Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Facing the Inevitable - Holiday Overeating and What to Do About It

This week is the start of the holiday season; the time of year when temptation reaches critical mass and threatens even the most mindful of eaters. We're all bound to stray from our typical ways this time of year. The question is - how far?

Too often we give up on ourselves too quickly after we've given into temptation. You know the drill: You feel deliciously naughty when you eat your first piece of pumpkin pie. But then you have a second piece. And that one makes you feel downright guilty. So you start thinking about how to make up for it - an extra hour on the treadmill, starving yourself the next day - but that's almost too difficult, unrealistic or exhausing to consider. So you beat yourself up for having no will power. You call yourself a failure. And in the time it takes to down two pieces of pie you've gone from festive to forlorn, feeling defeated and derailed. Once you've gotten to that point, it's hard to get back on track. But if if you don't, you'll end up eating unhealthy food, gaining weight, and feeling like crap - physically and emotionally.    

Here's a thought:  Get real! Accept that temptation is going to happen and you're going to give in. But remember that one piece of pie doesn't need to set off an unstoppable downward spiral. Here's an article from RealAge.com has some great advice about what to do when you get off track. It's a reminder that even if we lose our way for a short while, we can always find our way back to center.

In the meantime, here are some useful tips to consider throughout the Thanksgiving weekend:

1.) Remember that this is NOT the Last Supper! It's not the last time you will ever see stuffing, pie, egg nog, or whatever your favorite holiday food is. There will be leftovers. There will be other parties. And there will be other holidays. Soon!

2.) If appetizers are served, stay close to the veggie tray. Fill up on carrots and celery (eating them plain is best, but if you like to dip, choose hummus instead of creamy dressings).

3.) Fill your dinner plate with veggies first. And I'm not talking about candied yams. Look for veggies that are closer to their original state and give yourself a hearty helping. That way you'll leave a smaller place on your plate for the stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and other foods that are high in fat and calories and low in nutrients.

4.) Go easy on the booze - a good buzz leads to bad food choices.

5.) Drink lots of water. Squeeze in some lemon juice - it's refreshing and can help curb your appetite.

6.) Don't beat yourself up. If you overindulge one day, it's not the end of the world. Remember that every day is the chance for a fresh start. So if you eat too much today, dial it back the next day. It's as simple as that.     

I hope these tips help keep you sane and sated; I hope this Thanksgiving fills you with hope, joy and gratitude; and I hope this season finds surrounded by people you love!

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Thank you, Ivy! I just made a cranberry dish and some chocolates using agave only for sweetener...so I'm in the spirit of enjoying this thing but not overdoing and staying away from the sugar! Happy day!


  2. Hi, Jeannie! Sorry to get to you so long after the fact - between travel, family, and holiday celebrations I didn't even pull my laptop out of my carryon bag over the weekend! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and would love to hear about your agave-sweetened treats when you have some time! Way to keep things sane and sugar-free! Thanks so much for getting in touch!