fat cells. 

When these fat mice are starved, they do not become lean mice…, they become emaciated versions of fat mice.

In 1936 Francis Benedict reported this after fasting a strain of obese mice.  They lost 60 percent of their body fat before they died of starvation, but when they died, they still had five times as much body fat as lean mice that were allowed to eat as much as they desired.

In 1981, M.R.C. Greenwood reported that restricting the diet of an obese strain of rats known as Zucker rats from birth onward, caused those rats to grow fatter by adulthood than their littermates who were allowed to eat to their heart’s content.  These semi-starved Zucker rats had 50% less muscle mass than genetically lean rats, and 30% less muscle mass than the Zucker rats that ate as much as they wanted.  The calorie restricted rats were sacrificing their muscles and organs to make fat.

DietHobby’s BOLG CATEGORIES Research - Science contains additional articles relevant to Set Point and its relationship to weight-gain and maintenance.

If Bingeing is a natural response to Starvation,
why is it considered to be an Eating Disorder?

In the 1960s the medical profession began attributing psychological reasons, rather than physiological reasons to people who overeat to the point of obesity. 

Since that time, there has been a tendency on the part of health professionals to classify every kind of eating outside “moderate eating” as an “eating disorder”.

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) includes a wide variety of disordered eating patterns. It's often used for people who meet many of the symptoms of anorexia or bulimia but not all. For example, a woman who meets all of the symptoms for anorexia, but still menstruates regularly -- a criteria for an anorexia diagnosis -- would be diagnosed with an “eating disorder not otherwise specified”.

Binge eating disorder (B.E.D.) first appeared in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, in 1994. Until recent times, “Binge Eating Disorder” was categorized under the umbrella term 'eating disorders not otherwise specified”, or EDNOS for short.  However, in 2013 it was added to the DSM-V as B.E.D., a specified eating disorder.

There are many reasons for this…and one of them is Financial Motivation. Unless a behavior is labeled a “disorder” or an illness, health insurance won’t pay for treatment.

You may call me cynical, but since “Binge Eating Disorder” is far more common than anorexia and bulimia, it has a much larger population base. This means MORE PATIENTS to treat with Therapy, and/or Eating Disorder programs;  MORE MONEY and more profit for that specific health industry field.

Health professionals admit that a Binge Eating Disorder is more than simply eating too much food, and that many obese patients don't have it.  However these medical “experts” still they claim that up to 5 percent of obese patients and 30 percent of patients participating in weight loss programs meet the criteria for binge eating disorder.

In May 2013 the DSM-V, added Binge Eating Disorder to its list of specified eating disorders.  All of the following must be met to meet the diagnostic criteria of B.E.D.

1.  Recurrent and persistent episodes of binge eating
2.  Binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:

  •     Eating much more rapidly than normal
  •     Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  •     Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
  •     Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
  •     Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating

3.   Marked distress regarding binge eating
4.    Absence of regular compensatory behaviors (such as purging).

Think about it.

Such a diagnosis would fit almost every fat person that I’ve even known.  I’ve been super fat myself, and I’ve known many, many others.  Almost every fat person … and some of those who are not fat … experiences eating occasions where they sense that they have lost control of their eating behavior, AND have strong feelings of embarrassment and guilt after eating an unusually large amount of food when they aren’t physically hungry.

Weekends come every week, vacations and holidays come frequently, other celebrations and special events happen frequently as well.  Plus, most of us experience times of sadness, anxiety, or crisis more frequently than we like.

It is common for almost any person, whether fat or thin,  to engage in excess overeating on these occasions. It is also a very common occurrence for a fat person to “binge out” at least one time a week for months at a time.

The disgust and aversion that modern Society has for fat people pretty much guarantees that fat people will feel embarrassment and guilt because they’ve “failed” to keep from engaging in behavior that contributes to their fat condition.

It is my opinion that, despite the “conditions” that psychologists attach to the “Binge Eating Disorder”, by their proposed definition, almost everyone who engages in excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in food, which is the dictionary definition of Bingeing, could easily fall into the current medical classification of having an “eating disorder”.

I find something really wrong with this reasoning.

For those who are obese, (and normal-weight-dieting-people) bingeing is normal, and not abnormal, eating behavior.

My own experience together with my observation of the dismal long-term success rate 
of “eating disorder” treatments, … especially those that include the use of “Intuitive Eating” as a tool of recovery …  supports my belief that while Therapy is helpful to gain self-understanding of one’s behaviors, and can help one learn alternative behaviors, the underlying conditions causing obesity are not cured through that process.

