The holidays are full of magic, friendship, and lots of love. But I’d be lying if I said the holidays are an easy time to stay healthy and ward off weight gain. With all the delicious food and drinks surrounding us, it can feel tempting to consume it all in one fell swoop. I’ve learned the hard way, though, that eating without any structure or guideline in my head can result in overindulging, which leaves me feeling sluggish, bloated, and completely disenchanted with the entire holiday season.
After experiencing many tree-trimming seasons in which I gained weight and had to work hard to lose it in the new year, I’ve finally locked down a little formula that helps me fully enjoy the holidays and all they have to offer — without the tummy aches and supertight jeans. These are the guidelines I follow every year to prevent unwanted weight gain (and still eat pumpkin pie).
I Only Eat When I’m Hungry
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s much easier said than done. During the holidays, there is food at every turn, whether it’s at the office or at home. People are always sharing tasty desserts and snacks, and it can feel impossible to turn it down. But if you listen to your body, it will tell you when it’s actually in need of food or if you’re just bored or answering a silly craving.
If you’re at the office and you feel like reaching for a festive snack, drink a glass of water first. You might be surprised at how often we mistake thirst for hunger. If you get to the point where you’re hungry enough that you would eat an apple, then you know that you’re actually hungry. Following this rule will prevent you from overeating, and it can be especially handy when you’re at an event where you’re surrounded by food. The more you listen to your body, the more you’ll be able to decipher when you truly need food and when you don’t.