We’ve all been there before … eaten a lot more than we really needed or initially intended. You got carried away in the moment and before you know it, you’re feeling sick, guilty and really wishing you could turn back time and do things differently.
Unfortunately, you can’t! However that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about what’s just happened…
So what’s the best course of action if you’ve just had a binge?
Here’s three simple steps I recommend to members on our SBF (Sally Brouwer Fitness) Challenges:
Do something straight away! – Get down and do 10 pushups, 20 sit ups, go for a 30 min walk, do some squats, do ANYTHING that gets you moving.
The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see positive changes. A healthy lifestyle is all about making good decisions - not just when you feel like it, but when you don’t feel like it too. This will be one of those times when you’d probably rather curl into a ball and feel sorry for yourself, however that attitude is only going to make the situation worse!
Ask yourself what was the trigger or triggers that caused the binge in the first place?
Sit down and write out your answer so you have a better understanding of the situation. Was it boredom, loneliness, stress, availability of junk food, procrastination, or something else? Once you realise and understand the circumstances causing you to binge, it becomes easier to work on a plan so it’s less likely to happen again.
Formulate a plan and get organised.
It’d be nice to think that you won’t binge ever again, however bad habits are hard to break and usually take a while to eliminate. You need to have a plan in place for the next time your faced with the same triggers you’ve identified in step 2.
If it was boredom that caused you to eat, have a list of things you can do to occupy yourself. For example, ring a friend, arrange your winter clothes, do some online Xmas shopping (imagine the time you’ll save come Christmas time). Print this list out and stick it on the inside of the pantry so you’ll find it before you hit the junk food.
If it was stress, have a guided meditation on your iPod that you can sit down and listen to for 5 minutes, while you try and unwind, rather than resorting to food.
If it was due to the availability of junk food then make sure you don’t have access to junk food! If this is unavoidable then try organizing a shelf in your pantry where all your healthier options of food are. Don’t go looking anywhere else other than your shelf and tell other family members of your intentions to make healthy food choices. If it’s a work situation then pack your own lunch and make sure you ONLY ever eat from your lunchbox. Don’t be tempted by birthday cakes, staff morning teas, etc.
Make sure your plan is specific to YOU and something that you can easily stick to when temptation is high. Have several options just in case your first one doesn’t prove successful.
A binge is only a failure if you didn’t learn anything from it. It can be a great learning curve and just the kick in the butt you need to do something about your health and fitness plan.