top of page

What to do after eating too much?

It happened. You ate too much. Whether it was a dinner out, a Holiday, cheat day, a random Wednesday night or a full weekend of events…you overate and you’re not feeling great about it.

You’re probably reading this because you’re trying to lose weight and you feel like you just set back all your progress and you’re wondering what the heck you’re supposed to do now.

Do you detox? Cut something out? Go for a walk? Take a pepto? Start all over? What the heck do you do after you eat too much?

This isn’t going to be an article where we talk through BS surface level strategies to help you feel better 5 minutes from now. This article is focused on not only what you should do immediately after you eat too much, but is also going to help you get out of the cycle of eating too much on a regular basis.

Sound like a more bulletproof strategy than just taking a pepto bismol for stomach pain? Amazing. Let’s dive in.

First thing I want you to remember is…

You didn’t do anything wrong

I get it. Especially if you’re trying to lose weight you might be feeling a lot of guilt right now. But I promise you, no matter how much you ate or drank you didn’t do anything wrong. Seriously.

You’re also not alone in doing this and nothing’s “wrong” with you. In fact, it’s pretty darn easy to overeat these days because of all the highly palatable foods on the market and it’s something a lot of people struggle with. Because of this, there are some known strategies on how to handle overeating and what you should do after you eat too much.

First up..

Why are you eating too much?

Let me know if this sounds familiar…

You are PERFECT all week. You’re eating nothing but salads, brown rice and boiled chicken. You are the epitome of health. And then Friday rolls around. You are starving and tired of eating just salad. So you have some apps at HH. And then you have some pizza. And then you feel bad about what happened Friday and feel like the weekend's ruined so you go to brunch on Saturday. Then because you already “messed up” you eat takeout the rest of the weekend until you’re feeling terrible and like you ate way too much.

If this is you in a nutshell, you’re likely restricting yourself too much during the week. You're gritting through every craving and not eating food you really enjoy so that by the time the weekend rolls around, you’re hungry and tired of eating bland food. So you eat a bunch of non bland food.

But that yummy food isn’t part of your “diet” so you feel bad about it. And you figure since you ate 1 “bad” thing you might as well eat more and then you can start fresh on Monday.

Until you stop restricting so much during the week this is going to be a never ending cycle.

Instead, incorporate foods you like and are craving at any point in the week. Just do so in moderation.

Get comfortable with the fact that there are no good and bad foods…there’s just food. You’re not “good” for having the salad and “bad” for having the pizza.

Once you can ditch these food labels you’re going to be in a much better spot and feel less guilt when you eat certain foods.

Because of that, you’re able to know you did nothing wrong by eating the pizza and make your next meal more balanced instead of continuing to binge.

How can you ditch the food labels? By knowing that as long as you’re in a calorie deficit, you can eat anything and lose weight. You don’t have to restrict any 1 food, you just need to eat in a calorie deficit.

There are no good and bad foods, there’s just food. And as long as you eat in a calorie deficit it doesn’t matter what those foods are, you’ll still make progress towards your goals.

Now that you know why this is happening and the first step in preventing it moving forward, let’s talk about what NOT to do after eating too much.

1.Cut calories & under-eat the next day to “make up” for it. If you’re currently in the restrict all week, go crazy all weekend cycle, your natural reaction to overeating is going to be to eat less to counteract what just happened. But like we talked about, all this is going to do is continue to promote the binge and restrict cycle. To get out of that cycle and to finally stop overeating, you need to stop restricting. So after eating too much, don’t cut calories dramatically, don’t cut out an entire food group and don’t try to eat less overall for a day or multiple days to make up for your overeating.

2.Do excess cardio to make up for it. Ok so if you’re not eating less to make up for overeating you obviously need to crank up your activities level then right?

You do not workout to earn or burn off your food. You workout for the benefits for your overall health. The calories you burn from exercise are a very small % of the total calories you burn throughout the day living and existing as a human(like less than 10% for most people). So trying to run a million miles to counteract overeating the day before isn’t a great strategy.

To actually be successful doing this you’d need to be doing cardio for hours. Which just isn’t sustainable long term and frankly sounds miserable. Adding additional cardio or workouts after a day of overeating isn’t really helping the problem and is mostly just giving you a shitty relationship with food.

Don’t do it.

3.Throw in the towel until the next meal. This is by far the most common reaction I see when people eat too much. They immediately go into “f*ck it” mode. Like we talked about earlier, you think that something is “ruined” because you ate too much so you say screw it and go balls to the walls for the rest of the weekend.

But get this. Say you eat 3 meals a day. That’s 9 meals from Friday-Sunday. Now imagine that example weekend from before: You go out Friday night and every meal after that you just throw in the towel and overeat. That’s 7/9 meals for the weekend that aren’t on track with your goals.

Now let’s take a different approach.

We’ll take that same Friday. You go out to that same HH and have some apps and then get pizza. And then Saturday you wake up and have a normal breakfast and lunch. Maybe you go out to eat Saturday night but then Sunday you have your “normal” meals again. That’s 7/9 meals that ARE on track with your goals.

Do you know how much more progress you’ll make by having 7/9 meals ON track vs off track each week? And the only difference is that instead of saying eff it after overeating Friday night and throwing in the towel, you just kept going, business as usual.

Doesn’t that sound like a much better plan?

That brings us to what we should do after eating too much:

Literally just move on. Just keep going and get right back to normal at your next meal.

Remember, you didn’t do anything wrong, you didn’t mess anything up, you just need to keep going. The better you can get at moving right along after a meal or day of overeating, the more success you’re going to have in the long run just like we saw above.

There is no secret detox or workout you need to do. Just get right back to it.

To help with this I do want you to start thinking about your next meal and making an effort to make it something more nutrient dense. Your next meal should be something similar to what you eat on a regular basis. Ideally that means it’s high in protein, veggies, complex carbs & healthy fats.

I know this might feel easier said than done right now but just because something is hard or uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. It’s time to stop throwing in the towel after 1 off meal. It’s time to ditch the food labels and it’s time to stop thinking that restricting is the answer.

If restricting and cutting out certain foods was working for you, you wouldn’t be here right now reading this article.

So it’s time to try a new approach. It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and see if this is the solution that will finally help you stop eating too much.

If you have any more questions on what to do after eating too much please shoot me an email so I can help!

If this all sounds like it makes a whole lotta sense but you think you’d have a hard time ending the restrict, binge cycle on your own…this is something a lot of my online coaching clients struggle with when we first start working together so I’d love to help you too. Apply for 1:1 online coaching here so I can help you develop a better relationship with food and finally be able to enjoy the pizza in moderation while still making progress towards your goals.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page