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Here is what to do after a binge to not gain weight

By Cara Axelrod Orlan, Registered Dietitian

Cara@yourdietitianforlife.com



1. Get back to normal eating habits: Resume eating balanced meals and snacks as soon as possible.


Here are some tips for resuming eating balanced meals and snacks after a binge:

  • Plan ahead: Make a grocery list and plan your meals and snacks for the week ahead. This can help you avoid impulse eating and ensure you have healthy options available.

  • Keep healthy foods on hand: Stock your pantry and refrigerator with healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

  • Practice portion control: Use a food scale or measuring cups and spoons to help you gauge appropriate portions.

  • Avoid triggers: Identify and avoid foods or situations that trigger binge eating.

  • Eat regularly: Eat 3 balanced meals and 2-3 healthy snacks per day to keep hunger at bay.

  • Include protein and fiber: Make sure each meal includes protein and fiber to help you feel full and satisfied.

  • Avoid skipping meals: Skipping meals can lead to overeating later, so it's important to eat regular, balanced meals.

  • Make time for meal prep: Preparing healthy meals and snacks in advance can help you avoid reaching for unhealthy options when you're short on time.

Remember that change takes time, so be patient and persistent with yourself as you work towards resuming healthy eating habits. If you need additional support, consider seeking the help of a registered dietitian.





2. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins and rehydrate your body.


The recommended daily water intake varies based on factors such as age, gender, activity level, and climate. As a general guideline, it is recommended to drink:

  1. For adult men: about 3.7 liters (or about 13 cups) of total water per day

  2. For adult women: about 2.7 liters (or about 9 cups) of total water per day

It's important to note that these are general recommendations and individual needs may vary. Additionally, other beverages and foods can also contribute to your daily water intake.

It's always a good idea to listen to your body and drink water when you're thirsty. If you're not sure if you're getting enough water, look for signs of dehydration, such as dark yellow urine, dry mouth, and fatigue.


3. Avoid skipping meals: Skipping meals can lead to overeating later, so it's important to eat regular, balanced meals.


Here are some tips to help you avoid skipping meals:

  • Plan ahead: Make a grocery list and plan your meals and snacks for the week ahead. This can help you avoid impulse eating and ensure you have healthy options available.

  • Keep healthy foods on hand: Stock your pantry and refrigerator with healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

  • Set reminders: Use your phone or a physical reminder to alert you when it's time to eat.

  • Make time for meals: Set aside dedicated time for meals and snacks, and prioritize them in your schedule.

  • Eat with others: Eating with others can help you stay on track with meal times and make eating a social, enjoyable experience.

  • Pack a lunch: Packing a healthy lunch can help you avoid the temptation of fast food or vending machine options.

  • Have healthy snacks available: Keep healthy snacks, such as cut-up fruits and vegetables, nuts, or whole grain crackers, within reach for when hunger strikes.

  • Hydrate: Drink water throughout the day to help regulate hunger and avoid mistaking thirst for hunger.

Remember, eating regularly is important for maintaining stable blood sugar levels, fueling your body, and avoiding overeating later in the day.


4. Get active: Exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and burn calories.


Here are some tips to help motivate yourself to get active after overeating:

  • Set realistic goals: Start with small, achievable goals, such as taking a short walk or doing a few exercises at home. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your physical activity as you progress.

  • Find an activity you enjoy: Choose an activity that you enjoy, such as dancing, cycling, or swimming, to make it more enjoyable and sustainable.

  • Track your progress: Keep track of your progress, such as the distance you covered or the number of steps you took, to see your improvement and stay motivated.

  • Get a workout partner: Work out with a friend, family member, or workout buddy to make the experience more fun and to stay accountable.

  • Reward yourself: Reward yourself for your efforts, such as with a healthy treat or a massage, to keep yourself motivated.

  • Focus on how you feel: Focus on how physical activity makes you feel, such as more energized, relaxed, and confident, to stay motivated.

  • Try new activities: Try new activities, such as yoga, Pilates, or martial arts, to add variety to your workout routine and keep it interesting.

Remember, physical activity is important for overall health, weight management, and stress relief, so it's worth making the effort to get moving even after overeating.


