10 Things To Do After a Binge To RecoverJan 22, 2021
Let’s set the scene - you’ve just finished a binge and are feeling painfully stuffed. But worse than that, you’re feeling like an idiot for succumbing to yet another binge. Especially after you’d been so good all day! Now you’re going to have to figure out a way to undo this binge. Maybe you’ll skip breakfast tomorrow and have salad for lunch. Definitely no snacking! Or you’ll head to the gym and try to burn some of it off. “Uh! What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just not binge?”, you think to yourself.
Can you relate to any of this?
The moments after a binge always seem to be filled with regret and frustration. But it doesn’t have to be this way! I’ve got 10 tips for you today to help you deal with the post-binge physical and emotional stress. So listen up gals, your post-binge routine is about to get turned upside down!
1. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
This is often the natural reaction to a binge. As much as you might think so - it’s not all your fault! The thing is - when has beating yourself up ever helped in the long-term? It just makes you feel guilty and bad about yourself. Imagine talking to your 5-year-old self - what would you tell her? You wouldn’t say, “you’re pathetic - you binged again, surprise, surprise! You’re going to be stuck like this forever!”. No! You would treat her with kindness and forgiveness. You would want to help her.
Next time you binge: Close your eyes for a minute or two. Imagine talking to your 5-year-old self. Tell her it’s ok! Tell her what she needs to hear. If you find yourself going back to your negative thoughts about yourself, notice that. It might take some time to change this habitual reaction. Instead of trying to knock away the mean thoughts - fill the room in your head up with positive thoughts. There’ll be no space for the negative ones!
2. DON’T RESTRICT THE NEXT DAY
This is the go-to for most of us after a binge. We need to find a way to undo all the extra calories we ate. But here’s the thing - this restricting part of the cycle is what keeps the bingeing going. Bingeing thrives on restriction. Whether that’s physical, mental or emotional. So if you can cut that out, the bingeing will ease off. I know it seems impossible to not under-eat or over-exercise the next day - surely you’ll just gain more weight right? It is possible though! And in the long-term, you’ll gain way less weight, or even lose weight because you’ll be bingeing less!
Next time you binge: Don’t skip breakfast the next day. In fact, eat 3 proper, full, balanced meals. Snacks too if you feel like it! Don’t try to “be healthy” or exercise with the intention to “burn off the calories” from a binge. Live the next day as if the binge never happened!
Check out my post on finding out what type of restriction you do - this can be really helpful in moving towards recovery. If you know WHY you binge, you can figure out WHAT to do to recover.
3. BE CURIOUS
In the moments coming up to a binge, things can get a bit blurry, right? Nothing can stop you - not your thoughts, not circumstances, nothing! You just need to binge. So beforehand, stopping to take a breath and figure out what’s going on can be difficult. But after the binge, things become more clear and you’re out of your mindless panic. This is the time to look back and think about why you binged? Becoming more aware of the why, helps you learn what to do to heal.
Next time you binge: Try journaling after a binge - whether that’s written down in a diary or just in your phone. Write down what you think triggered the binge. Were you bored? Lonely? Stressed? Or had you not eaten much throughout the day? Or did you find yourself trying to hold off on eating a certain food like chocolate all day? Over time, you might notice a pattern that’s not immediately obvious. Then you can take action to address it.
4. GO ON A WALK IN NATURE
This sounds so simple, but it can be really helpful to go for a walk after a binge. Not only does it get you moving so you don’t feel as uncomfortably full, but it can help you get out of your head. Instead of being stuck in your room feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll be out moving your body and noticing there’s more in this moment than your problems, which can be quite humbling.
Next time you binge: Put on your shoes and treat yourself to a calming walk out in nature.
5. DON’T PLAN LIKE CRAZY TO UNDO THE BINGE
It’s super common after a binge to start planning a ridiculous diet plan to “make up” for it and focus on weight loss. I used to do this to give myself some sense of relief that there was a plan in place - that before I knew it, the binge calories would be gone and I’d be losing weight! I’d tell myself that I’d never have this binge food again and it was the last binge ever. The diet plan would be completely unrealistic with insanely low daily calorie intake and a tormenting workout regimen too.
While the plan can calm you down a bit, it’s very difficult to actually stick to it. And it just continues the binge-restrict cycle.
Next time you binge: Forget the diet plan, forget the gym. Don’t set yourself up for failure! Instead of controlling yourself for the next day/s, focus more on balance and freedom. Allow yourself to eat what you want.
6. LET IT GO
I know, I know - this one is so much easier said than done. But by allowing your binge to dominate your thoughts, you’re giving it energy. What you focus on, you empower. So many of us let our binge eating disorder become our identity. It’s all we think about! So just let it go. This simple but powerful tip was a game-changer for me. Instead of obsessing about the binge, how regretful I was, what I should have done, how I can compensate for it etc., I told myself, “Let it go”. Not only does it make you feel better emotionally, for not making yourself feel guilty and frustrated, but it also helps your physically. You’re less likely to restrict the next day because it’s no big deal - you’ve moved on.
Next time you binge: Don’t give the binge your energy. It is what it is. It’s done now. Let’s move on. Let it go and live your best life!
7. TRUST YOUR BODY TO GUIDE YOU
Your body is a hell of a lot smarter than you give it credit for! You don’t need to worry about dieting the next day or trying to ‘be good’. Because your body knows how to balance things out - it will adjust your hunger levels the next day anyway. And it will seek nourishment that is usually missing from binge foods.
Next time you binge: Let your body do the work! It really does know best!
8. DRINK SOME WATER
Super simple but important physiologically. Binge foods are usually high in processed sugar or fat, and low in fibre. And as a binge means eating a large amount of it, we need to ensure our body has what it needs to move things through efficiently. Drinking water helps you rehydrate and lower blood sugar levels by diluting the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.
Next time you binge: Once you’re not feeling too stuffed and can drink some water, take it in! Your body will thank you!
9. TALK IT OUT WITH SOMEONE
Binge-eating is a highly secretive and thus isolating disorder. But if you can find someone to open up to about it, it gives the bingeing less power. Just by saying what you ate and how you feel out loud, it can alleviate a lot of the emotional pain a binge causes. It’s a verbal way of ‘letting it go’. The person listening doesn’t even have to try to solve the problem or offer advice - just to be a listening ear is enough!
Next time you binge: Tell someone you trust about the binge. Remove the shame and secrecy from the bingeing!
Bingeing itself is usually a means to deal with some kind of restriction whether it’s physical, mental or emotional. And during the binge, we often feel out of control. While the first few bites of the comfort food is delicious, it soon becomes a mindless act of eating until uncomfortably full. So much of it is not being present at all. Then after it’s all done, we rarely take a moment to just stop and really take a breath. This can slow you down and bring you back to now. To feel your emotions now. Give yourself 2 minutes to just lie down, close your eyes and do some slow belly breathing. Five counts in while pushing your belly out, hold it at the top for a moment, then 5 breaths out slowly. Focus on your breath. This will help activate your parasympathetic nervous system which induces calmness and reduces stress. It’s unlike the shallow breathing most of us do through our chest all day that triggers stress within the body.
Next time you binge: Treat yourself to a few minutes of deep breathing to bring you back to the present and unwind.
While all 10 tips might be a bit overwhelming to try at first, pick a handful that resonate with you and give them a go the next time you binge! Let me know how they go by commenting down below or DM’ing me on Insta!
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