So a few weeks into your diet you saw your weight drop and your body was looking better in the mirror, but over the weekend the hunger finally got to you and you ended up binge eating, going way over the calories you were supposed to have. We’ve all had that happen to us before but what matters most is getting back on the diet and continuing our fat loss journey rather than letting one bad day demotivate you.
Here are the 4 steps you can use to get back on track.
1. Understand That The Weight Gained Would Mostly Be From Glycogen And Water
Generally most diets will have protein intake minimums quite high to retain as much muscle mass as possible, fat intakes at 25-30% of total calories, and carbs to fill whatever is left. As a result, most people are left with little to no carbs to have on a daily basis and what usually happens is weight drops drastically in the first two weeks. This happens as a result of glycogen stores being depleted along with the water that’s attached to it.
So what happens when you overeat and binge after being so depleted? Usually a spike in weight gain that isn’t reflective of how much fat you have actually gained and is instead your depleted muscles replenishing their glycogen stores. Sure, overeating significantly will put on some fat, but it definitely won’t be as much as you see on the scale. At most you would have set yourself back a few days so it’s key not to panic or stress.
2. Figure Out How Many Calories You Overate By, Even If It’s An Estimate
If you overate, ideally you want to balance that surplus out by eating at a larger deficit over the rest of the week. For example if you figured that you overate by 1,000 calories on a Friday night, for the next five days you could cut back 200 calories daily so this would balance out.
Most people tend to go all-in, beast mode when bingeing because they think “screw it, it’s too late anyway so I might as well go crazy”. If this is what happened try to estimate it anyway, and in these cases making an overestimation always helps.
Don’t try to undereat the entire surplus in one day by creating a deficit as large as the surplus because that will most likely lead to another binge in a few days. If your surplus was too big, simply get back on your diet and just think of it has your diet having extended just one week.
3. Get Re-motivated And Outsmart Your Hunger
Most people binge because they feel hungry, and hunger is what your body feels due to the hormonal changes from losing fat. It’s normal to feel hunger during a diet, but it’s during the hardest times you need to think back to why you started this diet in the first place.
While hunger can be ignored in most cases, sometimes it isn’t easy. It’s in these times where we have to know that the brain can be outsmarted by eating certain kinds of foods to create a greater feeling of fullness. This can be done by drinking a lot more water, having more protein in the diet, and eating a lot of fibrous vegetables that add satiety.
Keeping your mind busy also helps to prevent thoughts of food, and with these tricks up your sleeve, it’ll be easier to stay on track.
4. Have A Plan If You Think You Might Binge Again
It’s sometimes not because you want to binge that it happens, but more so the opportunity is simply presented to you. A classic example would be weddings, birthday celebrations, or even meeting friends for dinner. While some sacrifices need to be made in order to achieve the physique you want, it’s definitely possible to maintain a healthy social life as long you plan for it.
For instance, a great and simple strategy could be to eat at a bigger deficit in advance of the expected surplus day in order to allow yourself a bigger calorie budget without it setting you back. That way your weekly weight/fat loss can still be maintained, and you can enjoy a night occasionally to socialise without feeling so restricted.