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How to Feel Less Full After Eating Too Much

September 22, 2022
How to Feel Less Full After Eating Too Much - Lark Health

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In this article: 

  • A lot of people can eat too much sometimes. The first step is to stop eating.
  • Going outside, taking a stroll, and drinking herbal tea are some strategies for feeling better.
  • Antacids can help with heartburn, but always talk to your healthcare provider before taking medications. 
  • To prevent overeating, you can eat more slowly and stop eating before you feel full. It's also helpful to eat only when you are hungry, and not because you are using food to handle emotions. 
  • Lark can help you eat healthier and stay aware of hunger and fullness cues so you are less likely to eat too much. That can help you reach your weight loss and health goals.

You're not alone if you've sometimes had too much to eat. It's not just bad for weight loss and health. It can also be very uncomfortable to feel too full.

What can you do to feel less after eating too much? And how can you prevent it in the future? Here are some tips.

Get Away from the Food

The first step is to stop eating. That may seem obvious, but how many times have you taken one more chip or one more spoonful of ice cream when you know you don't need it? You won't start to feel better until you stop increasing the full feeling in your stomach.

It's best to get further from the food so you don't keep eating. If you were sitting down while eating, you can get up from the table. Put any remaining food away so it's out of sight and not within easy reach. If you're too full to package it up properly, at least put it in the fridge for food safety reasons. You can put it in containers later when you feel better.

Try Simple Remedies

There are some simple approaches that may help you feel less full.

  • Take a stroll. This isn't the time to go for a jog or try to get your heart rate up, but light movement can help move things along in your digestive system.
  • Go outside. Fresh air can help you feel better. Strolling outside is a great idea, but even standing outside is okay if you're not up for a walk.
  • Stretch lightly. You may not be able to do this right after you eat, but it may help in a few hours.
  • Sip tea. Some types of tea may help you feel better. For example, a review article in Food Science and Nutrition says that ginger can reduce nausea. It may also help with stomach pain and feeling overly full after you eat. An article in Biomed Research International says fennel tea may help, and peppermint and spearmint teas are also common for an upset stomach. 
  • Let your body decide. You may need to burp, use the bathroom, or pass gas. It's best not to fight these urges if you want to feel better sooner.

It can take a few hours to feel better, so it's best to be patient as you wait for your stomach to start to empty.

Watch for Acid Reflux

Acid reflux can happen after eating too much. It's the result of acid from the stomach coming up into your esophagus due to a loosening of the ring-like muscle, called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, that separates your stomach from your lower esophagus. The LES can relax, or open, when there is too much pressure from the stomach, such as when you're overfull.

These steps can help prevent or relieve acid reflux and symptoms such as a sour taste, heartburn, and coughing. 

  • Loosen your waistband. When your belly is full, you don't need any extra pressure. Lengthen your belt by a notch or two, or, if you can, change into a pair of loose sweats.
  • Stay upright. 
  • Take an antacid. There are some over-the-counter versions, and prescription antacids are available, too. Harvard Medical School describes some options. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any type of medication.

If you do have acid reflux regularly, it's best to talk to your healthcare provider. Mayo Clinic warns that you may have a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, which should be treated.

Tips for Preventing Eating Too Much

What could be better than quickly feeling better after overeating? How about preventing overeating in the first place? These are some tips.

  • Eat slowly. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize that you're full. To slow down, you can chew your food thoroughly and pause between bites. Also, try to notice the flavors and textures of your food.
  • Serve yourself smaller portions. You may not need as much food at that meal as you had thought you did.
  • Stand up before taking second helpings. Sometimes you feel fuller when you stand up.
  • Only eat when you're hungry. If you notice that you're eating to manage your feelings, Mayo Clinic suggests finding other ways to handle your emotions. Journaling, talking to a friend, and doing things you enjoy can help.
  • Plan ahead if you notice that you tend to eat in certain situations. For example, you can look at the menu before going to a restaurant so you can find something healthy to eat. Or, before going to a party, you can decide that you'll have only one serving of a favorite less-than-healthy food.

Losing weight and eating well can have big returns. They can boost health, energy, and confidence. And they can be part of your daily routine. You can even eat your favorite foods and lose weight.

Lark makes weight loss and healthy eating simple. With Lark, weight loss and healthy living happen when you make small changes that fit into your lifestyle. Lark offers tips, tracking, instant feedback, and friendly suggestions. Over time, small healthy changes can become habits for long-term success. Your personal Lark coach is available 24/7 through your smartphone so you can get expert tips, track meals, physical activity, and weight loss. 

The entire program may be available at no cost to you if your health insurer covers it. Click here to find out if you may be eligible for Lark! You could be minutes away from taking the first steps to hitting your weight loss goals and improving health.

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