We’ve all been there. Monday morning and we feel like a train wreck. Indigestion, bloating, guilt, regret, the symptoms after too many weekend indulgences haunt our lethargic bodies. Some of you may be feeling the consequences of a mini holiday weekend “binge” after 4th of July celebrations. Take a second right now to forgive yourself. So what, you had fun and enjoyed food with friends and family. You’re human! We were not put on this earth with the ability to easily resist temptation. In fact, the desire to eat food and enjoy it communally is part of our DNA! What is not natural is how the food industry has created processed and addicting food that people self-prescribe as anti-anxiety or depression medicine. If you are dealing with emotional binging on a regular basis, please seek health from a professional medical practitioner. There is a way out. For the rest of you that may have eaten one too many burgers, desserts, or alcoholic drinks, I promise you, you will feel like your light, airy, fit self again by the end of this week if you follow my top 5 tips for recovering from a binge.
- Forgive yourself.
I will reiterate this point because if you don’t forgive yourself first, you may cycle into a binge/restriction cycle that can become disordered eating. Think fondly of the memories of sharing great conversations with your family over ice cream cones, enjoying your Dad’s famous BBQ recipes, or indulging in your grandma’s signature cherry pie. These are not moments to feel guilty or ashamed of. You had an amazing time! Remember, fitness is about what you do the majority of the time. If you continue to fill your mind with negative thoughts about your weekend decisions, the rest of your good decisions this week will be poisoned with this mindset. Do not exercise this week to punish yourself. Do not eat clean, fresh food this week to try and restrict your diet. Instead, exercise and eat well because you love your body and want to do what’s best for it. Creating a restrictive or negative relationship with food or exercise is just what will leave you binging again, or worse, giving up all together.
- Work it out.
Exercise is probably the last thing you want to do, but it will fast track your mind and body reset. This is especially true if you’re still dealing with indigestion, other stomach discomfort, or fatigue. Don’t force yourself into a high-intensity workout. Treat yourself to a long, leisurely walk, and/or a light weight training session. Feeling decent? Take it up a notch and utilize the extra carbohydrates for good! Your body has stored a lot of the excess food you ate as glycogen in your body before it deposits as fat. Glycogen is what gives our body energy to move and our muscles the ability to develop. Grab a set of dumbbells and enjoy the “pump.” Some of my best workouts have been after a big indulgence. A good sweat session is a great way to get rid of any excess water retention from over-doing it. You’ll immediately feel a sense of relief from the pressure or full feeling in your gut.
- Drink up.
Drinking or eating something probably sounds like the worst thing if you’re still feeling full. However, drinking water, and lots of it, will help your body digest all the excess food sitting in your stomach and release extra water weight. I love adding lemon juice to my water for an extra de-bloating and cleansing kick! Also, adding a shot of apple cider vinegar to water with a pinch of cayenne pepper and cinnamon is a great way to help your body find its PH balance again. Can’t stand the taste? Add a splash of fruit juice, a drizzle of honey, or a few drops of Stevia.
- Load up on the good stuff.
The last thing you should do after a binge is starve yourself. This can damage your metabolism and cause hormone imbalances. You may also end up so famished by the end of the day that you’ve just set yourself up for another binge. Instead, enjoy hydrating fresh fruits and veggies that will help ease any stomach discomfort and cleanse your body. My favorites are asparagus, broccoli, leafy greens, celery, cucumber, apples, melons (papaya and pineapple are awesome to ease bloating), and bananas which are filled with anti-bloating mineral potassium. Don’t skimp out on lean protein, like egg whites, chicken breasts, fish, or healthy fats found in nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado, either. These will keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day and decrease your chances of a second binge.
- Ditch allergenic foods.
This week, lessen up on alcohol, coffee, dairy, gluten, and refined carbohydrates. Remember, it’s not about restricting foods this week. It’s about choosing the right foods to make you feel good again. You may still have heavy cravings towards these foods after ingesting them all weekend. Find healthy alternatives to help calm these cravings like green tea (which can help boost your metabolism too!) instead of coffee, chia seed pudding instead of yogurt, nuts instead of cheese, quinoa and brown rice instead of bread, cauliflower puree instead of potatoes, etc. I love making chocolate almond milk to kick chocolate or sweet cravings. Stir in 1 tbsp of unsweetened cacao powder in unsweetened almond milk and add a drizzle of honey, 100% pure maple syrup, or stevia for sweetness. Enjoy it hot or cold!
Remember, one meal, day, or weekend will totally undo all your fitness progress. Now is the time to get back on track! Take this as a learning opportunity to help you continue to find a healthy balance. Reflect on any negative and positive feelings you may have had before and after your “binge.” Finding mental clarity surrounding why we choose certain foods and when we choose them is how we help mitigate unhealthy binge cycles in the future. Indulging a little every now and then is healthy for your mind and body when it is done with love, gratitude, and positivity. It’s when we indulge because of negative feelings that we can start a destructive relationship with food and begin a binge and restriction pattern (this is also called yo-yo dieting).
Tell me, what are your practices for finding a healthy mental and physical relationship with food that includes balance and gratitude?
Health and happiness,
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