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Tips to help you avoid overeating and feeling stuffed on Thanksgiving!

Tips to avoid overeating during holidays and feeling stuffed!

I know it can be SO hard to resist delicious foods!  Overeating during the holidays can be a challenge if not overwhelming.


Why do we tend to overeat?

It is easy to have a regretful food hangover (sometimes literally over the waistline) or justify overeating with the promise to diet on yet another “Monday”.  Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve, can all be a time of celebrating and gaining unwanted weight.  It is a very social activity to partake in delicious food and treats during these happy occasions with friends and family.  We get an increase in dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins boosting our mood only to leave massive regret the next day.

Better food choices to eat in moderation to raise the happy hormones include:

  1. Fruit
  2. Dark Chocolate
  3. Spinach
  4. Asparagus
  5. Seeds and nuts


The stress of family situations, old trauma, and social anxiety can also push us to self-soothe with food for comfort.  Having a plan is a MUST to avoid drowning our feelings with food.  Giving yourself a free pass just because it is a special occasion will only leave you feeling negative as the calories can add up incredibly fast.


New tips that may help you tactfully navigate any party or to avoid overeating during holidays:

  • Wear snug or form-fitting clothes to help indicate when you are physically full.
  • Share your health goals or accomplishments to inspire yourself to keep on track.
  • Drink 8-12 ounces of water before arriving at a party, half your body weight in ounces daily.
  • Keep a low-calorie refreshment in hand and the other in your pocket to avoid sampling.
  • Chew gum to be more mindful of what you eat (it also burns a few calories).
  • Eat a light meal with 20-30 grams of protein before the get-together to curb impulses.
  • Focus on socializing instead of food.
  • Bring a healthy snack or dessert as an option that others may appreciate as well.
  • If you do desire a snack, choose nuts and vegetables to increase fiber (fulfilling) and protein (satiated).
  • Be mindful of sugars and calories in alcoholic or sugary beverages.
  • Use a smaller plate.  Be purposeful with ½ of your plate non starchy veggies, ¼ protein, and ¼ carbs.
  • Choose 1 dessert to thoroughly enjoy without guilt and move on.
  • Skip the 2nds or multiple servings of desserts.
  • Have an accountability support person or use the buddy system when feeling pressured to indulge.
  • Exercise beforehand as it makes it harder to forget the effort it takes to burn off calories.
  • Plan a walk or activity after dinner being conscious that if you overeat it will not be enjoyable.
  • Make sleep NON-negotiable during holidays! It throws your hormones off including cortisol (anti-inflammatory) and ghrelin (drives hunger).
  • Last resort? Claim a possible allergy or non-agreeable gut issue to kindly decline. You may want to practice a natural resist statement for the borage of appetizers and desserts.


These tips can stop the overeating on the holidays and help you to enjoy people or activities instead of feeling bloated or regretful.


How do I kindly say no thank you without offending the hosts?

No one wants to upset our host whether it is a friend or family so here are a few lines to keep top of mind.

  1. “I’m so excited about the amazing dinner, I’ll just have to save room to try it for dessert but thank you.”
  2. “Your _____ is so delicious I have to pass until later to ensure I have space to enjoy it.”
  3. “Everything smells amazing so I’ll have to pace myself and circle back after dinner.”

Most of the time no one will notice if you don’t partake in every treat but if so explain that you are pleasantly full but would appreciate a piece to go if some dessert is left.


I hope these tips for overeating on holidays are helpful and you have a wonderful holiday season with those you love.


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Copyright Scientific Nutrition, LLC 2020