How to Break the Guilt Cycle of Overeating During the Holidays

Dec 8, 2022 | Beliefs, Nutrition

The holidays are a special time of year when we get to enjoy delicious food, time with family and friends, and festive activities. For many of us, the holiday season is also a time when we struggle with our weight and feel guilty about what we eat. If you’re stuck in a cycle of overeating and then feeling guilty about it, here’s how to break free and enjoy the holidays without stressing about your weight.

1. Understand that holiday overeating is normal. 

The first step to breaking the guilt cycle is to understand that overeating during the holidays is normal. We are bombarded with tempting foods and drinks at every turn, and it’s easy to overindulge when we’re not paying attention. Remember that you’re not alone in your struggle, and that it’s perfectly normal to overeat on occasion, but there are things (below) that can help us get out of this pattern.

2. Don’t beat yourself up. 

If you do find yourself indulging more than you wanted to, don’t beat yourself up about it. Berating yourself will only make you feel worse and is unlikely to help you make healthier choices in the future. Instead of dwelling on your mistakes, focus on making positive changes going forward.

3. Make a plan. 

One of the best ways to avoid overeating during the holidays is to make a plan ahead of time. Decide which events you’ll attend and what you’ll eat or drink before you go. I know it’s not realistic to plan every single bite, but you can plan to have one dessert, or maybe a couple bites of no more than 3 desserts. This will help you stay mindful of your choices and avoid getting caught up in the moment. You can also eat beforehand, either a healthy snack or meal before you head to the party will help keep your hunger in check.

4. Remember not EVERY day is a holiday.

If you’re like me and my family, it seems the holidays go on for two entire months. But remember that not every day of those two months is actually a holiday, so you don’t need to indulge like it. As part of your plan from above, know which days are actually the holidays and which days you’re doing your parties or gatherings and plan to indulge. On the other days though, just eat healthy, nourishing foods like you regularly do and your few indulgent days won’t ruin anything.

5. Enjoy everything in moderation. 

Finally, remember that moderation is key. It’s OK to indulge in your favorite holiday foods, but try not to go overboard. Balance out rich dishes with lighter ones, and make sure to get some movement in throughout the day. A little bit of everything won’t kill you, but too much of anything definitely will!

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but they can also be a difficult time for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain their health. If you find yourself struggling with holiday overeating, don’t despair! These tips will help you break the guilt cycle so that you can enjoy everything the season has to offer without stress or worry.

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