10 Steps to Recover from an Overeating Incident

party is over man passed out on sofa

Everyone slips up from time to time. We all get cravings. We all have off days. Slipping up once in a while isn’t a big deal. Here is how to quickly bounce back from an overeating incident…

  1. Realize that it’s not the end of the world.
    Check some news headlines. They’ll give you some perspective. They’ll help you get out of your head.
  2. Forgive yourself.
    Beating yourself up about it will make it worse. You’ll feel guilt and shame which might lead to more overeating. Accept what happened and move on.
  3. Re-frame the incident.
    You’ll probably think “I have no self-control”, “I’m weak”, “I’ll never lose those last few pounds”. Instead you should think “Everyone slips up once in a while”, “I’m only human”, “Minor setbacks are part of achieving any goal”
  4. Drink a lot of water.
    This will help your body flush itself out and minimize bloating. It will help your body digest the excess food you consumed.
  5. Do not fast or starve yourself.
    You might be tempted to do an extended fast to make up for the extra food you consumed. This is a bad idea. It’ll leave you feeling hungry which could lead to more overeating.
  6. Plan your next healthy meal.
    Try to stick to “clean” whole foods. Avoid foods high in sugar or refined carbohydrates. Planning your next healthy meal will help you quickly get back on track.
  7. Plan your next workout.
    You don’t have to exercise right after your overeating incident. But you should plan and schedule your next workout. It’ll help you quickly get back to your regular fitness routine.
  8. Talk to a friend.
    Call them on the phone or go see them. Talk openly with your friend. Tell them about everything that’s going on in your life. Get all your emotions out. This is therapeutic and will leave you feeling a lot better.
  9. Don’t weigh yourself for a few days.
    If you step on the scale the day after you overate it’ll look like you gained a lot of weight. This is due to the excess food and water retention (caused by eating salty foods or high-carb foods). If you must check your weight, then wait 3-4 days before stepping on the scale.
  10. Analyze and learn from the overeating incident.
    Here are some questions to consider…
    – Did anything happen earlier that day or that week that lead to overeating? Here is a list of negative emotions to help you brainstorm some ideas.
    – What happened during the overeating incident? What did you eat?
    – How did you feel after the overeating incident?
    – What have you learned from the experience? What changes can you make to prevent future overeating incidents?

Overeating once in a while isn’t a big deal. But if you regularly overeat then you might have an eating disorder. You should consider seeing a therapist or attending an overeating support group meeting. Also consider these habits to support your recovery.