How to recover from a binge

Created by Elly McGuinness

Last Updated: January 3, 2021

CATEGORIES: Healthy Eating

Are you feeling guilty and maybe a bit ‘off’ after some extra indulgence during a sugar-focused holiday? If so, this short blog is for you. Read on to discover how to recover from a binge.

[Note that the advice in this post is not in reference to binge eating disorders. It’s more about healthy eating and lifestyle tips to help people who have found themselves overeating during a short time period and want tips to get back on track with a healthy eating regime. Please seek professional advice if you have an eating disorder. There are likely to be mental health issues and additional layers to work through in this situation].

Holidays will always be part of life and should be enjoyed.  Whether your goals are centred on weight loss, improved fitness performance, or something else, you should be able to enjoy a break away from your usual exercise and eating routine at certain times of the year.  You should also be able to feel good that you have mindfully planned to do so.

However, with the excellent marketing of tasty treats and perhaps the temporary ceasing of your exercise program during any holiday period, you might be feeling annoyed or frustrated at yourself for over-indulging.  If you’ve gone a bit overboard and need to reset or re-energize your body, then remember these two simple steps to help get you back on track:

  • Move on from the guilt
  • Make choices that nourish you

(This post includes affiliate links for which I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase)

What to do after a binge

1. Move on from the guilt

What has happened in the past has already been and cannot be changed.  It is important to be able to find a way to move on from guilty feelings about binging to help prevent other unhealthy behaviors from occurring. Other unhealthy behaviors could include binging on exercise or going on a diet to try and make up for it afterward.

I know it is difficult to put this step into practice just by telling yourself to move on.  Therefore I’m providing a few suggestions that can help with acceptance and creating a positive mind-set:

Practice EFT (emotional freedom technique)

EFT can help to clear disruptions in your energy system caused by negative emotions that you are holding on to.  In this case, the negative emotion is the feeling of guilt from overindulgence.  Freedom from persistent negative emotions can help reduce your tendency towards emotional eating and help improve your mental health in general.

There are a vast array of resources available on the internet and in the library to teach you about EFT.  (For more serious emotional blockages I recommend you see an EFT practitioner such as Karen Degen at ‘Set Free with EFT‘).

health and happiness-happy couple riding a bike in the countryside

Practice meditation

Try a guided meditation podcast focused on self-love and acceptance. First download a podcast platform (I use ‘Podcast addict’ on my Android phone which you can get from the Google Play store here) and then use keywords to find a meditation podcast.  One I recommend is called ‘The Meditation Podcast’ by Jesse and Jeane Stern.

(If meditation is something that interests you then you may enjoy my Learn to Meditate in 10 days post).

I also highly recommend this free 4 day mindfulness discovery program from my friend Izzie.

Exercise as Stress Relief-woman meditating

Try NLP for overeating

There are some very effective neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques you can use to help rewire your brain. Specific techniques can help you to think about food differently so that you’ll want to grab nourishing and healthy options over less healthy options.

[Find out more, including two specific techniques that are used for people who want to lose weight, in “NLP for weight loss | Tips to rewire your brain for success”]

If you really want to know how to recover from a binge, moving on from the guilt is an important first step.  It helps you to enjoy and get the most out of the next step.

2. Make choices that nourish you

Instead of focusing on things to avoid (e.g. sugar or chocolate) as a way of getting back on track, I encourage you to move away from the deprivation mind-set.  Instead, focus on what you can add to your body or life to help you to feel healthier.  This is the second step in ‘how to recover from a binge’.

Movement

Get back on track with your fitness after the holidays by choosing a form of movement that you really enjoy, rather than one that you feel like you have to do. Practice it with the purpose of enjoying it and feeling more energized.  This is very different to going into exercise with a negative mind-set that tells yourself to work off the extra kg or two you have gained.

If you’re stuck for ideas, check out some of the blogs in my ‘Physical Fitness‘ category. Or you can grab my free bodyweight workout download by clicking on the button below.

Food

Choose foods you enjoy that you know are nutrient dense and nourishing for your body.  For example, buy your favourite fruits to snack on during the week. Or look for some healthy alternatives such as nuts like iHerb’s Navitas Naturals Organic Cashew Nuts. Click here for latest prices.

Get started with meal planning, if you haven’t already. Without planning, it’s much easier to make poor food choices. This is because you’ll reach the stage of being hungry and will end up grabbing whatever you have on hand.

Be sure to include a source of protein and fat with every meal. This will help you to feel satiated and less likely to feel like you want something else just a short time after your meal.

When you focus on optimal nutrition choices from a wide variety of foods your cravings for ‘quick fixes’ will usually decrease. I also highly recommend this free guide to crushing your sugar cravings from my friend Izzie.

If you still feel like a chocolate fix, consider making something simple and delicious yourself.  Try out these yummy gluten free, no added sugar ‘amazeballs’.

Further thoughts on what to do after binge eating

If you’ve read this far, you now have some useful ideas to help you know how to recover from a binge. It’s also worth considering who you are spending the majority of your time with. Often, your food choices may be influenced by those who are around you.

[Find out more in “Are your relationships sabotaging your nutrition efforts?”]

My final piece of advice is to be kind to yourself. Give yourself a chance to take a few small, positive steps forward for better health and happiness. Do you have any advice on how to recover from a binge or what to do after overeating in general? What has helped you in the past? Please feel free to comment in the box below.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these recommended service provider links, like an insurance broker, or a travel agent, I may earn a commission – at no extra cost to you. [For my full disclosure, please see my DISCLAIMER page].

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Elly McGuinness

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