Following a binge episode, it can be tempting to throw up your hands in despair–but that’s not your only option! Following your usual carefully-structured healthy eating plan following a binge eating episode can get you back on track and make you feel like yourself again. As an added bonus, the bloat and discomfort that comes with binge eating might make it easier for you to stick to your resolution next time.
Let’s face it: even the most determined dieter slips every once in a while. You think that you’re on track.
You’ve been eating healthy, keeping yourself on track and staying away from foods that cause you to get out of control with your eating.
Then it happens: the food served at a breakfast meeting looks more like doughnuts than eggs, your best friend brings over an entire pan of brownies, or you can’t stop yourself from eating your way through an entire tub of popcorn at the movies. How are you supposed to recover afterwards?
Make Sure It’s a One-Time Event
For many women, a single binge eating episode pulls them straight off the diet train and into a downward spiral of unhealthy eating. After all, they reason, they have no self-control. Why should they even bother trying?
When you overeat or eat things that are unhealthy one time, accept it for the one-time event that it is.
You haven’t completely ruined your diet, destroyed weeks or months of effort, or consigned yourself to a life of “fat.” Instead, take a deep breath and commit to doing better from now on. One mistake won’t keep you from living a healthy lifestyle!
Try to Drink It Off
You already know that drinking enough water is an important part of your dieting effort, but it’s doubly important following a binge eating episode. Commit to drinking a minimum of eight glasses containing at least eight ounces of water over the course of the day following your binge.
Ideally, you should divide your weight in half, then drink that number of ounces throughout the day. The water won’t wash away the binge eating mistakes you’ve made, but it will help flush your system of some of the chemicals, salt, and sugar that you shouldn’t have eaten. Even better, it will help remove waste more efficiently.
Get Up and Get Moving
You don’t have to commit to burning off every calorie that you consumed during your binge, but getting in some exercise will help you recommit to your healthy lifestyle. Not only will exercise help rev up your metabolism and burn off some of those extra calories, it will lift your mood and make you feel better about your healthy eating efforts.
Alleviating the guilt will also make it easier to make a healthy choice the next time you select a meal.
End the Day on a High Note
Often, dinner is the hardest meal of the day to plan. You’ve been busy all day, and now, you just want to grab something from the nearest fast food restaurant so you can get home and relax. Making the effort to eat a healthy dinner, however, will provide you with the balance you need to help your body process your binge earlier in the day.
Look for healthy options for your dinner, and you’ll be able to sleep more deeply knowing that you’ve made the healthy choices you should.
Think About What You’re Eating
Binges usually happen on impulse. You don’t always know that they’re coming, and all you can do is handle the damage control after they’re over.
Other times, however, you’re given plenty of time to prepare your schedule. If you know that you’re headed out to a girls’ night where you’re going to drink high-calorie alcoholic beverages and pig out on dessert together, keep your earlier food high in protein and low in carbs. Planning for a kids’ birthday party where cake, ice cream, and pizza will feature high on the list of available foods?
Limit your calories earlier in the day, and make sure that you follow the same high-protein, low-carb pattern. This will help provide balance to your diet and make you better able to handle the upcoming binge.
Don’t have any warning when the binge happens? Maybe you found the box of doughnuts sitting on the staff table at work and just couldn’t resist…two or three times. Maybe lunch was catered in, and you found yourself choosing from a broad selection of your favorites instead of limiting yourself to the healthy foods you know you should have chosen.
When this happens, don’t sweat it! Balance your food for the rest of the day. Fill your plate with vegetables and lean protein to compensate for the binge episode earlier in the day.
Start Tomorrow With Plenty of Protein
When you wake up tomorrow, remember that it’s a fresh new day. Instead of reaching for a bagel or filling a bowl with cereal, try to choose a high-protein option to balance yesterday’s binge and give you the fuel you need to get through today.
Your body is still processing the carbs from yesterday–no need to give it more!
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