How to Return to Healthy Habits After the Holidays

Tis the season for overeating, but if you’re still feeling stuffed after Thanksgiving and all those leftovers, you’re not alone. As much as we love all the holiday meals and festive treats, we can’t keep up this pace until Christmas or we’ll never be able to zip our pants. So registered dietitian Nicole Osinga is here to help us get back on track with healthy eating and stay there through the holidays.

  • Don’t starve yourself after a day of eating- Or skip breakfast and lunch because you know you’re having a special dinner because you’ll go off the rails. Depriving yourself of food sets you up for overeating at your next meal, so avoid that by eating a small, fiber-filled breakfast and lunch, then you can make rational choices when you get to dinner.
  • Snack healthy by combining heavy and light foods- A snack should only be enough to tide you over until your next meal, not replace the meal itself. Go for combos of protein and carbs in heavy and light foods, like celery with nut butter, to keep you full, but not stuffed.
  • Hydrate- We often mistake thirst for hunger, so when you feel like hitting the fridge, head to the sink instead. Fill your water glass and wait 10 minutes to see if you’re actually hungry, or just thirsty.
  • Take it slow when eating- It takes 20 to 30 minutes for your brain to get the message that you’re full, which is why we tend to eat 30% more food than we need. So slow down and pay attention to your body while you’re eating so you’ll know when you’re satisfied. The clean plate club is overrated anyway.
  • Eat your salad first- Load up on the healthy stuff to start with, then move on to the less healthy dishes and dessert. The nutrient-dense veggies are full of fiber that will fill you up and make you less likely to overdo it with the sweets and heavy carbs, plus you won’t feel so tired after you eat.
  • Treat yourself- When you do indulge, don’t feel guilty about it. If you’re eating healthy most of the time, you can have the occasional calorie bomb and be just fine. Celebrate, enjoy, eat all the things, then get back on track the next day and keep at it.

Source: The Beet