Ive always wondered this. Do you force yourself to eat your normal calorie goal even though you dont feel hungry? Do you eat less in the beginning of the day while your body is still digesting the binge? Should you try to eat less to make up for it, or is that wrong for your metabolism?
Obviously I want to avoid the starve-binge cycle, but when you feel so bloated and huge and full the next day its really tempting to severely restrict just to get rid of the gain as fast as possible...
What is the wisest route for health and long-term weight loss?
Just pretend it didn't happen. Drink warm liquids to help with the bloating and start over the next day with your regular calories. That is really the best thing you can do. If your mind compensates for that binge the next day with restricted calories, your body will eventually force you to compensate for that compensation.
And if you think about it long-term, you will overeat again. It happens. Just keep plugging each day.
It seems to me that you should never "force" yourself to eat if you are bloated with food. That could just make you sick. Why not give your body a chance to recover if you have a slip. Of course, this doesn't mean that you should go into a fast-binge cycle or severely restrict your calories when you do resume your diet.
I think the wisest route for health and long-term weight loss is summed up in the word 'balance'. Avoid reaching extreme conclusions, for example: "I just binged, therefore I will starve myself." A better conclusion: "I ate more than I needed, I will eat more healthful next time I am hungry".
In general, you need to make sure to eat enough healthful food in order to prevent binges in the first place. And, try to really listen and pay attention to what your body needs.
But thats my trouble-
I dont want to undereat because it will trigger another binge, but in order to eat my healthy daily goal I will have to "force" myself because I dont feel hungry at all, so I would be going against my hunger cues.
Eat high calorie, low density foods. A banana with a spoonful of peanut butter, avocado, nuts, add a tablespoon of olive oil to some vegetables, a handful of dried fruit, seeds. The amount of food is relatively small and hopefully won't upset your stomach.
I agree that you should try to eat a normal amount of calories. Undereating will probably lead to the same thing. However, I can also understand that you feel bloated and not very hungry. I second the suggestion to eat calorie-dense foods. I personally would eat as much as I felt I could, but I wouldn't force food down, and I'd try to get back on track as soon as I could.
While you shouldn't restrict just to lose the bloated feeling, I think it's fine to wait until you're hungry to eat again. After all, this is what healthy eating is all about - eating yummy nutritious food until we're full and then being able to stop. Practicing listening to your hunger and fullness cues will help prevent binging in the future.
From my experience working with girls with actual binge disorders, the best thing is to just eat normally the day after. Yes, you might not feel well, but as others have said, eat high calorie, low density foods. If you must, eat foods that are digestible like rice, bananas, applesauce, etc... until you're ready to eat a real meal. The full feeling should disappear soon, because food is digested pretty quickly in your body. With your binging and starving, your hunger cues have already been thrown off a bit, so just do what's good for you and eat what needs to be eaten to stop your cycles. The best thing, don't starve, so you don't set yourself up. =) Best of luck.
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