How to get back on track after a binge
First of all, let’s define what a binge is, so that we are on the same wavelength.
A binge could be at the weekend when you really over eat, it could be an all you can eat buffet, ordering in a takeaway and eating a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream too or even demolishing a few bags of your favourite chocolate. It could also be alcohol, you ended up going out and drinking a bottle of wine or 10 beers and woke up on Sunday morning feel guilty.
Now first things first and I think this is THE most important part of the article…
IT’S OK TO GO OFF TRACK... you need to realise it’s natural, everybody does it occasionally!
There will be people who are open and talk about it, or other people may keep it quiet and say that they stick to their diet all of the time. But the worst thing you can do is mentally beat yourself up about it.
Your mindset should be, "right it’s ok, it has happened now, let’s draw a line under it and move on." One bad day’s food doesn’t ruin your physique, the same as one good day’s food doesn’t get you a great physique. It’s what you do the majority of the time that counts.
This works the same the other way around and this is what I tell my clients. What happens when; you eat rubbish every day, don’t follow a structured nutrition plan and don’t do any exercise, then one day you go the gym and have a chicken salad?... Nothing!
One good day’s food doesn’t get you into shape, exactly the same as one bad days food doesn’t ruin your physique.
That being said I am now going to give you 5 counter measures to help you get back on track and feeling good again;
1. Reduce your food intake slightly
If you over eat on a Saturday night and your goal is fat loss, just slightly cut back on your calories the next 3 or 4 days. E.g. if your goal is to eat 2,000 calories a day, just cut back to 1800 kcals the next 3 or 4 days. This simple balancing act is one of the simplest but most effective approaches to sustainable fat loss.
2. Increase energy expenditure
Simply put, move your body more! This could be going for a walk the morning after, going to the gym, playing 5-a-side football, whatever it is that you enjoy, make a conscious effort to move your body, get a sweat on and burn some extra calories! Mentally this can really help you too as when that sweat leaves your body it feels like you are back on track already.
3. Drink plenty of water
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel better when they drink more water. It’s the simplest thing in the world, but it’s a hurdle many people fall short on. Whether you have over eaten on a Chinese buffet or had too many beers, make an effort the day after to drink more water. If you normally drink around 2 litres, aim for 3 litres. If you got drunk and over did the alcohol you will be dehydrated too, so even more reason to get that water down you. If you struggle getting water down you or struggle the plain taste, try adding a cut of fresh lemon or lime to your water.
Your body’s natural medicine. If you got in a 3am on Sunday morning you’re going to be tired and sleep deprived. This on its own will lead to more food cravings, so getting a nap in or planning an early night the day after will do you the world of good.
5. Balanced Brekkie
If you had a huge meal the night before, your body will have secreted a lot of insulin in response to this meal which will probably lead you to waking up feeling hungry as you get a drop in blood sugars. The same applies if you had a drink, most alcohol is laced in sugar, and so you will get the peak in blood sugars and wake up with very low blood sugars. Immediately you’re going to crave sugary food, fizzy drinks and carbs. The best thing you can do to get back on track is to stabilise your blood sugar levels and eat a well-balanced breakfast. Try to resist having 3 rounds of toast with jam on or a bowl of cereal and opt for something more balanced like eggs, bacon, smoked salmon, avocado or spinach. A well-balanced breakfast will help set you up for a better day’s food choices.
Hope you have found this article useful, if you do have more questions related to this article or nutrition / training related please feel free to drop me an email and I will get back to you.