No matter how committed you are with your health and weight loss goals, it’s easy to be tested with the abundance of holiday feasts and the many temptations that come with them. Good news is that you can still enjoy the holidays and take part without sabotaging your healthy habits! Here’s our top tips on how to bounce back after a holiday binge:
1) Let It Go: Instead of focusing on the “bad foods” consumed or admitting total defeat, enjoy the memories of a great holiday and remember that good health is not the outcome of one day, or even one week of habits, but instead a lifetime of choices. Forgive yourself and resolve to recommit to health. Remember, every day is a new day!
2) Make a Course Correction: Restart after a rough holiday by immediately focusing on beneficial nutrition choices. If you eat breakfast, make sure it consists of lean protein and fiber, and be mindful of hunger cues throughout the day. Take a slow and steady approach by finding ways to incorporate nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins (legumes, chicken breast, white fish, eggs), and whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, bulgur) throughout the week.
3) Get Moving: Exercise can not only burn off excess calories, but also provides an outlet to reduce stress. The build-up of stress leads to a strong desire to break from normal routines, sets up an all-or-nothing approach to healthy eating, and plays a big role in food overload during the holidays. Keep moving and try organizing a future holiday around activities, such as team sports, hiking, or bowling, that everyone can enjoy. If the weather outside isn’t accommodating to exercise, take advantage of these at-home workouts you can do without stepping foot outside!
4) Hydrate to Satiate: Help get your body back to balance by drinking enough water. Thirst can often lead to signals confused with hunger, so prevent excess calories consumption by drinking water throughout the day. Check out tips from the CDC on how to increase fluid intake (*hint: it’s not all from water).
5) Draft a New Game Plan: Holidays can present an excuse to step way off track from health goals. It’s important to remember that whether celebrating someone’s birthday, going to a dinner party or getting away for a national holiday, there is always an excuse to overindulge. Be proactive by identifying cues that trigger overeating and come up with a game plan to combat those. Simple ideas include: eating a balanced breakfast to start the day, choosing a smaller plate at parties and packing it with fruits, vegetable or other healthier options, reducing stress, cutting portions in half, and drinking mostly water instead of drinks laden with excess calories.
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