The ability to recover quickly after a binge is essential to your long term success in building and maintaining a healthy body, but most of what you need to do to “recover” from a binge or cheat meal isn’t to do with getting your body right, it’s to do with getting your MIND right.
- Find your focus, and get your mind right. Understand that a large part of your ability to be successful on your diet or with your fitness goals is psychological. The last thing you want to do is place yourself in the damaging mental cycle of binging, and then punishing yourself by starving or exercising excessively.
2. Over-eating, every now and again isn’t the END OF THE WORLD. Granted, this depends upon the individual, but the occasional calorie bump can actually up-regulate certain hormones (like leptin) that keep your metabolism working properly. So sometimes, a good cheat meal or indulgence is actually NOT a bad thing. (note I said SOMETIMES. If this is a weekly occurrence that’s not “sometimes”….)
3. Ditch the guilt. Don’t sit around and beat yourself up because you over ate. If you need to reflect on why it happened then do some self assessing, but the bottom line is accept that it was a temporary divergence and then move past it.
You can’t change the past, but you can influence your future.
4. Get back to your normal, healthy eating schedule. Don’t cut calories or do some whacky 24 hour fast. Just get back on your plan immediately. If looking at yourself in the mirror causes issues at the moment, then Slap on some sweatpants and don’t think about it. As long as your get back on track and regain your consistency you’ll be back on track in no time.
5. Drink lots of water. Cheat meals, processed foods, or other items you eat that cause rapid weight gain usually do because they’re loaded with lots of sodium or sugar or both. The best thing to help eliminate that heavy bloated feeling is to make sure you’re well hydrated so your body can flush that salt, sugar and other toxins out. Drinking lots of water will also help you to combat any false hunger you’re experiencing. During the 24 hours following a binge or a cheat meal, it’s likely that your blood sugar will fluctuate wildly. These instabilities and fluctuations are going to cause some false hunger sensations. The addictive nature of processed or cheat foods are also going to perpetuate cravings and/or give you the desire to further continue to eat more sugar/fat/carbs. Drinking lots of water will help to combat the impact of fake hunger.
6. Keep the saying “progress not perfection” in mind. “It’s not what you do once in a while that matters most, but what you do DAILY that counts”. If you make great decisions the majority of the time, and occasionally encounter a bump in your “diet journey”- you’ll be alright. Take a deep breath- and move forwards. Remember, being lean isn’t about being 100% perfect all of the time. Perfection is unattainable for anyone. But it is about progress, and striving to be your best. One meal won’t make or break you, but several meals will. So focus on the big picture. One slip up is just that, ONE.