What To Do After A Binge

As a recovered bulimic, the title of this blog post makes me cringe a little, but I think it’s important and I think we need to talk about it.

Please note that when I talk about bingeing in this blog post, I am referring to eating mass amounts of food with friends/family, NOT secret eating.

It’s important that we realise that binge-eating is not to be ashamed of, it’s just a part of life. Of course, that’s not to say it is healthy. Granted, there are a lot of things in life which are mightily unhealthy but we do them anyway. I have just returned from a week’s holiday with friends whereby 3 course meals were the norm…. at breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Talk about cheese-overload. Yum. Did I enjoy that food? Fuck yes! Did I feel guilty after.. a little. But that’s natural too. Let’s let go of feeling like we “should” be feeling guilty, or not guilty, let’s let go of feeling like we “should” be ashamed of what we’ve eaten.

Just because I’m making a case of normalising social-eating-binges does not detract, however, from the shame that we can feel and the discomfort in our bloat when we have finished a bingeing episode.

In the past, my immediate response post-binge would be: purge and/or starve myself for the foreseeable. (note, this is not the answer).

Just to let you know before we get going though, you can get your party pants on RIGHT NOW because guess what, that one-off binge? It ain’t gonna make the slightest bit difference to your weight or frame, long-term.

But, whilst you’re still sat in bloat and misery, here are some constructive ways to recover post-binge:

  1. Forgive yourself – if you find yourself ruminating and dwelling over all the crap you’ve eaten, you’re setting yourself up for an emotional rollercoaster of guilt and shame. This could end up leading to more emotional eating further down the road. Remind yourself that you’re only human, and this is only going to set you back a day or two at most!
  2. Get moving – No, no, no. I’m not talking about “exercising away the calories”, I’m talking about a) distracting yourself from your discomfort, b) easing the bloat. Exercising the day after a binge can help deliver oxygen to the digestive tract which keeps food moving = you feeling better.
  3. Don’t starve yourself – Don’t deprive yourself of food just because you overdid it yesterday. Skipping meals is only likely to increase our desire to overeat again – and we don’t want that. Not yet anyway, hehe.
  4. Instead, make sure your next meal is high in protein and fibre – It’s likely that after your food binge we end up feeling hungrier than ever. This is annoying, because we’re already berating ourselves over how much we’ve consumed already. This is how it works; after eating a big dinner, insulin spikes. This is often followed by a blood sugar drop, which increases feelings of hunger shortly after. Protein and fibre will help you feel fuller for longer. If you’re already feeling bloated, then perhaps cut down on the amount of carbs you take on board to minimise further discomfort.
  5. Drink lots of water – stay hydrated! – staying hydrated keeps our metabolism and satiety levels in check, which will help curb the pangs you’re likely to feel when the blood sugar drops again. Please note, this isn’t me saying “drink water instead of eating”, it’s me saying “your body really needs this right now, and it’s really gonna help you feel more normal”. Trust me.

So, have a firm word with yourself and repeat after me:

I am not a bad person because of what I ate.

I will not get fat from one bad binge.

I will not starve myself.

I will treat my body with the respect and love it deserves.

Lots of love my darlings! Stay well.

Jess x

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