Weight Loss Support - What do you do AFTER a binge?

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02-23-2007, 10:17 AM
I found a bunch of great info on these boards on how to avoid a binge, but I didn't find anything on recovering from one. I realize that most of us here on these boards struggle with binging, and many have developed strategies to avoid or stop a binge from happening. My question is, what do you do when your strategies fail and you binge? How do you eat for the next day or 2 following a binge? Do you just keep going with your program, do you cut back, do you exercise more, or something else? I ask because I had a binge last night and now I'm recovering from it. :o Thanks for the info!

02-23-2007, 10:32 AM
Binge eating, especially emotional, is the root of my weight issues. I have honestly found that the best solution to do after a binge, is to pretend it did NOT happen.


If you go on a big binge, and then the next day, or week-you try and make up for it by eating less than you normally do when trying to lose weight, or you double up your exercise-then what you are actually doing is creating a cycle-and setting yourself up for ANOTHER binge. If you cut back too much, or use more energy than normal doubling your exercise to "make up" for the binge-you are going to end up too hungry from doing that-and another binge a few days/weeks later is inevitable.

Something else that I find happens with bingers, is that if they binge on a whole bag of cookies at 11am, they say "Boy, I blew it today-I might as well eat whatever I want and skip my workout-and start fresh tomorrow". This is the exact OPPOSITE of the cutting back further/overexercising...but these are the two most COMMON ways that people deal with a binge. They either try to overcompensate with their diet/too much exercise...or they say heck with it, and eat MORE/skip exercise because they already "ruined" the day.

Don't do either...if you have a binge at 1pm, and you planned on having chicken and vegetables for dinner, and walking 2 miles after work-stick to your original plan! Do exactly what you would have done if the binge had not happened.

Basically, you don't want the one incident to take control.

02-23-2007, 10:33 AM
I just put it behind me and move on with my usual routine and count it as a high-calorie day. The next day it's business as usual.

I rarely "binge" but we all have moments where we eat a little more than we should or eat something we shouldn't. I don't punish myself the next day by restricting food.

02-23-2007, 10:39 AM
Aphil - the whole cutting back thing is what I was going to do, and the "I already had candy and it's 9 am so I'll just start fresh tomorrow" is how I normally handle it. In fact, that's what I did yesterday. But what if it was a really BIG binge? I'm estimating yesterday's was 2-3000 cals. :o :o :mad: Should I still go back on program or should I compensate in some way? Although I haven't been very hungry yet today - maybe that's my body's way of compensating.

02-23-2007, 10:41 AM
Just go back on program like it didn't happen...the binge/overcompensating cycle is what you want to AVOID.

02-23-2007, 10:47 AM
Hi booskibabe!

I have eaten A LOT in the past! I think EVERY DAY was a binge day for me! It took me a long time to understand that I was using food to fill up what was missing in my life. I had never understood that eating too much was really an EMOTIONAL thing!

That said, to answer your question, once I really understood that I was actually eating out of EMOTIONAL need, it became easier for me to sort out the FEELINGS thing from the FOOD thing.

Reading Stephen Gullo, MD's book The Thin Commandment Diet really helped me because Dr. Gullo said to ask myself if what I was putting into my body was HELPING my body. That was a real AH-HA moment for me! I don't think I ever thought about food that way! I simply thought of food as something tasty and delicious!

When I feel a binge coming on I KNOW that I have not been eating well enough on that given day. Usually for me a binge happens when I don't eat enough fiber and when I overdo it with carbs. It can also happen when I let my triggers get the best oif me. These include cheese, chips, chocolate, and bread with butter.

I put all my foods eaten on FITDAY. Having to account for my food has helped me be binge-free for over a month. It's also helped me to lose eight pounds!:carrot:

I guess keeping troublesome foods out of the house is especially helpful at first, but the BIG DEAL is convincing yourself that YOU are more important than the large amounts of FOOD that you are thinking of ingesting!!

I wish you luck on this! I try to stay ever watchful of that sneaky "BINGE MONSTER" because he/she can show up any time! I TRY to be ready if he/she does!


02-23-2007, 10:50 AM
Cheryl14 - the BIG DEAL is convincing yourself that YOU are more important than the large amounts of FOOD that you are thinking of ingesting!! That is something I needed to hear. Thanks.

02-23-2007, 12:07 PM
It's business as usual the next day. I agree with Aphil--trying to compensate by exercising more or eating less isn't useful and sets up a cycle. But you may see your weight loss stall for awhile. That's what happens to me.

Last Sunday I went to a potluck where I overate my calorie allotment. I ate over 2,000 cals for the day. The next day when I weighed I was up three pounds--that's water weight, it happens when I have too many carbs. However, by Thursday I was still up a pound from my weight on the day before the potluck. So, four days of being on track to make up for one bad day. This gives me incentive to avoid that kind of overeating.


02-23-2007, 12:20 PM
I agree with Aphil as well. I just let it go and try to be better for the rest of the day (reducing my portions, perhaps giving up one snack), but without going overboard (which to me would mean not eating anything for the rest of the day).

I had a carb fest yesterday morning and ended up eating almost 400 calories more than my usual breakfast. I cut back and still came in only 200 calories more than I should have for the rest of the day, so I didn't feel too bad about it. And my scale didn't seem to notice as I went DOWN!

02-23-2007, 12:27 PM
I completely agree with Aphil. After a binge, I try to not be too hard on myself for that could strike another one. Don't be hard on yourself and move on.

meg on a mission
02-23-2007, 12:40 PM
I agree with Aphil. As someone who struggles with bingeing, if you punish yourself the next day by severely restricting and/or overexercising, you make the day after your binge a negative day, rather than getting back to your program and making it a positive experience. If you tell yourself that you will restrict your calories tomorrow, you set yourself up for another binge, because what if you feel hungry tomorrow but don't feel that you are "allowed" to eat? Also, using exercise to punish yourself will probably make you resent exercise, not to mention you could hurt yourself by doing too much...and an injury is not at all motivating! Aphil makes a good point by saying you should get back on track right after a binge. Don't just write off the whole day, because you will end up doing more damage. Most importantly, forgive yourself and move on. There is no sense in beating yourself up and worrying about what is already done. Focus on the positives and remind yourself that one binge doesn't decide your fate. Good luck! :)

02-23-2007, 02:03 PM
Last Saturday after eating so little in the earlier part of the day I went on a full fledged carb filled binge. I felt terrible that night and had trouble sleeping. Sunday morning when I woke up I did a mental slate cleaning and told myself that today was a whole new day. I journaled every thing I had eaten the day before and told myself that I would not "go there" again today. I just ate normally and made it a point to have a hearty breakfast so I wouldn't be ravenous later on in the day. It's one of those things where you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, realize that no real damage was done (one day of binging isn't going to undo weeks of hard work) and move on.

02-23-2007, 06:15 PM
I move on no matter how big the binge...3000 calories over has happened

look at it from a logic standpoint. even the worst binges are merely going to add a few days to the process of achieving goal, usually much much less if you just put it behind you and move on. deprivation/binge cycling could add months.