Bipolar disorder for most is a constant battle with weight gain. The gains are not only from the medications, but by binge eating from anxiety and fear, as well as American overeating.
If you are starving all the time, can never get full even when eating, then consider issues with your medications Have your MD help you address this, which could include moving to a different medication if you can be adequately treated on the new medication.
If you are a bipolar person with a weight issue, I don’t always recommend Overeaters Anon, as I’ve noticed bipolars come out of those sorts of programs feeling guilty, more neurotic, and actually more obsessed with food. Hypnosis for some can be an alternative, if you commit to it long term. A support group that is based on a particular diet (Atkins, Low Carb, and so on), is a great place to land. In those groups, the emphasis is on getting informed and managing the diet. Be sure you have good reading material on that diet.
Hunger, though is not just a medication issue. It’s a powerful drive for all. If you are in a state of hunger, there are some things you can do. Now, if hungry, and you intervene with these snacks, the difference in hunger could show up tomorrow (see this issue in any protein diet or low carb diet book). But, for today, you still want to choose a snack that is high in protein to adjust the insulin system. If you eat carbs like popcorn cakes, you’ll be hungry later. The same goes for chips. Extremely fatty foods might fill you up, but the struggle will be: how can you burn off all those calories because fats are calorie dense?
Here are some non carb foods for snacks:
1. low fat jerky that is not laden with calorie rich teriyaki sauce
2. canned turkey or tuna
3. low fat turkey, especially lunch meat
4. edible soy beans, raw
5. low carb high protein bars
Hey, I bet those power bars were made in the Powerbar factory in Boise!
6. high protein shake (found in pharmacy section of Walmart), in bottle, can, or powder form. These can be found also at most stores, including convenience stores and vitamin/health shops.
And, another resource for discounts on these products is bodybuilding.com. Hey, that’s another Boise based company.
Be sure to read the labels on all foods. We posted articles this last week on different diets, as well as the Eat this not That Book series and accompanying websites. McDonalds now posts on menus carb counts on meals. This is helpful. And, it’s a bit shocking: one can have two servings of chicken tenders instead of MOST sandwiches where you’ll get the same calorie amount. It is likely even that the deep fried chicken is still lower in fat than the sandwich, as pointed out in Eat This Not That Fast Food version.
Hmmm, somehow these did not make the snack list:
nachos or chips
But, I’m SURE donuts one day will make the list. See my tongue in cheek diet at:
and, our bipolar affirmations at Pinterest:
Remember, if you must snack on junky food, eat a protein with that to curb later appetite.
Binge Eating Disorder:
You may have no obvious physical signs or symptoms when you have binge-eating disorder. You may be overweight or obese, or you may be at a normal weight. However, you likely have numerous behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms, such as:
- Eating unusually large amounts of food
- Eating even when you’re full or not hungry
- Eating rapidly during binge episodes
- Eating until you’re uncomfortably full
- Frequently eating alone
- Feeling that your eating behavior is out of control
- Feeling depressed, disgusted, ashamed, guilty or upset about your eating
- Experiencing depression and anxiety
- Feeling isolated and having difficulty talking about your feelings
- Frequently dieting, possibly without weight loss
- Losing and gaining weight repeatedly, also called yo-yo dieting
After a binge, you may try to diet or eat normal meals. But restricting your eating may simply lead to more binge eating, creating a vicious cycle.
When to see a doctor
If you have any symptoms of binge-eating disorder, seek medical help as soon as possible. Binge-eating disorder usually doesn’t get better by itself, and it may get worse if left untreated.
Talk to your primary care doctor or a mental health provider about your binge-eating symptoms and feelings. If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, talk to someone you trust about what you’re going through. A friend, loved one, teacher or faith leader can help you take the first steps to successful treatment of binge-eating disorder.
Helping a loved one who has symptoms
A person with binge-eating disorder can become an expert at hiding behavior, making it hard for others to detect the problem. If you have a loved one you think may have symptoms of binge-eating disorder, have an open and honest discussion about your concerns. You can offer encouragement and support and help your loved one find a qualified doctor or mental health provider and make an appointment. You may even offer to go along.