The Yuletide season — a time of the year for family, friends, festivities, and food — is almost here! Special meals with your family during the holidays seem to taste even better. Because there’s no shortage of high-calorie, seasonal comfort food, the holidays often break the resolve of those who closely watch what they eat.
It’s even harder for those who are not on a strict diet to stop overeating. The change of season adds to their tendency to overeat, especially if they’re living in cold climates. Combined with holiday stress and an abundance of seasonal foods, the temptation can be quite overwhelming.
But you can enjoy the holidays without packing on the pounds! Here are 6 easy tips from Dr. Joseph Mercola to help you avoid overeating this holiday season:
1. Don’t Starve Yourself
Restricting your calorie intake to the point where you’re very hungry is never a good idea. Make sure you consume enough food by eating small, nutritious meals — grass-fed meat, vegetables, coconut, or some berries — throughout the day. This will satiate your hunger and help you avoid grains and sugary foods.
2. Buy Special Holiday Clothes
Buy something you’ll look forward to wearing, like a new shirt and tie or a dress. Whenever you feel good about yourself on the outside, you’ll respect yourself from the inside and be less inclined to eat something that might fatten you.
3. Get Some Fresh Air
Take a quick walk outside for an instant burst of energy and to take your mind off food. You will feel invigorated and your cravings will likely be diminished by the time you come back inside. A walk after dinner will also help digest your meal and reduce feelings of sluggishness.
4. Prepare Nutritious Meals
Who says you can’t eat healthy during Christmas? With a little creativity, you can create healthy holiday foods that taste great and fit right in with the traditional fare. Small changes can make holiday meals much more nutritious. For example, use a variety of vegetable side dishes instead of potatoes and bread. If you must have potatoes, use sweet potatoes or mashed cauliflower. Choose healthy, grass-fed meat free of antibiotics and hormones. Check out Dr. Mercola’s Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type for more ideas.
5. Conquer Your Cravings by Dealing with Your Emotions
Many of your food cravings are emotional in nature. If you associate certain holiday foods with the comfort of your childhood, you could possibly overeat to try to regain that sense of comfort. Holiday stress may also make you pig out.
Dr. Mercola recommends the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to address your cravings. EFT combines the power of positive thinking and affirmations with principles adopted from Eastern medical practices, particularly acupuncture.
In EFT, you tap the energy points in your body because simply applying this pressure without inserting any needles has been found to produce the desired effect.
6. Focus on the Real Meaning of the Holidays
Thanksgiving is just another meal. Rather than focusing on food, savor the moments you spend with your family and friends. Remember: your perception will have a great impact. If you think that you should eat to your heart’s content because it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, then you probably will. If you look at it as just another meal, then it will be easier to keep your eating habits under control.