Help! I ate too much! Moving on after a food fest

Rachael Attard Lean Legs Program – Friday Week 5

So last night I ate lots and lots of food!! I ate way too much food. So much food.

No junk, but just a huge dinner followed by dried fruit, probably a jar of peanut butter (!), nuts, cheese and crackers. And do you know what? I really enjoyed it.

And the most amazing thing for me, when I woke up this morning I did not feel guilty! I did not beat myself up about ‘ruining my diet!’ I was calm and philosophical. Yay!!

Let’s talk about what happens when you over eat and what you can do to feel better (physically and mentally).

In the moment of eating

What triggers us to overeat? Are we truly hungry or is there some emotional reason we are pulled towards food.

For me, I just really felt like eating, and everything tasted so good! Did my body actually need more calories? Maybe I hadn’t been eating enough.

Or was I just seeking the immediate positive response that food brings (with little to no self-control!), rather than the long term positive effects of maintaining portion size?

A study by James Merritt Shulman, “Behavioral control of overeating” (1971) suggests there are many variables that impact the ‘complex repertoire of performance’ which is self-control, and that it takes time to develop in small steps.

His study involved subjects taking smaller mouthfuls, eating without distraction, and eating slowly, which had positive results in ‘habit-forming behaviors’.

Worth trying out some of these tips when you’re feeling the pull to keep eating and overeat.

I’m so full! What to do if you overeat

So at some point, maybe within a few minutes or a few hours depending on how many jars of peanut butter you ate, or how many slices of pizza, you’re going to feel it in your belly!! So what to do.

Number one, it sounds obvious, but… don’t eat anymore. Haha. It might sound obvious, but even if you are very full, you may still crave a different flavour – if you ate a lot of salty food, you may crave something sweet, or vice versa. But moving away from the food is a good idea.

Other than that… I don’t really have many suggestions other than find somewhere comfortable to lie down, sip some water and wait it out. Maybe a gentle stroll if you feel like it. Try reading a book, some creative writing or sketching. Do not beat yourself up!!! Wallowing in ‘I ruined my diet today’ is not a good idea and will not help in anyway.

Taking stock… the next day

As mentioned above there are things to try out to help build long-term habits and make sure overeating is not a regular occurrence.

*Update: Check out my five thoughts to redirect you from snacking!

Maybe some reflection and dissection of why you ate too much, what triggered you to overeat, how to avoid it next time may be beneficial… but for me, and perhaps you, just moving right along is sometimes the best move. I just imagined all those calories refueling my muscles, I said some kind words to myself about the progress I’ve made and then moved on.

Raking over the event can cause unnecessary stress, and there are more worthwhile things to spend your thoughts on and better directions to channel your energy!

No guilt

I was so amazed about how I did not feel guilty after my food fest and I did spend a moment reflecting on what a big breakthrough this was.

I observed how calm and happy I was feeling and embraced this. We have a choice in how we respond, no one can make us feel guilty or bad except ourselves, and I chose not to. I didn’t tie it to my self worth or criticize myself in anyway; I just moved right along – grateful to be here and grateful to feel good. Yes – that’s a win!

How do you feel after you over eat? Can you keep your mind positive and light or do you immediately weigh it down with negativity and guilt?

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7 thoughts on “Help! I ate too much! Moving on after a food fest”

  1. Thank you for sharing this Marnie! After overeating, I always beat myself up and loathe myself. I am so glad I came across this blog. Will surely try your tips! xx

  2. A very timely article for Thanksgiving! I actually just overate a few minutes ago. Usually what I do afterwards in the day is do a good workout or at least go out for a walk. Then the next day I refrain from eating in the morning and restart a meal with lunch or dinner. It seems to work for me! Thanks for the suggestions!

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