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Do's and Don'ts after a food binge

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If you overindulged at the Thanksgiving table this year, you're certainly not alone.

Yet a food binge for someone with disordered eating problems can bring about significantly different mental and emotional ramifications than for the average person.

Coping with a Food Binge

While you can't undo the past, you can move forward with healthy, self-affirming behaviors. Here are few tips from Dr. Brunilda Nazario on coping after a food binge.

  • Remember how many calories are in a pound. One large meal or binge episode usually doesn't have the ability to affect your weight in the long-term. Remember that it takes 3,500 calories of extra food (calories on top of what you would normally eat in a day) to make you gain one pound. While it's possible to consume that much, it's unlikely that you did. Give yourself a break and realize that the extra calories from one binge won't derail your progress, Nazario says.
  • Don't throw in the towel. There's a tendency to "throw in the towel" after a binge with the attitude that you've already blown it, so why not indulge even more? The problem with this kind of thinking, however, is that it's self-defeating. You can get back on track, and you can make better choices for yourself tomorrow. And those choices will bring about better feelings and thoughts.
  • Compensate. Taking control of your habits after a binge can be empowering. While you don't have to sweat for hours at the gym to burn off a big meal, you can compensate in a healthy way. For instance, since people tend to indulge more on the weekends, if you overeat on a Thursday, try to eat healthy on a Saturday. Small acts of compensation can add up, but realize there is a difference between deliberate healthy actions and acts of self-punishment and blame.
  • Don't get on the scale. Overeating will tip the number on the scale – temporarily. Do yourself a favor and don't weigh yourself for a few days after a binge. Not only will the scale not reflect your true weight, but it could discourage you even more.
  • Continue to eat. After a binge, it's common to skip meals to make up for the damage done. Skipping meals, however, is different than compensating by eating healthier, smaller portions of what you normally eat. Continue to eat after a binge. Skipping regular meals will only make you hungry, tired and stressed, which could lead to another binge.

Source: Web MD