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Male: Binge-Starve Cycles After Years of Dieting

By September 13, 2012

After several years of dieting I have recently begun bingeing and starving cycles. I was always overweight as a child and teenager and my father died when I was very young from an obesity related disease. Therefore I’m very scared of gaining the weight back. Because I don’t keep sweets or junk food in the house I usually binge on cereal (Shredded Wheat or Raisin Bran) or whole wheat breads. As a guy it is hard to find someone to talk to about this problem because very few men have eating disorders. How unhealthy is this behavior? – cs

Dear Friend,

We are so glad you had the courage to write your question. You represent a large and growing number of guys who suffer from disordered eating. Because of this, professionals are very accustomed to helping men as well as women. Some of the feelings are different, but many are the same.

In your case, it is very understandable that you would have more fears than usual about weight gain. Your struggle with weight as a child and your father’s weight related death makes this an even more painful issue than it is for the average person.

Yes, your cycle of overeating and restricting is unhealthy. It is also frustrating and unnecessary. You maintain your weight IN SPITE of this pattern, not because of it.

Please begin learning more by reading books like Constance’s or others that we reference in the “helpful books” section of this site. And then, find someone to talk to – a nutritionist and a therapist. You’re not alone by any means!!!

Warmly,

Carla

Dear CS:

I just wanted to echo what Carla has said about the fact that MANY guys are struggling with disordered eating. As I was doing research for my book I came across many articles with headlines like “Why Isn’t Anyone Talking To Us Guys?” and “Eating Disorders: Not Just A Female Issue Anymore.”

The truth is, there are probably at least 1 out of 4 guys that are handling their weight in obsessive or unhealthy ways, if not more. And the stats we have on “chronic dieting” alone show that a third of those who struggle with this type of disordered eating are men.

So, know that you are most definitely NOT alone. It’s time for some men to get out there and start addressing this more publicly. It’s definitely not solely a women’s issue anymore!

Constance