Wondering whether to fast after a binge? Keep reading to learn why it’s not a good idea, and what you should be doing instead.
Experiencing a binge eating episode can be very overwhelming. After realizing what happened and what happened, you may feel overwhelmed, confused, or ashamed. As a result, a common human response is to try to fix or erase it. This often leads to fasting.
Unfortunately, fasting only perpetuates the status quo. This leads to recurrent episodes of binge eating and fasting with no end in sight. If you’ve experienced this cycle firsthand, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
Thankfully, there are five steps you can take to stop this cycle and move on after a binge.
What is binge eating?
Before we discuss what should happen after excessive eating, it is important to establish what binge eating actually is.
Binge eating is characterized by the consumption of an exceptionally large amount of food in a short period of time, with little or no self-control. Afterward, participants often feel guilt, stress, and shame. Binge eating is different from overeating in that it is completely mindless and often occurs repeatedly. It usually also involves large amounts of food.
Should I fast after a binge?
The short answer is no, and here’s why. Fasting ensures that the cycle will continue. You’ll eventually reach your breaking point and feel so hungry that you just can’t take it anymore. result? More often than not, another binge.
To stop this from happening and move on from this cycle forever, start by implementing the five steps below.
5 Steps You Should Take After a Binge Instead of Fasting
lead with compassion
Compassion is very important here. It sounds silly, it seems like it really isn’t he Important But it is very important in the context of binge eating. Binge eating and guilt go hand in hand. In this scenario often one cannot survive without the other.
By leading with compassion, you can start by slowly but surely eliminating guilt. After engaging in an episode of binge eating, it may seem natural to beat yourself up. But instead, try using compassion next time. Without compassion and judgment, ask yourself what happened and what went wrong. Empathize with yourself as you would a friend or family member. Guilt perpetuates the cycle, compassion perpetuates it.
eat according to your appetite
Fasting leads to extreme hunger, and extreme hunger can lead to binge eating. Smaller, more frequent meals lead to lasting satiety and manageable hunger. It prevents excessive increase in appetite which leads to over-consumption of food and feeling excessively full. If we can remove extreme hunger and extreme fullness from the equation, you’re much less likely to engage in binge eating again.
To do so, touch base with your unique hunger and satiety cues. And do this over and over again! Stop and pause periodically throughout the day. Ask yourself, how hungry am I? how full am i? Will eating something now help ease my hunger pangs?
Over time, it will become easier and more natural. It will start to feel like second nature!
Avoid diet foods and eat a balanced diet
As we discussed earlier, a normal human response after overeating is to try to cure or eliminate it. Along with fasting, diet regimens are another commonly considered solution. You ate too much, so now you should do your best to eat as little as possible, right?
You may think that eating a low-calorie diet is a good idea, but it will prevent you from feeling full and satisfied after a meal. Which in turn will make it easier for you to overeat without thinking. On the other hand, if you consume nutrient-rich food that not only fills you up but also leaves you satisfied, you’ll be far less likely to overeat mindlessly.
Just like we need food for fuel, we need water too! The body craves it. If we’re constantly dehydrated, it can make it more likely for us to seek hydration through food. Make sure to keep water around throughout the day and stay as hydrated as possible.
take it slow and don’t overdo it
Get back to that solution-based mindset. Exercise is another common purported solution. “I ate too much so I’ll just exercise to compensate!”.
I’m sure you’ve guessed it at this point, but it just perpetuates the cycle again. Exercising, especially excessive exercise, uses up a lot of energy and makes us tired. What does the body do in response? It demands more energy so that it can recover and recover!
Instead of trying to over-exercise and punish yourself, gently and compassionately move your body in a way that feels good to you. It could even be a short walk or a short yoga flow. We don’t want to completely stop the movement, but we certainly don’t want to push ourselves too hard and overexercise.
Takeaway – Don’t fast after a binge
The key point here is that fasting is not the answer. There are many other viable options instead! Be kind to your body and yourself, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to breaking the cycle.
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