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6 Tips If You Ate Too Much

From holiday parties to family dinners, there are plenty of opportunities to go overboard this time of year. 

Ideally, we'd effortlessly stay the course all season, but that's not always reality. The question then becomes, "Now what?"

Our best response to overindulgence is two-fold. We address the emotions that may come up, perhaps more so for some of us than others. Second, we take care of ourselves physically to feel better and get back on plan.  

See what 6 recommendations I offer my clients when they realize they've overeaten.

Own it, and Move On. 

First things first… Resist the instinct to also indulge in guilt. 

It’s done and over. Accept that you made the choice you did at the time, and do the next healthy thing.

I always tell my clients, “You can’t be perfect all the time.” During this time of year especially, you’re going to have opportunities that take you off your typical eating routine.  

But the best thing you can do when you overindulge during one of these occasions is to take responsibility for the decision and let it go. The sooner we do this, of course, the more we can prevent further backsliding. 

It’s important to reaffirm your healthy intentions when you've overindulged, but you can still choose to resist guilt. There’s no sense in letting a slip set the tone for the rest of your day or even week. Too many of us let it ruin our day, often leading to an extended chain of off-plan decisions. Don’t let that be you. 

Take Some Enzymes. 

Digestive enzymes are a common supplement I recommend for my clients who have reoccurring digestive issues and discomfort. Taking supplemental enzymes can help aid in the digestion process now, making it easier and quicker for your body to break down the food you just took in, while relieving your symptoms.

Although our bodies produce a certain amount of enzymes to help support digestion on their own, we often don’t produce enough to combat the amount of stomach acid released when we eat a large meal, which can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Supplemental enzymes can help the digestive process happen more quickly, alleviating any bloating or discomfort.

Walk It Off.

After a heavy meal, your first instinct may be to lie down on the couch and relax (especially if your body is going through a blood sugar crash). Lying down, however, can actually contribute to indigestion or heartburn

Instead, stay vertical and go for a walk to get things moving and help ease discomfort. Avoid anything too vigorous right after a meal, as that could make things worse and even make you sick. Nonetheless, plan for a good cardio session the following day.

Drink Up.

Help get things moving by upping your fluid intake. Drinking plenty of water can help avoid constipation (that could stem from a heavy meal) and provide something light for your body to absorb when it’s feeling full. Although it might not feel right to drink a ton of water after a heavy meal, keeping up with regular hydration will help you feel better.

Peppermint tea can also be a great tool post-indulgence, as peppermint is known to aid our digestive health. If you’re experiencing unsettledness or stomach pains, try sipping some tea (as part of your total fluid for the day) to help remedy stomach discomfort.

Stretch It Out.

Stretching out your body can be an effective remedy for the so-called food hangover. 

This could mean some simple dynamic stretches (e.g. stretching your hands to your feet and holding) or even a full yoga sequence that gets your full body moving and maybe works up a light sweat. Yoga is known for its ability to, in many cases, help relieve bloating and constipation.

Simplify Your Next Meal.

If you’ve overindulged, and it’s early enough in the day that you’ll need another meal before bed, plan for a light and simple-to-digest snack to round out your day.  

A favorite option of mine is a protein shake. Shakes are great because they're not only convenient for providing ample nutrition, but they're literally already broken down nutrients that are simple and easy for your body to digest. It’s a great option prior to bed if you must eat or, if planned well, prior to a meal at which you know you’ll be tempted to overeat. If you aren’t a fan of shakes, some other options include fruit and cottage cheese or scrambled egg.

Finally, make a point to eat as clean as possible the next day – limiting processed foods and sugar as best you can. With a light, healthy meal and some activity, you’ll be back on plan!

Thanks for reading. Would you like more support and strategies to get back on track? Talk with one of our dietitians today!

In health, Anika Christ – Senior Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.


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