7 Ways to Avoid Holiday Overeating

Nov 23 2016
Question@2x Hi Hungry Girl,

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, followed by an entire food-filled holiday season! How can I avoid overeating and gaining weight?

Holiday Help Needed
Answer@2x Hi Holiday Help Needed,

Bravo for reaching out before you get swept away in a sea of mashed potatoes and gravy! It's completely possible to enjoy holiday dinners without overdoing it. I've got seven great tips. Read up before you eat up!

Don't show up hungry.
It might seem like a good idea -- the less you eat before the big meal, the more calories you'll have left for the feast -- but when you show up super hungry, you set yourself up for a diet disaster. Chances are, you'll eat everything in sight! So have a light but satisfying breakfast and lunch, like an egg-white omelette and a grilled-chicken salad. Meals with fiber and protein will keep your hunger in check. An hour or so before dinner, have a smart snack like an apple or a stick of string cheese. And don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Survey all your options before filling your plate.
Buffet-style dinners are practically an invitation to overeat! Take control by first scanning the spread, and then planning your meal. It's okay to indulge a little, but first see what's worth splurging on. Then fill your plate with tons of veggies. Next, add lean proteins, like white-meat turkey. Leave only a small amount of room for splurges, like carby sides and sweet treats.

Keep cocktails to a minimum.
This time of year is all about celebration, and alcohol is often involved. It's A-OK to partake in the champagne toast or have a drink with dinner, but be aware of how alcohol affects you. Booze inhibits your decision-making skills. So while you can normally say no to those cookies, after a few martinis, you may find yourself chewing through half a dozen. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Wait at least 20 minutes before getting seconds.
It takes some time for your stomach to let your brain know that it's full. If you refill your plate the minute it's empty, you may not be aware that you've had enough. But an hour later, you might regret that decision! Make it a point to engage in a conversation for twenty minutes or so after your first helping. This way, you can make an informed decision about your hunger level. Ask your chattiest relative to catch you up on their life... You may forget all about that food!

Offer to help the host.
Take the focus off eating. Help with setup and cleanup, and the host won't be the only one to thank you... Your scale will thank you too! Plus, after a heavy meal, it's good to move around a bit. So don't just plop down on the couch; clear some dishes! And if you're guilty of grazing (and who's not?), chew some sugar-free gum or pop a mint in your mouth to put a stop to mindless munching.

Contribute to the spread.
Hmmm… I wonder where you could find some guilt-free and delicious recipes… (wink, wink). Bring something healthy to the holiday meal, and you're guaranteed to have at least one good-for-you option available. Here are eight recipes perfect for the occasion!

Socialize and enjoy yourself!
Again, don't let the food come first. Make your family and friends your priority. And if you have a little too much to eat, try not to beat yourself up. Just get right back on track the next day. Don't let a day of overeating turn into an entire season of overdoing it. So many people make this mistake... Don't be one of 'em.

Happy Thanksgiving!

HG FYI: There won't be any HG emails tomorrow (Thanksgiving!), Friday, or Monday. (We're giving your inbox a break on Cyber Monday.) But we'll back on Tuesday with a game-changing take on cheesy lasagna...

Chew on this:

Today, November 23rd, is Eat a Cranberry Day. Just one? Eat several in the form of these Cornbread Stuffin' Muffins!

Everyone could use a little help around the holidays... Click "Send to a Friend" to share today's tips and tricks!

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