Content Warning: This article references disordered eating, eating binges, and similar topics. This may be triggering for some people. If you struggle with disordered eating, please seek professional help and support with the National Eating Disorders Association.
Whether you struggle with occasional binge eating or have simply overindulged during the holidays, overeating happens. Through my interviews with RDNs and research, I have learned one of the worst things you can do after a binge is to restrict calories or skip meals entirely.
Rachelle Heinemann, LMHC says, “The most important thing to remember is not to restrict after a binge. It can be the hardest thing in the world to do,” but we still need to eat because our bodies need fuel. Plus, restricting calories or skipping meals just exacerbates the restrict/binge eating cycle.
Instead, Aleta Marie Storch recommends returning to a regular eating pattern by starting with the next meal or snack. “If you binge late at night, you still need to eat breakfast. If you binge mid-day, your body will still require fuel in the evening.” If you are wondering what to eat after an eating binge, here are some of the best foods to eat after a binge.
Best foods to eat after a binge
Bananas are one of the best ways to enjoy a solid serving of potassium, and potassium can help counter the effects of binge-induced bloating. The best way to enjoy a banana? Sliced on top of a fiber-friendly food like oatmeal or smothered in your favorite nut butter. You can also enjoy another “best food to eat after a binge” by combining banana slices with yogurt, a probiotic powerhouse that can help tame any tummy troubles that may have been brought on by eating too much food.
If you are feeling bad after a binge, Clara Lawson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at USA Hemp, has a recommendation – broccoli. “Binge eating increases the risk of feeling depressed or low. In order to keep stress and depression at bay, it becomes crucial to eat some source of magnesium, which works as a mood booster. Nothing can be better than broccoli to provide yourself with a significant amount of magnesium.”
After an eating binge, keep the digestive system running smoothly with fiber-friendly foods. These can reduce the feelings of bloat and can help keep us satiated, which can prevent future binge episodes or overeating. Some of the best foods to eat after a binge that are fiber-friendly include:
- Beans and legumes, but beware, these may also increase feelings of bloating and gas
- Fiber-rich vegetables like spinach and tomatoes
- Water-based foods like cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, and raspberries
Lawson says oranges are great because “Your body needs essential nutrients for boosting metabolism and digesting fats after binge eating. One of these nutrients is vitamin C that is found in oranges in abundance. Oranges give a boost to your metabolism and their tart taste feels light and good after unhealthy eating.”
Nadia Charif, Registered Dietician and Health and Wellness adviser at Coffeeble, says one of the best foods to eat after a binge is flavorful foods. Struggling with binge eating myself, I found this RDN approved tip absolutely brilliant!
She says, “A big part of what you will start to crave after a binge is the flavor from all the bad food you have had. So when eating after [a binge], you still want to make your food as flavorful as possible in order to not give in to that craving you are feeling.”
She goes on to say, “Low-fat fruit yogurts are a perfect example or a good snack to introduce after a binge. [They are] low in calories, but also pack that flavor and some added sweetness that you are probably missing. Also, try to make your meals as flavorful as possible with as much health as possible.” This reminds your body that you can get those delicious tastes from nutritious foods.
“Items like beetroot, eggs, spinach, and tomato are ideal additions to your mealtime” Charif concludes.
Gut soothing foods
Some of the best foods to eat after a binge include gut soothing foods. Some of my go-to options after an eating binge include asparagus, avocado, bone broth, cinnamon, and collagen.
- Asparagus. Asparagus can help reduce water retention and contains prebiotic fiber, which helps feed the probiotics in our gut. Remember, our gut bugs need good food in order to keep our digestive system running smoothly.
- Avocados. Like bananas, avocados are full of potassium, which can help reduce bloat.
- Bone broth. Bone broth is incredibly healing to our gut and is a natural source of collagen that can help heal the cells of your stomach lining, which may be inflamed and irritated after an eating binge.
- Cinnamon. If one of the best foods to eat after a binge for you is overnight oats, include a pinch or two of cinnamon. A natural anti-inflammatory, cinnamon can help reduce inflammation in your system caused by alcohol, dairy, gluten, grains, and processed sugar.
Just like fiber-friendly foods, protein can help us stay satiated by creating a greater sense of fullness. Some great sources of quality protein include chicken, collagen, eggs, or one of my personal favorites, wild-caught salmon. Wild-caught salmon contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which are naturally anti-inflammatory, which can help ease any inflammation in your system.
The best food to eat after a binge? Try wild-caught salmon and roasted asparagus. It is one of my favorite meals to eat after a binge. My body actually craves it.
Teas like ginger, green, and peppermint can help soothe your system and are some of the best foods to eat after a binge. (Well, drink in this case). My favorite type of tea to drink after an eating binge, or any day for that matter, is roasted dandelion root tea. Dandelion root is incredibly detoxifying, especially for the liver. It also provides a savory and silky smooth taste similar to coffee.
If you prefer a different type of tea, try adding a squeeze of lemon. Lemon soothes the digestive system and can help eliminate any toxins.
One of the worst things you can do after a binge is to restrict calories or skip meals entirely. Instead, fill your plate and fuel your body with some of the best foods to eat after a binge like these RDN recommendations.