Can Going Vegan Help With Binge Eating Disorder?
Recently I talked about how I tested a whole foods diet, and I also talked about strategies around using cheat days or cheat meals. And now I am trying to go vegan to help with binge eating disorder.
At the time of doing this, we are in January 2022, or I guess “Veganuary”.
At the moment, I have a little bit of sort of, I guess, destabilization coming up with my day-to-day routine and it’s playing on my mind and that’s affecting my fitness and my fitness ties into my nutrition.
So it’s kind of affecting that as well, which means that it has left me a little bit more prone to bingeing and a little bit less in control of my urge to binge.
I haven’t had a big blowout binge, but I can just sort of start to tell – that little sort of voice in my head is starting to appear a little bit more frequently than I’d like it to.
And it is frustrating because I’ve had a really good six, seven months of just being completely in control of it or being completely on top of it.
As it’s January or “Veganuary”, I wanted to test out and see if going vegan for a bit might actually help.
Why I Am Trying Going Vegan
If you think back to when I talked about the whole foods diet, I mentioned that finding out whey protein was giving me acne kind of stopped my cravings for it entirely and whey protein bars were probably one of my go-to binges.
But I mean, since then my dairy intake generally has pretty much dropped off a cliff.
I think the only regular dairy I’m having has been a little bit of butter, and if there’s milk or some dairy product in something, so milk chocolate. And it’s amazing how many foods seem to have dry, skim milk powder in it?
Like the rice cakes I like. Like I don’t see why they have skim milk powder in them, but they do for some reason.
I am an omnivore. But I don’t eat a whole lot of meat, poultry, eggs, or fish. Probably over the course of a week, it’s maybe five or six meals.
So it’s still quite substantial, but it’s a lot lower than what probably most omnivores eat.
So for me to try going vegan, wouldn’t be as big of a jump for me as maybe someone who has meat or poultry two or three meals a day.
What Is A Vegan Diet?
At this point, I should probably pause for a moment and set some definition around veganism.
So in the context of the vegan diet, it’s basically the elimination of animal products and animal byproducts. So no meat, no fish, no poultry, no eggs, no dairy. And the one that seems to get missed out quite a lot is no honey because it’s from bees.
So that’s kind of the very broad definition. And let’s talk about how it went.
How Did Going Vegan Impact My Binge Eating Disorder?
So I tried it for about two weeks and in terms of my binge cravings, it made absolutely no difference.
I kind of realized that the foods I binge on or the foods that I crave most when I binge are all actually vegan.
I mean, I like really dark chocolate, which is normally without milk. So 80% or darker.
Peanut butter, granola, vegan protein bars, Oreos, which don’t say vegan on the packet, but they have no milk products in them. And a lot of vegans do count them as fine.
Biscoff spread, too. And also ice cream.
And a quick word on ice cream.
Yes. Normally ice cream is dairy, but there are plenty of plant-based ice creams out there and some of them actually taste better than the so-called real thing.
So yeah, ice cream as well.
Why Going Vegan Didn’t Help Me
So what this kind of made me realize is that while I was following an omnivore diet so I wasn’t vegan overall, my binges kind of were vegan.
I think if the foods I was prone to bingeing on weren’t vegan, then it might’ve made a difference. So if I was going for like pizza or cheese or burgers, or, you know, any food with animal products, basically then yeah, maybe it would have made a big difference.
But going vegan didn’t mean eliminating any foods I was already prone to craving or prone to bingeing on, which is why it didn’t really make a difference to the binge cravings.
So Can Going Vegan Help With Binge Eating Disorder?
I think there’s a long-winded answer and a short answer.
In my case, it didn’t work, but there is more to it than that.
I think if someone doesn’t eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and they go vegan and start to increase those, they may find that their health improves, they feel fuller, and they just have a better sense of well-being.
In that case, they may be less likely to have a binge triggered, or they may be less likely to have a binge at all.
Also if your binge foods are things that end up getting eliminated by going vegan, it may help.
But as I said, in my case, my binges were already based on vegan foods. So I didn’t really set myself up for success with that.