Part 3 of Binge Trap #1–The Low-Calorie Belief Trap

For Women Only: Why Most Women Can’t Stay On A Diet For More Than 3 Weeks

Are you still hooked on the idea that you want to lose weight fast by going on, for example, a 1200-calorie diet?

How about an 800-calorie diet? If you’ve dieted for a few years, you probably shook your head at the idea of an 800-calorie diet because you know with 100% certainty, it is just not enough food and you’ll end up bingeing.

★★★ BUT, if you’re on a 1200 calorie diet, there are times when your body thinks it’s only on an 800-calorie diet. ★★★

And hits you with strong powerful food cravings. Maybe chocolate cravings. Maybe potato chips cravings. Maybe pizza cravings. Or any other kind of food craving. 

Read on to find out when the body needs 400 calories more (regardless of what amount of calories you’re eating.)

When My Doctor Was Wrong

Toward the end of my twenties (a very long time ago), when I’d figured out that going hungry on a diet wasn’t working, I started eating more food, enough to feed my hunger. Many times during the first 2 to 3 weeks on a diet/plan, I could stick to it, no problem. And I’d lose weight, a few pounds.

But then a few days before the start of my menstrual cycle, I’d get powerful food cravings. Chocolate food cravings (and I wasn’t even a huge fan of chocolate) and potato chip cravings and pizza cravings. All kinds of food cravings and I’d end up bingeing on large amounts of food and gain back the weight I’d lost. Month after month I couldn’t get past those few days without bingeing. And I couldn’t lose weight.

So, I went to my doctor at the time to ask him why I kept getting strong food cravings and what I could do about it because it was stopping me from losing weight. Especially my then plan of ‘lose weight fast.’

My doctor said, “What are you worried about? There are lots of people fatter than you and those cravings are all in your head. Just stop eating those foods.” (Shortly, after that I got a new doctor.)

He was wrong. It had everything to do with my Resting Metabolic Rate.

In my last post, I talked about the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).

Your RMR is the number of calories needed to run your internal system like your lungs, kidneys, heart, etc. Everyone’s RMR is different, depending on a few factors (age, height, gender, health).

(If you’re interested in knowing what your Resting Metabolic Rate is, shoot me an email at and I’ll email you back a chart with the RMR’s for a long list of weights.)

Now back to why I’d binge around the time of my menstrual cycle. When I learned the following, it was an eye-opener for me.

In the female body, the menstrual cycle mechanism lays dormant during the month and needs very few calories. But a few days before our cycle starts, it gears up for action.

AND the female body needs about 400 calories more per day.

So, let’s do some math. (This applies only to women who still have a menstrual cycle.)

PLEASE NOTE: I do NOT advocate dieting or any of the following caloric diets.

The math is to demonstrate another reason why it’s almost impossible to diet, lose weight and keep the weight off.

1200 calorie diet – 400 calories (per day needed for cycle) = only 800 calories left for other activities

1400 calorie diet – 400 calories (per day needed for cycle) = only 1000 calories left for other activities

1600 calorie diet – 400 calories (per day needed for cycle) = only 1200 calories left for other activities

No wonder I got strong powerful physical food cravings around the time of my cycle. And if you do too, or knows someone who does…

The Solution:

Make a note on your calendar, a few days before the start of your next cycle and eat extra food. A sandwich with 1-2 slices of bread (depending on the size of bread slices), 1-2 ounces of protein and 2-3 tsp of fat to add flavour is an excellent choice.

If you found this post helpful, please share.

Stay tuned for Part 1 of Binge Trap #2—The Substitution Trap in my next post on how the foods you substitute for the foods you love might not be healthier. Or in other words, the foods you love might be just as healthy as the foods you are substituting. And why substituting foods can cause bingeing.

Here’s to avoiding all the binge traps!

Irene Jorgensen

P.S. If you’re struggling to lose weight, there are 3 distinct types of cravings that cause bingeing. I write about these types of cravings and how to avoid them in my book The 3 Secrets To Diet-Free Weight Loss (It’s Not What You Think). I invite you to go to my website and download the first chapter (it’s actually the first 3 chapters) for FREE!

Posted on February 25, 2018

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