We’ve all had those days when we’ve thrown caution to the wind and indulged in our favorite foods a little too much. Sure, the guilt of overeating might have nudged us a little, but we only live once, don’t we?
It could be an office party, a family get together, or just a night when you didn’t want to cook. But, after the binge come a food baby and guilt. If you’ve ever been through such moments of overeating, here is how you can bounce back.
1. Stay Hydrated
This might seem counterproductive, especially if you’re already nursing a bloated belly. But, water aids digestion and prevents constipation. It also makes you feel full and fires up your metabolism. Studies have linked dehydration to abdominal pain, as well. So, hydrating your system might help you feel less “heavy.”1 2
2. Snack On Fiber-Rich Food
Whenever you feel like a snack, fuel your body with a lot of nutrients and fiber. Fiber aids in digestion, promotes good bowel movements, and reduces bloating. It also improves your body’s response to insulin, which might have spiked due to overeating. Foods rich in fiber include green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and dried fruits.3 4
3. Head To
Do head to the gym, but not just to run on the treadmill for hours. The point of exercising after a night of binge eating isn’t just to burn all the calories you have eaten the previous night. Turns out, exercise reduces gas retention and bloating as well.5
Besides this, exercise lifts your mood and improves any feelings of low self-esteem or negativity that you might be feeling due to the guilt of overeating.6 It also motivates you to keep going. So, engage in some light cardio and strength training to help your body and mind recover from a night of
4. Eat Protein-Rich Meals
You don’t have to go on a drastic diet or starve yourself to make up for the excess calories you consumed the night before. Instead, eat healthily and ensure that your meals consist of protein-heavy foods. They help you build muscle and are better than carbohydrates and fat at keeping you full for a long time.
Protein-rich foods also lead to increased thermogenesis, a process that burns calories for energy. With improved satiety and metabolism, you’re sure to feel better in no time.8 Some good sources of protein that you should consider eating include lean meat, legumes, nuts, fish, and
5. Get Some Shut Eye
What’s worse than one night of binge eating? Two consecutive nights of binge eating! After a day of sticking to a healthy meal, snacking smart, and exercising, it would be rough on your body to have to go through an entire episode of binge eating again.
This is exactly what lack of sleep does to you. It alters appetite-regulating hormones and makes you crave sugary carbs. The result? You’re going to want to eat a lot of junk food. So, take some time out from work and television and get some good sleep instead. Your body will thank you for it.10
It’s important to not beat yourself up over eating too much. After all, it is human to
|↑1||Shah, Syed Inamullah, Ikram Khan, Ahsin Manzoor Bhatti, and Ahmad Ali Khan. “Dehydration related abdominal pain
|↑2||Daniels, Melissa C., and Barry M. Popkin. “Impact of water intake on energy intake and weight status: a systematic review.” Nutrition reviews 68, no. 9 (2010): 505-521.|
|↑3||Making one change — getting more fiber — can help with weight loss. Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑4||Taylor, Ann E., Jane Hubbard, and Ellen J. Anderson. “Impact of binge eating on metabolic and leptin dynamics in normal young women.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 84, no. 2 (1999): 428-434.|
|↑5||Lacy, Brian E., Scott L. Gabbard, and Michael D. Crowell. “Pathophysiology, evaluation, and treatment of bloating: hope, hype, or hot air?.” Gastroenterology & hepatology 7, no. 11 (2011): 729.|
|↑6||Sharma, Ashish, Vishal Madaan, and Frederick D. Petty. “Exercise for mental health.” Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry 8, no. 2 (2006): 106.|
|↑7||Fritz, Kathryn M., and Patrick J. O’Connor. “Acute exercise improves mood and motivation in young men with ADHD symptoms.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. doi 10 (2016).|
|↑8||Paddon-Jones, Douglas, Eric Westman, Richard D. Mattes, Robert R. Wolfe, Arne Astrup, and Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga. “Protein, weight management, and satiety.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 5 (2008): 1558S-1561S.|
|↑9||Protein. Victoria State Government.|
|↑10||Greer, Stephanie M., Andrea N. Goldstein, and Matthew P. Walker. “The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain.” Nature communications 4 (2013): 2259.|