It’s rare that we who struggle with our weight don’t have days when we eat too much … way too much! So, when that happens what should we do?
First let’s talk about what “too much” is. It can be different from person to person. For a simple explanation of what too much is that can be applied to anybody, too much is when you feel bloaty, stuffed, and just plain yech.
When you start to feel that way varies. It can be after a big meal, or at the end of the day, or when you’re putting another handful of little chocolate eggs into your mouth and you realize you just ate a huge meal full and now your conservative estimate of chocolate eggs consumed is somewhere between 50 and 75.
If you’re starting a weight loss effort, in the middle or successfully at goal, there is panic when you realized you’ve eaten too much. The first thought is, “I must undo this before it causes damage!” When it dawns on you that it’s too late to undo what’s been done (and trying to get rid of what you’ve eaten after the fact is a really bad idea) then thoughts go to “what will I need to do to correct this indiscriminate pigout?”
Trying to make it right with a lot of exercise and too little food over the course of the next few days is a mistake too. It often leads to a pattern of overeating and undereating which is both unhealthy and counterproductive. In addition, the idea of engaging in a lot of physical activity to quickly burn all those excess calories before they get stored as body fat isn’t a good idea because of the high risk of injury.
Instead of trying to undo eating too much, make a plan to learn from the incident and move forward.
Why did it happen?
- Was it a matter of simply a holiday or occasion that doesn’t happen often? Did you just go along with the the crowd? Were you surrounded by people eating all the special foods of the day and having a good time? Yes!
Okay, so if it’s a special occasion that happens only a few times a year, then there is no worries and no reason to worry about its overall effect on your weight and/or health. Just get up the next day and go back to your normal weight management eating and exercising plan.
- Are you noticing that eating too much is becoming a normal event that happens at least once a week and maybe even more frequently? Yes? Maybe?
All right, then that’s saying that there is more going on than a special event. Perhaps your plan is too restrictive and rigid and you’re getting into a pattern of black and white behavior. It’s either perfection of an all-out episode of gross overeating. If that’s the case, you may need to adjust your program. Work in more treats, make sure you’re eating enough to be satisfied, and finding non food ways to deal with stress and emotions.
The best thing to do when you eat too much no matter why, the best thing to do is move on. Don’t step on the scale! Wait a few days.
Dwelling on it and using negative self talk on yourself won’t help. Make it easy for yourself to get back on track with by giving yourself some simple steps to take to get back on track starting with the very next meal!