If you overate this long weekend – judging by my social media feeds – you are not alone.
Holiday weekends, sunny summer days, celebrations, really any occasion is a potential opportunity to overeat. Hopefully you checked out last week’s article about avoiding BBQ binges, but if things didn’t go according to plan and you eat your bodyweight in those sugar water popsicle things that people love, no big deal. This week I’m talking about what to do after you’ve overeaten.
Immediately do something to get back on track
Ya know that moment when you realize, “whoops, definitely just overate & did exactly what I told myself I wasn’t going to do”? It’s fine, we’ve all been there. But the absolute key to nipping that in the bud is doing something small to course correct and get back on track.
(For the record, I do not mean throw up).
I mean take some small action that indicates to yourself that you are moving on from your slip up. Because that’s all it is, a slip up. (Yup, even if your slip up lasted a day, 2 days, the entire damn weekend).
The second you’re like “oh shit, I’m so stuffed” should be followed immediately by a small action that will mark the beginning of you moving on.
Some ideas here are 5 pushups or 10 bodyweight squats, a walk around the block, drinking a glass of water, getting up and clearing your dishes, etc.
Wipe the slate clean
The point of the step above is to help you take a small action that will act as a psychological trigger that you have moved past the incident and will not dwell on it.
If you remember one thing from this post, let it be this: the sooner you wipe the slate clean and move on, the better off you’ll be.
Do not dwell on the fact that you overate, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Ya know what happens when you get all in your head about how miserably you “failed” or how you’ll “never” lose the weight? You get the Guilts and they snowball.
Enter the “f*#% it” mentality and you decide, “well if I’ve already messed up today, I might as well just keep doing and eat everything else I can get my hands on.”
THIS is what you want to avoid. Cut yourself some slack, recognize that this happens to the best of us from time to time and MOVE ON.
See what you can learn
Again, overeating happens, it’s no big deal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it as a learning experience to hopefully avoid a similar situation in the future.
Don’t beat yourself up about it but take a minute or two to reflect back on the day and the events leading up to it.
Did you skip breakfast in anticipation of all the treats you’d have access to at the BBQ but then were so ravenous by the time you got there that all good intentions went out the window?
Were you feeling out of place or uncomfortable and eating/drinking to try to ease the discomfort or fit in?
Was something just much yummier than you were expecting and you couldn’t help but to reach for seconds and thirds?
None of this is wrong or makes you a bad person. But it is data that you can learn from to get a different outcome in the future. Try having a lean protein & veggie breakfast to take the edge off, grab a glass of soda water the minute you walk in so that your hands are occupied, or work on matching the slowest eater at the table so that you don’t find yourself 3 plates deep before coming up for air.
Be kind to yourself
Just to reiterate, one more time, this is NO BIG DEAL. You are not a bad person and this is not going to ruin your progress. Put yourself in your best friend’s shoes and talk to yourself the way she would talk to you.
She would say, “so you ate more than you meant to. Big deal. Just wipe your mouth, dust off the crumbs, and forget about it.”
Don’t step on the scale
You know from this post about scale obsession, that I don’t think everyone should be weighing themselves, anyway, but especially after overeating or indulging in foods that you don’t normally eat.
Eating more carbs than we’re used to can cause us to retain water, which will appear to be weight gain on the scale. This is not true weight gain, just water, and will go back down to your normal weight in a couple of days.
But save yourself the ritual of getting on the scale the next morning. This will do nothing but make you think that you did irreparable damage, which will get your morning off on the wrong foot, which will make you that much more likely to eat poorly the following day.
So skip it. Don’t weigh yourself for at least 2-3 days afterward to give your body a chance to adjust back to the norm.
Get back to your regularly scheduled programming
This is a little redundant, I know, but I think it bears repeating: what happened happened and now it’s in the past. You can’t change it, so don’t dwell on it. Instead, get back to mindfully eating balanced meals made up of lean proteins, veggies, smart carbs, and healthy fats.
Need help with that part? Download your copy of the Body Transformation Guide!