The most wonderful time of the year has arrived.  You know what this means… parties, gatherings, social events, business events, family get togethers leading up to the holidays.  And then holidays themselves.  And what is any holiday or gathering without delicious food?  Eating delicious food is part of our culture.  It is what we do.  BUT we do not have to gorge ourselves and gain bundles of weight to end the year feeling miserable.  Consider implementing some of my tips to avoid overeating.  Eat, drink, be happy, feel satisfied, all without guilt. 

5 Tips to AVOID Overeating During Holidays

1. DRINK WATER

As the weather gets colder, it becomes easier to forget about the one simple thing you can to do avoid overeating – drinking enough water.  Funny how this works but when your body is not properly hydrated, it will crave refined carbohydrates!  Imagine rushing out to a holiday party after a busy day at work.  You didn’t drink enough water so now the first thing you see is cheese and crackers – YIKES.  You feel as if you could devour the entire plate.  If you drink a bottle of water before you enter the party, your body will feel slightly filled up, helping you to make smarter food choices and exercise portion control.  I also recommend drinking 1 glass of water between each serving of alcohol.  This will keep you hydrated as well as cut the calorie consumption in half.  Shoot for a minimum of 60 ounces of water per day MINIMUM.  80 if possible!  Plan to drink a certain amount before each meal, keep a bottle in your car and one by your bedside to drink as soon as you wake up in the morning.

2.  GET ENOUGH PROTEIN 

This clearly is the busiest month of the year for many.  We are shopping, wrapping, giving, running, then doing it over again… It’s easy to forget the most important thing of all: to take care of yourself.  Remember to eat lunch!!  AND make sure you are getting a substantial amount of high quality protein.  This means grass fed organic meats, wild caught fish, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes.  All of these are wonderful protein sources.  If you eat dairy, make sure it is organic.  Kind of like the water thing – when your body doesn’t receive an adequate amount of protein at each meal – those carb cravings will kick in.  SO, keep some hard boiled eggs on hand, cut up that chicken, order the salmon, keep a jar of sunflower seeds or almonds at your desk or in your car and make sure to snack on them.  

3.  BRING THE VEGGIE PLATTER

If you are bringing a dish to the party, make it a veggie platter. This way you can guarantee there will be something nutritious you can have.  Fill it up with carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers and a delicious hummus or spinach artichoke dip. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be plain and boring.  If you make a commitment to eat a serving of veggies first, you will be less likely to nibble at the potato chips or go bonkers at dessert table later.

4.  WEAR FITTED CLOTHING

I am a lover of leggings, boots with a snugly sweater.  But let’s be honest.  When you are wearing an elastic waistband, you can eat mindlessly and the tummy doesn’t notice.  For guys, make sure to wear a belt and commit to not loosen it.  Ladies, wear the skinny jeans, fitted dress or tight skirt.  For me, the thought of that bloated feeling is enough to help me keep my food choices in check while I am celebrating the season.

5.  MODERATION IS YOUR FRIEND

Have ONE slice of pie, ONE sliver of chocolate cake or a FEW butterball cookies.  If you deprive yourself of these goodies, the cravings and binges may sneak up on you later.  It is better to indulge, enjoy, feel good about what you are eating, then get back on track the next day.  Deprivation and guilt are worse than sugar itself.  Happy Holidays!!