Don't eat, drink and feel sorry

The delicious spread of buffet laid out in front of you at a friend's wedding was too tempting to resist. And doing justice to your cravings, you gobbled down all your favourite dishes.

What should have been a evening to remember turned out to be a gastronomic disaster. There are no prizes to guess the reason- overeating. Overeating often leads to feelings of guilt and then, many try to compensate by over exercising and pushing themselves to the limit the following day. But, using exercise as a punishment for giving into the temptation and overeating is absolutely crazy, feels fitness instructor Udaya Sripada. She says, "Overeating is a crime, and many people often punish themselves for committing this crime by over exercising. Exercise is not meant as a punishment for the body. It is a way to improve your body's fitness level."

When people overeat, they regret having crossed the line. But indulging in that extra helping of your favourite dessert once in a while is harmless. Fitness expert Rashmi Uttam says there is no need to feel guilty as a day of over-eating doesn't make you gain weight. She adds, "There is nothing like permanent weight gain from a single session of indulgence. It is very important to understand that weight gain takes place over a period of time with regular bad dietary habits and inactivity. Weight gain can also result from excessive stress. There are a number of factors that result in weight gain. Hence, there is no need to punish your self for eating that chocolate pastry or giving into the craving for gulab jamun." The heaviness that you experience from a single binge session is usually weight gained from excess water retained in the body due to sweetners, salt or white flour in your meal. This usually returns to normal after a couple of days.

So, what does one do if s/he has 'freaked out' on food? Dietician Jyoti Venkataraman answers, "When you eat too much one day, don't regret and crib about it. Rather, get back on the dietary track from the next meal. Follow the usual routine, exercise well and eat healthy. There is absolutely no need to punish yourself."

It's not just punishing the body by over exercising, many often compensate for binging by eating nothing at all the next day. "Another common mistake people make is that they fell that they have to compensate for binging. Eating nothing or eating less because you are going for a party or depriving yourself of food post a binge session just does not help. Also, punishing yourself by over exercising does not help in anyway. Instead, exercise for the love of staying fit and see the results," says dietician Archana Jain.

So if you are a conscious eater and keep on worrying about gaining weight, you need to learn to eat in response to your hunger. Understand your appetite and how much you need to eat. And when the binge demon raises his head the next time, think about the after effects and just shoo him away!

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