So you want to know how to get back on track after a binge?
You’ve just started your diet. You’re two weeks in and you’ve been doing great. You’ve been sticking to your calories recommendations and eating lots of protein.
You feel like you’ve really got it nailed this time, everything seems to be going well and you’ve got high hopes. You’ve even noticed the scale has gone down a few pounds and you’re feeling proud of yourself.
Then one night you come home from a long day at work and you’re craving something sweet. You don’t feel like cooking and you just want something quick.
So you look in the fridge and you notice there’s a chocolate bar. You tell yourself that you will have one square and that will be enough to satisfy the craving.
You eat the piece of chocolate and begin looking for something to cook. While you’re searching for food, you notice how good the chocolate tasted. So you decide to “have on more piece”.
The second piece turns into the whole row and that whole row turns into the entire block. You’ve now got the taste for sugar and like a shark that’s just tasted blood you’re on a frenzy. You begin looking for other foods that will satisfy your cravings and you begin to pick at this and that.
Before you know it, you’ve scoffed down an entire week of calories in 30 minutes and now you feel dreadful. Not only do you feel sick, you now hate yourself for ruining your diet. Then you’re beating yourself up wondering why you can’t just be normal and lose weight like everyone else.
Pretty accurate isn’t it? That’s because I’ve been where you are before. Many times actually, so I know what it’s like. I also know how to help you overcome it when it does happen. That way you can be sure you haven’t ruined all of the progress you’ve made of the last few weeks.
Get Rid Of The Crap
As soon as you’ve finished your binge and got the feeling of guilt, it’s the best time to get rid of all the trigger foods. Trigger foods are the foods that cause you to overeat in the first place. You’re telling yourself you’re never going to do it again, you can use that feeling to your advantage to throw away all of those foods.
Some foods you just can’t keep in your house while you’re dieting because you know you can’t stop at one piece or one spoonful and keeping them out of the house means they’re out of your mind. When you don’t have those trigger foods in the house you’re not going to overeat, even when you feel like it because they aren’t there.
Don’t Do Anything Drastic
Every time I would overeat, I would do a full 24 hour fast and not eat anything. I even used to recommend this to my clients. That was until I realised that what I was doing was promoting bad habits. These habits could leave to a vicious cycle of binging and restricting which is not healthy. What you need to do is to get straight back on track with your normal calorie deficit.
If you want to eat 200 – 400 calories less because you still feel bloated from the night before, that’s fine but don’t restrict yourself and eat nothing. Just get back on track with your deficit and focus on keeping your protein high.
Plan Your Meals
For the next two days, plan exactly what you’re going to eat and then get it all prepared. You may not be able to prep for the whole week but if you can get two days all planned and prepped it’s going to give you that positive momentum to move forward and get back on track.
Let’s be honest, nothing feels better than eating good nutritious foods after a bad day of eating.
Speaking of planning meals, make sure that you’re not near any temptation during the next few days. Once you have a binge, you still crave junk food and if you let yourself get triggered again it can go into a downward spiral. Try and keep yourself away from any temptation as much as you can.
Use The Extra Energy
Because you’ve eaten a lot of food, you can use that extra food for some energy at the gym. You will be able to push yourself harder and increase the weights and the reps. This doesn’t mean you do an extra hour of cardio or run yourself into the ground. Instead, just try to increase the weight you use on all exercises and do a few extra reps. If you do have extra time you can go for a walk after your workout or later on in the day. However, this doesn’t mean you do more cardio or workout twice just because you overate.
Don’t Restrict Yourself
I told you to throw away trigger foods that cause you to overeat but that doesn’t mean don’t eat anything that’s classed as “bad”. Some foods you can’t keep in the house because they do cause you to binge, but there are also those “bad” foods that you can eat in moderation and not cause you to overeat. You don’t want to restrict yourself from everything because that’s going to cause another binge since you feel like you’re deprived. Find those foods you can eat that will fit into your calories, that will help you stay sane and won’t cause you to go overboard if you have them.
Self-forgiveness is very hard to do and I struggle with it myself, but the more you try, the better you will become at it. Yes, you fucked up, but so what?
You’re a human and you’re going to make mistakes. You mess up at work, you forget about an appointment, you back your car into a wall (just me?) and god knows what other mistakes you’ve made and will make in the future. That’s ok, you’re not perfect and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be. Don’t dwell on the past. Forgive yourself for what happened and focused on the future and getting back on track.
If you need help to get back on track and to get your head right, send me a DM on Instagram and we can have a chat.