How to Control Binge Eating and Avoid "Crashing"

Andrew has very busy days.

Andrew wakes up every morning at 6:30am. The first thing he does is set his coffee machine to brew a fresh cup of Joe and jumps into the shower.

When he is all dressed, he heads downstairs to his kitchen, grabs a slice of white bread and pops it in to the toaster. When it's done toasting, he keeps it in his mouth as he ties his shoes. He finishes the rest of it with his hot cup of Joe, grabs his jacket, and he is out of the house by 7:30am. His commute is 30 minutes long to work.

The next time Andrew eats is about 12:30pm. He usually goes out to eat with his co-workers to either the Chipotle around the block, a Jersey Mikes Subs in a shopping plaza not too far away, or Ray's Pizzeria across the street.

Today, he enjoyed an Italian Sub on a white roll with a large soda. By the time he gets back into the office, it is 1:30pm and he has about 3 more hours left in his work day.

By the time 2pm rolls around, Andrew has this huge drop of energy and feels really tired. His eyes all of a sudden shut at will and it's very hard for him to keep them open. This isn't the first time he has experienced this so what does he usually do to stay awake?

He goes to the vending machine, which is on the same floor as his office, and gets a bag of chips with a can of Diet Coke. This common snack duo should definitely give him the mid afternoon "pick me up" he needs right?

Right before he is about to clock out a long day at work, Andrew is really hungry again and can't wait to eat dinner. He is actually thinking about what he's going to eat for dinner for the last 30 minutes of his work day. Is it going to be Chinese Food or a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich from his favorite pizzeria? Or maybe he'll stop at a Shake Shack and grab a burger with a side of fries? Whatever it's going to be, it's going to be a lot of it!

During the drive home, all he is thinking about is what he is going to eat. He drives past a neon sign that says "Hot Fresh Pizza" and BOOM! He's locked. Pizza it is! Nothing is getting in Andrews way until he has a "Hot Fresh Pizza" in his mouth.

He gets home dials it in, and eats half of the box and puts the rest of it in the fridge for dinner tomorrow. An hour goes by after that delicious feast and all of a sudden, Andrew is hungry again! Andrew is now opening cupboards, the freezer door, and the pantry for anything that can satisfies his late night sweet tooth.

Andrew has a couple spoonful's of vanilla ice cream and attempts to watch a movie on Netflix but falls asleep before he can even put the ice cream back in the freezer.

Beep, beep, beep goes his alarm and Day 2 out of 5 of the work week begins with the same daily routine all over again.

Have you ever had a day that kind of looked like this? Rushed morning, big lunches, mid-day crashing, "target locked" eating binges, and irresistible urges of sugar at night?

I have.

Today's Lesson: Never Skimp on Breakfast.

Hi all, Carl here and I can explain why habits like Andrew's, day in and day out, can lead to a life of never-ending eating and "addict" like symptoms. I'll also show you what you can do better everyday to reverse these habits and live a life of ever-lasting nutritional abundance and energy.

First, let's talk a little bit about Andrew's morning routine. Without probably having much thought, Andrew's breakfast was 1 slice of toasted white bread. If it's any meal of your day that should have the most thought behind it, it should be breakfast. I mean if we broke down that word it would be "break" and "fast". Essentially breakfast is the first meal that breaks your daily fast which is sleep!

Let's say you get 7 hours of sleep. That's 7 hours of time your body is being deprived of nutrients. Wouldn't you agree that your body must be starving for nutrients as it rises in the morning? A slice of white bread won't do the trick. Its like having to put gasoline in your car and you only put 5 dollars worth of gas in your tank to last you the whole day. You better expect to have very little productivity and energy at work. 

Researchers in Netherlands found that those who started the day with a high-calorie meal rich in complex carbohydrates were more likely to feel satiated (full) for longer and made smarter eating decisions throughout the day. So breakfast should be the most important meal because of this reason. Having a large, nutrient-dense breakfast will make you eat smarter, jumpstart your metabolism, and give you the fuel your body needs to take on a long work day.

I would've recommended Andrew to have 4 eggs, 3 slices of turkey bacon, and 1-2 slices of multi-grain toast. Another option could be a Greek yogurt (preferably unflavored) with 2 tablespoons of whole-grain granola and some blueberries topped with a drizzle of Agave Nectar (a low-glycemic natural sweetener similar to maple syrup or honey).

