What to do after overeating?

After overeating it is not necessary to fast or undergo a detox plan. It is enough to move, hydrate and take care of the diet of the following days to avoid that this takes a toll on your health.

Written and verified by the nutritionist Anna Vilarrasa on November 03, 2021.

Last update: 03 November, 2021

Who else who less has come to overeat more than once either at special parties, in a restaurant or at informal meals. Or perhaps, being on a diet, many have eaten a more abundant meal than planned.

In general it is not a concern if it only happens on rare occasions. The problem is that large meals are often accompanied by poor digestion, bloating, and even drowsiness or discomfort.

For it, there are some little tricks and some dietary guidelines for the days after that allow to improve this situation and move forward without the excess taking its toll.

What to do after overeating?

After an excess of food, it is best to opt for fresh and light dishes.

When the intake has not been controlled and has already eaten more, it is preferable to adopt a series of guidelines for the following days. These are very helpful, although they are not an excuse for overeating often.

Avoid extremes

This is the most important thing and what must be prevented at all costs. Therefore, After a very large meal, fasting or starving are not adequate to compensate.

A punctual binge ends up normalizing in the following days and more if the tips discussed below are put into practice. Instead, trying to compensate with hunger or food shortages runs the risk of entering a vicious cycle of food / compensation continued.

Drink plenty of fluids

After eating extensively, you need to drink water throughout the day. There is no need to fear to increase the feeling of filling, because in reality it helps the digestive process and facilitates intestinal transit.

For this, the best liquid is water and it is necessary to drink little by little. Carbonated drinks or soft drinks are not suitable, as the gas can further inflate the entire digestive system.



Plan the feeding of the following days

Lighter, easily digestible meals are best on the days after overeating. All those foods that provide water, fiber and lean proteins are the most favorable.

To avoid disorganization and eat something quick and improvised, it is good to think about menus where soups, vegetable creams, salads, meat, fish, whole grains, fruit or yogurts abound.

Get regular exercise

Being active during the day and doing something more intense is a good practice for everyone. In this specific case, it allows you to burn more calories and compensate for excess food with energy expenditure.

Some proposals go further and suggest that regular physical activity improves the sensitivity of the appetite control system. In comparative studies, it is observed that active individuals decrease their energy intake in meals at will compared to non-active individuals, although other factors may influence and more research is necessary.

Beware of the remains

When you are the one who organizes and celebrates the meal in your own home it is preferable to avoid the accumulation of leftovers and remains. Having them on hand makes people more vulnerable or likely to consume them in the following days.

So, if there are remains of cake, cakes, very caloric dishes or meals with sauce, it is better to give them away and distribute them. The rest can be divided into individual servings and frozen for later consumption.

Value the moment lived

Eating too much on a specific day is not the end of the world, much less when this meal is part of a family gathering, with friends or a special celebration. It is necessary to know how to appreciate these occasions and not to let what has been eaten remain the focus of attention.

How to help digestion after overeating

After eating a large quantity at a specific moment, it is common for digestive problems to appear. Food stays in the stomach longer and can push into the diaphragm. In turn, this situation causes reflux, heartburn and other uncomfortable sensations.

To alleviate them, there are small remedies that allow you to overcome these sequelae and put a solution in a relatively short time.

  • Take infusions of digestive plants such as chamomile, mint, linden or lemon balm.
  • Add green anise or fennel seeds if you also suffer from gas and bloating. It should be remembered that pregnant and lactating women and people who take medication should consult with their doctor before taking any plant.
  • Take a little walk in a gentle way Without forcing the gait too much, it favors digestion and intestinal transit. However, it is not yet time to do intense activity as it could have the opposite effect on the digestive system.
  • Avoid lying down or sitting on the bed or sofa although large meals can cause some drowsiness and heaviness. On the one hand, it is necessary to avoid annoying symptoms such as reflux and heartburn, but it is also a way to stay on your feet, active and digest and burn what you have eaten.

The best remedy: avoid very large meals

If you have been the host of the meal, avoid continuing to eat the leftovers the days after the celebration.

Sometimes high food intakes happen without being able to avoid it. This can come on unexpected occasions or on days when you end up eating more than normal. However, other times they can be foreseen, for example, on birthdays or Christmas.



In the latter, you can avoid discomfort and digestive problems if you control a little what you eat and stop when you feel full and well-being.

On a day-to-day basis, eating slowly and dedicating a specific time to eat (without other distractions such as the television or computer) help to become aware of what you are eating and to be able to detect the right moment to stop.

Now, if it is not possible to avoid a strong intake, after overeating there is no use feeling guilty, as this only makes the situation worse. An exaggerated meal from time to time does not ruin health and neither does a weight loss diet. The best recommendation is to eat a varied diet, adapted to personal needs and avoid any type of food restriction or prohibition.

As the authors Polivy and Herman point out, people who make dietary restrictions in their day-to-day eat excessive meals more often. Also, they eat more high-calorie foods when they have them on hand.

Overeating is not a problem if it occurs occasionally

A one-off food filling can happen to everyone and at any time for a variety of reasons. This does not have to be harmful to health and the inconveniences that it entails are solved with small remedies and dietary guidelines.

However, It is essential to be clear that sometimes overeating is not a sporadic practice, but rather an eating disorder. In these cases, it is essential to seek professional help.

In addition, it must be taken into account that all these tips are valid when this happens occasionally. Binges and large meals are unhealthy if eaten often, and the binge-and-compensation cycle can lead to eating problems in the long run.

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