So you’ve just finished a huge, delicious meal – but now you’re paying the price for overeating. When you eat too much, your body can feel bloated and lethargic. You may even begin to experience abdominal pain and cramps. No matter what the symptoms associated with bloating, this physical discomfort can put a damper on the rest of your day.
While the best way to deal with overeating is to avoid it by always eating in moderation, honestly, sometimes this is easier said than done. With all of your favorite foods laid out in front of you, the temptation might prove too great — especially on food-centric holidays like Thanksgiving. So how do you avoid your eyes getting bigger than your stomach while indulging in a decadent, delicious meal?
If you find yourself eating too much and often feeling full after eating, you are not alone. To find out the best healthy way to tackle damage control from overeating, we consulted a number of nutritionists to get their insights. Here are some nutritionist-approved tips to help you process your after-meal slump after overeating — and for more nutritionist-approved advice on healthy eating habits, be sure to also read The 5 Best Eating Habits to Boost Your Metabolism boost nutritionist.
Make sure you hydrate
Eating foods higher in sodium “can help make you feel ‘bloated’ or bloated the next day,” it says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LDthe author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our Expert Medical Board. For this reason, Goodson emphasizes the importance of staying hydrated before and after a large meal.
As well as drinking plenty of water, you can try to increase your hydration by adding something special to your drink.
“One thing you can do is hydrate with water infusions throughout the day, like this apple cider vinegar lemon “detox” drink or this cranberry orange ginger “detox” water,” she says Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFTand Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as The Nutrition Twins. “The liquid helps restore normal hydration status as it flushes out the excess sodium, sugar and water retained in them, relieving gas and heaviness.”
Go for a walk after the big meal
One of the best things you can do for yourself to get instant relief from overeating and feeling overly full is to take a post-meal walk.
“The walk will help clear your head. And when you break a sweat, you can shed some chemicals and small amounts of salt while also increasing blood flow to the brain,” says Nutrition Twins. “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 eaten.”
If you don’t feel like going for a walk, Goodson has some alternative suggestions for getting your body moving after a heavy meal.
“You can start a friendly game of football with the family in the backyard,” Goodson suggests. “Or if that doesn’t work, maybe go to the gym the next morning or park behind all parking lots when you’re running errands.”
Get back on track with some veggies
According to Nutrition Twins, including antioxidant-rich, fiber-rich vegetables in your next meal can help make your body feel better again.
“Fiber from the greens helps push waste and toxins out of the colon and helps keep you regular so you can bounce back quickly and feel lighter,” claim the Nutrition Twins. “And the antioxidants in green vegetables counteract some of the damage that comes from overindulging in 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 you’ve overeat a little is make sure you start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast.
“The day after overeating, start with a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast to get your blood sugar in the right direction,” says Goodson. “Egg and oatmeal or whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a side of Greek yogurt are great options. This will help you feel better throughout the day.”
Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Samantha is now a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha