I recently made a post about how overeating is totally harmless. I received a lot of questions about what you can do after overeating (aside from moving on and doing nothing) and want to dive into my answer.
We get too caught up in the daily calories and macros, but our bodies don’t reset overnight. That’s why if you cycle calories, you end up in the same position as if you were super strict about your calories every single day. For example, if you alternate eating 2400 calories and 1800 calories each day, then you’d be averaging 2100 calories throughout the week, which would be the same as eating 2100 every day.
This idea of looking at the bigger picture of a week is something that has helped my relationship with food tremendously. When you look at the bigger picture, then one day of overeating is not nearly as scary.
If I find that my caloric intake is much higher over the course of a day or two, I’ll make some simple swaps to scale back some calories in the next couple days. Instead of eggs, I might opt for egg whites. Instead of a sandwich, I might fix myself a salad instead. It’s not about doing damage control- it’s about an overall balance.
You can use this same approach for specific macros as well. If you’re traveling for the weekend and find that your protein intake was minimal, when you return on Monday, you can bump up your protein intake a bit to balance it out.
Now, here is where I need to make myself very clear. I DO NOT condone punishing yourself for overeating. There’s a big, big difference between punishing yourself (like eating as little as possible to “make up” for overeating) and purposely balancing your calories.
The right mindset makes a world of difference. When you learn to look at the bigger picture, “damage control” never has to be part of your life.