Overeating is very easy to do. We often meet over food with friends and family. This can be a special occasion, like a holiday or a birthday, or just a random get together. Either way, the food is usually delicious and since you are enjoying yourself, you eat. And eat. And eat. The next thing you know, your calorie goal is out the window and you feel stuffed and gross. You might also feel guilty and ashamed. How do you recover from an evening (or day or two!) of overeating? The key is to pick yourself up and move on as quickly as possible.
If you dwell on what you ate or the higher number on the scale, you are setting yourself up for failure. Beating yourself up about a high-calorie splurge can make you not want to work out and continue eating badly. Two bad days of eating can turn into a week. One week turns into two. Two weeks turns into months. And the next thing you know you have gained 30 pounds. All from one day of overindulgence!
When I was on my weight loss journey, I had a psychological response to overeating. I felt shame every time I ate too much. I was worried I would get fat again. I also felt fear, anger, and anxiety. I did not know how to handle my feelings and it led to a vicious cycle of overeating and not exercising. I gained back 50 pounds three different times because of this cycle! So, I understand how you feel when you overeat. And I hope you can learn from my mistakes.
Here is what you need to do: forget about it. Have a short-term memory whenever you binge, overindulge or just mess up. Yes, you probably ate more than you wanted. But let it go. Make today Day 1. Forget about what you ate, what you drank, and how bad you feel because of it. Just move forward. Today is a new day. You cannot change the past. But you can absolutely change the present! And do not wait until Monday or the first of the month. Just start right now!
You have to begin again immediately after an eating fail because this will happen again. You are only human. And anytime you beat yourself up about overeating, you are only hurting yourself. You have to forgive yourself and then get back up again. This is why I believe that resiliency is far more important than motivation. Why? Because motivation will run out. You will fail. You will make mistakes. And you have to get back up again. What is done is done. I hope you enjoyed your meal or two. But now it is time to get back to the grind. Go to the gym. Meal prep. Make sure any tempting foods are out of your house.
I know this is easier said than done. You will probably have to practice being kinder to yourself. Treat yourself like you would a friend or family member. You would not hold an unhealthy meal over their heads. (At least, I hope you wouldn’t!) Extend that same grace to yourself. You are doing your best and that is all you can do. Mistakes will happen and that is okay. Forgive yourself, stop negative self-talk, and move ahead. You can recover from a mistake very quickly! Allow yourself the space to do this. It will make your weight loss journey much less stressful and much more successful.