You already know that overeating isn’t healthy. But on special days like Thanksgiving, it’s hard to avoid. After all, it seems like overeating and Thanksgiving just go together, like mashed potatoes and gravy. Even with helpful tips, like eating earlier, using smaller plates, serving food buffet style and drinking plenty of water, overeating may feel unavoidable.
So, try as you might, you’ll likely give into having an extra hearty serving of turkey, accompanied by a hefty serving of dressing, mashed potatoes and all the other tempting side dishes. And who can turn down a slice (or two) of pie? Unfortunately, though, after enjoying all that deliciousness, you’ll be left with nothing more than a stuffed stomach.
Now, turning back the clock to relieve all that pressure and discomfort may be impossible, but that doesn’t mean you should just give into those feelings of fullness. We’re looking at you comfy couch. To get feeling better ASAP, Devin Vicknair, PhD, a Behavioral Health Specialist with GMC’s Center for Weight Management, recommends you avoid doing these 4 things.
1. Don’t lay down. When you feel extra full, it’s all about trying to get some much needed comfort. And while lying down may feel like the best option, this may only make you feel worse. When you lay down too quickly after eating, this can put additional pressure on the stomach and cause heartburn.
Instead of moving straight from the table to the couch, try going for a walk. This will stimulate digestion and help your body to metabolize food faster.
2. Don’t avoid drinking. Water that is. Eating or drinking may be the last thing you feel like doing when your stomach has reached maximum capacity, but it can help the digestive process. Not only does drinking water before and during a meal help with digestion, it may also contribute to satiety and reduce over eating.
This doesn’t mean you need to chug a ton of water, but a glass or two can help you to break down food faster. Also, if you like tea, a warm cup of ginger or peppermint tea can do a world of good for that upset stomach.
3. Don’t wear tight clothing. Who doesn’t want to look great for a festive holiday meal surrounded by friends and family? While that outfit choice may have seemed like a good idea before chowing down, it may actually be interfering with the digestive process. If you’re uncomfortable, your digestive tract will be, too.
Focus on helping your body (and digestive tract) feel comfortable and relaxed—yoga pants anyone? When relaxed, your body will have an easier time releasing trapped gas and processing food.
4. Don’t skip meals. After a day of overeating, you may feel like counting calories wherever and whenever you can, will help to make up for lost time. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Now this doesn’t mean you should be reaching for extra sweets or the starchiest leftovers, but enjoying something healthy and nutritious can be satisfying and restorative.
Make sure to start the next day off the right way. This means eating something nourishing for breakfast to kick-start your metabolism and to set a healthy tone for the day. Plus, people that “bank” calories to use toward the end of the day are more likely to consume more calories and eat faster than people who eat regularly.
While these tips may help with damage control after overeating, what can you do to prevent overeating in the first place? Everything from eating mindfully and getting ample sleep to keeping a food diary and exercising can help.
But if the holiday season has come and gone, and your overeating hasn’t, it may be time to work with a specialist. With a clinically proven medical weight loss program, comprehensive surgical weight loss options and an individualized aftercare program, GMC’s Center for Weight Management can help you establish and maintain a healthy weight loss journey.