What To Do After You Ate Too Much

While I was out running some errands today, I passed a woman who was coming out of Hooters and as I walked by she said out loud to herself and the man that was with her as she patted her stomach, “I ate too much. I am so full!”

This is such a common thing and I get asked about what to do when you’ve eaten too much so often, I figured I’d share my three step approach.

What To Do After You’ve Eaten Too Much

1. Do not beat yourself up over it.

So you ate too much… it’s not the end of the world. We’ve been taught that overeating is so terribly bad for our dream body goals and our health and we feel so guilty about it that we spend a great deal of time bullying ourselves about our eating habits.

It’s time to stop doing that. I realize that the incredible fullness can be an uncomfortable reminder as well. To diminish this discomfort, get outside and go for a walk. As you walk, take deep breaths from your lower belly. The oxygen helps the digestive process get moving along.

2. Use this as an opportunity to take notes for the next time.

At this point, you can’t do much about what’s already happened but you can take notes for the next time you eat.

Ask yourself some questions like:

  • Why did I eat too much?
  • Was I eating too fast?
  • Was I was eating to comfort myself? Where’s that coming from?
  • What can I do next time so that this doesn’t happen again?

If you can get to the root of the issue and work through what is causing you to eat too much (hint: if this happens often, it’s not just because the food is really really good), then you can solve your emotional eating for good.

3. Tap into the true power of your amazing body.

Did you know that your emotions affect your body’s ability to metabolize food? Well, they do. So when you feel guilty about what you’ve eaten, you are shutting off the switches within your body that allow your system to digest properly and assimilate the nutrients from the food you just ate.

Rather than saying, “I can’t believe I just ate that, I’m so full.”

Instead, say, “My body is breaking down the food that I just ate, nourishing my cells in the perfect way, and is releasing everything that I do not need easily and efficiently.”

This is an affirmation that allows you to get in sync with your body’s ability to function at optimal levels so that it truly can do what you are asking—break down the food, send what’s needed off to your cells, and release the rest.

Your body is an amazing machine. Let it do what it’s made to do.

Take ACTION. Leave a comment below and let me know which one of these steps was most helpful for you.

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17 Responses to What To Do After You Ate Too Much

  1. How To Stop Emotional Eating From Sabotaging Our Weight Loss Efforts (Guest Post by Sheila Viers, LiveWell360.com) « healthdemystified says:

    [...] eating habits are the culprit behind all of our problems… that it’s the emotional eating or the overeating that is bad or wrong [...]

  2. [...] habits are the culprit behind all of our problems… that it’s the emotional eating or the overeating that is bad or wrong [...]

  3. [...] worse, saying screw it and overeating everything in sight because they don’t know how to manage the fear any other [...]

  4. Dan says:

    What is an immediate thing you can do
    After over- eating. I usually get diahorrea so is there something I can do to avoid this altogether?

    • Sheila says:

      Hi Dan – The best things you can do after overeating are stretching and deep breathing. This brings more oxygen into your system and helps your digestive system work at full capacity.

  5. Samantha Whitmarsh says:

    Hi I ate a lot of chinese food because I wanted it really badly (I did do some research and come to find that I ate it because my body hurts from kickboxing and I was hungry XD) but what I was wondering to find out is, what do you do to resolve from eating too much? If I did kickboxing again tonight and tried burning calories, would it compensate for the amount I over ate today? Thank you c:

  6. Nina says:

    I’m so worried! I’m 16 years old and I weigh 6 stone… Probably even more after tonight though. I don’t normally overeat but I REALLY did tonight. Firstly, I ate for two at dinner, I ate a HUUUGE portion of couscous, a HUGE portion of chicken, and chickpeas… Then, to top it all off, I ate a creamy raspberry yogurt- I didn’t even want the yogurt, I just ate it because I was worried about the next day (I’ll explain what I mean by ‘the next day’ in a minute).

    Basically, tomorrow I have to travel very far ( many hours) to where some of my family live. The reason I was worried is because the food they are providing doesn’t sound like alot: just some bread and cheese for lunch and some fish and potatoes for tea. Sooo worried now because I won’t actually be exercising at all tomorrow (so I’d need to eat less anyway) and I’ll just basically be sat in a car all day. How am I gonna burn off all that disgusting binge food and stay on track with my so-called healthy lifestyle, when I can’t do any exercise and I have to eat the food being prepared i.e. I am going to be very restricted in my eating tomorrow.

    Please help! I feel awful, and knowing that it is all my fault just doubles the feeling of anger… Please, please help me!!! Major panic mode!

    • Sheila says:

      Hi Nina – Thank you so much for sharing what you’re feeling right now. When you are in this place where you feel like you have no options or control, I know how scary that can be. Did you read through the post above? I think if you try out some of my suggestions, you will find that you’ll get back into your place of power fairly quickly.

