Gatherings filled with family and friends during the holiday season make this time of year extra special. With the majority of soirees centered around food, it’s easy to over indulge during the season. Here are tips on how to avoid overeating during the holidays – and how to get back on track if you do.
The Holidays are Not a Good Time to Start a New Diet or Drop Your Current Diet
Starting a diet during the holiday season is not setting yourself up for success. At the same time, it’s not a good idea to drop your current diet with the idea that you’ll pick it back up as your New Year’s resolution. Instead, focus on maintaining the healthy lifestyle habits that you have in place, while allowing yourself to have some indulgences.
Never Arrive to a Party Hungry
Arriving on an empty stomach will make it hard to pass up on all the high-calorie appetizers and generous buffet options. Eat a high-protein snack before you attend so that you can make your food selections mindfully.
- Turkey and vegetable roll-ups
- Hummus and vegetables
- Hardboiled eggs
- String cheese and apple
- Almond butter and wholegrain crackers
Design Your Plate
Fill ½ your plate with vegetables and salad, ¼ of your plate with protein, and ¼ of your plate with your favorite holiday dishes! If you have a sweet tooth, choose one small serving of dessert.
Be Mindful of Your Alcohol Intake
Excessive consumption of any alcoholic beverages inevitably leads to overeating the night of and craving of high-calorie greasy foods the next day. Also note that it disrupts sleep and lowers your immune system. If you’re planning to imbibe, set a 2-drink limit and consume plenty of water in between drinks, as well as before and after. A further step would be to plan the events at which you are going to have a drink and stay firm at the events where you are choosing not to indulge.
Pause Before Eating a Second Serving
It can take your stomach 20 minutes to send the message to your brain that it is full. If you’re eyeing the table for a second helping, give your stomach time to digest and then re-evaluate how hungry you really are.
Bring a Healthy Dish
If you’re attending a potluck, bring a healthy dish for everyone and you to enjoy!
Tomorrow is a New Day
If you did indulge more than you planned to, don’t beat yourself up over it. Treat the next day as a fresh start. Drink at least eight glasses of water to flush your system of toxins and bloat and eat healthy foods, such as:
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Protein (chicken, turkey, fish, beef, buffalo, pork, lamb, shellfish, eggs)
- Nuts and Seeds (raw or roasted with no added oil)
- Healthy Fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado)
- Non-Dairy Milk and Yogurts
Eat natural diuretic foods like celery, lemon, bell peppers, garlic, onions, watermelon, cucumber, grapes, ginger, berries, asparagus, green tea, and dandelion root tea.
Eliminate common food allergens and trigger foods:
- Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
- Processed Food and Junk Food
Staying on track with your nutrition, exercise, and self-care routine during the holiday season will help you navigate through the holiday party circuit successfully. When the season is over, you will feel happier and healthier and ready for the new year!