With a breakfast that is more nutrient packed like this, not only will Andrew feel fuller longer, he would've probably had a more productive morning since his body would've been properly fueled to carry out tasks. Instead, he set up the perfect recipe to start a cycle of binge eating and extreme fluctuations of energy.

The Science: Blood Sugar Elevation and Insulin

Understanding what happens to our body, physiologically, when we eat food will give us a better understanding on how and when to properly fuel our body for what it needs to do.

When we digest carbohydrates, it breaks down into usable glucose or sugar. When we ingest white carbohydrates like white rice, white potatoes, white breads or wraps, corn (even tortilla), and baked goods, your blood will become super saturated with these sugars and your body is forced to call upon insulin to regulate and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Since the blood becomes so saturated in sugar in such a short period of time, your body has to excrete high amounts of insulin to quickly drop blood sugar levels down immediately to stabilize homeostasis (your body's normal functioning state). This process of a high spike and fast drop of blood sugar levels creates the body to feel extremely fatigued, sleepy, and tired.

Perfect example, Thanksgiving.

We starve ourselves all day long to wait for a gigantic feast at dinner time. Before filling your plate with all of these delicious looking foods, your blood sugar levels are at an all-time low. Now here comes, the turkey (which is high in tryptophan which helps promote sleep), stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, gravy, and ice cream, the list goes on!

Regardless, blood sugar level SKY ROCKET through the roof! Insulin sees all of this sugar flooding the blood so now the body has to excrete huge amounts of insulin to quickly bring your sugar levels down. Now, this explains the reason why half of your family is passed out on the couch missing the first half of the Thanksgiving game. You have just created the ultimate recipe for a sugar rollercoaster that puts you right into a food coma. Goodnight!

The Application: How to Use Low-Glycemic Foods to Give You Sustained Energy and Forever Control Your Blood Sugar

Here are 3 applications that you can start incorporating into your current diet to avoid feelings of "crashing" and give you the energy your body needs to conquer your long work days. With these applications you will have much more control over your blood sugar and significantly reduce your chances of being diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2. So please read along and implement if this common, irreversible, disease runs in your family. You may be able to stop the dangerous, "family passed" disease forever!

1) Eat carbohydrates that slowly elevate blood sugar.

Low-glycemic carbohydrates are carbohydrates that spike your blood sugar much slower and for longer causing your insulin level to gradually rise to easily control the elevation of blood sugar levels. Not only will you have much more energy over a longer period of time, you will have much more control of your insulin secretion, significantly reducing your chances of Diabetes Type 2.

Instead of eating white rice, have brown rice. Instead of eating white breads, have multi-grain or whole wheat breads. Instead of having white potatoes, have sweet potatoes. Try to shoot to have as much vegetables as fruits in your diet. Vegetables are the low-glycemic versions of sugar-spiking fruits.

2) Have 6 smaller meals spaced 2-3 hours apart.

Having 3 large white carbohydrate based meals at one time spikes your blood sugar way too high in such a short period of time. Having smaller, more frequent whole-grain carbohydrate based meals throughout the day will slowly elevate blood sugar levels just when the blood sugar levels from the previous meal slowly begins to drop. This is the key component to keeping your energy levels high and sustained throughout the day and to forever avoid feelings of "crashing:

Keep your main meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner but switch out the white carbohydrates with the low-glycemic version of them. Add protein dense snacks perfectly between each main meal. Not only will you make smarter choices with your next main meal, you'll probably eat much less than your used to.

3) Try to avoid feeling "starved".

When we begin to feel very hungry, these are when the crazy "target locked" sensors in our brain begin to fire up. Once these sensors unleash, you will crave all the foods you shouldn't be having. This is when you become ravenous in the kitchen and start eating chips, candy, greasy foods, baked goods, ice cream, cheeseburgers, EVERYTHING.

Even when you start to feel a little hungry, it's better to snack on something (like a little handful of almonds) then to ignore the feelings of hungry and waiting till you become very hungry and want to inhale everything in sight!

Try incorporating Greek Yogurts with granola, organic peanut butter with 4 apple slices, or turkey slices rolled up with low-fat cheese in between main meals. This will give you better control in your food choices and regulate your blood sugar much better than not having snacks in between.

The Take Away: Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals Throughout the Day.

Just by eating more smaller meals frequently throughout the day, you will make smarter eating decisions, have better control of your blood sugar, give you long sustained energy, and you'll even lose some body fat along the way.

I hope this was helpful to anyone reading this post!

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Anthony Grande

- Head Trainer, Fitness Manager