If we’re trying to lose weight, we know that overeating can be a problem. Bingeing can feel very frustrating, especially if it’s unexpected.

We don’t have to live an unhealthy lifestyle, and a few healthy habits can help us stay on track.

Ways to Get Back on Track After a Binge

If you’re trying to get back on track after an unplanned binge, here are 10 tips that may help.

First of All, Forgive Yourself

It’s important not to dwell on your binge and to move past the guilt in order to get back on track. If it was just one overindulgent meal, it doesn’t matter as weight gain happens over a period of time not just after one unplanned meal, so you can get back on track quickly.

Go for a Walk

Going for a walk immediately after eating can speed up the process of stomach emptying.

It can also help utilise some of the extra calories that you might have consumed by overeating and contribute to fat loss.

Walking can help improve your mood and reduce some of the negative feelings that may lead to emotional eating.  Exercise can help improve mood by releasing serotonin and norepinephrine, which can help protect against conditions like depression and anxiety.

Not only does exercise have numerous physical benefits, but it can also improve your mood and reduce stress levels. This can in turn help to prevent future episodes of overeating.

Sleep It Off

After overeating, it’s helpful to get a good night’s sleep to prevent cravings and start the next day back on track. Try going to bed earlier than normal to make sure you have time for a full night’s sleep.

Sleep deprivation may increase appetite by affecting levels of ghrelin and leptin, two important hormones involved in hunger and appetite regulation.

Ghrelin is a hormone that causes hunger, while leptin is a hormone that causes fullness and suppresses hunger.

Short sleep duration is linked to higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of the satiety hormone leptin.

Although the amount of sleep people need can be different, it is usually recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

If you ate too much the day before, you might be tempted to not eat breakfast or lunch the next day. However, if you start your day with a healthy meal, it can help you get back on track.

If you maintain a consistent eating schedule, you may be less likely to overeat.

Eating a high-protein breakfast decreases levels of ghrelin more effectively than eating a high-carb low protein breakfast.  basically protein makes you feel fuller for longer.

Cooked oatmeal is a fantastic breakfast choice, paired with a protein source (protein powder or low fat greek yoghurt). Oats contain some protein and fiber which helps to increase feelings of fullness and improve appetite control more than a ready-to-eat processed breakfast cereal.

Choose a breakfast that is high in both protein and fiber for a healthy start to your day. Combine fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, legumes, or whole grains with a source of protein for a nutritious meal.

Stay Hydrated

It is essential to drink enough water for good health, and it also helps with weight loss and keeping hunger at bay.

It is especially important to drink lots of water after an episode of overeating.

How much water you should drink each day depends on factors such as your activity level and the climate you live in. However, the easiest way to ensure you’re getting enough water is to listen to your body and drink when you feel thirsty.

Avoid Hard-to-Digest Foods

If you are experiencing digestive distress after binge eating, avoid foods that may further upset your stomach. Big offenders include gluten, dairy products, legumes, coffee, refined sugar, carbonated beverages, fruit juice, pasta, alcohol, fatty meats, and chocolate. Alternatively, focus on consuming more fruits, vegetables, green teas, almonds and avocados, which are less likely to cause acid reflux. Eliminate known problem foods first, and then decide if there are any others that you may need to avoid for a day or two to restore balance.

Keep Lunch and Dinner ‘Clean’

You don’t need to do a complete cleanse after bingeing, but eating healthy whole foods the next day will make you feel better and help you stay focused on your goals. Here are some examples that fit the bill:

  1. A grilled salmon fillet with one cup quinoa and three cups leafy greens dressed in olive oil and lemon dressing.
  2. A baked chicken breast with half a sweet potato topped with one tablespoon of butter and two cups steamed broccoli.
  3. Four cups of leafy greens and other veggies topped with grilled steak, 1/4th of an avocado, 1/4th cup dried cranberries, and balsamic vinegar

Don’t Starve as Penance

If you’re feeling hungry between meals, try and have a snack! Don’t try and starve yourself just because you ate too much food yesterday, as this will only make you more likely to overeat again. Snacks rich in protein to help make you feel fuller, such as plain Greek yogurt with berries, organic turkey slices with avocado, a Protein Quest Bar, or two eggs with a piece of fruit.

Allow Flexibility In Your Diet

“Eliminate the urge to binge by allowing more flexibility and freedom into food choices and meal plans throughout the week,” says Sara De Luca, RD, CPT. “Labeling food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ will only lead to restrictive behaviors that will ultimately trigger a binge when the ‘bad’ foods are reintroduced into the diet! As long as portion sizes and calories are controlled, there should be no foods that are off limits.”

Shun the Scale

The number on the scale the day after a big binge is not an accurate representation of the situation. The extra food and water retention from salty pretzels can make the number higher than usual. It’s best to wait a couple of days to weigh yourself so you can see the real results.

Talk to Someone

If you are experiencing binge eating, you need to take a look and discover what has triggered it. It could be stress, a fight with a friend 0r partner, or just feeling overwhelmed with life. Once you know what has triggered the binge eating, you can then take steps to address it. Talking to a friend, a partner, a parent, or therapist can help to address the issue.

Consult a Dietitian

If you are struggling with binge eating, you should consult a dietitian to help you overcome it and develop a healthier relationship with food.

“I like to remind my clients that having one bad day out of 365 days a year is not that bad after all!,” says De Luca, a registered dietitian specialising in binge eating. “It is my job as a registered dietitian to not only educate my clients about nutrition but to also provide support during these hard times and to teach them how to develop a resilient mindset so that they can bounce back quickly after a binge and continue on the path toward goal attainment. After all, consistency is key!”

Reframe Your Mindset

“The reframing technique helps change your overall perspective of the situation,” De Luca says. “Reframing is great because it shifts the individual’s mindset in such a way that it allows forgiveness and makes the client feel more in control of the situation. For example, if I were to reframe the thought process after a binge, it [would change from] ‘I just binge ate and I feel like a failure; I have no self-control’ to ‘I ate a little more food than I would have liked to, but tomorrow is a new day and I will get right back on track.’ Your thoughts control your actions! If we can reframe the negative connotations that surround binge eating, then we are more likely to bounce back quickly after a binge.”


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About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

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