We’ve all had food-related moments that we’re not proud of– eating a whole pizza or bag of chips, breaking our diet plans and going all out on lunch, or losing our patience and hitting up the junk food aisle of the grocery store. Everyone has moments of weakness, and we live in a culture that capitalizes on our moments of weakness. A food binge doesn’t have to be the drama to end all dramas, though. Here’s what to do next:
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1. Forgive yourself.
You can’t get a perfect body in one day. We all know that! It’s important to remember the flip side of that coin, too– you can’t ruin your body in one day just because of a food binge. Take a few moments to recognize that you’re human and you let yourself slip into a couple of bad food choices. In a few days, all of those ingredients will be out of your system. It’s not a long-lasting mistake, and you haven’t set yourself back lightyears from your fitness and nutrition goals. Everyone has a moment of weakness here and there. You’ve had yours, now it’s time to move on.
2. Identify your triggers.
Something triggered you to make you throw progress and caution and diet rules to the wind and binge on chocolate cake (or whatever your binge food of choice may have been). Was it stress? Impatience with your fitness goals? A craving for a specific food or ingredient? There is so much psychology behind why we eat what we eat, and it’s important to pay attention to that. If nostalgia for treats you ate as a child is your trigger, find another way to fill that space by calling an old friend or listening to music from your childhood. If stress is what brings on a food binge for you, try finding ways to cut back your stress levels, and be proactive by taking up yoga, boxing, or something else that will serve as an outlet for that negative energy before it triggers you again!
3. Make a plan.
How are you going to avoid the things that make you want to food binge in the future? If you know that walking past a donut shop is too much temptation, make a plan to cross the street before you get there. If you know that your night out with the girls is going to lead you straight to a drunken McDonald’s run, try eating a filling dinner before catching your cab out for the night. Having a plan in place will give you a firm alternative when food temptation starts creeping up on you.
4. Treat yourself to some self-care.
You’ve forgiven yourself, identified your triggers, and made plans for how to avoid them in the future. Now it’s time to be kind to your body. Treat yourself to a night in with a face mask and a detox smoothie, or a hot bath. Go to a yoga class and then get a manicure. Do something kind for your body that makes you feel really good about yourself. Dedicate some time to yourself as a way to get back on track to doing what feels best for your body and your mind.
A food binge doesn’t erase all of the progress you’ve made. In fact, you can even use it as motivation to get back on track! Just make sure you don’t fall into a cycle of negativity or punishments because you’ve slipped up with a few meals!
What’s your go-to way to get back on track after a food binge?
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