So you’ve had a couple of bad days. At first everything was fine. Then, before you knew it, you ate until you felt sick and/or drank a bit too much.
We all overdo it at times, whether you are a binger or not. That being said, the frequency at which this happens is more important here. Like in all circumstances, being aware of what you are doing is a first important step. By recognizing this, you will be taking the first necessary actions to being in control of such impulsive behaviours.
Once you have realised that you’re deep in binge mode, stop, think, and consider the following:
1. Forget, forgive and move on
What’s done is done. You cannot take it back so accept that you have abused your body with excess food/drink and forget about it. Please do not attempt to purge. Not only does this cause a lot of damage to your body, but it is extremely unhealthy and can result in a yo-yo effect of bingeing and purging. If you are already doing this then please seek medical help immediately. Also, the majority of calories consumed will already be absorbed so purging does not take back as much as you think it does.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be honest with yourself about the excesses and just move on from this. Tomorow is a new day.
2. Determine the cause or trigger
The root to solving anything is to determine the trigger. What caused you to over eat? When we over eat it is mostly due to emotions overriding our decision making. Did you have a bad day? Did some one say something to upset you? Are you stressed, overwhelmed or exhausted? Could it be you have severe PMS symptoms?
Take some time out to really think about what it is that got you started. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem, see the effect it had on you and make a commitment to be aware of this and identify it as a trigger.
3. Don’t weigh yourself
You feel as though you’ve eaten the whole world. So, you go on the scale to see the damage done. Don’t! What will this solve? It will only make you feel worse! Anyway, the increase in weight will be mostly due to increase of food weight in your body as well as water retention from all the salt, sugar and fat you consumed. If this took place over just 1 or 2 days, and stopped there then not much will really convert to fat permanently, unless of course you end up doing this every weekend or couple of days!
As a rule of thumb, say to yourself that you require a good 7-10 days of clean eating to rid of the effects of 2-3 binge eating. Yes, that’s right.
Don’t weigh yourself after overeating
4. Don’t aim for perfection
It’s the same old story. ‘I’ll start again on Monday’, ‘I’ll begin my diet in the New Year’. Forget about it! Your new lifestyle starts now! That being said, do not put so much emphasis on this. Whilst having good intentions is admirable and being determined and driven to succeed is necessary, going full speed in the very beginning may leave you burnt out in a couple of days and back to your old eating habits and off again with the binges.
Focus on making better and healthier choices, and see this as a long term commitment. Yes, we have all heard this before, but that is because it works! So forget starvation/liquid/all-protein, no carb diets. Just it it simple and sensible.
5. Be prepared and plan ahead
One reason as to why we may over eat at times is due to the fact that we are very unprepared. Did you go 6 hours without eating anything? Well, no wonder you ate everything in sight! The longer we go without food, the lower our blood sugar levels fall. When we do finally eat, we take in more than we need as at that stage as our eyes will be bigger than our stomach! Also when we leave many hours in between meals, our body thinks that there is a famine approaching so when you do eat, most of it will be stored as fat for survival purposes. Not good in this day and age of digital-laziness!
Aim to eat every 3 hours to get your blood sugar levels stable, and get at least 7 hours sleep as not getting enough rest can also trigger a hormone imbalance and cause you to binge. Take a look at your weeks ahead and plan your 3 meals and 3 snacks daily. Write this down if need be and stick with it till you get on track again.
6. Go shopping
Now that you know what you will be eating on each day, go out and get some food shopping done. Don’t leave it until that day. For all you know you’ll be stuck on traffic or have to stay later in the office and arrive home in a bad mood and completely ravenous and end up eating loads of crap. Have your food ready available for the day and pre-cook it if need be. Having what you need, when you need it ready will be a major influencing factor in whether you succeed or not.
7. Do some exercise
You’ve binged, and you feel unhealthy and disgusting. Exercise is the last thing you feel like doing right? Understandable, but this will really give you a boost. When you exercise you are automatically more inclined to want to make healthier choices. Also, would you really want to indulge in a greasy pizza after a 40 minute training session? What a waste of time! We all know that exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good. So what are you waiting for? Just a 30 minute walk will make all the difference. If you can do more, then go ahead.
Exercise and Hydration
8. Hydrate yourself
Exercise is great as it gets you sweating and rid of toxins from your body. That being said, when detoxing, increasing your fluid intake is extremely important. By fluids we are taking about plain water here. A few cups of herbal tea are fine too, just try limit the caffeine if possible as this is very dehydrating. Drinking a good 3 litres of water ill help you in flushing out those nasty toxins you’ve accumulated and get you feeling healthier in no time.
Fed up of just water? Try adding some sliced lemon, lime or mint to it for added flavour. Include Aloe Vera in your water for super charged cleansing .
9. Look forward
You’ve accepted that you have over ate and realise that it’s not the end of the world. You’ve hopefully identified what set you off and thought of an action plan to try prevent this from happening again. If it does, don’t worry. Behaviours can take months, even years to change. If the frequency lessens or the binge itself decreases then that’s already a step in the right direction.
Never underestimate the importance of planning ahead. Have your meals and snacks ready and take it one day at a time. You’re not training for a competition!
Look forward to the next day ahead, keep your head up and remember this:
Living a healthy lifestyle