The Binge-Restrict Cycle

Here we look at the 'Binge-Restrict Cycle' - how is has negative effects on our physical and mental wellbeing and how we can get out of it!


Before I get revved-up on this one, there are 2 important points I want to make: 1.) It's fair to say that I have, in the dim & distant past definitely followed binged patterns myself 2.) When I talk about being a 'Weekend Binger', I'm not just talking about food and booze.


As listeners of my new Podcast 'The Wellness Sessions' (cue shameless plug - available on all good podcast playing platforms) will know from my latest episode, sleep falls into this category too.



A story of the Binge-Restrict Cycle


So here's how people justify it to themselves, illustrated using the example of 'Made-up Mandy'! And when I say 'Made-up Mandy', I mean I've invented her - she's not real (as opposed to her heading for a night-out, after spending 20 minutes with her 'Max Factor' kit).


Anyway, from Monday to Friday 'Made-up Mandy' thinks she's being what she likes to call 'good', 'healthy' and 'well behaved' by restricting her calories, not eating or drinking anything she actually enjoys, and permanently feeling hungry (she averages 1,200 Calories per day). So, by the time 'Made-up Mandy' gets to Friday Evening, she thinks 'I've been good all week, I haven't eaten anything naughty or had any booze, so I deserve this take-away pizza with my partner 'Fictional Frank', and let's crack open a bottle of wine while we're at it - it's the weekend after all! Oh, and I always have a big packet of crisps while I finish my Pinot Grigio (you know, those posh Kettle Chip/Tyrrell's ones! Other brands of potato-based snacks are also available).'


Made-up Mandy has a sweet-tooth too so now she fancies a bit of chocolate, but it's okay because she's been 'good' all week, so she gets stuck-into the dairy milk, and actually ends-up scoffing the whole 200 gram bar.


During the week, Made-up Mandy heads to bed at 11.00 pm, as she has to be up for work in the morning, but not tomorrow! So her and Fictional Frank settle down to watch Graham Norton and it's gone 12.30am when they finally climb into bed. But it's okay, no work tomorrow so Mandy and Frank have a lie-in ('Mank',or 'Frandy', as I like to call them, always looks forward to their lie-in at the weekend!) They've got up at 5.45 am for work all week after all, so they deserve this disregulation of their hormones by sleeping in until 9.00am.