How to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

| December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, you are probably inundated with dinner parties and cocktail hours to celebrate the holidays. These events are a great time to be joyful with the people you love– but they can be a dangerous trap if you are trying to watch your weight.

So how do you stick with your diet when you are surrounded with holiday food for over a month?

It can certainly be tough. Especially if you work in an office and co-workers are constantly bringing extra holiday goodies into the office to get them out of their own kitchens. Holiday food can certainly be tempting– especially when it is just a small bite of this brownie and a little scoop of this cheese dip here and there.

One good thing to do during the holidays to decrease your chances of overeating is to stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water during the day and especially before going to a holiday event. This will keep your stomach full and make you feel less hungry and therefore less likely to reach for that holiday cookie.

Also, limit your alcohol intake. When you drink alcohol, your inhibitions are lowered and you may decide to toss your diet aside for the night. Additionally, alcoholic beverages are often high in calories themselves, so you can easily consume 500 calories by drinking just two drinks. Choose to drink water instead of alcohol or limit yourself to one drink.

When you’re in front of a buffet table, choose the raw vegetable tray instead of the cheese tray. This way, your hands are still busy with eating and you are filling up your stomach, but you are eating healthy food that is low in fat and calories. Before you know it, you will be filled up on healthy vegetables and won’t even have an appetite for that crab dip anymore.

Eat a big salad before you go to an event. If you can show up to events with a full stomach, you are less likely to be running to the food table and stuffing your face with anything you can find. Don’t show up ravenous, assuming you will be able to piece together a balanced meal. Make the food an afterthought for the party and the company the primary reason you are there.

Keep up with your exercise plan so you are reminding yourself on a daily basis that you are still living a healthy lifestyle. If you know you spent so much energy in this gym this morning and have to get up and go again tomorrow, you will be less likely to reach for that piece of pecan pie at the end of the night.

When you sit down to a holiday meal, take your time. Eat slowly so you can enjoy every bite of the festive food. There is no need to rush through dinner– it will only make you eat more than your body needs before you even realize you have done so. Take a few breaths between every bite of food.

Recognize your hunger cues. Make sure you aren’t mindlessly eating when you are at a holiday event just because the food is in front of you. Determine whether or not you are actually hungry before reaching for some food.

Only sample the special things. If there is a dish that truly only comes around once a year, go ahead and treat yourself in moderation to a few tastes. But make sure to enjoy it and savor it so it is worth the extra calories. Whether this is your grandmother’s special pie or maybe a gingerbread cookie that you wouldn’t otherwise eat during the year, treat yourself to some holiday goodness without going overboard.

The key is to enjoy the holidays while still living a healthy lifestyle. This can be accomplished if you are mindful about the things you’re eating and take the time to think and plan a bit before you go out celebrating. If you show up prepared, you can go to social gatherings to enjoy the company, not the excess of food that is available.

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