4 Tips for Damage Control After Eating Too Much

So you’ve just had a huge, delicious meal, but now you’re paying the price for overeating. Eating too much can make your body feel bloated and lethargic. You may even experience abdominal pain and cramps. Whatever symptoms accompany feeling full, 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. When all your favorite foods are in front of you, the temptation can be too great, especially during food-focused holidays like Thanksgiving. So, how do you keep your eyes from getting bigger than your stomach while indulging in a decadent, delicious meal?

If you find yourself overeating and feel too full after eating more often than not, you’re not alone. To find out the best ways to approach harm reduction after overeating in a healthy way, we consulted a number of dietitians to get their insight. So here are some dietitian-recommended tips to help you work through your post-dinner slump after overeating—and for more dietitian-approved advice on healthy eating habits, also be sure to read 5 Best Eating Habits to Boost Your Metabolism, Say Dietitians.

Make sure you hydrate

Eating higher-sodium foods “may contribute to feeling ‘puffy’ or bloated the next day,” according to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LDwho is the author of The sports nutrition book and 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.

In addition to drinking plenty of water, you can also try to boost your hydration by adding something extra to your drink.

“One thing you can do is hydrate throughout the day with water infusions like this Apple Cider Vinegar Lemon “Detox” Drink or this Cranberry Orange Ginger “Detox” Water,” says Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFTand Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as The Nutrition Twins. “The fluid will help restore normal hydration status as it flushes out the excess sodium, sugar and water left in it, relieving bloating and heaviness.”

RELATED: The Best Electrolyte Drinks and Powders to Keep You Hydrated All Day Long

Take a walk after your big meal


One of the best things you can do for yourself to provide more immediate relief after overeating and feeling too full is to take a walk after your meal.

“The walk will help clear your mind. And when you sweat, you can excrete some chemicals and small amounts of salt, while also increasing blood flow to the brain,” says the 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 consumed.”

If you don’t feel like walking, Goodson has some alternative suggestions for moving your body after a heavy meal.

“You can start a friendly backyard soccer game with the family,” suggests Goodson. “Or if that doesn’t work, hit the gym the next morning or park in the back of all parking lots when you go grocery shopping.”

Get back on track with some veggies

According to the Nutrition Twins, eating some antioxidant-rich, fiber-rich veggies at your next meal can help your body feel better again.

“Fiber from the veggies helps push waste and toxins out of the colon, keeping you regular so you can bounce back quickly and feel lighter,” the Nutrition Twins claim. “And the antioxidants in the green vegetables counteract the damage caused by overindulging in inflammatory sugary, fatty, and highly processed foods.”

Start the next morning with a balanced breakfast

high protein breakfast egg avocado toast

One of the things you can do the day after you overeat is to make sure you start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast.

“Start the day after overeating with a protein- and fiber-rich breakfast to get your blood sugar in the right direction,” says Goodson. “Eggs 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.”

Samantha Bosch

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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