How To Lose Weight After A Binge

In my other post called Overcoming Binge Eating, I already talked about how to eliminate food cravings in order to strengthen the mind. But what happens if you were already overcome by a sudden urge to eat unhealthy food and are now worried about your weight?

The difference between gaining weight and not losing weight

Image courtesy of marin /

Most people only know two extremes: Losing weight and gaining weight. They don't know that these two opposing scenarios take time and don't happen overnight. Neither weight loss nor weight gain happen immediately.

The bad news is, a single day of overeating is capable of slowing down your weight loss efforts significantly. The good news is: Just because you suffered from binge eating doesn't mean your weight goes up. It may as well stay the same, especially if you get back to your senses soon after the binge.

Most of the time, a binge occurs on a single day and does not drag into the next day. Once you went to sleep and got up again, you have a chance to start all over with a breakfast that is balanced enough not to cause any cravings. You might even be full enough from the previous day to give intermittent fasting a try, or to at least skip or postpone a meal.

Avoid punishing yourself and stop negative thoughts

There is only one thing you should not do after a binge, and that is to go into a downward spiral. There are different ways this can happen, and it happened to me before:

  • Thinking of your body as something to defeat
  • Going without food in an exaggerated way, or for an unusually long time
  • Having extremely bad thoughts about yourself as a person and about your willpower

It is important to turn off this unhealthy behaviour if it occurs. Remember that you want to lose weight, not stroke your ego. If you behave professionally towards your goal of losing weight, you will achieve success faster and with less head wind in your face than if you fall into a depression. Every once in a while, it can happen that we have to pay tribute to the hardships of being overweight, but a good diet is more about being pragmatic than being emotionally involved.

Learn to be pragmatic

Which leads us to pragmatism. When you know how to be pragmatic, meaning that you are very objective and free of emotions when you lose weight, you know that losing weight is not something to constantly think about. You don't even need to judge your success or failure. Only analyze your weight loss like a scientist. Scientists hardly ever become emotionally entangled in their work, which is why they are able to produce precise results.

Let go of expectations, fears and maybe even hopes. Only do what you know is going to help you, and live your life independently. Whenever a binge occurs, take it as a sign that something biological, chemical or psychological is wrong in your diet, and take the necessary steps as described in my post overcoming binge eating.

What goes in fast goes out fast

One more thing worth considering: If your problem is not permanently eating masses of food, but rather an occasional binge, then at least you have an advantage. Your body is used to smaller amounts of food, and will be surprised enough by all the big food coming in during a binge that it might not even absorb all that food. Also consider that a lot of food consists of water, and you will notice when you go to the bathroom that a lot of what came into your body also leaves your body again.

Balance out the binge

Let's go back to the beginning of my article. I told you that a binge doesn't necessarily make you gain weight, it only prevents you from losing weight.

You may be able to balance out the binge to a point where weight loss comes into action again. This works quite well the day after the binge, when your stomach is still full. On that day, apart from the previously mentioned meal-postponing or even fasting, try protein shakes. You won't need much more to eat that day, since your digestive system will still have a lot of work to do from the day before. Who knows, perhaps you can make this one of the most successful low carb days of your entire week!

Don't consider your sin a dead end!

Eating too much against your will and with deep regrets afterwards surely doesn't make you feel good. But if it happens, you have a chance to bounce back into a good diet. Please never make the mistake of giving up, of thinking that this week's diet, this month's diet or even the whole diet itself has failed! This would only be an excuse to buy chocolates and gain weight!

Instead, think of your binge as "borrowing food from tomorrow". In a way that you say to yourself: What I did was not right, but the food that I overate too much is the food that I have to reduce tomorrow. Of course, you are still supposed to get some protein shakes not to torture yourself.


Let's recap what is important:

  • Just because you had a bad day in your diet doesn't mean you are gaining weight back!
  • Negative thoughts or destructive behaviour only damage your diet, so be forgiving!
  • Learn to see your diet without any feelings or emotions involved to achieve cool success
  • Your body won't use all the stuff you ate, most of it will leave your system soon
  • You have a chance to make things right again the day after your binge
  • Carry on with your diet as if the binge had not happened!

With these tips, and all the other advice on this website, success is only a matter of time. Remember, as long as you don't give up, your weight won't be able to cling to you forever!
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