      I don’t know how tall you are, but at 84 pounds (6 stones) at 16 years old, it doesn’t seem that weight loss or maintenance would be the focus of our work together if we were working together 1-on-1. Take some deep breaths, know that your body is a powerful, amazing, miracle of a machine and just keep your full attention on nourishing it, both with food and also with loving thoughts and emotions.

      Our emotions are powerful, and they have a physiological effect on how well our body metabolizes food. And that being said, food is not the enemy. Food is your friend. It’s the unhealthy thoughts that lead to unhealthy behaviors that are what hurt us most.

      Even if you did overeat tonight, you are going to be okay. That used to be one of my biggest fears too – that if I overdid it one time, I would be “ruined.” Follow the steps that I lay out in the post above and let it go. You are going to be okay, and you will be okay once you arrive where you are traveling to. If you can bring some of your own food, do that so that you have some things to fall back on if what they provide isn’t adequate. I would need to learn more about the details of the situation in order to give you feedback beyond that.

      I hope these suggestions help and put your mind at ease. If you’d like to go deeper, I’d be happy to set up a time to talk with you about working together 1-on-1. I also have a VIP Newsletter, with tons of free information on topics like this. If you’re interested, you can sign up here.

      Sending you a big hug!

  7. Natalie says:

    Sheila, I’m 15 and weigh 114 pounds… I ate WAY too much today, I just allowed the cravings and impulses to take over me and i really don’t know, today alltogether I’ve probably consumed 2,500 – 3,000 calories!!! And probably over 50g of sugar because I’ve ate so much chocolate, I don’t know why I haven’t exercised for over a month and I just feel terrible. I feel like I never want to eat again (but obviously that’s not going to happen, I don’t have any self-control). I hate my life.

    • Sheila says:

      Hi Natalie – A great question to sit with might be, what’s the deeper trigger behind why am I eating? Many times we eat not because we’re hungry physically, but because we’re hungry emotionally. Food is easy to use as comfort because it’s always there, readily available. In what ways are you depriving yourself of the “food” of life? Me-time, a favorite hobby, something you’ve been daydreaming about doing that keeps getting put on the back burner? Seek out ways that you can fill yourself up that have nothing to do with food and the impulsive eating and food cravings diminish on their own, sans dieting and restriction.

      Check out this blog post as well, I think it will help.

      For more in-depth work related to this topic, check out my self-study program, ROCK Your Dream Body (http://rockyourdreambody.com).

  8. theresa says:

    Hi, thanks so much for posting this, because lately I’ve been struggling with it. I’m 16 and I’m really small for my age but I always get so mad at myself for eating too much, especially when it’s something so unhealthy. I try to eat a healthy diet but this week is not my week. Today I overate way too much but after reading your post I realized that sometimes my body needs 3 smaller pieces of pizza. haha. thanks again

  9. thea says:

    It works thanks for the advice =)

  10. Nicole says:

    Thankyou so much i loved it all it all worked thankyou so much love your advice

  11. Leah says:

    Hey Sheila,
    I’m the same as many others who have commented here, whenever I indulge a little I feel awful right after. For instance, today I knew I was going out to dinner so I ate a light breakfast and lunch but after healthy sized dinner portions and some desserts I feel terrible. I’m relatively small so I notice weight gain very easily, only a pound or two makes me feel like I’ve gained so much weight. How can you bounce back faster? Does drinking lots of water help to clear out and digest faster? Is there any benefit to trying to workout and makeup for the calories immediately? (Cause right now I feel like I should go workout or something even though it’s the middle of the night)
    Thank you so much!!!!

    • Sheila says:

      Hi Leah! The best things to do when you feel like this are to follow the steps listed in the article. It’ important to take a step back and realize that it’s not fat gain that you are feeling after eating too much, it’s your stomach just being really full. You may just have a tiny stomach and it’s getting stretched from the volume. In the days after feeling like you ate too much, drink lots of water, eat lots of greens and veggies – both help to flush out the system – and get in some movement/exercise. Your body is a powerful machine and it will right itself quickly if you give it a chance. Most of the damage is actually done by the mental side of the equation – beating ourselves up and then sending ourselves into a vicious cycle of trying to “right” ourselves through extreme diet and exercise.

      I’ll be going into more detail in the coming weeks about how to go from “diet living” to “real living” while getting the body of your dreams in the process in my newsletter. Make sure you’re signed up to get the scoop: http://sheilaviers.com/freegift

  12. Rachel says:

    Hi Sheila,
    Kind of like the others… I did a little overeating today and can’t get my mind off of it. I am an athlete and burn a lot of calories per day obviously but at the beginning of the season my coaches wanted me to lose weight. I lost a lot and am at a good place now. But I am so afraid of gaining back the weight or any bit of fat. I eat very healthy but tonight I was so bad. After dinner I ate so much chocolate I felt like I couldn’t stop. I never have felt this guilty or mentally messed up. PLease help.

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