The Holiday Season is officially here. And with that comes Family, Friends, and FOOD! Lots and lots of food… amirite??
No matter where you are (I’m in New Orleans, so you can only imagine how great the food is!), you are bound to eat a bit more than you should at some point. It started off with your Favorite Uncle’s famous fried turkey for Thanksgiving. Will probably include Auntie’s Mac & Cheese, Grandma’s Sweet Potato (or Pumpkin) Pie, your Mom’s Gumbo, and a slew of other traditional holiday favorites. It’s really hard to resist any of it because they only happen a few times a year.
How to Avoid Being Overstuffed This Holiday Season
- Slow Down! Yes the food is really, REALLY good. But it’s not going anywhere. No, Cousin Darren isn’t going to eat it all. Take your time to eat your food and actually enjoy the flavors that each dish has to offer. I promise you, you’ll love it even more if you take the time to ACTUALLY taste the food. Besides that, it’ll give your stomach a chance to register when it’s full.
- Sip Water: Don’t Guzzle it! Just sip it. Drinking water throughout the day will allow your body to be less thirsty which will decrease some of those “hunger” signals. Sometimes, our hunger is actually thirst signals that we are misinterpreting so we eat more than we really want/need. Making sure you are sipping water through the day will help you stay hydrated, help keep your bowels moving, and will help decrease those hunger pangs.
- Walk It Out: After your meal, take a leisurely stroll up and down the block (as long as the weather permits). Nothing too strenuous though because walking too fast or too hard will shunt blood away from digestion down to your legs. This will make digestion worse so don’t overdo it. Take some time to smell the roses … or the snow.
- Add More Veggies! By adding a few more veggies to your meals (Yes, this means breakfast too!) you can increase your fiber content, add more nutrients to each meal, and fill up sooner. You can do all of this without increasing the amount of calories you are consuming – and maybe even decreasing them – because veggies have less fat and carbs than fried food, bread, pasta, etc. Eating more squashes, eggplant, spinach, greens, etc is always a plus.
- Start Working Out: Not right after a meal, but consider increasing your workouts over the holidays. Don’t wait until January 1st when you can start now! Working out and becoming more conscious about your body can help you avoid over indulging. This will leave you feeling satisfied with the food you have consumed while still having the body that you know are working towards.
- Bring Tupperware: This Thanksgiving I brought a set of tupperware with me to my family function. At the end of the night, when the family said “take some of this home with you!” I was prepared. It also meant that I didn’t feel the need to overeat while I was enjoying my time with my family. It also means that I can enjoy the food later without wondering if the foil wrapping was going to keep my food fresh.
- Take Your Supplements: If you take things like apple cider vinegar, digestive enzymes, probiotics, etc. now is not the time to forget that you have them. Keep them on board to help keep your digestive system working optimally and efficiently. If you don’t take any of these, consider talking to your holistic practitioner about which ones are best for you.
Make sure you are enjoying your family time with NO guilt around food. Give yourself some grace and smile. There is no need for the extra guilt this season. Just begin to make these small tweaks to your mealtime and have some fun!