The holidays are a time when we all, inevitably, go a little overboard. And, the next day, we feel the pain: bloating, fatigue, indigestion, irritability, or all of the above. So what can you do to recover? Here are 5 ways to feel better after overeating, according to registered dietitian Sarah Greenfield.
1. Don’t stress.
For some of us, a big indulgence can trigger shame, guilt, or other negative emotions. But, did you know that stressing about overeating can negatively affect digestion even more? Understand that you probably won’t feel completely normal today, and that’s OK. Your body is resilient and this too shall pass.
Need help clearing out these thoughts? Meditation is a simple way to feel calm and centered. “Even just meditating for 10 minutes can improve your emotional state,” Greenfield says. If you haven’t done it before, download a meditation app and make daily meditation a habit.
2. Drink plenty of water.
It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush out excess salt. Try flavoring your water with cucumber, ginger and mint. Cucumber is hydrating, while both ginger and mint can soothe an upset stomach. If you want to kick things up a notch, Greenfield suggests starting your day with a mixture of water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, and probiotics. “The lemon and apple cider can help balance out acidity, the aloe vera is soothing for the digestive tract and can help get things moving and ready for elimination, and the probiotics put in the good bacteria that can help decrease gas and bloating.”
3. Eat a balanced meal.
After a heaping helping of mashed potatoes or a second slice of pie, it’s common to wake up still feeling full — but don’t wait too long. “If you aren’t hungry first thing, give your body the time it needs to digest, but then I would suggest eating something by no later than 11 a.m.,” says Greenfield.
Eating a clean, nutritious meal that’s high in protein, fat and fiber will help balance your blood sugar and keep you satisfied longer, so you can get you back on track quicker. Try scrambled eggs with spinach and avocado, salmon with roasted vegetables, or a smoothie. “Just make sure to limit the amount of fruit to a half cup or less,” Greenfield says.
4. Move your body.
It’s tempting to loll around on the couch or lay in bed all day. But moving will help you feel better sooner — and you don’t have to tackle your toughest workout to get the benefits. “Depending on how you feel, an intense, moderate or light workout could be a great activity to do the next day,” Greenfield says. Not only does exercise burn calories, it also re-energizes your mind and body, fires up your cardiovascular system, stimulates your digestive tract, and helps you work up a detoxifying sweat.