Getting Back On Track After A Binge

We’ve all been there… everything was going to plan… you felt like you were doing really well with your workouts, sticking with a balanced eating plan and feeling in control.
Then the hot weather arrived, the weekend rolled around and you went completely off track because you were travelling, vising family, or having BBQ’s all weekend. You ate, and ate, and ate some more, and now you are feeling rotten after eating and drinking so much…!! You may even feel annoyed because you lost all control and depressed because you allowed yourself to get uncomfortably full. As you got dressed today, your clothes helpfully reminded you of just how much you overindulged this weekend. Now what do you do?

Well firstly, don’t beat yourself up for overeating; that will just make you feel worse. Take a look at what happened and view it as a learning experience; a chance to actually turn it into a positive and reduce the chances of it happening too often. What could you have done differently? What triggered you to keep eating even though you were full? What were you feeling in the moment? How are you feeling now? What are you going to do differently next time?

The tendency after a binge is to overly restrict calories the next day to make up for the excess calories consumed the previous day(s)… don’t do this; this strategy will only lead you into another binge later on, then re-triggering the cycle of  beating yourself up – feeling bad – restrict calories – binge – beat yourself up – feeling bad – restrict calories - binge, etc, etc.

Not good! Stop it!

Resist the urge to pull out the weighing scales to assess the damage. Instead, focus on getting back into your healthy habits today and the rest of this week. Weigh yourself again next week.

Every time we come unstuck on our healthy journey, we have two choices: to keep walking backwards, which will just continue taking us even further away from your goals; or to accept our lack of perfection as ‘normal’ and forgivable, and take not one, but two positive steps down the path that brings us closer to the future we want;-

(1) Get back in the routine of eating regular, healthy meals, including a healthy breakfast and

(2) Drink plenty of water.

I recommend a minimum of 1 litre per day for every 5 stones (70 lbs) you weigh; this needs to be adjusted higher to take into account hot weather, prolonged exercise and alcohol consumption. Drinking plenty water also helps in flushing all those toxins from your system, so be sure to keep a bottle with you on-the-go at all times.

Also, include high protein foods back into your eating plan this week.  Aim to eat 20-30 grams of protein at every meal, this will help your body shed water and curb your cravings for refined carbs.  Also be sure to include plenty of green vegetables like cucumbers, green peppers, kale, mixed greens, and broccoli into your diet to cleanse your body from white sugar, flour, and processed food consumed while you were binge eating.

If you’ve read this far, it might be that you’ve been heading ‘backwards’ for a while. But instead of waiting until tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year to overhaul your habits, start TODAY. In fact, start NOW, and start small. You can’t go from lounging on the sofa to running 10k in an afternoon. But you can do one, two or even a handful of small things that will help you regain your momentum for healthy living.

If you thought that getting back on track was overwhelming, try one (or more) of these small steps each day; you might just surprise yourself…!!

(1)   Try a short workout. Even five minutes is better than nothing.

(2)   Try a new recipe. Cooking healthy foods can actually be fun and it doesn’t need to be bland.

(3)   Eat a healthy breakfast. Don’t skip this one; your morning meal sets the stage for the rest of your day, so start it off right!

(4)   Drink your water. Did I mention water..?? we need a litre of water every day for each 5 stone we weigh. Do this and you’ll feel the difference!

(5)   Make a food diary. No matter how it adds up, you’ll learn from it. Make a note of everything you eat, everything you drink, the quantities you consume and the time of day you consume them.

(6)   Share your goals. Whether you post them on your Facebook page or share them with a friend, you’ll feel more accountable.

(7)   Exercise for 10 minutes. Try a skipping rope, march on-the-spot, or do some crunches. Small amounts do add up to something big!

(8)   Find a buddy. Get support from friends, whether you need someone to listen, a mentor to give you ideas and encouragement or someone to be competitive with, buddying up will take you closer to your goals

(9)   Go for a walk. Don’t worry about how long or far you go—just get out there!

(10) Create a motivational collage or ‘dreams board’. Include pictures of your goal and reasons why you want to get there.

(11) Check the nutrition facts before you go out to eat. That way, you can make an informed choice.
(12) Get on your bike. Even a leisurely ride has benefits for your body and mind.

(13) Work in the garden. Gardening is a great way to add activity to your day.

(14) Take the stairs instead of the lift. Or use the upstairs loo instead of the downstairs loo. Even if this is the only thing you do all day, you’ll feel stronger for it.

(15) Measure your portions. It’s a simple way to learn how much you’re eating.

(16) Eat a piece of fruit. Even if 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables sounds impossible to you, one is certainly doable.

(17) Slow down during meals. You’ll be less likely to overeat and more likely to enjoy your meal.

(18) Play! What kids call “play,” we often call “exercise.” Play a sport, a game, or use the playground equipment to bring the fun back into fitness.

(19) Learn something new. Sometimes simply taking a quiz or reading an article about nutrition, fitness, or health can change your mindset and get you back on track.

(20) Have an early night. The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life; including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and of course, your weight. In fact, no other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort.

In tennis, losing one point isn’t the end of the world. In fact, Andy Murray lost hundreds of points during his journey through this years Wimbledon Tennis Tournament to take the Mens Singles Crown. The secret to becoming a winner is to consistently win a few more points than you lose.

With healthy eating and exercising, as long as you’re consistently out-stepping your steps back, you really are ahead of the game. If you expect perfection (and many of us do), you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, guilt and feeling rotten.

You CAN get back on track today. Even if you’re moving slowly, you’ll be moving in the right direction!

Keep it all going..