When I would binge, I’d wake up with two incessant worries: 1) did I gain weight and 2) how long will it take me to lose it?!

Panic would set in–I’d feel the cutting pain of “I’ve failed again” along with the deep fear that I had gained weight. Since living and recovering through 13 years of the binge/diet cycle, I wanted to share some tips on how to recover from a binge in a healthy way. 

Written by Jenn Hand, Holistic Nutritionist, Board Certified Health Coach, NBC-HWC

1. Be extra gentle with yourself

I spent so much of my energy in the past beating myself up and trying to punish myself into change.

The reality? It never worked long term and made me feel even more awful about myself.  What we need the most after a binge is kindness and compassion with ourselves. This is what helps us understand what our needs are after a binge and what will truly help us recover. 

2. Face your fear head on

It’s normal to have fear of weight gain post binge.

But what if the question we ask ourselves isn’t “how long will it take me to lose weight” but “how can I nourish and support myself to recover?” Fear is a part of the recovery process–after all, when we try to restrict or “start over” it’s because we’re afraid of ourselves around food. We fear we can’t be trusted. But a part of this process is building trust with yourself, bit by bit and facing the fear head on so that we can move through it. 

3. Look deeply at self-care

If your best friend or sister came to you after a binge, what would you tell her? Use that same love and support with yourself. What do you need to help yourself today? More water? Veggies with your meals? Protein to help balance out high carb meals? Movement? Time alone with your journal? See if you can explore what it is you really need to help take care of yourself as you recover! 


Can one binge eating episode significantly impact my weight loss progress?

No. Aim to listen to your body to hear what you need to bring you back into balance.

The body is amazingly resilient and one binge shouldn’t deter you from your goals. 

What should I eat after binge eating to not gain weight?

I recommend eating food with a lot of proteins like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, or vegetarian sources like tofu and tempeh to help stabilize your body as you recover. 

Listen to your body to see how much you need. For me, I often felt like I needed to eat lighter foods like soups and salads as I recovered from a binge. 

Is it necessary to exercise more after binge eating to lose the extra calories?

No. Your body will balance out as you listen to its cues over the next few days.

Your body may want or need more movement after a binge, so get curious about what your body is telling you. I often liked to take long walks after a binge to help me move my body not go into a negative mental spiral. They were sometimes uncomfortable, but I’d always be glad I got outside to clear my head. 

How do I get back on track after binge eating?

To get back on track after binge eating, see if you can release feelings of guilt or shame and instead focus on self-care and compassion.

Start by hydrating, eating balanced meals, and engaging in physical activity that you enjoy. Seek support if you need it to help develop healthy coping strategies for managing emotions and cravings.

More Articles about Overcoming Binge Eating

⚪ The Biggest Cause of Overeating at Night
How a Binge Eating Coach Can Help You to Stop Overeating and Feel Free Again
⚪ How to Stop Bingeing at Night

⚪ How To Make a Healthy Salad for Weight Loss

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About the Author: 

Jenn Hand has been helping women like you become normal eaters since 2015.

She’s worked with thousands of women, helping them to balance their bodies, end bingeing, stop obsessing over food, and start feeling amazing again.  As a board-certified health coach and holistic nutritionist, Jenn knows how to support you in making real positive changes that last.

Her articles have been published on Mind Body Green, Tiny Buddha, Thrive Global and other local and global media platforms. She’s the author of How to Be a Normal Eater and the creator of The Normal Eater’s Club program. Listen to Jenn’s advice and tips on the Cake Doesn’t Count Podcast, or read more of her articles for free on the Food Freedom Blog.

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