If there is a season where overindulgence tends to creep in, it's definitely fall. Maybe it’s a combination of the holidays, the cold weather and the shorter days which makes delicious food seem a whole lot more appealing. Regardless of the reason behind why you ate that third piece of cake or second plate of dinner when you were already full, overeating is more common than you would think. Still, treating our bodies as the temples that they are remains our goal, so it's helpful to recognize these days (or weekends) and get back on track as soon as we can.
Here are few tips to ensure you are feeling healthy and re-energized in no time at all.
1. Watch where your mind goes.
Overindulging with too much food is really not the end of the world. We’re all human and sometimes we like to let go of our healthy habits and treat ourselves. Eating too much over a short period is not going to cause any health issues or instant weight gain. What will make things feel a whole lot worse is the way you frame the experience in your mind. So avoid the all or nothing mentality with thoughts like “I’ve blown my weight loss goals so I may as well go all out” or “the only way to make this right is by starting a juice cleanse tomorrow”. These thoughts will merely land you back where you started so it is better to accept the overindulgence, let it go and move forward with some nourishing self-care and positive self-affirmation. Forgive yourself!
Waking up with a food hangover can be unpleasant. Starting the day with hot water and lemon will soothe your digestive system, boost your immune system, stimulate elimination and balance your PH. Your energy may be low from excess sugar, alcohol or food in general. Drinking coffee could seem like an easy solution, however, it is best to stick to water as the caffeine will contribute more to dehydration. This way you will flush out your system and detoxify at a much faster rate.
3. Move your body.
Unless the thought of going for a 10km run the day after overindulging genuinely excites you, do not put that kind of pressure on yourself! Think small, achievable actions like a brisk morning walk, a bit of yoga or dancing to your favorite song. Exercise is one of the best ways to feel better almost instantly. Just ten minutes can serve as a reset and build momentum in the right direction. Often ten minutes naturally turns into thirty and potentially even a breaking a sweat, due to that instant mood boost it provides.
4. Get curious about why it happened.
Although overeating can stem from a simple love of all things food, in other cases it can be triggered by emotional situations. Treat this as a learning opportunity. Asking yourself questions like ‘Why did I overeat?’, or ‘What needs do I have that are not being met’ could be a very valuable process. Are you compensating for a lack of fulfillment with too much food? Is it food you are craving or is it comfort and stress relief? Check in with yourself and consider if there was a deeper reason behind the over-indulgence and bring awareness to what support you need to give yourself in each moment.
5. Lean on your old friends..fruits and vegetables.
Although you may feel tempted to restrict yourself by skipping breakfast or ‘detoxing’ in some way or another, it is best just to get back into a simple and healthy eating routine.
Whether you indulged in junk or simply too much healthy food, incorporating as vegetables and a bit of fruit back into your meals the next day will help your digestive system significantly. Instead of buying something quick, easy and full of preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce, use whole foods to make a soothing soup or salad. Eating simple and nourishing foods will give your digestive system a break. Soups and smoothies are both great ways of consuming a diverse range of nutrients and giving your digestive system some time to detoxify and reboot.
6. Relax in a sauna or steam room.
Sweating it out in a sauna, and potentially alternating with a cold shower is another excellent way of detoxifying, relaxing and shifting into a new mental state. Just make sure to increase your water intake to eliminate the risk of further dehydration.
7. Focus on what you can include.
Rather than focusing on all the foods you never want to overeat, shift your perspective to what you want to add. Buy a vegetable or spice you haven’t cooked with before and get creative with new recipes. When it comes to long-term health and happiness it’s all about balance, moderation and finding joy in the act of nourishing ourselves with food.