Picture this: You are staying in on a Friday night, you have had a stressful week at work and you are pretty keen to just lounge on the couch watching some bad TV. However it’s late and you’re hungry, dinner seems like a huge effort. So while you are hungry, you decide its a great idea to pop down to the supermarket and buy some snacks instead….
Oh f**k….I binged. This was me on Friday night. And I don’t regret it.
You end up buying a loaf of bread, some dukkah, a whole bag of Lindt Sea salt and Caramel balls, a wheel of Camembert, some aged cheddar and you top it off with a bottle of wine. Then you get home, lay out this gorgeous feast, pour yourself a big glass of the wine, and crash on the couch. 3 hours later you realize you have consumed all the food, and finished the bottle of wine. And of course, you feel atrocious. You feel bloated due to all the bread, fuzzy due to the wine, and your stomach feels icky due the huge amount of fat from the cheese and olive oil. Oh fuck….I binged. This was me on Friday night. And I don’t regret it.
Why? I’m a Nutritionist (well almost) and so I eat healthy about 80% of the time. So that means I let myself have treats etc. But for some reason Friday night just…happened. As someone who has had a history of disordered eating, and body image issues, binging used to be the epitome of my issues. And back then (when i was about 16) my binges used to overpower me. For days I would feel guilty, starve myself, and exercise for hours, only to continue the cycle. But now, I just accepted that it happened, and move on.
So Saturday morning I woke up with a food hangover. I felt like crap, and honestly, I wish I had a real hangover. So what did I do? I picked myself up, grabbed a big glass of lemon water and took my dog for a walk. It helped. A lot. So from that, here is my list of things to do when you have binged:
1. Drink lemon water:
It’s going to help get your stomach moving and get your digestion happening. Its also going to make you feel refreshed and hopefully a little lighter.
2. Get up and exercise
(I know you really don’t want to but it helps you re-start your metabolism and gets things moving)
3. Have a light breakfast:
This may be the very last thing to do, to keep eating, but by eating a light brekkie (think a small bowl of gluten free muesli with yoghurt and berries), you help re-start your metabolism and stabilize your blood sugar.
4. Have something with ginger:
Try ginger tea, or use it throughout the day in your food. Ginger is great to help with digestion, and considering you will be doing a lot of digestion, its a great idea to give it any help it can get!
5. Don’t starve yourself:
Just because you binged once, doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself. One binge doesn’t mean you are a failure etc. Just forgive yourself and forget, move on with your life without the negative emotion associated with the binge. It’s ok. It happened, now get over it.
6. Do some yoga:
A light exercise like yoga will help soothe that sore stomach and get some blood flow happening. Its also going to help your blood sugar return to normal, and will help you to use some of that extra energy.
7. Water. Water. Water:
Drink lots of it today, your body will need it to assist with the extra digestion.
8. Going forward be mindful of what you are eating:
When you are eating and why you are eating. Does watching TV increase your likelihood of grabbing the snack food? Do you eat when you are emotional? How does the food make you feel? It’s important to figure out what your food triggers are and how you can minimize the likelihood of binges occurring. Its a long term change that you will have to make.
*If you need help with an eating disorder, call The Butterfly Foundation:
1800 ED HOPE / 1800 33 4673
Email: [email protected]
Don’t try and deal with an eating disorder alone, there are so many incredible people out there who can support you.
**Image above from http://www.lorensworld.com