Going off our 3 Step Process to stay on track over the holidays. We’re moving on to specific events like the many many parties you’ll be attending over the next couple of weeks. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years seem to be the three horsemen of overeating. Everything is delicious, there’s usually a fun atmosphere and there aren’t many healthy choices on the table. Or are there? We’ve got 5 ways to avoid binge eating while at that family get together.
- Eat before you go. Seems like a layup right? If you’re in the habit of meal prepping already, you’ve done the hard work. Have a meal before you go, even a small snack. The food you’ve prepped is going to be wildly healthier than what’s on the menu at uncle Jeff’s house.
- Drink plenty of water. There’s an old adage that says “don’t drink your calories”. Hydration will physically keep you full and help reduce the urge to eat that extra brownie or cookie. According to Healthline:
“In fact, studies show that increasing water intake could be linked to decreased hunger and calorie intake. For example, one study in 24 older adults found that drinking 17 ounces (500 ml) of water before eating a meal decreased the number of calories consumed by 13%, compared with a control group (8Trusted Source).”
- KEEP EXERCISING! As a fitness professional and gym owner, it saddens me to see those messages start to roll in this time of year. From “I need to put my membership on hold till the new year” to “I’m just too busy to workout right now”. This time of year is chaotic for everyone, but everyone also has time in there day they can allocate for their healthy. Prioritizing exercise has tons of health benefits that you already know. One you may not think of is the correlation between your eating habits and stress. The more obligations we have, on top of our daily responsibilities, the more stress we have. The more stress we have, for some, the more comfort we find in food. Keeping true to our exercise regimen helps reduce stress. We’ve all had that great feeling after an incredibly hard workout. It’s a universal feeling.
- Keep up with your protein. Many of our favorite dishes around the holidays (at least mine) are very sweet and very carbohydrate dense. Nearly everyone can benefit from getting a little more protein in their diet. Focusing on getting some more protein in your meals (think more turkey, less green bean casserole) can help with keeping you fuller longer.
- Don’t skip meals before “THE MEAL”. We’ve probably all done this. Skip a lunch knowing we’re going to eat like a dummy at dinner. In short, don’t do this! Eat your breakfast, lunch or whatever you’re usually eating prior to going to that big family get together. Skipping those meals to allow for extra calories may backfire by making you what’s commonly known as “hangry”. You’re starving and probably going to eat everything in your path and leave you feeling like the mashed potatoes you just crammed down your face.
Now we know there’s a million ways to skin a cat when it comes to staying on course when it comes to eating over the holidays. These are some general suggestions. If you have dietary restrictions consult your doctor.