So you’ve just finished a hearty and delicious meal, but now you have to pay the price for overeating. When you eat too much, your body may start to feel bloated and sluggish. You may even start feeling abdominal pain and cramping. Whatever symptoms accompany feeling stuffed, this physical discomfort can ruin the rest of your day.
While the best way to deal with overeating would be to avoid it by always eating in moderation, that’s honestly sometimes easier said than done. When all your favorite foods are in front of you, the temptation can prove too great, especially on food-focused holidays like Thanksgiving. So how do you keep your eyes from getting bigger than your belly while indulging in a decadent and delicious meal?
If you find yourself overeating and most often feeling too full after swallowing, you’re not alone. In order to discover the best healthy ways to approach damage control after overeating, we consulted a few dietitians for their input. So here are some dietitian-recommended tips to help you manage your post-meal slump from overeating – and for more dietitian-approved tips on healthy eating habits, be sure to also read 5 Best Eating Habits For You help boost your metabolism, say dietitians.
Make sure you hydrate
Eating foods high in sodium “can contribute to feeling ‘bloated’ or bloated the next day,” according to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LDwho is the author of The Sports Nutrition Handbook and a member of our expert medical board. That’s why Goodson stresses the importance of making sure you stay hydrated before and after a big meal.
Along with drinking plenty of water, you can also try boosting your hydration by adding a little something extra to your drink.
“One thing you can do is stay hydrated throughout the day with water infusions, like this lemon apple cider vinegar ‘Detox’ drink or this cranberry ‘Detox’ water, orange and ginger”, explains Tammy Lakatos Shame, RDN, CDN, CFTand Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as Nutrition Twins. “The fluid will help restore normal hydration status by flushing out excess sodium, sugar, and water retained with them, thereby alleviating bloating and heaviness.”
Go for a walk after your big meal
One of the best things you can do to get more immediate relief from overeating and feeling too full is to take a walk after your meal.
“Walking will help clear your mind. And if you sweat, you can secrete chemicals and small amounts of salt while increasing blood flow to the brain,” the Nutrition Twins explain. “You’ll also burn a few extra calories while you’re at it, which will help offset some of the extra calories you may have consumed.”
If you’re not in the mood for a walk, Goodson has some alternative suggestions for moving your body after a heavy meal.
“You can start a friendly game of football in the backyard with your family,” suggests Goodson. “Or if that doesn’t work, maybe go to the gym the next morning or park in the back of every parking lot when you go out for errands.”
Hit the Road with Vegetables
According to the Nutrition Twins, eating green vegetables rich in antioxidants and fiber with your next meal can help your body feel better.
“The fiber in greens helps flush waste and toxins out of the colon, helping you stay regular so you can quickly bounce back and feel lighter,” say the Nutrition Twins. “And the antioxidants in green vegetables offset some of the damage caused by excessive consumption of inflammatory sugary, fatty, and highly processed foods.”
Start the next morning with a balanced breakfast
One of the things you can do the day after overeating is to start the day off right with a healthy, balanced breakfast.
“The day after you binge eat, start with a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast to nudge your blood sugar levels in the right direction,” says Goodson. “Eggs and oats or whole grain toast with peanut butter and a side of Greek yogurt are great options. It will help you feel better throughout the day.”
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Learn more about Samantha
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