You just finished a huge and delicious meal, but now you have to pay the price for eating too much. When you overeat, your body can start to feel bloated and lethargic. You may even start to experience abdominal pain and cramps. Regardless of the symptoms that may accompany the feeling of being full, this physical discomfort can put a damper on the rest of your day.
While the best way to deal with overeating would be to avoid it by always eating in moderation, honestly, sometimes it’s easier said than done. When all your favorite foods are in front of you, the temptation can be too great, especially during food-centric holidays like Thanksgiving. So how do you keep your eyes from getting bigger than your stomach while enjoying decadently delicious food?
If you find yourself overeating and often feel overly full after eating, you’re not alone. In order to discover the best ways to deal with damage control in a healthy way after eating too much, we asked a few dietitians to get their thoughts. So here are some dietitian-recommended tips to help you process your post-meal depression after eating too much, and for more dietitian-approved tips on healthy eating habits, be sure to also read 5 Best Eating Habits to Help Boost Your metabolism, let’s say dieticians.
Be sure to hydrate
Eating foods high in sodium “can contribute to feeling ‘bloated’ or bloated the next day,” according to Amy Goodson, MS, DR, CSSD, LDwho is the author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our Expert Medical Council. That’s why Goodson stresses the importance of making sure you stay hydrated before and after a big meal.
In addition to drinking plenty of water, you can also try to boost your hydration by adding something extra to your drink.
“One thing you can do is hydrate throughout the day with infused waters, like this Lemon Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink or this Cranberry Orange Ginger Detox Water,” she says. Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFTY Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as the nutrition twins. “The liquid will help restore normal hydration status, as it removes excess retained sodium, sugar and water, relieving swelling and heaviness.”
Go for a walk after your big meal.
One of the best things you can do for yourself to provide more immediate relief from overeating and feeling overly full is to go for a walk after your meal.
“The walk will help you clear your mind. And if you start to sweat, you can secrete some chemicals and small amounts of salt while increasing blood flow to the brain,” says Nutrition Twins. “You’ll also burn some extra calories while doing it, which will help offset some of the extra calories you may have consumed.”
If you don’t feel like walking, Goodson has some alternative suggestions for getting your body moving after a big meal.
“You can start a friendly game of backyard soccer with the family,” suggests Goodson. “Or if that doesn’t work, maybe hit the gym the next morning, or park in the back of all the parking lots when you’re out running errands.”
Get back on the road with some veggies
According to Nutrition Twins, eating some antioxidant-rich, fiber-packed vegetables at your next meal can help get your body feeling better again.
“The fiber in vegetables helps flush waste and toxins out of the colon, helping to keep it regular so you can recover quickly and feel lighter,” says Nutrition Twins. “And the antioxidants in green vegetables counteract some of the damage created by excess sugary, fatty, and highly processed foods that trigger inflammation.”
Start the next morning with a balanced breakfast
One of the things you can do the day after you go a little overboard is make sure you start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast.
“The day after you binge, start with a breakfast that’s high in protein and fiber to get your blood sugar headed in the right direction,” says Goodson. “Eggs and oatmeal or whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a side of Greek yogurt are great options. This will help you feel better throughout the day.”