Once you’ve overeaten, the damage has already been done. Your gut is stretched out and full of gas, you’re uncomfortable, and you’re not quite sure how you let yourself eat so much. Luckily, overeating one time isn’t going to do a lot of damage and there are plenty of ways you can help yourself feel better asap. Here’s what you need to know:
Why Do We Overeat?
From stressful careers to an overabundance of readily-available convenience foods, there are dozens of reasons a person might indulge. But while eating too much once in a while is completely normal, as is “emotional” eating, when you do it too frequently, it might signal a larger problem. Those who compulsively stuff themselves to the point of being overfull are often eating to cope with negative emotions.
Of course, not everyone who overeats is a binger. Many people just pick mindlessly throughout the day or don’t know how to properly portion meals. Some people just go nuts at Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever the reasons, there are ways to make yourself feel better.
How To Cope When You Overeat
When you eat too much, the last thing you want to do is get up and move around . . . but it’s often the best bet. Why? Walking, or even just standing, gets food moving along the digestive tract and helps improve digestion. And while laying down might feel better, it can lead to indigestion and heartburn.
Other quick fixes include drinking an herbal tea (mint and rosemary are especially helpful) and getting lots of water. Of course, the best thing you can do is to make your next meal a healthy one. Plenty of fiber and lean protein will help get your body back on track.
What Shouldn’t You Do?
Of course, for every good “fix”, there are just as many bad ones. Number one on the list of things you shouldn’t do? Fast or skip your next meal. While you may think that you’re “making up for” all of the calories you just took in, it might just lead to even more bingeing later.
In addition, you likely can’t “make up” for it by working out (no matter how hard you try). After all, it would take a heck of a lot of jumping jacks to neutralize that 3,000 calorie feast you just ate. Overeating happens to the best of us; don’t beat yourself up!