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7 Easy Ways to Avoid Binging During the Holidays

The holidays are here, and they come with delicious holiday food. Throughout the year, you might have been eating healthy to reach a desired healthy weight. However, with the holidays, you may be tempted to throw caution and discipline out the window. Don't! Overindulging may leave you feeling guilty, and what's more, you might gain inches that will take a whole year, if not longer, to lose!


Don't let all the good work you've done go to waste within the few weeks of the holidays. To make sure you don't overindulge, do the following:


1. Eat a healthy snack

Before you go out for a holiday meal, eat a healthy snack. Keep a good supply of fruit, nuts, and seeds for snacking. Eat a piece of fruit, combined with complex carbohydrates and some protein. This should keep your appetite at manageable levels.


2. Outwit the buffet table

All that delicious holiday food can tempt you to pile up your plate. Have a plan. Start by walking around the buffet table, checking out all the food before deciding what to eat. Use a small plate, and start by serving yourself vegetables, salads, and proteins before the carbohydrates. Then move away from the buffet table.


3. Eat slowly

Start by eating the vegetables and salads. Eat slowly as you savor your food. If you are tempted to go for a second helping, wait for at least 20 minutes. That's how long it takes your brain to realize you're full.


4. Watch the portions

In restaurants, you may not have control over the portions served, but there's a way out. As you order, ask for a to-go box. As soon as your food arrives, portion about half - or whatever amount you feel is right - into the box. This way, you'll eat your normal portion and also get food to eat another time.


5. Stay on the move

Don't neglect physical activity even during the holidays. In addition, seize every opportunity to exercise. For example, go for a walk with family and friends before or after a meal. Take a hike with your family, go for a swim, or ride a bike in the countryside.


6. Keep water close and alcohol far

Plain, natural water is your best friend for avoiding food cravings. Keep away from soft drinks and other sugary beverages. Minimize alcohol intake or avoid it altogether. All alcoholic beverages contain empty calories. Additionally, alcohol diminishes your ability to control your food intake and make healthy choices.


7. Keep your distance

At a party, stand far from the food table. This ensures you don't keep reaching out and popping food into your mouth absentmindedly as you talk. Also, learn to say no when the tray of goodies is brought around.


Final thoughts

Just as during normal times, you can allow yourself an occasional treat during holiday feasting. However, don't get carried away with the festivities. Watch what you eat. Make sure losing weight will not be among your New Year's resolutions!