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10 Tips to Prevent Overeating During the Holidays

About The Author

Amanda is the founder of CRAVING THIRTY, a resource for healthy and empowered food and lifestyle choices. She focuses on plant-based recipe development and lifestyle transition programs. Amanda is also founder of The Self Love Project.

My personal trainer once told me that the average person will gain 7 to 10 lbs over the holidays.

I get it. The FOOD! I mean, how can you not?

I’m pretty much an expert in gaining and losing weight. My weight has yo-yo-ed throughout most of my life. I’d lose weight in the summer and then gain weight in the winter to lose weight again in the summer. Over and over again.

Sound familiar?

I’m happy to say I’ve been healing myself from multiple eating disorders over the last few years. My journey to health has taken a lot of awareness, attention and self love. While I’m in a much healthier mind-space than I’ve ever been, I admit, I do still feel the urge to overeat. Here are some things that have helped me stay on track while still enjoying some of my favorite decadent dishes.

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10 Tips to Prevent Overeating During the Holidays

Stay hydrated

Many times we think we’re hungry when we’re actually just thirsty. By simply drinking enough water (I recommend at least 3 liters per day) we can help prevent ourselves from overeating. Next time you think you’re hungry, try drinking a glass or two of water and waiting 30 minutes before taking that first bite.

Reduce sodium

Have you ever noticed how many chips you eat if they are salted vs. unsalted? Salted chips are way easier to overeat than unsalted. Salt is a flavor enhancer and it can often guide how much you eat/overeat. Try the chip experiment at home if you’d like, or take my word for it. Reduce sodium, and you’ll find you don’t eat as much.

Eat clean. Most of the time

The more I eat a certain kind of food, the more I crave it. The more I eat fatty foods, the more I crave fatty foods. This also applies to sugary foods, salty foods, and (good news) healthy foods. The more often you eat clean, the more your body will naturally want to. The longer you do this, the less you’ll enjoy the decadent foods you once enjoyed.

Fill up first on salad, fruits and veggies

When you’re at a party, potluck or even out to dinner, fill up on salad, vegetables or fruit first. Then wait a while before diving into the more decadent foods. Because you’ve filled up first on the good stuff, you won’t have much more room for the bad stuff!

Only eat one plate

Do your eyes tend to be bigger than your stomach? As you approach the buffet table, stop for a moment and breathe. Decide ahead of time you’ll only enjoy on plate. Because a second plate is not an option, you’ll naturally enjoy what’s on your plate more.

Take your time

Slow down. Take a moment to admire your food before you eat it. Savor the fragrance and flavors of your meal. Chew your food properly. Don’t rush to take the next bite. Put your fork down between bites.

Still feel hungry?

Wait 20 minutes before eating more. This allows yourself time for your body to start digesting the food. It gives your stomach a chance to send signals to your brain, telling you that you’re full. More often than not, you’ll thank yourself for waiting.

Check in with yourself

Find yourself tempted to overeat? Check in with yourself. Ask yourself what’s going on: how are you feeling? Chances are some emotions are coming up. Are there other ways to deal with them other than with food?

Give away leftovers

Are the tasty leftovers you have in the fridge calling your name? Share the love and give them away! Invite friends over to enjoy what’s left of your feast so you’re not tempted with indulging.

Don’t feel guilty

Did you overeat anyway? That’s ok. Don’t feel guilty and start a shame spiral. Acknowledge what you’ve done and move on. Just because you overate for this meal doesn’t mean to say you have to overeat at the next one.

I hope you find these tips useful. Happy eating!

Cheers,
Amanda

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