Are you struggling with binge eating?
After a food binge, you feel a whole range of emotions. Frustrated. Worried. Disappointed.
You wish you would never binge again.
How you treat yourself after a binge is extremely important. This blog offers you 8 strategies for that post-binge time.
8 things to do after a binge
1. Don’t restrict
One of the biggest causes of binge eating is restriction. This can be physical or emotional restriction.
After a binge, you might vow to be “good” – in the hope to stop binging. Since you’re probably binging on foods that you view as unhealthy, you might promise to eat them less from now on.
The thing is, these commitments to “healthy eating” never usually work. This type of relationship with your binge foods doesn’t let you make peace with them in the long run.
And that what you want, right? You want a healthy relationship with all foods.
Even the smallest twinge of restriction can trigger a binge in the future, whether that be days or weeks.
We know that you want to regain control. You want to balance out what you eat during the bad times with food. You just wish you had more control. But control doesn’t come from doubling-down on restriction.
Recovering from binging is much deeper than desperately trying not to binge. You need to process the bigger emotions going on below the surface.
So next time you want to restrict or “eat healthy” after a binge, remind yourself that’s only going to make it worse.
2. Validate what triggered you to binge
It sounds simple. But giving yourself a bit of a break and some kind words really goes a long way.
In fact, self-validation is one of the core aspects we help clients with. Our founder Shannon – who is a nutritionist, therapist, and recovery coach – finds that self-validation is crucial.
Self-validation after you’ve just binged could be saying:
- It’s been a tough day, no wonder I binged
- I’ve been trying really hard with my binging, but slips happen
- I tried the best I could today but I needed food to soothe me
Self-validation is part of of giving yourself a break. Not because you’re going easy on yourself, but because being a bit more kind actually helps reduce the intensity of shame you have after binging.
We recommend writing down a few self-validation statements you can read and say aloud next time you binge eat.
3. Never skip your next meal
The last thing you want to do after a binge is eating. It might be really hard, but it’s important to not skip your next meal.
You probably feel really full after a binge. So you can wait 3-4 hours if you need to. But always have your next meal as you usually would.
Missing meals disrupts your routine and structure. These are both super important when you’re trying to stop binging or when you’re recovering from binge eating disorder.
4. Ignore restriction-based advice
Restriction is incredibly unhelpful when you binge eat.
It not only fuels restriction, but it keeps you stuck not tuning into your own bodies needs.
Unqualified people often give advice about binge eating. Becuase they don’t realise or care that binge eating is a serious mental health and eating trouble. So they share a few “tips” to help.
But these tips are often rooted in restirction, weight-loss, and shame-based thinking.
That’s not what we’re about here.
Our founder Shannon has helped 100s overcome disordered eating, including binge eating. She does this with deep work, not simply tips to trick your body.
Some of the most common tips include chugging water, cutting out binge foods, and cutting out sugar/carbs/other foods.
This doesn’t work! You know it doesn’t, otherwise, you wouldn’t be here.
Next time you binge, resist the urge to search for tips from people who don’t understand and aren’t qualified to help with binge eating.
We also recommend steering-clear of any professionals who *are* qualified. But they claim that they can help you stop binging and lose weight *at the same time* – this is simply putting you into more of a restrictive mindset.
You need to repair your relationship with food and binging before trying to lose weight, if that’s what you wish.
5. Don’t promise yourself this is the last binge ever
Of course, you want to stop binging. You want every binge to be the last one.
But it probably won’t be.
How many times have you swore it’s the last time?
Everytime you end up binging, you think of all the fake promises you made, right?
You can definitely heal from binge eating. But swearing it’s the last time simply sets you up to fail. And slipping up and failing worsens the intensity of binges.
Instead, try some of the other strategies in this blog. If you always find yourself promising that it’s the last time, simply switch to self-validating statements instead.
6. Take care of yourself
Self-care isn’t key in binge eating recovery just because it’s “nice.”
Self-care is a foundation to your well-being. Along with offering yourself validation and compassion, you need to physically and mentally take care of yourself.
Once you’re into the swing of caring for you and your needs on a regular basis, you might find that binging reduces!
Doing things to make you feel good and comfortable after a binge is a good way to try and deal with any negative emotions.
7. Push away dieting thoughts and behaviours
It’s tempting to want to “repent” after a binge.
One of the ways our clients do this is plannig their next diet. Dieting might sound old-fashioned. What we mean is anything that makes you restrict, over-think, or focus too much on what you’re eating. It could even be thinking about simply eating healthier.
Eating healthy has to come from a place of self-care, rather than self-hate.
8. Professional help
Did you know that many of our clients get in touch after they binge?
They need help, and they feel like it’s the right time.
Luckily for them (and you!), we are able to help. Our founder Shannon is trained as both a nutritionist and a therapist which means she can help with both the eating stuff and the deeper things going on.
You can get in touch with us whenever you’re ready.