How to Bounce Back After a Day of Overeating

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

You headed into your holiday festivities with the best of intentions. You really did. But one little indulgence quickly became two, and before you knew it, those sneaky little slip-ups spiraled into full-blown diet derailment.

It happens to the best of us.

Actually, according to a study published in the journal Obesity Facts in 2014, it happens to the majority of us. In this study, researchers determined that almost everyone gains weight on the holidays and loses weight during the weekdays. Most participants weighed the most on Sundays, and the least on Fridays. This weight pattern was consistent across both lean and the heavy subjects. And yet some subjects managed to lose weight while others experienced more permanent extra poundage.

As it turns out, the primary difference between those who were able to lose weight and those who were left with more permanent extra poundage was how the subjects compensated for their wayward weekend activities. Those who were able to lose weight demonstrated stronger compensation patterns―their weight decrease started immediately post-weekend, and continued until Friday. Those who gained weight, on the other hand, had more variability between days and no clear decrease during weekdays. These findings suggest that by being extra mindful during the week, you can recover from a weekend of overeating and still lose weight.

Here are three simple tips to for getting back on the trim-down track after a reckless weekend diet.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the last thing you should do after overeating is starve yourself. Not only can swearing off food entirely slow your metabolism, it can also lead to extreme hunger―a recipe for further diet destruction. Instead of skipping meals, reach for healthy choices. If your indulgences involved sugary sweets, you may continue to experience sugar cravings. To quell the need for sweet, opt for an apple, orange or other fruit. Choose meals that are high in protein and fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar stable and keep you feeling full.

Drink up
Filling up on fluids after a weekend of indulging is beneficial for a number of reasons. If the foods you enjoyed over the weekend were high in sodium, odds are you’re retaining excess fluid, which can contribute to uncomfortable bloating as well as a high number on the scale. Drinking water will help combat that effect by flushing out the excess fluid. Plus, it will help keep you feeling fuller and aid in moving food waste through the body faster.

Move it
There’s nothing like a good sweat session to torch extra calories, get rid of excess fluid, aid in digestion, burn calories, and just generally make you feel better. Just don’t push yourself so hard trying to compensate for a few days of bad eating that you end up so sore you can’t work in a workout the following day or worse: you injure yourself. Remember that you don’t have to compensate for a whole weekend’s worth of bad eating in one day. It’s more important that you are consistent in your compensation efforts.