Christmas cookies

Prevent Overindulging this Holiday

From Halloween until after the New Year, it always seems like there’s so much unhealthy food around. We tell ourselves every year that we’ll do better, but then at a gathering with friends or family, we find ourselves mindlessly grazing on unhealthy options. The tips below will help you prevent overindulging on your unhealthy favorites, but remember, if you overdo it a little, don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself some grace and just try to do better at the next gathering.

  • Try “skinny versions.” No one wants to give up the macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes we all love, but trading some of those standards for a “skinny version” of the same thing might not be a bad idea. If you’re not sure where to start with those, take a look at these options.
  • Exercise. Fitting exercise into your day with everything going on during the holidays is tough. If you can’t stick to your normal routine everyday, don’t sweat it too much. Instead, try to go on a big walk with your family or friends after a big meal and try to fit activity into your everyday activities, like parking your car a little further away at the store to get a few extra steps in.
  • Don’t skip meals. We’ve all told ourselves we just wouldn’t eat breakfast the morning of a big Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner celebration, and in theory, this logic makes sense. If we eat less now, it makes up for the extra calories we’ll eat later. However, skipping meals actually makes you more likely to snack mindlessly, and it causes your body to think it’s starving and hold onto as many calories as possible.
  • Practice mindful eating. Mindful eating is easier than you probably think. Just take your time while eating with small bites and small portions and listen to your stomach when it tells you it’s full. 
  • Take alcohol slowly. Alcohol can pack on a lot of extra calories in a very short amount of time. Try skipping the beer or glass of wine altogether, but take it very slow if you do decide to drink.
  • Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can make it really hard for us to stay at a healthy weight. It can also make us feel more irritated and stressed, and if you’re an emotional eater, this can be bad news. Aim to get at least 7-9 hours a night to avoid this.