Ok, so you just binge ate. Feeling pretty crappy now yeah? Sad? Angry? Disappointed? You are not alone. While it is important to address the reasons why we binge, I’ve written here a Binge Eating Recovery Plan on what I use to do when I use to binge and the things I did to help me not only recover after a binge, but to beat it.
1. STOP! That’s right, you heard me. STOP! If you catch yourself early enough, put that food down and stop eating. Let’s not make a bad situation worse.
2. Removed yourself to a calm environment. Basically get away from the food. This removes further temptation to continue binging.
3. Calm yourself down. While-ever your worked up, no matter what sense you try and make of things everything will be muddled. Sit for a few moments, take some calming breaths and actively calm yourself down.
4. Accept that you binged. We all have weaknesses and we are all human. Beating yourself up or self hating on yourself won’t make progress in beating the binge. You need to take ownership for your actions and accept your poor/impulsive choice.
5. Learn from the mistake/impulse. Think about what triggered the binge to begin with. Maybe it was someone else’s comment or a memory. Maybe you say something that upset you. Whatever it was, you need to identify the trigger so you know to look out for it next time.
6. Forgive yourself. I’d personally say this is the most important step. You need to forgive yourself for binging. You need to not punish yourself for this poor act but take the time to calmly recover.
7. Keep a journal. After you’ve gone through the above process, make a little note in a notebook or journal (hell even start a password journal on here if it’s more convenient) and write down exactly what you were feeling before the binge, during and after. Write down what you think triggered you and keep a record of your progress in your journey to beat binge eating. When you have a day where you beat the binge, write it in. Then on bad days look back and see how well you’ve been doing. By writing it down you’ll be able to better identify your triggers and any trends to your Binge Eating Habits. Also by actually expelling your feelings, you’ll be less likely to eat them instead.
8. Brush your teeth. Oddly enough I found during the worst of my binge eating, after brushing my teeth I only ever continued to binge eat once, because my teeth were all clean and the taste of the food was gone. An odd but very good tip to prevent further binging.
9. Give yourself the time to recover. Spend half an hour doing something you enjoy to boost your mood back up. Have a bath, meditate, do some yoga, call a friend, spend some time with a loved one, read a book, paint a picture: do something you enjoy!
10. Move forward. You need to leave the negative feelings behind and keep moving forward. Don’t hang on to the bad stuff because you’ll never have time to focus on the good!
Things to not do when trying to recover from a binge!
1. Workout like a mad woman. Chances are you’ll burn yourself out and make yourself feel even worse if you don’t reach the level you might set for yourself (which if your upset will most likely be WAY too high up the bar and therefore when you fail make you feel worse). Take it light. A walk well spent that calms you down and gives you a light boost in endorphins is much better than slogging yourself to death in the gym and possibly hurting yourself.
2. Don’t excessively restrict to compensate your binge!! This completely depends on the time of day, but don’t deny yourself food for the rest of the day if you binge at say, 10am. Doing this will actually double your chances of binging again as you’re starving your body! Just be sensible. Eat healthy and in smaller than normal portions. If its evening when you binge then by all means stop. But be responsible and care for your body. Not eating for 16 hours is not good for you!
3. Don’t keep putting yourself down about the binge. You need to let go of the self hate and self loathing after a binge and move forward. No good will be gained from constantly telling yourself you’re a failure except to make you inevitably binge again. Instead of begrudging yourself for the past, try and be positive and learn from it.