Ok, you did it. You overate last night at your friend’s holiday party. And now you’re paying for it both emotionally and physically.
Don’t worry, most people have done it, too. So how do you recover the next day from a food hangover?
1. Don’t psych yourself out
I know you’ve been working hard and eating well. This moment might seem like a huge failure or relapse for you. But, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t a huge set back. So remember, you’re human, you’re not alone, and no you did not gain 5lbs.
2. Take a shower
What? For me atleast, taking a shower symbolizes starting over and feeling refreshed. It can help you start the day off right and get into a good frame of mind.
3. Listen to your body
I mean really listen. Don’t assume you know what’s good for it. Your body might need some fluids, so drink a lot and imagine the liquid washing out your body. If you feel antsy or restless, you might need to get up and get moving. Whether it’s a workout, just a walk around the block, or cleaning the house, do something to feed your body’s energy.
Just because you ate a lot of food last night, doesn’t mean today you need to skip eating. Food doesn’t work as an all-or-nothing kind of thing. You eat because you need to do so in order to survive and function properly. If you don’t eat, you’re increasing your chances of overeating again, or damaging your body for days, or even weeks, to come.
5. Eat light
Since we’ve established you need to eat, there’s a way you can do it without reliving the bad stomach pains of the previous night. Eat foods that are rich in fiber and easy to digest (think a lot of veggies and probiotics like yogurt). Avoid salty or flavorful food. Also include simple proteins like eggs, tuna or chicken. Eat when you start to get hungry. It may not be at breakfast time, and that’s fine. But if you haven’t eaten and it’s approaching late morning-afternoon, eat something. Even if it’s small.
Like I previously said, listen to your body. Try your best to not slug around all day feeling sorry. Move around. Run errands or walk the dog. If you feel up to it, go to the gym! Don’t obsess over cardio, but instead do something low-impact, maybe weight lifting, or even stretching. A class like yoga or pilates could do wonders too.
7. Don’t set expectations
Don’t make a plan to lose 1lb, or 5lbs, this week. You’re not defined by a number, just like you’re not defined by the food you eat. Weight fluctuates several pounds a day for various reasons. Don’t make promises to yourself that you’ll never overeat again. Continue life as is, and you’ll save yourself from any disappointment down the line.
8. Do set goals
With all that was said in No. 6, don’t set expectations, but do set goals. Realistic ones at that.
Bad: I will never overeat again. That was ridiculous and disgusting and I am so mad at myself.
Good: Next time I’m at a party, I will remember how I felt when I overate that one time. I will sample one of every dish, and then go back for seconds of my top three favorites. I should feel satisfied and happy at the end of the night if I follow this strategy.
9. Do something small for yourself
Notice how I said small? Try not to take your emotion out on superfluous things like shopping. Instead, treat yourself to something small and within reason. Give yourself a manicure, rent a movie you’ve been wanting to watch, walk down to your favorite café and get a drink.
10. Get off the Internet
Ok, read this post and THEN get off the Internet. Seriously, you’re in a vulnerable state and Internet ‘disorders’ like FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) can peak during times like this. At least take a few hours off from Pinteresting, googling, Facebooking, Twittering and Instagramming — especially if you find yourself searching for topics like ‘I overate what do I do,’ ’10-minute abs,’ ‘Victoria’s Secret model workout, ‘can I gain 5lbs in one day?’ You’re not helping yourself.
Remember, this too shall pass. Within a couple of days you’ll probably feel back to normal. Keep doing great things because you are a great person.
More ways to move past your food hangover
Read the Dashing Dish’s tips on bouncing back after overeating
Can You Stay for Dinner’s advice on emotional eating
I want to hear from you!
How do you recover from a day or night of overeating?