Now that you downed 3 plate-full of high carb, high fat and high sugar dishes at a buffet, you feel completely full and happy you had a very satisfying meal. But moments later you realize the amount of calories you may have consumed and now panic takes over. Will this evening’s binge ruin your fitness efforts? Will you wake up tomorrow and realize you’ve gained 5 pounds?
Well, that’s highly unlikely. And any weight gain is temporary unless you plan eating at a buffer every week.
Depending on how much food and drinks you consumed, it may take up to 3 days to feel like your old self again after overeating. Fortunately, there are ways to help you get back on track fast.
First of all, don’t be hard on yourself.
Going to a buffet on rare occasions isn’t bad. I mean, who can say no to a buffet at the MGM when you’re in Las Vegas for a summer getaway?
Then take a long and leisurely walk. Perhaps a 45-minute slow walk will help stimulate digestion and bring your blood sugar to normal level.
After your big meal, drink a cup of water to get rid of any excess sodium (there’s going to be lots!) and also prevent you from becoming constipated. Continue to drink water every 1-2 hours throughout the day.
Make sure you don’t lie down and take a nap within 2 hours of your binge. Napping and lying down will slow down your body’s metabolism. Besides, when you lie down on a full stomach, you’re going to have to deal with acid reflux.
You should also stay away from carbonated drinks which can cause gas to fill up your digestive tract, causing even more bloating. You should also steer clear from beer as this drink contains lots of calories. If you need alcohol, stick to low-calorie options like whiskey, vodka, tequila and gin. White wine may be alright in small quantities.
After 3-4 hours from your big meal, it should be OK for you to work out. You can play sports like basketball, do some laps in the pool, light weights or even jog/run. Doing these things can help burn the calories you consumed and also give your metabolism an added boost.
Don’t overeat the next day.
If you’re in Vegas you might be tempted to try another one of its famed buffets but resist the urge to do so. If you’re staying in a hotel/resort with a free buffet breakfast, focus on healthier options and do not consume more than what you normally do.
Be mindful of what you eat.
Take small bites and chew slowly. That way, you’ll be able to notice any signals your brain sends indicating that you’ve eaten enough. It usually takes 20 minutes to realize you’re already full, hence the need to eat slowly.
Finally, in your next 2-3 meals, switch out fatty foods and breads for raw veggies, salads and whole grains. Your body needs time to digest all the unhealthy stuff you’ve consumed from the buffet first.
Here are some tips to help you practice mindful eating: