Overeating and overdrinking on Turkey Day are inevitable but the last thing you want is the Thanksgiving rolls you ate to actually turn into fat rolls. Here are 7 tips to help you recover from a binge and get your diet back on track.
It is so easy to overeat despite our best intentions. But don’t panic! It happens to the best of us. Unfortunately, all that excess can leave us feeling bloated, nauseous, guilty and sad. Remember we are all human and indulging is a part of life. The best thing you can do is to quickly get your healthy eating habits back on track. Follow these 7 tips to regain control and do not let a moment of weakness ruin your nutritional progress!
First thing, be kind to yourself. Enjoy the moment, accept it as a temporary divergence, and move on. If you’re feeling down, negative feelings are likely to multiply. This can lead to more self-destructive or self-punishing behavior. Take a deep breath and go easy on yourself. The next time you have a treat, practice savoring and enjoying it.
A New Zealand study of 300 people found that people who associate eating chocolate cake with guilt were less successful in maintaining their weight compared with those who viewed it as a celebration.
You’re most probably retaining water from salt and overeating. Weighing yourself won’t give you an accurate measure of your weight. Also, stop inspecting and judging your body in front of the mirror. Both these actions will probably just agitate you.
You can’t change the past, but you can influence your future
Digestion begins in the brain. Simply seeing food can lead to a seriously strong desire to eat it, even if you’re not hungry. Get rid of all the leftovers that are not part of your healthy eating plan. Give them away or sent them to the trash. If the trigger foods are gone, there is no way for them to trigger another binge.
Don’t let the weight of your food baby take you straight down to the couch. Lying down can give you heartburn and other gastro issues. Use all the excess energy to your advantage and get moving! And I don’t mean that you run a marathon or suffer on the elliptical for three hours straight. Those things will probably cause you to throw up. Instead, opt in for a light exercise.
The best thing you can do straight after a binge is to go for a nice long walk. It will even out your blood sugar and clear glucose out of your bloodstream. What’s even more important than burning off those calories is that exercise can reduce your appetite and cravings for additional sugar. Walking will also aid in digestion.
What’s more, research shows that exposure to sunlight can improve alertness – something you may be lacking once that blood-sugar crash kicks in. Another good idea is to do light yoga. Certain twisting poses have been known to assist and alleviate digestive woes.
Don’t skip breakfast. This is one of the WORST things you can do!
It’s easy to rebound from a binge and overreact by shunning food. But don’t swing to the other extreme. Consuming large quantities of sugar, and then not eating can send your blood sugar levels soaring and then crashing down, leading to low blood sugar and irritability. This can easily lead to another binge and feelings of hopelessness.
The trick is to keep your breakfast light. Make a protein & veggie-packed breakfast like an omelet or eat some greek yogurt with fresh berries. Eating breakfast is important as it kickstarts your metabolism. It can also get you into the right mindset that will allow you to resume your healthy eating schedule.
No matter how many calories you consume during your binge, chances are you’ll feel hungry again soon after due to your rapidly declining blood sugar levels. The goal is to stabilize your blood sugar by fueling your body with meals high in protein and fat. This sends a signal to your body that you’re not in starvation mode and do not need to store the extra glucose as fat. You may want to take a tablespoon of flax oil, coconut oil or a handful of nuts, right after your binge to help prevent a crash.
When you’re hungry again, eat. Satisfy your appetite with a low calorie, high-protein snack. Have an apple with peanut butter, a hard-boiled egg, or some Greek yogurt. These are low in simple sugars and will help you feel full until your next meal.
Eating probiotic-rich foods such as kombucha, fermented vegetables, yogurt or kefir – can also help settle and support your digestion.
It might seem counterintuitive to drink water when your belly is bloated but fluids are key since extra salt, sugar, and alcohol can dehydrate your body. Start your morning with a tall glass of water and keep drinking throughout the day. Aim for 2-3 liters a day. Water helps move along digestion. It can also battle sodium and carb bloat and aid with constipation.
You can also try green tea and lemon. Both are diuretics, which means you will take more bathroom breaks. While you’re not directly eliminating sugar, you are forcing your blood to pump through your kidneys faster. Teas also help to ease that “I’m so stuffed feeling” and make you feel better. So keep these liquids coming!
YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOUR MISTAKES, BUT YOUR REACTION
Overdoing it on food is the human condition. We all have our moments. How could we not, in a world where Dunkin’ Donuts exist? The most important thing is to remember that your slip-up is not an excuse to forget all about your healthy eating goals. As a popular inspirational quote says, “You are not defined by your mistakes, but your reaction.” I hope these 7 tips have helped. Remember, always look forward!
Keep in mind, this isn’t just for Thanksgiving. These are excellent tips for getting back on track anytime you get a little derailed.
Do you have any other tips and tricks for bouncing back after a food binge? Let us know in the comments below!