It’s the weekend, you’re out, you indulge in something you might not otherwise have eaten and then before you know it, you’re on an all-out binge-fest. Who hasn’t had this happen to them every once in a while? Let’s face it, it happens. Unfortunately, so does the guilt that comes with it afterwards. Instead of crawling up in a corner and crying “why did I do it?”, here are some simple damage-control steps you can take to counteract that binge:
Plan for the day: So your breakfast meeting or family brunch involved a lot more muffins and croissants than it did oatmeal and eggs. That’s okay. The good news is that you have the rest of the day to eat better. Lunch and dinner should be a healthy protein with a big serving of vegetables and lighter on the carbs and starches. You may even find that you are less hungry during the day after eating that bigger-than-usual morning meal.
Make your last meal the healthiest: It’s dinner time and you just realized that you never had breakfast or lunch but grazed on countless handfuls of nuts and fruit. Maybe you managed to eat a muffin on your way out of the house and shoved down half a protein bar that was sitting in your car. Needless to say, you never actually sat down and ate a nutritious meal. Well, now is your chance to make up for all of that. Since you most likely ate way more carbs and fat than you realize, focus on eating protein like fish, chicken or turkey with some steamed vegetables to even out your carb and fat overload from the day. Try our Skinny Blackened Salmon with a French Country Salad. Plus, there’s nothing like turning in for the night knowing you ate something that is good for you. Hello, guiltless sleep!
Drink: You can’t necessarily undo what you’ve done, but you can minimize the situation by drinking a lot of water after a binge. This is the best way to help your body metabolize and digest what you ate and flush it out of your system – quickly! Try our Detox Water to get you back on track!
Get Moving: Exercise is probably the last thing on your mind after stuffing your face with food, but you don’t have to throw in your latest high-intensity DVD and get your sweat on. Take a brisk walk, a steady bike ride, or something that gets you off the couch and away from the food. The psychological effect it will have on you is as important as the physical one.
Curb your morning carbs: If you binged the night or day before, try eliminating your carbs at breakfast. This gives your body some time to use up what it has stored rather than overloading your system with more. Stick with eggs, vegetables and healthy fats, like avocado, and skip the cereal, bagel and fruit. Check out 7 high protein, low carb breakfast recipes for some good ideas!
Don’t Give In: Too often, women binge and then continue a pattern of binge eating. This is how good habits turn into bad ones leading to weight gain, depression, guilt and sadness. Just because you had one bad night or day doesn’t mean you should throw your hands in the air and completely give up. Each day is a chance to start anew. One bad day doesn’t have to turn into weeks or months of bad days. Keep reminding yourself how badly you felt physically and emotionally after that binge. In all likelihood, you won’t want to go back there any time soon.
Binges happen, but they don’t have to become habit. Use these quick fixes so that a food binge doesn’t derail your healthy lifestyle. Of course, when you consistently eat right and exercise, a small indulgence here and there is not going to ruin everything for you so don’t feel bad if you want a piece of cake for your birthday or on a date with your significant other. But when you feel like it’s getting out of control, stop and listen to what your body is telling you and think about how you will feel after eating all that food. And if that doesn’t work, these six steps should definitely help control some of the damage.