5 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Over-Indulgence

slide1Illustrated By Sydney Hass.
The holidays are typically a time for excess and indulgence when it comes to food and drinks. Cookies, candies, egg nog, and all kinds of treats seem to pop up everywhere! When these temptations are surrounding you, it can be all too easy to fill up on sugar, flour, and alcohol, and completely skip over the veggie platter. The good news is, though, you don’t have to toss your health completely to the wayside in order to enjoy the holidays, and you don’t have to wake up on January first cringing from the massive over-indulgence of the season. There are plenty of ways to have fun and indulge in your favorite treats – without making yourself sick or completely derailing your healthy habits.
Drink plenty of water
With festive holiday cocktails in abundance, many people forget to stay adequately hydrated. It’s an easy thing to forget, especially during a holiday party, but it’s one of the most important aspects of optimal health! Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and evening, no matter where you are, will help your body stay in balance and prevent you from waking up the next day feeling awful. If you are drinking alcohol, skip over any creamy, sugary cocktails and stick with something simple and lower in sugar, like a vodka soda.
Eat something before the party
Of course, one of the best things about holiday parties is enjoying all of the delicious food — but that doesn’t mean you have to show up famished and devour everything. Going to a party when you’re hungry usually leads to over-indulging. Try eating a small, healthy meal or snack before the party like a healthy shake, a nourishing cup of soup, or a salad — so that you’ll be better able to make good decisions when you arrive. You can sample the party foods, but you don’t have to completely fill up on them.
slide2Illustrated By Sydney Hass.
Exercise early in the day
Exercising can help offset over-indulgence. It floods your system with endorphins, and can help you feel more energetic throughout the rest of your day — often leading to healthier decisions when it comes to food. Make a point to wake up a little earlier than usual and exercise first thing in the morning, before any holiday festivities begin. It’s all too easy to skip your workout once you get caught up with party plans or houseguests, so make it a priority!
Bring your own healthier food to holiday parties
Do you usually feel like you have no choice but to eat cookies, cake, or cheese cubes when you get to a party? Take control of what you eat and bring some foods to the party that you know you’ll feel good eating, and that other people will love, too. Think veggies with hummus or guacamole, a big festive salad, dates stuffed with almond or coconut butter, or your own homemade gluten-free cookies.
Indulge in what you absolutely love
If your favorite thing about the holiday season is your mom’s famous homemade ginger snaps, enjoy what you love and don’t fill yourself up on every other not-so-important treat in sight. If you eat a few homemade treats that were made with love, and balance them out with nourishing vegetables and plenty of water, you won’t feel so off track.
Do you have any favorite methods for staying healthy and feeling great, while remembering to enjoy yourself during the holidays? Let us know in the comments.

More from Diet & Nutrition

R29 Original Series