Wondering how to recover from a carb binge?

Carbs used to be my nemesis. I would binge on garlic knots, bread, pizza, and other carbs, then post food-coma would swear to myself that I’d ban them forever.

This never quite worked, as any “swearing off” usually leads to overeating later.

What DID help me was I began to normalize my eating was the following: 

1. Aiming for balanced meals 

This can be helpful to focus your mind rather than getting sucked back into the diet world and “starting over.”

When we binge, our default is usually to restrict after. But the reality is, restriction will lead to more bingeing down the road, so we want to aim to eat meals that feel balanced and nutritious instead of feeling deprived. 

2. Working to let go of guilt and self-criticism

One of the things that kept me the most stuck was my own critical thoughts. I’d beat myself up, wallow in guilt, and berate myself for days after a carb binge.

This wasn’t helpful for me and only kept me stuck. See where you can approach yourself, your food and your habits with curiosity. The diet world wants us to believe that punishment and hatred leads to change. In reality, it’s kindness, curiosity and compassion that allows us to learn from a binge and move forward with those lessons. 

3. Focusing on nourishing steps forward

What does your body need to heal? Movement? Water? Lighter meals? More protein? Something to de-stress? A good cry?

Get in touch with how you can be your own best friend–taking care of yourself and supporting yourself through this challenge. Instead of focusing on the past, see if you can shift into understanding what your body needs to move forward. I learned a lot from my binges through a good cry, journaling, and a walk in nature. 


How long does it take to recover from a carb binge?

Depending on you and your body, it can take 1-3 days to feel recovered from a carb binge. The most important thing is to be kind and gentle with yourself as you recover!

What should I eat after a carb binge to stabilize my blood sugar?

Focus on eating protein with every meal. Proteins like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, or vegetarian sources like tofu and tempeh will help stabilize your body as you recover. 

Is it okay to exercise after bingeing on carbs?

Check in to see how it would feel for your body. For me, I always felt too heavy after a binge to do hard exercise, but walking seemed to help me move and clear some of the fog. Listen to your body to see what kind of movement would feel right for you. 

Walking helps clear the fog after binge eating, as it allows the body to move and feel lighter.
Walking helps clear the fog after binge eating. Move gently and be self-compassionate.

How can I prevent future carb binges?

Make sure you’re eating balanced meals–aim to add protein every time you eat, tuning in to the hunger and fullness signals from your body. Explore the emotional reasons why you turn to food, as sometimes binges can be from stress, boredom, loneliness, overwhelm, etc. 

How can I deal with the guilt and emotional aftermath of bingeing?

Journaling, crying and sharing with someone you love can help release these feelings. To release food guilt, I’d often engage in self-talk to counteract those harsh voices and write letters to myself in my journal. 

Should I skip meals the day after binge eating to balance out the calories?

I recommend continuing to eat balanced meals after you binge. Your body may want lighter foods or smaller portions, but skipping meals always ends up backfiring and we end up overeating later. 

What are the signs that I should seek professional help for binge eating?

If this is something that feels like it’s impacting your daily life, preventing you from being happy and healthy, and something you spend a lot of time thinking/obsessing over, then I recommend reaching out to find support 

More Articles About Overcoming Binge Eating

⚪ How I Stopped Binge Eating
⚪ The Biggest Cause of Overeating at Night
⚪ How To Stop Overeating At Night
⚪ Should You Give In To a Craving? (Here’s What To Do!)

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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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