How to correct a binge

The fastest way to correct a binge

Thoughts on binge eating are almost impossible to avoid

One of the many psychological factors of prolonged dieting most people experience, is the ever increased mental obsession with food. While we in some degree usually consider ourselves to be more dedicated and disciplined as far as taking care of our bodies and diets than the mainstream masses, week in week out of strict dieting will takes it toll.

While one of the very common tips to avoid binge eating is to incorporate flexible dieting principles into your dietary routine (which in its most basic form is about fitting the foods you love into your macronutrient and caloric plan), most diets still have to adhere to some form of restriction to function properly. 

Which means that even if said principles are followed, most people will still feel the restriction of dieting come creeping in because of the necessary caloric deficit and the almost unavoidable dieting mindset which follows with it.

This is especially true when entering leaner bodyfat levels, single-digit and beyond, when a macro setup of 175p/150c/55f just doesn’t really allow much “flexible dieting” to occur unless one is content with not achieving satiety.

Because as i briefly wrote about in the post 5 tested tips on how to adhere to your diet – when you enter the dark, danger-ridden realm of poverty level macros, maximizing satiety will often be your best bet on sustainability. And this is just easier to accomplish with whole foods/bro dieting.  

It can happen to anyone

If you factor in the phenomena of increased taste bud functionality many lean guys and gals will report about, where a bowl of oatmeal will taste like a forbidden feast for kings and demigods, the fight for adherence seems to get exponentially tougher the further you go.

This very scenario is where i am currently located. During most of my long cut, binge eating has not been a problem and didn’t happen once, but as i began entering my 7th month of dieting and approached or reached sub-10 % bodyfat, it suddenly became a struggle.

It had escalated into multiple 5000 calorie binges during the last 1.5 month, which i consider pretty bad since my IF meal frequency had me consume +80-90 % of my total caloric intake in the hours from 18 – 23 in the evening. 

An effective, harsh, albeit short-sighted solution; fast it out, bro!

Of course my recommendation to everyone is to work on the causes of your binge eating sprees and fixing them, but for some, me included, i have great confidence in the disappearance of the problem as soon as i end this cut and switch to a gaining phase (here’s fucking hoping, at least!).

So, to provide something you can use here and now, here’s an approach I’ve had good success with: Fast it out – If you had a binge day, punish yourself by fasting the whole next day. See it as a way of paying your dues.

Hell, it might not only correct the damage, it might turn the binge into more of an ultra-short over-the-top refeed diet break, doing some work on reversing your shitty leptin and hormonal levels after the long dieting. I find that by fasting the entire next day, and breaking the fast as i would normally on my IF schedule (which brings me to 40-43 hours of fasting dependent on when i last ate during the binge) i drop the majority of the water bloat induced by the processed food and sodium i ate during the eating spree.

And the increased heart rate and NEAT that most, predominantly leaner people, will experience during/after a binge/overfeeding makes for a fat-melting fasting day full of energy and productivity. And hunger in the evening. But hey, you screwed up, right? Then embrace the feeling of having messed up. 

And no, you won’t blow away all your hard earned muscle mass during a <48 hour fast. You’re smart, so you of course did a heavy ass lifting session on the day of your binge, setting yourself up for some growth. And the ton of carbohydrates you face-dived your way through maxed out your liver glycogen levels, making any actual muscle loss very doubtful.

If you freak out about it, supplement with HMB during your fast. I usually recommend BulkSupplements’ Pure HMB in the powdered form (as it’s cheap!) – or the tablet/pill form Maximum Strength HMB by NatureBell. But just to warn you; HMB tastes horrible in the powdered form, so make sure you can mix it with something else than just plain water! (Or just go with the tablets!)

Benefits of fasting

But what stops you from just destroying your fast, start eating and failing again? Well, for me, reading up on the numerous benefits of fasting on a variety of health markers has helped in that aspect. 

While i won’t claim that fasting is superior for fat loss or muscle growth, the benefits on your health are pretty well documented. Read this and/or nerd your way through pubmed and suppversity.

I have a much easier time blowing my diet by making 1500 calories turn into 3000 calories, than i do going from fasted to non-fasted. I know that consuming as little as 50 calories (and maybe even less) will pretty much take me from a fasted state to a non-fasted state, and if you are in anyway like me with a sort of everything-or-nothing mentality, you will work the same way.

Here’s a couple of benefits i see with this approach;

  1. Depending on your normal meal schedule, you’ll get to suffer a bit during your fast. This is good. Builds character and might make you think twice about it next time you find yourself in the early stages of a possible binge. Or maybe i’m just masochistic. 
  2. The water bloat is dropped as fast as possible. Unlike when i resume normal diet days following a binge, i find that during a full fast really helps me lose most of the water retention the binge congratulated me with. This helps my mindset as i will appear lean again faster. 
  3. The actual damage done in terms of fat gain can hardly be reduced any more effectively than literally not consuming any calories for some time afterwards. And <48 hours will not be long enough to slow down your metabolism. Some studies actually suggest the contrary. Couple this with the increased heart rate and NEAT many people, me very much included, will experience in the day/days after a big binge, and your set for some adipose destruction.

Hope this was useful reading to someone!

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