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This Is Why Binge Eating Is Not a Bad Thing

By Jiri Kaloc

You know the feeling when you get back from a vacation or after an indulgent weekend? It’s usually guilt. You curse yourself for indulging in too many desserts and cocktails and going off the rails with your diet. But overeating and indulging is not a black-and-white issue. There are times where we simply need to binge to learn a certain lesson and gain perspective. Let’s check out four reasons why you don’t have to feel guilty when it happens.

It’s the best motivator

Do you remember when and why you decided to finally make a change in your habits? Was it by any chance “thanks” to a hangover from last night or to a heartburn and feeling like throwing up after overeating? How about a few too many lazy days on the couch or coming back from an all-inclusive holiday? The way over-indulgence makes us feel is often what sparks the need for change.

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It’s a necessary part of progress

It would be great if the new diet was easy and brought results right away. But that’s not how reality works. You start off with enthusiasm, then you walk past a pastry shop and you slip up, you get back on track and the first holiday or a business trip derails you again. So you learn to correct your course and keep trying. It doesn’t mean you suck when it happens, it just means you need more time to adjust to the new diet, regroup, and reflect on your old habits. Or you just simply need more experience with staying on target in new and uncomfortable situations.

It’s an opportunity to learn

It doesn’t seem like there’s much to learn when you’re looking at an empty family-sized carton of ice cream you’ve just devoured. But surprisingly, it’s the perfect time to stop and think because this indulgence is solving a problem for us, even if not in a very healthful way. You should ask questions like: Am I lacking emotional support? Or an effective form of stress relief? What would be a better way of fulfilling those needs? If you think about binging that way you are sure to make progress over the long term.

It can support deep health

Deep health is a term used to describe someone who is robust, resilient, and thrives in all aspects of life, not just with diet and exercise but also mentally, emotionally, and socially. So how do indulgences fit in? Creating a home-made dessert, taking a day off to soak in a hot tub and watch movies, or getting a massage are all good examples of indulgences that have meaning, are intentional, and you feel satisfied after. Indulgences are a part of life, they celebrate it, and they are nothing to feel guilty about. You just need to understand them and make friends with them.