We’ve all been there. You’re doing really well eating what you should, when you should, you feel great, and feel like you look great…then it happens. For whatever reason, you have a terrible eating day.
For me, these usually look like me not eating breakfast till about 1 pm, and then instead of eating something nutritious I run to the fastest, easiest thing available and eat way too much of it, because, well, I’m hungry. This may be bread, chips, bagels, chicken nuggets…literally anything I can get my hands on.
By the time I catch up to myself I’m full and bloated and bracing for the regret that’s going to come any minute.
This moment is an example of binge eating. Not to be confused with binge eating disorder, an episode of binge eating is really as exampled above. A moment where you consume more food than you normally would, in a shorter period than you normally would.
These days, although not great, are normal. And your reaction to such days (frustration, disappointment, and maybe total indifference) are also normal. But there are ways you can care for yourself after a not-so-great eating day to help your body recover healthily and to help soothe the negative self-talk that can come as a result.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and my goal in sharing this post is simply to help others understand how to treat themselves with kindness and grace after a moment of discouragement.
How to care for yourself after a binge
Drink Plenty of Water
Keeping yourself hydrated helps your body to regulate. It might feel uncomfortable to do at first, but doing so will help your body digest and increase your metabolism.
Give your body what it needs. Later, when you do eat again (and you should, do not skip meals due to a moment of binging. Your body still needs you to take care of it) fill your plate with foods high in fibers. Veggies are packed with fiber and vitamins that will help to give your body the nourishment it seeks. Fiber also helps you to digest and eventually go to the bathroom, and those bathroom trips can offer some relief after a binge day.
Move Your Body
Chances are after a binge you’re not feeling too great. Getting your body moving accelerates the process of digestion and can eventually lead to you emptying your stomach, which can offer some relief. Not only that but exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good.
Use Your Words Constructively
As much as it may be tempting to get angry with yourself and say some not very nice things, resist. You are human and you are allowed to sometimes misinterpret your body’s needs. Remind yourself that this is a part of life and growth and that growth is good and worthy of celebration.
Take a Nap
Okay. So this one may not be as scientific as the others but, for me, if I take a nap after eating a bit too much of the wrong stuff, I skip all of the weird digestion pains (and mental guilt) and wake up just in time for my body to be ready to….start over. So, not as science-y (sorry) but a helpful tip from my life. Do with it as you may.
We all have days where we fall off track and don’t eat what we should and the way we should. Our bodies though, are stronger and more resilient than we think they are. It will be back to normal in no time, and you get tomorrow to make a positive impact for yourself. Allow yourself space to be human and take care of yourself along the way, you need it.