This is a common question on the forums:
“I just binged on a box of X, should I do Y amounts of cardio or fast for Z hours?”
And my answer is always “No.”
Exercise is not punishment. Use exercise to gain health and not as penance for your sins at the dining table. Do not beat yourself over it. What’s done is done. Learn from this experience and take a pro-active approach.
Which do you think is more effective for tackling the drug problem?
Harsher penalties for drug users or going after the drug suppliers?
If you know you are prone to binging on a certain food, the easiest solution is to just don’t bring any of it home. No, you do not need to deprive yourself of it. Instead, make eating that food an experience.
If you enjoy ice cream or dessert, make a date with your friends and have it at a place famous for its desserts. Go through reviews on yelp and try different places. Embark on a quest to find out who does it the best.
Or try making it yourself! Research recipes, discuss it on forums and experiment in your kitchen. Learn how to make it exactly the way you like it.
The main idea is to make it an enjoyable experience. One that is not centered around food. But also about the company and the atmosphere.
Do not labor under the disillusion that eating certain foods is sinful. You are nothing doing anything sinful by “cheating” on your diet. Your diet is not your spouse.
Look to food as nourishment for your mind, body and soul. You need to eat, you deserve to eat. It is okay to enjoy eating, it is normal to find food pleasurable. Do not be ashamed, instead relish that experience.