So it's 9 pm. You just got home from work after a 12 hour day. You're exhausted. You didn't have time to go grocery shopping or make food.
So you pour yourself a bowl of cereal.
As you let the stresses of the day fade away, one bowl becomes two. Then it becomes three because there's milk left in the bowl and you can't just let it go to waste so naturally you have to add more cereal (anyone else do this?! #guilty)
And before you know it.... the box is empty.
We've all been there, right?
Full transparency: I was the one stress eating honey nut Cheerios bowl after bowl in my kitchen tonight :) hehe I am human, too.
Whether you're plugging away at work and mindlessly eating out of a bag of almonds, or stress eating ice cream and Cheerios while crying about your day at work... we've all overeaten at some point.
And sometimes, we overeat and feel damn good about it! (Ain't nothin wrong with a little chips + guac + margaritas with friends)
But most of the time... overeating - especially when we set fitness and health goals for ourselves - can feel like 10 steps in the wrong direction.
What do you do after you've eaten a bit more than you intended to?
Here are some tips to help you get back on track so you don't waste precious time feeling guilty or shameful:
1. Walk away.
When we've eaten something we consider 'bad' or 'off limits,' many of us have the 'smash the phone' mentality. I like to use this analogy with my clients: Imagine your phone fell on the ground and the screen cracked. Would you keep repeatedly smashing it into the ground? Or would you say "ok, this is a bit damaged, but its repairable."
It's the same thing with your diet: going a few hundred calories over your goals isn't a big deal. What IS a big deal is when you don't know when to put down the food, walk away, and spare yourself from doing more damage when you're well beyond the point of fullness.
So, walk away. Leave the kitchen (or wherever you are). Pour yourself a glass of water. Chew a piece of gum. Brush your teeth. Do something that removes yourself from the situation.
2. Put it behind you.
What's done is done, and here's the great news: you DON'T have to do anything different tomorrow!
I made the mistake for so many years of having this warped mentality that I needed to "make up for" what I ate, so I'd spend hours on the treadmill the next day and severely restrict my calories... which only made me repeat the cycle that very night and keep me stuck in this binge/deprive cycle.
Sure, you can move and work out the next day (or later that day), but you do not need to do anything extra to 'make up for it.' Use that extra fuel to your advantage and have an awesome workout!
Here are a few of my favorite autocorrect tools that I use when I fall off the boat (but don't want to completely drown in the lake, nawm sayn?):
- Go for a walk
- Drink a glass of water
- Dance around my house
- Clean the house (while dancing)
- Do 10 air squats
- Go do a workout/workout class
3. Get right back on track.
Starting with the very next meal (yes, you can eat again if you start to feel hungry), make a #GPF style meal. This means filling your plate with the good stuff: greens, protein and healthy fats.
You may not be as hungry, but your body still needs food. For more ideas on how to get back on track using the #GPF formula, read this blog post.
4. Don't stress it, honaaaay.
This is an obvious one but it's still worth saying: worrying and stressing about falling off track won't help the situation. You can't reverse it from worrying about it. What's done is done, so pour that extra energy into something you LOVE doing.
If you haven't already, my podcast episode about primary foods is PERFECT advice for this situation: shifting the focus away from what we're eating, to what makes us happy and what fills us up in life.
I hope you found these tips helpful!
We're ALL human and we ALL fall off track, so it's important not to beat yourself up.
Use the autocorrect tools, remind yourself how awesome you are, and keep it movin'!
Life is too short to be consumed by how much, when, why, where, how, and all the silly stories we create around food.
You're meant for more than that.
LOVE YA TONS
If you think you're struggling with binge eating (vs. just the occasional overeating), I have a YouTube playlist with some helpful tips. Please reach out to a professional if you need help. I struggled for WAY too long with bingeing because I felt so guilty and ashamed, so I never told anyone. But telling someone was the first part of my healing :) xo