The holidays are here, and with them, parties and gatherings chock-full of food. Temptation abounds during the holidays, with loads of sugary goodies, plentiful potlucks, and copious cocktails around every corner. But overindulging in those favorite foods could curtail your health and fitness goals.
How can you enjoy the holidays without sabotaging your success?
7 Tips to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays
You can attend those holiday parties, eat your favorite foods, and still stay on track with your health and fitness goals. Here’s how.
1. Remember Your “I Am” Statements
Start by reminding yourself of your “I am” statements. What are those, you ask? Read the blog here.
For those of you who didn’t click on the link (you rebels, you!), the “I am” statements describe what drives you. It’s a statement of your passions, goals, values, and morals.
For most of us, healthy living is part of our identity. Your “I am” statement might be something like:
- I am a healthy eater.
- I am someone who only eats when I am hungry.
- I am committed to staying healthy and keeping my body strong.
- I am stronger than my cravings.
- I am someone who can enjoy food without overindulging.
Creating those statements – and keeping them in mind as you head to holiday gatherings – can help prevent overeating.
2. Plan Ahead
Failure to plan is planning to fail. Before you even walk in the door to that holiday gathering, have a game plan. What are your health and nutrition goals? How will the foods at this gathering fit into those goals? What treats will you indulge in, and how much will you allow yourself to eat?
Make a plan for what you’ll put on your plate and what you will turn away. You’ll be less likely to give in to a moment of weakness.
3. Eating More Doesn’t Make It Taste Better
Holiday meals are delicious. Especially the desserts, amiright? Sometimes, it’s difficult to stop eating something that tastes so delicious.
If you’re prone to overeating, keep this phrase in mind:
“Eating more doesn’t make it taste better.”
Yes, that apple pie a la mode is oh-so-wonderful. But one small slice tastes the same as two giant slices. Eating more of the pie doesn’t make it better. It just makes you feel icky.
Go ahead and eat your favorite foods. But stop when you’re satisfied, not when you’re stuffed.
4. Slow Down
It takes time to digest our food. And it takes more time for the stomach to tell the brain that it is full.
If we scarf down those mashed potatoes like it’s the last serving on earth, we are much more likely to overeat.
Make a conscious effort to slow down while eating. Take smaller bites, chew a little longer, and give yourself a few seconds in between each bite. Slowing down will give your stomach more time to tell your brain that you’re full.
5. Don’t Get Overly Hungry
If you’ve ever been hangry (*all the fingers point in my direction*), you know it’s a desperate situation. You’ll eat literally anything – and you’ll eat it like a ravenous grizzly bear coming out of hibernation.
Getting overly hungry isn’t just dangerous for the people near you. It’s also a surefire way to overeat.
Avoid getting hangry by eating at regular intervals and eating foods high in protein or fiber. Those foods will keep you feeling full longer, preventing a “hanger attack” that leads to overeating.
6. Redirect Your Attention
Once you’ve eaten your favorites (slowly, mindfully, and only until you’re satisfied), distract yourself with other activities. Instead of going back for seconds, redirect your attention to conversations with family and friends, move to another room to watch the big game, or relax and read a book. Chances are, the distractions will keep your mind occupied, and the desire to hit up that dessert table will subside.
7. Put Away the Guilt
Finally, the holidays are a time for celebration, including plenty of food. It is 100% okay to indulge in all your holiday favorites.
If you bring guilt and extreme restriction with you to the holiday party, you will be miserable. And what’s worse, that guilt and those restrictions usually lead to hunger which, as you read above, eventually leads to overeating.
So, take guilt off the table. Go ahead and enjoy your favorites. Just enjoy them in moderation.
Let the holidays begin!