I see Society’s current label of “Eating Disorder”, and suggested “Treatment”, as simply another attempt to shame fat people into believing that they should eat “normally” and that their body should be a “normal” weight.  It’s one more indoctrination to misinform fat people. It's another way to reinforce the Cultural Lie that only those who are greedy, lazy, or mentally ill are fat, and that if anyone would just “eat healthy” instead of "overeating" or "dieting", they would meet our Culture’s standards of what is a “healthy”, or a  “normal”, or even a “thin” weight.

This is a misplaced effort, because an obese body wants to maintain itself.  It doesn’t want to maintain itself as a Thin body.  It wants to stay Obese.  Bingeing is a natural physiological response to our Culture’s demand that fat people become thin. It is based upon a survival instinct that will never disappear, no matter how thin one becomes, or how much therapy one has.

Emotional Eating (2)
- POSTED ON: Sep 04, 2016

Emotional eating is normal behavior.  We don’t need to feel bad about it; find out WHY it happens; or stop doing it.

Here at DietHobby, (See Archives from March 18, 2016 through April 6, 2016 - first one: Here ), I  Scrapbooked a series of silent gif images, mostly film clips with superimposed dialogue about food and eating, in order to illustrate the fact that our bodies are designed to make Eating Food involve our Emotions. 

It isn’t accurate to define our eating behaviors as “emotional”  or  “physical.”  The process of Eating Food, …including our Food Choices…, is BOTH physical and emotional,  in differing degrees and combinations. 

Everything we eat affects us physically AND emotionally.  All food affects our blood sugar and gives us sensual pleasure …makes us feel good.  Like all other body processes that are designed to make us feel good, it’s impossible to separate food from emotion. 

Food is not “just fuel”, just like sex is not “just reproduction”.  The body’s relationship with food, like the body’s relationship with sex, is interwoven, and driven by both physical and emotional desire. Labeling our food choices as motivated by one or the other is neither practical nor realistic.  This type of thinking about food and eating is an inaccurate, oversimplification of a complicated biological process.

“There are about seven people in the world who righteously use food as fuel.
Six of them are professional marathon runners from Kenya... ”

Our physical and emotional hungers work together …including our need and desire for food.  We receive information from all of our feelings of hunger.  Our bodies are designed to make Eating Food emotionally satisfying, as well as physically satisfying.

Eating IS emotional.
 Food, like sex, has an impact on the way we feel. The effects may be temporary, but they still exist, and we are allowed to utilize food as a coping mechanism if we so choose.

Everything we do in life involves CHOICE. Even refusing to choose is a choice. All of our Behaviors are based on the personal, individual choices we make as we follow our own true life VALUES.  Each of us has the mental power and the physical ability to make and follow through with personal and individual choices about our own Behaviors, despite feelings of physical or emotional hunger, ….including what, when, and how much food we will eat at any particular time.

Some might be thinking…
........“But where do I draw the line? If I let myself eat emotionally I’d NEVER STOP.”
And the answer is
........“Each one of us individually gets to draw the line.”
Where ever we want to draw it.

Every human behavior brings consequences, either positive, negative or both.  Although we have the ability to control our BEHAVIORS, we have NO ability to control our RESULTS, …the eventual outcomes of our Behaviors. 

Human bodies have many genetic differences, including height, skin color, eye color, facial features, muscle development,  placement of fat deposits.  No matter what eating and/or exercise choices we make, our bodies are limited by our genetics, and less than 2% of the population can ever become a slender, shapely model such as we see in advertisements.

Despite our individual differences, specific physical Behaviors will guarantee certain specific physical Results.  If we CONSISTENTLY eat LESS food than our individual body needs, that body will become thin, weak, tired, and hungry.  If we CONSISTENTLY eat MORE food than our individual body can use, we will store it as fat.  This is a Physical Fact of Life that Can’t be Changed.   People, however, do have the ability to choose their own Attitude as well as the positive or negative Values they place on being “Thin” or  “Fat”.

However we do it, …“eating”  …including “overeating” or “undereating”… is not a vile behavior that is supposed to lead to feelings of shame.  Each of us is free to eat however we choose at the time, for whatever reason.  

Bottom Line:   We are adults, and we can do whatever the F*** we want.

Note: Originally posted April 7, 2016 - Bumped up for new viewers

The Finish Line
- POSTED ON: Jul 21, 2016


What did

one skeleton

say to

the other?











When it comes to the issue

of Weight Loss & Maintenance

of that Weight-Loss,








As Long as Llife Exists...











NO Finish Line.










Saying it Again....

There is NO

Finish Line.


Those who would like to understand more should read the article: Running DOWN the UP Escalator - Weight Loss & Maintenance. 
Also, review the articles contained here at DietHobby, under:  Blog Category:  Research - Science. 

Freedom from Binge Eating
- POSTED ON: Jun 03, 2016

See Video Below
by Dr. Amy Johnson,

author of

The Little Book of
Big Change:

The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking Any Habit


Good Food, Bad Food
- POSTED ON: May 09, 2016

Good food,
Bad food,
Food Combining.

