8 Ways to Manage Your Holiday Eating

8 Ways to Manage Your Holiday Eating

8 Ways to Manage Your Holiday Eating

Lee esto en EspañolThe holidays don’t have to be the season of overeating. There are ways to manage your habits so you can indulge without overdoing it. Having some of those options in mind ahead of time can help you make better choices as we head into the holiday eating danger zone of Halloween through the new year.

Many people struggle with overeating. And the changes in routines and added stress during the holidays don’t help. But eating too much can harm your health. And adding just a few pounds every year can really add up over time.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the festive food and drinks of the season.

Make a Plan Now

With the right plan in place, you can enjoy the holiday food and drinks without overdoing it. Pick a few techniques you can use to set yourself up for success:

  1. Prioritize sleep. Before the busy season even begins, start making sure you get enough sleep. Getting the rest you need will make it easier to manage holiday stress and avoid bad choices.
  2. Watch out for triggers. Stress may be one, or easy access to favorite foods. Having a holiday cocktail (or two) may be another. Plan how you’ll handle your triggers. For example, at a potluck, pick a small plate and decide not to go back for seconds.
  3. Pay attention to what and how much you’re eating. It’s easy to get distracted and lose track while you’re busy and socializing. Distraction may cause you to eat more than you realize, and not even really enjoy it.
  4. Take it slow. Have what you want, but eat slowly. Really focus on what you’re eating and enjoy each bite. And listen to your body. You may find you’re satisfied or even full before your plate is clean.
  5. Appreciate the seasonal treats. You don’t have these special foods every day, so enjoy them. But try to pick the one or two options you like best.
  6. Pick your drinks carefully. Holiday drinks and alcoholic beverages have a lot of empty calories that can add up to extra pounds. If one of your holiday favorites is a healthier option, choose that one over others. Or decide to only have one drink and then switch to water or another healthier option.
  7. Don’t go to a holiday party or dinner hungry. Skipping a meal in anticipation of a special meal at an event can backfire. Try having a healthy snack before you go instead.
  8. Stay hydrated. That can curb hunger pains. Plan to drink an extra glass of water before meals or events.

Being aware of what you’re consuming and trying to balance healthy and not-so-healthy choices during the holidays can help you avoid starting the new year with extra pounds. And if you slip up, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back on track.

Say Yes to Superfoods

Adding more superfoods to your diet may help balance your food indulgences. You may not know exactly what superfoods are, but they’re foods you’re probably already familiar with. Think dark leafy greens and nuts. Also fruits and dark chocolate, and olive oil and oily fish. If you’re looking for something more seasonal, check out these fall superfoods.

Sources: 7 tips for reining in holiday overeating, leaving site icon Mayo Clinic, 2020; 23 Simple Things You Can Do to Stop Overeating, leaving site icon Healthline, 2019; Ruled by Food? 5 Strategies to Break the Cycle of Overeating, leaving site icon Cleveland Clinic, 2019; Get Your Superfood Nutrition for Good Health, leaving site icon Scripps Health, 2021