I feel guilty for eating too much. What to do after you binge eat.
After a weekend of indulging or after a binge, you may be tempted to try and counteract eating more than you wanted by restricting and ‘trying to be good’.
Warning: This will most likely lead to MORE overeating in the long run.
In fact, ‘trying to be good’ after a binge is one of the biggest mistakes… and it’s what keeps many people stuck in the overeating cycle.
How to stop feeling guilty (or angry) after a binge or overeating
You can either choose to be angry that you binged and promise to do better tomorrow (but that doesn’t get you anywhere)…
OR to you can realise that binges are OK.
Really, they are.
Each time you overeat you can learn something.
Each binge is an opportunity to learn more about what triggered it.
Asking yourself “Hmm.. I wonder why that happened?” is much more useful than telling yourself: “Shit, I screwed up again. I’m a failure”.
Am I tried?
Do I feel deprived?
Was I home alone watching TV?
And trust me, my friend. Your body is not angry with you!
Symptoms like bloating, pain, tiredness are not anger.
Your body is simply tugging at your T-Shirt, asking you to be gentle and kind with it. It’s not upset. It’s trying to talk to you.
More than anything, your body needs you to swap anger and guilt for kindness and forgiveness.
(You might like to read this blog post: How to reduce bloating)
Let me be clear up front.
Bingeing or overeating is an important part of learning how to stop bingeing.
In other words…
You cannot learn to stop bingeing without bingeing.
Sounds crazy? Hear me out.
Here’s the thing.
If you’re trying to stop bingeing, you won’t automatically stop bingeing one day.
Unfortunately, It doesn’t work like that.
What actually happens is that with time and the right approach, the overeating starts to happen less often and/or the binges become less severe when they do happen.
With the right approach and over time, you go from bingeing every day to a few times a week and eventually, only once in a while…
…until eventually, one day you realise you don’t binge anymore.
If you keep trying to stop overeating but you haven’t noticed a reduction on your bingeing intensity or frequency, then you’re probably trying the wrong approach or need more support.
(Note: If you’re overeating regularly and often, you might benefit from Keep It Real).
What to do after a binge?
So next time you binge, remind yourself:
“One ‘blow out’ won’t ruin my diet”.
Your body naturally wants to keep your weight stable. It’s got built-in processes to prevent your weight from changing.
So occasionally overeating won’t ruin anything.
The sooner you can go back to eating and exercise normally, the better.
If you return to your usual eating, your body will return to its usual shape.
This means it’s time to drop the guilt, avoid restricting and just get on with life – knowing that one blow out won’t ruin your diet.
“It’s OK. Overeating is part of the process”.
Because it really is part of this important process.
Repeating this mantra after a binge will act as a circuit breaker for your negative thoughts.
Then simply ask yourself: What can I learn from this over-eating?
Ask yourself: Why did it happen?
From there, then you can start to implement more strategies to reduce binge eating.
If you need more guidance on how to learn to stop binge eating, check out Keep It Real.
If you find you can’t eat a treat without overeating or eat healthily all week but blow out on the weekend – then it sounds perfect for you.
How to stop beating yourself up after a binge
Remember: You cannot learn to stop bingeing without bingeing.
It’s OK to binge. Be gentle with yourself and your body.
What should I do after overeating?
Resist the temptation to restrict.
Get back to ‘normal’ eating and exercising as soon as possible.
Don’t eat by the clock (ie. because it’s lunchtime).
Wait to feel hungry to eat. Not starving… but comfortably hungry.
Don’t under-eat or over-exercise to counteract the ‘blow out’ because this will probably lead to more overeating. Read more on this here…
Drop the food guilt and remind yourself that it’s OK.
Get on with living your best life!
Sick of eating really well only to fall off the bandwagon and start again from scratch? Check out the Keep It Real Program.
It’ll teach you how to stop emotional and binge eating – and eat without guilt.