5 unique strategies to avoid overeating this holiday season

  • 2 Minutes Read
Ryan Newhouse - health writer, MyNetDiary

Ah, the holidays–a time to connect with loved ones, reflect on traditions, and avoid overeating. Wait, what? Yes! All those treats dropped off by neighbors and enough eggnog at the office to swim in doesn't mean you have to give in and devour everything you see. Tell holiday weight gain to "get out of town" with five strategies to help you stay on track right into the new year.

Avoid overeating

1. Carry a totem to avoid overeating

Sometimes having something in your pocket, or purse can serve as a simple reminder that your efforts are worth it in the end. A totem could be a photo of yourself at a previous or target weight or a place you want to celebrate your weight-loss success. Want to see your kids graduate from college? Carry a print or upload a photo to your phone of your kids playing and write an inspirational message to yourself on the photo. Pull out this totem when you feel the urge to overindulge to remind yourself of the path to your destination.

2. Reconnect with your values

Ask yourself, "Do I want to feel strong and confident, or do I want to feel guilt for the next hour?" Every obstacle you face is an opportunity for you to succeed. Research shows that connecting with your values will help you stay on track when faced with temptation. For example, if you value your health and personal integrity, then you are more likely to maintain habits that reflect these values.

Before you show up for the next holiday feast, take a moment to ask yourself who you want to be that evening and then check-in to see if you are upholding your values. A mental recheck can help keep you on track and avoid overeating.

3. Show forgiveness

Depending on where you feast and who you gather with or not, it can trigger a flood of emotions and stresses, many of which can spark emotional eating behaviors. If you approach the occasion with an attitude of forgiveness toward others and yourself, you may greatly reduce the trigger points causing you to overindulge in unhealthy foods or behaviors. Perhaps take a moment to review some additional tips on handling stress eating.

4. Choose to eat healthy at the start of the day

Make a healthy breakfast a priority during this busy season. Build your plate around lean protein, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats. A well-rounded breakfast provides you with the energy you need to power through your to-do list and motor past the tempting fast food lines. Looking for some inspiring breakfast ideas? Check out MyNetDiary's premium recipe collection, where you can filter your meal search by diet type.

5. Be kind to yourself

When you're filling out all of those Christmas and holiday cards, don't forget about yourself. Write yourself a note and mail it to wherever you intend to spend the holidays. It's a chance for you to check-in with yourself about the things you do well and what you are grateful for in your life.

While the average American gains around one pound during the holiday season, weight gain is not inevitable. Take some time to reflect on your values and prioritize yourself this year! You might be surprised how this counterintuitive approach helps you avoid overeating during the holidays.

Related content

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This blog was reviewed and updated by Brenda Braslow on November 13, 2023.

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Holidays / Parties->Winter Holiday Season
Nov 17, 2023

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