By Michelle
May 9, 2016 @ 

The idea that there are universally “good” foods and “bad” foods is an old one, ancient even. There are traces of it in Leviticus, though the way the concept was used then is perhaps different from how we use it now.

Given what we know about clinical nutrition, that sometimes a startling mix of foods can be used to help people in certain disease states — more ice cream and gravy for someone undergoing cancer treatment, less protein and fewer vegetables for someone with kidney disease — and since dividing your risk among a wide variety of different foods can help hedge your health bets, the idea that there are universally good or bad foods doesn’t hold up well under scrutiny.

I take it more as evidence of black-or-white thinking — a hallmark of diet culture — which is almost always false.

The words themselves, good and bad, imply a moral dynamic to food that I just don’t think belongs there. Sure, food can be literally bad if it’s spoiled or contaminated with botulism. But even if you eat this kind of bad food and get sick from it, we don’t generally assume that you now have become a bad and contaminated person.

We just think you’re sick, send soup, and wait for you to get better.

Getting food poisoning doesn’t stain your character or reputation, even if you are literally contaminated by a bacteria that a food has transmitted to you. There’s an implicit understanding that the body is self-cleansing and will get the pollution, the infection, out of its system over time. And though you might be averse to eating a food that made you sick in the future, due to stomach-churning associations, you probably won’t assume it is a universally bad food eaten only by bad people.

We do, however, make this assumption about moral contamination, that (morally) bad foods
(which are coincidentally usually high-calorie, presumably “fattening” foods) are eaten
by bad, gluttonous, ignorant, irresponsible, and usually low-class
(and coincidentally fat) people.

And we try to avoid those foods, we claim, out of concern for our health.
But, in practice, it appears to be much more about avoiding that moral stain.

Even if there are foods that, in isolation, don’t produce ideal health outcomes for most people, does the idea that these foods are uniquely bad while other foods are uniquely good actually help us to be well-fed?

I’ve asked dozens of people this question, “Does believing in ‘bad food’ help you to eat better?It’s an honest question. After looking at the ceiling for a second, then looking down and letting out a bitter little laugh, they always tell me no.

No, thinking of the foods they want to avoid as morally bad does not help them to eat a more nourishing diet in the long run. It doesn’t even help them to avoid those foods, most of the time. For a lot of us, it only succeeds in producing guilt for eating a perfectly human mix of foods.

If a belief in good foods and bad foods helped people, on balance, to eat better, I could grudgingly get behind the idea, though being a fat hedonist, I would always advocate for pleasure. But it fails even in its stated objective, to say nothing of the side-effects that come with it.

I do believe there are foods that are generally more nutritious than others (in certain ways, keeping in mind that macronutrients and the calories that represent them are still technically nutrients, after all), and which usually leave a person generally feeling better, and generally in better health, than others. But there’s also something to be said for eating and including foods that are designed primarily for pleasure, not for the cessation of physical hunger or the promotion of long-term health.

Learning to break down the categories of “good” food and “bad” food is a little tricky, but it can be done.

One of my favorite techniques for doing this, aside from giving yourself explicit permission and acknowledging that all food is food, is to do what I called subversive food combining.” This means, simply, putting together foods that you would usually classify as good and bad, and that you would usually keep apart (that “healthy” meal of fish, rice, and vegetables you eat when you’re being “good,” vs. the pint of ice cream you eat when you’re being “bad”) by including them in the same meal, or even on the same plate.

Maybe I’m a jerk, but it gives me a cheap thrill. Some combinations I’ve tried:

  •     Potato chips and salad
  •     Sauteed kale and pizza
  •     Peanut m&ms and an apple
  •     Boxed macaroni and cheese with pork tenderloin and greens
  •     Carrots with bean and cheese burritos
  •     Cookies and almond

Telling yourself that there are no good foods and bad foods is one thing. It is necessary, but not sufficient to produce an actual change in how you view food. Backing it up with action is crucial.

Try it. Break a few rules. Crush the false dichotomy.

So, if thinking of foods as either good or bad doesn’t actually help people to eat better, what does? In my experience, it’s eating observantly, but non-judgmentally, and taking note of your pleasure both during and after eating. Noticing how food both tastes during eating, and how it makes you feel, physically, after.

Over a series of hundreds of personal experiments, you can start to shape your eating in a way that makes the most sense to you, that leaves you both happy and feeling healthy, and that improves measurable indices of health, like cholesterol or blood sugar. But in order to conduct these experiments, .......

You have to give yourself permission to eat anything.

You have to acknowledge that food is neither universally good or bad, real or not-real, pure or polluted.

And you have to believe that it cannot, by association, make you good or bad either.

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