10 Things to Do Instead of Overeating

You’ve worked hard all day. You went to work prepared with a lunch bag filled with protein-rich, nutrient dense foods. You’ve filled and refilled your trusty water bottle several times throughout the day. You tracked every morsel that went in your mouth, as well as the time spent at the gym. You attended your support group meeting and scheduled your next follow-up appointment at your Doctor’s office. As far as you can tell, you’ve done everything right.

So why, at 8 pm, do you sit on your sofa fighting the urge to dive head-first into the refrigerator?

As human beings, we are not perfect. Our old habits will rear their heads from time to time, the little voices telling you that there is cake in the kitchen and that you deserve a piece for being so good. Don’t fall prey to them!

Here are 10 things you can do to distract yourself from those urges, muffle the voices, and keep from succumbing to the urge to overeat…

  1. Get up and jog in place (or dance, or stretch) for 10 minutes…and keep going if it feels good!
  2. Plan something exciting like a vacation, a party, a home remodel…and really get into imagining what it will be like
  3. Give yourself a manicure/pedicure/massage…pamper yourself
  4. Chop up some vegetables to have on hand for healthy snacking
  5. Get outside…work in the yard, wash your car, clean your windows, etc
  6. Start a project you’ve been putting off (i.e. cleaning out the junk drawer, sorting through clothes to give to charity, rearranging the closet with the holiday decorations)
  7. Light some candles and meditate on your goals/desires and how to achieve them
  8. Start a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try (i.e. knitting, scrapbooking, ballroom dancing, cross country biking, volunteering)
  9. Call up friends/family that you haven’t spoken to in a long time to reconnect
  10. Go to bed early and give your body some much needed rest

The goal of weight loss surgery, aside from losing weight, is to gain a life that may have only been a dream before. Now is the time to advantage of your new body to get out and live! By filling your life with non-edible things to do, the voices won’t have the chance to surface.

After all, which would you rather experience?

The guilt of eating a piece of cake… or…

The satisfaction of a newly cleaned out garage, the joy of helping an elderly neighbor weed her garden, or the serenity of caring for your body and mapping out the road to living your best life!



Written by By Elizabeth Carruthers RN, MSN, CNOR, CBN, HHC
Metabolic and Bariatric Surgical Clinical Reviewer

Elizabeth is also a bariatric patient having undergone gastric bypass with Dr. Brathwaite in 2007. She leads many of our support groups and helps patients with what to expect after weight loss surgery.

Our Surgical Weight Loss Program and Bariatric Surgery Center's mission is to deliver safe and effective surgical solutions with a compassionate touch. Our bariatric program is operated by NYU Langone Long Island Surgical Associates, P.C., a network of leading physicians and surgeons that provide comprehensive care for patients.

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