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5 Things: How to Digest Food After Overeating

How do you best digest food after overeating? Move past the inevitable diet slip-up and get back on track with these five guilt-free tips.

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How to Digest Food After Overeating: Relax

How do you best digest food after overeating? First, before you start feeling guilty over that helping of mashed potatoes or extra the slice of pumpkin pieand diving head first intop weight-loss programs, know that taking a too-strict approach after a binge will most certainly backfire. One of the biggest mistakes people make is beating themselves up and then trying to “undo the damage” too fast.

Here are five habits guilt-trippers get trapped in, and better ways to get on track after a binge.


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How to Digest Food After Overeating: Avoid Weighing Yourself

know that your weight can fluctuate a lot from day to day-two pounds from water weight alone is totally normal. So if you binged last night, especially on salty foods that can cause water retention, your scale will reflect it the next morning. Don’t subject yourself to unnecessary angst-steer clear of the scale and focus on having a healthy day instead. (If you wait 48 hours to hop on the scale, your temporary water weight may well disappear by then).


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Digesting Food After Binge Eating: Don’t Skip Breakfast

Digesting food after binge eating doesn’t mean skipping meals. Don’t blow off breakfast-if you do, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll have a bigger lunch or dinner than you want. Ample research shows that people who eat breakfast weigh less and eat healthier than people who skip it. If the thought of a big morning meal makes you queasy, have a little fruit and cottage cheese, a piece of toast with a light coating of peanut butter, or a small bowl of oatmeal and berries.


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Digesting Food After Binge Eating: Don’t Go Crazy at the Gym

Digesting food after binging requires restraint. If your usual workout routine is 20 minutes on the elliptical, don’t sign up for back-to-back Spinning, Zumba, and Ultimate Abs in an effort to torch off every last crumb. Jumping into a too-intense workout can raise your risk of getting injured. But don’t loaf around either: A brisk walk can help with digestion and soothe that bloated belly feeling.


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Digesting After Eating Too Much: Don’t Skimp on Sleep

Digesting after eating too much means you need to sleep right. A new Columbia University study just found that people are more likely to crave junky food, like pepperoni pizza, cake, and cheeseburgers, on four hours of sleep than they are on eight hours, possibly because your brain craves a quick energy boost from these foods to fire on all cylinders. Get a good night’s snooze the night of and after your pig-out day to avoid an encore performance.


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Post-Binge Digesting: You’ll Eat Again

One of the worst things after a day of less-than-ideal eating is to make any absolute food promises. Swearing off carbs or fried food or sweets may last for a few days or even a few weeks, but research shows that the best weight-loss plans allow for some indulgence in moderation. Don’t make any quick decisions or resolutions-the best thing you can do is just get back to your usual eating M.O. And when in doubt, overdo it on filling fresh fruits and veggies.


Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock