Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Binge Eating Disorder Health Center

Font Size

What to Do After a Binge

By Marianne Wait
WebMD Feature

If you have binge eating disorder, you know you can't really take back an over-indulgence. But there are ways to react to a binge that can actually help you prevent the next one, experts say.

1. Analyze and learn.

Learn from your binge, says Doug Bunnell, PhD, former president of the National Eating Disorders Association. “Don’t feel ashamed" or think of it as a disaster. "Be honest with yourself in trying to go through and figure out, ‘How did that happen?’”

“That could mean writing in a diary or a journal: 'Where was I, what was I thinking or feeling, what happened just before, what happened during, what happened after the binge?'” Then, talk about it with someone you trust, Bunnell says.

A therapist, guided self-help resource (available on the web), or peer support group can help you spot patterns, he says. To find an eating disorder specialist, go to the National Eating Disorders Association web site.

Bunnell describes one client who realized certain interactions with his wife left him feeling dismissed or insignificant, which often led him to binge. With the help of therapy, Bunnell says, “He’s gotten really good at creating more space between the thoughts and feelings and the actual behavior.”

2. Go easy on yourself.

Nix the guilt and shame. Our failures help us learn.

“You have to be kind to yourself and give yourself a chance to learn from experience without condemning yourself too much,” says Russell Marx, MD. He is chief science officer at the National Eating Disorders Association.

3. 'Do the next right thing.'

This means practicing self-care and compassion. “It means eating the next meal and not restricting [food] to ‘make up’ for the binge,” says Jenni Schaefer, co-author of Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem?

Leslie Anderson, PhD, is training director at the Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research at University of California, San Diego. She stresses the importance of going back to a regular eating pattern.

“Sometimes people think, ‘Well I binged, so now I need to starve myself for the next couple meals to make up for it.’ But you’re just setting yourself up for another binge.” If you’re hungry, you’re more likely to lose control around food, says Anderson.

Today on WebMD

neon EAT sign
Mental Health Binge Eating Disorder
girl thinking
obese teen boy
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Depression TV
Binge Eating Disorder Treatment