No overeating episode ever began with the thoughts, “I really shouldn’t be doing this,” “I’m going to regret this tomorrow” or “I’m destroying all the great eating I did this week.” Those thoughts usually come towards the middle or end of the over-eating episode. Those thoughts come when you need to unbutton your pants to continue or would like to change into your stretchy pants or get a text from your personal trainer confirming your session at 9 am tomorrow. The thoughts that launch you into overeating are, of course, much different. When you took half of the pizza out of the fridge that you meant to leave in there for tomorrow, you told yourself it was a very good idea. Now, if only you could argue with yourself in those moments. Here are the top excuses for overeating and how to combat them.
Everybody else is doing it
Group mentality is very powerful. If you and your girlfriends are sitting around, talking about what a crappy week you had, and one of you gets that evil twinkle in her eye and says, “Burrito truck?” the energy is infectious. You all love the idea of sitting around, covered in burrito and taco wrappers, laughing about how little of a sh-t you give about your diet. And it really feels true when your friends are around you.
Everybody will go away
No matter how comical it is when the star in the romantic comedy you’re watching eats a large pizza to herself, or how much comradery there is in downing three burritos each with your friends, none of those people will be there when you get in bed at night, feeling bloated, heavy and guilty.
I hate to waste food
You’ve found yourself in the odd predicament when there is nowhere to store leftovers, and no homeless individuals to be found to give leftovers to. So if you don’t eat the food on your plate, it will “go to waste.”
It’s going to waste either way
You don’t need the extra calories. IF you are full, then that means you have already taken in all of the energy you need from food at this time. Eating the extra food will only make you sluggish, and probably cause some digestion issues. This food is going to waste either way, so it may as well not be in your stomach.
I’m still healthier than so-and-so
You may be adding six strips of bacon and double the cheese to your burger…and getting onion rings and fries…but your friend is eating two burgers, so at least you’re still healthier than her…right?
One person’s mistake doesn’t validate yours
No matter what your friend is eating, that doesn’t turn the extra-bacon-extra-cheese burger on your plate into a salad. And the fact that your friend is eating 400 more calories than you are doesn’t mean that you aren’t going over your calorie limit.
You need to soak up the alcohol
There’s this old myth that if you eat a ton of carbs right before going to bed drunk, you won’t be hungover in the morning. And you won’t feel the need to throw up that night.
Now you’re hungover and irritable
You know what actually happens after a night of drunk binging: you wake up hungover, and mad at yourself about the three bagels you had at 3 am. Eat something small before going to bed so you can sleep until noon without a stomach grumble waking you up, but don’t take the opportunity to overeat.
I’ve been good this week
There is this notion that, if you’ve stuck to your diet all week and exercised rigorously, then eating a mountain of nachos isn’t so bad. In fact, it has a neutral effect.
Did you work hard for a neutral effect?
First of all, I’m sure you didn’t complete all of those workouts and eat all of those salads so your net outcome could be neutral. You probably want to become progressively healthier. Second of all, you know you never feel “perfectly fine” about those nachos the next day. You feel bloated, weighed down, and then you don’t want to work out. So their negative effects follow you around for a couple of days.
I barely ate all day
Maybe you were so busy today that all you had was a string cheese and an apple. Or, maybe you purposefully held out on eating so that you could overeat tonight. Whatever the reason, you haven’t come near your allowed caloric intake today, so you think you should go to town on four servings of lasagna.
You’re in no condition to make these decisions
If you really haven’t eaten all day, then you are in no condition to make decisions about overeating. You are so hungry that you cannot properly assess when you’re full. You’re going to eat at a rapid pace that will cause you to eat even more calories than you intended to.
Dieting is for girls
First of all, you are a girl—sorry, a woman—so what’s so wrong with eating like one? When you are out with a lot of men, you may feel pressured to order the bacon-wrapped steak or 16-inch Philly Cheese Steak, even though you want the salmon and asparagus. You just don’t want to appear “delicate.”
They don’t care. But if they do, screw ‘em
Honestly, most of the men you go out with do not notice what you order. Some do care and respect that you stick to your values when it comes to food. And then, there are those select few who will criticize you for “Eating like a girl.” They can go back to the Frat house from which they clearly never evolved.
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