We are human. We have all done it. It happens…especially after a holiday or party. Feelings of indigestion, bloating, tiredness, headache, and loads of guilt often follow. How then do we recover after eating too much sugar, too much pizza, too much beer, or maybe we just had a day of over consuming too many calories good or bad? There are several easy steps you can take to recover fully and ensure that you do not set yourself back in your fitness, your diet, and your health goals!
First, do not beat yourself up! Self sabotage will only further the feelings of guilt and remorse you may be experiencing. Get rid of the negative thoughts such as:
Oh well I blew it, guess I will just eat bad the rest of the day/week/holiday season.
Try adopting some positive thoughts such as:
I know I over did it, but I know I will get back on track. These things happen. Let me take a look at why I over consumed in the first place.
1. If you are incredibly miserable you may want to take an antacid. Additionally, Mayo Clinic recommends that you reduce or refrain from taking anti-inflammatory medications, including aspirin. These medications may cause further stomach upset in individuals with sensitive digestive systems. If you are taking anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by your doctor, check with him/her to make sure it is safe for you to discontinue use until your indigestion subsides. Over-the-counter antacids and acid reducers may help hasten your recovery by relieving symptoms of overeating. –Livestrong.com
2. Think about giving your stomach a break. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat at all. If you restrict too many calories, you may find yourself overly hungry and over eating again. After a pretty bad slip up at the buffet, wake up the next day and eat a clean breakfast. Set yourself up well just like you would do on any other day! However, you may consider eating light, smaller, easy to digest meals.
3. You also want to drink LOTS of water. Remember that we need to be drinking half of our body weight in ounces of water per day. (For example, a 150 pound person needs to be drinking 75 ounces of water each day! Working out? Drink more!) The kidneys and liver do a great job at detoxifying the system, so help them out by drinking water throughout the day and maybe even add some lemon!
4. I have been known to drink peppermint tea to settle an upset stomach, and overeating can be another reason to reach for this in tea form or even in essential oils. Peppermint can relax your belly muscles and help release any bloating, gas, or flatulence. Many herbal teas can sooth an upset stomach. Drink the tea throughout the day after checking with your doctor to see if this natural remedy is a good choice for you.
5. Stay off of the scales until you feel recovered. It takes 3500 calories to gain 1 pound of fat, so the likelihood that you gained any fat from your mishap is slim. However, you could be retaining water, and that will show up on the scale. There is no reason to make yourself feel worse, so I say just stay away for a few days!
6. Continue your normal exercise routine. There is no need to over exercising because of your slip up. If you over do it at the gym, you could increase your risk for injury. If soreness or strain settles in, you will be out of business much longer than the few days it was initially going to cost you to bounce back. You can however take some extra walks or do some gentle Yoga moves to help aid in digestion.
7. Give yourself some rest. Maybe you were traveling, maybe you were entertaining, or maybe you were alone and bored. Whatever the cause for overdoing it, stress is not going to help you mentally, physically, or emotionally. Enjoy some peace and solitude. Drink some water before bed, and aim to get 7-8 restful hours of sleep. Your amazing, capable body will bounce back asap if you’re good to it!
Like I said, we all over do it from time to time. My best advice is to get over it, take care of yourself, and move on. You always have the need opportunity to make a healthy choice. The work we need to really focus on is why we overindulged in the first place. Treats and festivities are great and what life is all about! But not at the cost of being in an unhealthy cycle. Try to get over saying what the hell (read about this the What the Hell effect here! It is real!), and live your healthiest life at every opportunity making room for fun and balance!