The holiday season is finally here! And if you’re like me, it’s one of your favourite times of the year. We get to see friends and family, shamelessly catch up on Christmas-themed romcoms, and of course, indulge in delicious holiday treats.
Not gonna lie…indulging in holiday treats is one of my favourites.
Unfortunately, it also means I can overindulge.
Overeating is easy to do during the holidays, but nursing that food hangover can take a lot of the joy out of the holidays.
Wondering how to avoid overeating over Christmas? Here are some simple tips that will help you enjoy your favourite foods without worrying about overeating, gaining weight or feeling bloated.
I know…you want to save yourself for that big meal at the end of the day. But not eating in the morning only makes you feel hungrier and more tempted to overeat during your holiday feast.
Instead of fasting in the morning, go ahead and eat a nutritious breakfast. Choose a low-calorie high-nutrient meal like a smoothie bowl or delicious and filling oatmeal.
This way, you’ll still be hungry enough to want to eat later in the day, but you’ll be less tempted to overdo it.
STOP COUNTING CALORIES
When you’re enjoying a holiday meal, it’s tough to count calories. Instead of focusing on what you’re eating.
I don’t believe in cheat meals and days as they can lead to unhealthy eating habits. I prefer to follow the 80:20 rule – eat healthy 80% of the time and splurge 20% of the time. So you just consciously make an effort to eat healthy most of the time, but don’t stress if you eat something else.
When filling your plate, look at what you’re dishing up. Keep starchy foods like potatoes, rice, and rolls to a minimum. Stock up on the veggies and lean proteins and enjoy that with cranberry sauce!
It’s the starchy foods that turn to sugar when you digest them and by reducing the starch in your holiday feast, you’ll avoid a lot of that belly bloat you expect after a big meal.
WAIT AFTER YOU FINISH YOUR PLATE
When you finish a plate, it’s tempting to immediately fill it back up with your favourite dishes.
But the key to avoid overeating during Christmas is to spread out those second and third helpings. Wait at least 15 minutes before going back for more.
This will give your stomach time to send that “I’m full” signal to your brain and keep you from overeating. You might realise that you don’t need that second plate!
If you don’t get that telltale signal, schedule an appointment with your doctor. This could be due to leptin resistance or another underlying health condition that needs to be treated ASAP.
EAT YOUR GREENS
Before you dive in for stuffing, turkey, ham, or pie, start your meal off with a salad.
Leafy greens have tons of nutrients and fibre that will help you feel full faster. When you already have something in your stomach, you’ll be less tempted to overindulge.
Best of all, you’ll set a great example for any younger family members who might not be the biggest fans of vegetables.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to avoid overeating at Christmas.
Water is incredibly filling and can take the edge off some of that hunger you feel before the feast. But that’s not all.
When you’re hydrated, your body can better break down nutrients and calories to give your system energy. But you shouldn’t drink just anything…
Juice may be tasty, but it’s high in sugar and calories. The same is true for alcoholic beverages. Instead stick to water, black coffee, tea, and sugarless drinks.
These will keep you hydrated all day long.
If you plan on enjoying a few boozy beverages, alternate between water and alcohol.
WEAR TIGHTER CLOTHES
When you’re seeing family and friends that you don’t get to hang out with every day, you want to look your best. After all, you’ve stuck to the 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program for at least a few weeks. Show off your progress!
Instead of wearing loose clothing, wear something a bit more form-fitting.
Not only will this make your holiday look more eye-catching, but it will also keep you from overeating over Christmas.
Tighter fitting clothing can start to feel uncomfortable when you overindulge. But you’ll feel that tight waistline get a bit more snug before you even reach that point.
As soon as you feel the fit of your clothes changing, you’ll know it’s time to stop eating. You can always change into looser clothing the minute you get home.
I mean, who doesn’t love finishing off the night in a pair of loose, cozy pajamas?!
It’s normal for food and snacks to be out throughout the day. Unfortunately for our waistlines, that makes it far more tempting to keep eating all day long!
Though you should feel free to indulge a bit but that doesn’t mean you should graze on goodies all day.
Instead, snack on fresh fruit and vegetables, or just avoid snacking all together. If you’re going to a party or family gathering, bring some healthy snacks with you. This way, you’ll have something healthy to munch on even if your hosts don’t have anything on hand.
Avoid munching on high-calorie snacks like nuts, dips, and chips constantly no matter how tempting it might be. These snacks are often high in sodium and can leave you feeling bloated before the feast even starts!
There’s almost always some downtime during the afternoon. Instead of sitting on the couch and catching up with loved ones, find a way to get everyone moving.
If the weather is nice, go for a walk as a group or play with the kids outside. If you’re lucky enough to have a white Christmas, embrace it! Play in the snow, have a snowball fight, or go sledding!
When you’re active, your body burns more calories and helps you work off those holiday treats quicker.
Stay fit, have fun, and enjoy your holiday! From my family to yours, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Love Rachael Xx