This time every year, my eyes get bigger as people start bringing in the usual suspects to work: homemade cookies, pies, chocolates—all kinds of desserts. Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, and it’s the only U.S. holiday built entirely upon eating (and giving thanks, of course!). And it’s just the beginning. Once Thanksgiving ends, another month of festivities begins—and our collective waistlines start to suffer.
The good news? It’s still possible to eat some tasty treats at Thanksgiving and beyond without putting on the pounds. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to avoid overeating while still enjoying the deliciousness of the holiday season.
Tip to avoid overeating this holiday season #1: Keep moving
Yep, it’s simple math. I keep exercising so my body keeps burning calories—even on days when I may overeat. I might even move a bit more during the holidays, not only to keep the pounds off but also to boost my immunity. ‘Tis the flu season, after all—and nothing keeps illness at bay like a good, sweaty workout.
Tip to avoid overeating this holiday season #2: Scale back
Because I know I’ll be attending a holiday party or two and walking past those sweets on a daily basis, I reduce my calorie intake throughout November and December. It's not by a drastic amount, but I’ll skip my normal afternoon snack, keep the rest of my intake low-carb, or avoid eating at night just so the calories balance out. I also make sure to drink enough water every day.
Tip to avoid overeating this holiday season #3: Do your research
If it’s a holiday party, I look at the planned menu. If it’s dinner at a friend’s house, I offer to bring something (somewhat) healthy to keep things balanced. If I get the full menu, I check off the items I plan on eating and avoid the rest. It sounds boring, yes, but when I do this I also leave room for treats. Just not all of them!
Tip to avoid overeating this holiday season #4: Watch your sugar intake
Speaking of treats, this is a good thing to follow all year, especially considering the increased chances for a yeast infection. Yeast loves sugar, so it can lead to an overgrowth if not kept in check. I don't avoid sugar entirely (it is the holidays, after all), but I'm always mindful of it. (And of course, if things start to feel "unbalanced," I reach for my feminine oil blend to keep things soothed and infection-free).
Tip to avoid overeating this holiday season #5: Eat before any event
Whether it’s a holiday-fueled girls’ night out, a company gala, or a Thanksgiving dinner with friends, I always, ALWAYS eat a healthy, protein-packed meal beforehand. It keeps my energy levels up and helps me avoid putting every single thing on the buffet line on my plate. I usually wind up avoiding overeating—and feeling better about it—during the actual event.
And if I do gain a few pounds when January rolls around? I don’t sweat it. Well, actually I do! I just make it a point to keep up with my workouts—and I gently remind myself that I can and will do better next year. I just make sure to keep moving to stay healthy!