5. Don't restrict food: Restricting food after a binge can trigger a cycle of bingeing and restriction, so focus on eating a balanced diet.


Here are some tips to help you avoid restrictive eating:

  • Practice mindful eating: Pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness signals and eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full.

  • Eat a balanced diet: Include a variety of foods from all food groups in your diet to ensure that you're getting all the nutrients your body needs.

  • Don't label foods as "good" or "bad": This kind of labeling can lead to feelings of guilt or shame when you eat "bad" foods, which can lead to binge eating or restrictive eating.

  • Avoid skipping meals: Skipping meals can lead to overeating and feelings of deprivation, so aim to eat regularly throughout the day.

  • Allow yourself to eat treats: It's okay to eat treats and indulge in your favorite foods occasionally, as long as they're part of an overall balanced diet.

  • Find other ways to cope: Find alternative ways to cope with emotions or stress, such as exercise, meditation, or talking to a friend, instead of using food restriction or binge eating.

  • Seek support: Consider seeking support from a therapist, dietitian, or support group to work through your relationship with food and develop a healthier, non-restrictive relationship with food.

Remember, a healthy relationship with food involves finding balance and listening to your body's hunger and fullness signals, rather than restricting or limiting certain foods.



6. Practice mindful eating: Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues, and eat slowly to help recognize when you're satisfied.


  • Here are some tips for practicing mindful eating:

  • Eliminate distractions: Turn off your phone, TV, or computer, and focus solely on eating.

  • Pay attention to your food: Take time to look at, smell, and taste your food, and enjoy the experience of eating.

  • Slow down: Eat slowly and savor each bite, instead of rushing through your meal.

  • Check in with your hunger and fullness: Ask yourself how hungry you are before starting to eat, and check in with your hunger and fullness levels as you eat.

  • Avoid multitasking: Don't eat while working, driving, or doing other activities that can distract you from the experience of eating.

  • Enjoy each bite: Focus on the flavors, textures, and sensations of each bite, and appreciate the experience of eating.

  • Take time to digest: After eating, take time to rest and let your food digest before getting up and returning to your day.

Remember, mindful eating is about being present and aware during the experience of eating, and developing a more mindful and enjoyable relationship with food.


7. Get enough sleep: Sleep is important for regulating hormones and maintaining overall health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.


Here are some tips for getting 8 hours of sleep per night:

  • Stick to a consistent schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading a book, meditating, or taking a warm bath, to help you wind down before sleep.

  • Avoid screens before bedtime: The blue light from electronic devices can interfere with your natural sleep-wake cycle, so try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime.

  • Make your sleeping environment conducive to sleep: Keep your sleeping environment dark, quiet, and cool, and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.

  • Limit caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine can interfere with sleep, so try to limit your caffeine intake after noon, and avoid alcohol before bedtime.

  • Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help improve sleep quality, but try to avoid strenuous exercise before bedtime.

  • Avoid naps: Try to avoid napping during the day, as napping can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep at night.

  • Manage stress: High levels of stress can interfere with sleep, so try to manage stress through activities such as meditation, deep breathing, or exercise.

Remember, a consistent sleep schedule, a relaxing bedtime routine, and a conducive sleep environment are key to ensuring a good night's sleep and getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night.


8. Seek support: If you struggle with binge eating, consider seeking the support of a therapist or support group.


Summary:


Here are some tips to help you minimize weight gain after a binge:

  1. Get back to normal eating habits: Resume eating balanced meals and snacks as soon as possible.

  2. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins and rehydrate your body.

  3. Avoid skipping meals: Skipping meals can lead to overeating later, so it's important to eat regular, balanced meals.

  4. Get active: Exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and burn calories.

  5. Don't restrict food: Restricting food after a binge can trigger a cycle of bingeing and restriction, so focus on eating a balanced diet.

  6. Practice mindful eating: Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues, and eat slowly to help recognize when you're satisfied.

  7. Get enough sleep: Sleep is important for regulating hormones and maintaining overall health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

  8. Seek support: If you struggle with binge eating, consider seeking the support of a therapist or support group.

Remember that it's normal to have setbacks and slip-ups along the way. The key is to focus on making positive, sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle, rather than trying to lose weight quickly.

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