How to Avoid Overeating During the Holiday Season

With the holidays coming up, one of the things people most look forward to is the food. A big lunch or dinner (or both!) with loved ones, filled with all your favorite foods. It’s something really exciting but it can also make people apprehensive. If you’re one of them, you may be wondering how to avoid overeating during the holiday season. This will be especially true if you’ve been working hard on your diet to lose weight, bulk up or just become healthier. The fear of undoing all your hardwork can put a damper on your spirits.

People tend to overindulge and overeat during this time. This can result in bloating, people feeling sick and full to the stomach. However, the holidays don’t have to be synonymous with eating until you can’t move. You can control the amount of food that you eat, whilst still allowing yourself to indulge and enjoy yourself! It’s all about the balancing act.

How to avoid overeating during the holiday season

The holiday season means letting loose, relaxing and celebrating the end of another year. But it doesn’t have to mean undoing all the hard work you’ve put into your health and fitness. You can have fun and enjoy yourself while avoiding that bloated, guilt that most of us experience afterwards. Here’s how:

Don’t go to the main event on an empty stomach

There’s a myth that if you’re going to have a big lunch or dinner, that you shouldn’t eat beforehand so you can eat more. However, doing this can actually cause you to overeat during the holiday season even more. By not allowing yourself food, you’ll probably be really hungry by the time it’s lunch or dinner. And we all know that when you’re really hungry, you tend to eat much more and much quicker.

So, don’t go on an empty stomach. If eating normal-sized meals seems like too much for you, then opt for lighter ones to keep you satiated throughout the day.

Drink water

It isn’t just food that can cause us to overeat during holiday season but drinks. Beers can make us extremely bloated while eggnog can really fill us up. To counteract your meals and beverages, make sure that you’re still keeping hydrated.

For every drink you have, drink a glass of water in between. It’ll keep your hydration levels up as well as your hunger at bay. Sometimes, we mistake thirst for hunger, so it’ll help you avoid overeating very quickly at the table. If anything, it’ll also help us slow down with our food

Practice mindful eating

It’s so easy to eat without thinking at all, making it easy to overeat during the holiday season. We go into auto-pilot, putting food in our mouths. The next thing you know, the plate is completely empty and we didn’t even get to be in the moment to enjoy it. While it’s understandable with all our friends and family around us, being distracted is a big factor to overeat. However, you can still take a few moments to practice mindful eating

Try to spend a few moments really tasting the food you’re eating. You can do this by slowing down and focusing on eating. It’ll really help you to savor the food, which we’re sure the chef will really appreciate. By doing this, you’ll also be more likely to cut down on how much food you’re consuming while simultaneously enjoying the meal you’ve been looking forward to.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

It’s a common experience for people to eat whatever they want and how much they want. Then, the next day, they’re filled with complete regret. In most cases, we can tend to resort to punishing ourselves by not eating the next few days or resolving to set up a resolution to do better the next year. It can really put a damper on what should be wonderful memories.

While you can try to prevent overeating during the holiday season, it can happen. And if it does, then just know that that’s okay. It’s really important to go easy on yourself. Don’t try to starve yourself or limit your food intake the next few days. Instead, go back to your normal portion sizes, drink lots of water, go for walks and you’ll feel back to your typical self soon.

Don’t spend the time beating yourself up about it. The holiday season is meant to be spent with lots of laughter and love, and this also means towards yourself as well.

Emily Trinh