You binged. Now what? You may feel that sense of urgency to “fix” or “undo” what you just did. You may feel guilt or shame. Let me reassure you: these feelings are so normal. However, reacting to them will only keep you in an unhealthy relationship with food and your body. Instead of immediately reacting to them, pause, take a breath, and remember: you’re okay! Here is a list of 5 post-binge behaviors to avoid and some skills to try instead, so you can get out of that binge-restrict cycle and step into your best life.
01. Instead of skipping your next meal after a binge, try sitting down with a balanced, nourishing meal.
While eating a full meal may feel like the last thing you want to do, here’s why this is helpful after binging:
- It helps bring consistency to your eating habits.
- It breaks you out of the binge-restrict cycle.
- It brings intention to your eating.
- It allows you to get back in touch with your body.
02. Instead of jumping on the scale, try reflecting on what might have triggered the binge. Then plan out how you are going to continue working towards prioritizing recovery.
That voice in your head will tell you to weigh yourself after a binge, but by doing that…
- You are only reinforcing the thought that numbers matter.
- You are perpetuating the binge-restrict cycle.
Although it may feel uncomfortable not knowing the number on the scale, use this time to reflect rather than punish.
03. Instead of scrolling through social media after binging, try a more productive activity like coloring, journaling, watching a light-hearted movie, or calling a friend.
Scrolling through social media is an easy, mindless activity. And at the same time, it's emotionally numbing. You are fragile after a binge, and social media is not the best place for you. Rather than numbing out, try letting yourself feel your feelings and soothing yourself in other ways
04. Instead of self-harming or self-loathing, try breathing through the anxiety and reaching out for extra support.
After a binge, anxiety will be high, and those voices in your head of shame or guilt will be loud. You do not need to respond to those voices by punishing yourself: you didn't do anything wrong! Take yourself out of the equation: What would you tell a child to do if they said they ate too much and now their stomach hurts? Can you do that same thing for yourself? Reach out if you need extra support. HERE is an excellent resource for extra support.
05. Instead of planning what you “need to remove” from your diet after binging, try focusing on what you will add to your life to promote healing and recovery.
Your immediate response might be to cut out foods or avoid foods you just binged on. However, avoidance and restriction are actually what often lead to binges. Rather than cutting foods out of your life, take some time to reflect on what could have triggered the binge. This is the best way to learn and continue on your journey of healing and recovery.
Healing your relationship with food and your body is not linear, and binges happen. Yes, even in recovery. But you can choose how to respond AFTER a binge. Make choices that align with your goal of freedom from binge eating by avoiding these 5 traps and swapping them out for some healthier alternatives instead!
More Blogs On Binge Eating:
- Just Binged? 5 Things To Do After A Binge To Heal
- 5 Things I Had To Do To Stop Binge Eating
- The Difference Between Binge Eating, Emotional Eating, and Overeating