The holidays are the best when it comes to sharing moments with family and friends. But it also comes with tempting food and drinks. Oh, and the desserts!
Every year you decide you’re gonna beat the holiday bulge, but you end up binging during holiday events. The biggest problem is that once you binge, it seems hard to control resisting every other unhealthy food that comes your way. Next thing you know, you have to pull out the bigger pants from the back of the closet.
So, what can you do to bounce back once you’ve binged on a holiday meal? Keep reading for my 5 easy tips to recover from holiday binge eating.
YOU BINGE ONE DAY? THE DAMAGE ISN’T DONE YET…REALLY
I recently watched a video by Simon Sinek where he talked about using consistency as your most effective tool to reach your goals.
One of his examples was about working out. He said that you don’t get fit by working out for 9 hours in one day. But you do get fit by working out 30 minutes every day.
Most importantly, you don’t notice the difference right away. Your changes in fitness happen gradually and one day you look in the mirror and notice that you’re fit.
I share this with you because the same thing happens with eating and weight loss.
You don’t gain 5 lbs because you ate one unhealthy meal. I know, it feels that way sometimes! But, it’s just not the case.
Even when you see it on the scale, the weight gain can easily be attributed to water retention, bloating, not having gone to the bathroom yet, and many other factors.
This is especially true if you’ve been eating very healthy and during that binge meal you ate a bunch of foods your body’s no longer used to.
I’m gonna bet you that if you go back to eating healthy right after that binge meal, you’ll continue seeing progress in the right direction.
So, if you run into a couple of snags when it comes to sticking with your healthy meals during the holidays. Don’t throw all your efforts out the window because you binged during one meal!
Consistency’s the key here. And I think the biggest challenge after a binge is all the cravings that come afterward. So, I want to share with you my 5 tips to recover from holiday binge eating and continue losing weight.
TIP #1: START BY DROPPING THE GUILT
Ugh! Guilt weighs you down emotionally and physically.
So, first things first, drop the guilt.
I mention this in other blog posts. Carrying guilt makes you heavier. Literally and figuratively.
It’s that sense of guilt that leads you to continue eating less healthy options because you’ve “already ruined the diet.”
You haven’t ruined anything. If you ate a bunch of sugar and processed carbs that you’d been staying away from, let it go. Just because you ate less healthy for one meal, it doesn’t make you a bad person.
You know what? It also doesn’t mean that you have no willpower. I promise you’ll find that will power if you let go of the guilt. It frees you to choose when you eat healthily and when you indulge.
In turn, that liberates you to make healthier choices more often.
And, most importantly, what’s the point of doing it if you can’t even enjoy it???
Being intentional about taking a break and enjoying your holiday meal keeps it to that holiday meal and doesn’t allow it to spill over to all the subsequent meals.
To prevent you from taking too many breaks, be calculated about which specific meals you’re gonna be less healthy with. Choose a small number. Maybe two (Thanksgiving and Christmas).
Then, when you get to that specific meal you’ve chosen. Enjoy it guilt-free.
TIP #2: FOCUS ON REACHING YOUR WATER GOALS
Set a goal of a specific number of glasses of water that you’re going to have per day and stick to it for the entire holiday season.
I aim to drink half my weight in ounces. And I don’t count green tea, just water.
I usually drink 2 cups of water before my first cup of morning tea. Then I drink 1 cup before every subsequent cup of tea. Since I drink 2-3 cups of green tea before my fast ends (I practice intermittent fasting), I’m already down 4 cups of water by noon. And these are 12 oz cups btw.
A conscious effort to reach your water goals for the day will help you recover from the holiday binge in a few ways:
- You’ll be distracted from eating leftovers and continuing the binge.
- You’ll be going to the bathroom more often to get rid of toxins.
- You’ll feel more full, which can reduce the urge to binge some more.
RELATED POST: 5 Tips to Easily Drink More Water
TIP #3: OPT FOR REFINED SUGAR-FREE
Look for sugar-free options after your holiday binge. The more sugar you eat the more your body asks for sugar. And there are a lot of holiday foods that contain sugar.
I’m not just talking pecan and pumpkin pie either. Think about cranberry sauce, sweet potato mash (some recipes include brown sugar), stuffing, creamed corn, sometimes even the turkey. Everybody uses different recipes and sugar is often hidden in some.
You might find yourself craving sweets more often after a binge. So, try to avoid eating them. The cravings will pass in a couple of days.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to stay away from anything sweet during the holidays. But there are delicious options that don’t include refined sugar.
Check out these yummy sweet options that are natural and healthy:
TIP #4: OPT FOR REAL FOODS
Refined sugars and processed foods are made to be craved. They’re very effective at that job too! So, go healthy instead. Go for real natural foods.
One of the best things about eating real natural foods that aren’t processed or don’t include a bunch of chemicals is that they’re filling and they won’t keep you in a cycle of coming back for more and more.
There was a time when I thought that healthy eating meant eating bland food that was boring and cardboard-like.
During the past few years, I’ve gradually changed my diet to eating healthy real foods. I wouldn’t have been able to make the change if I didn’t have an insane amount of healthy delicious options.
This brings me to my next tip…
TIP #5: MAKE IT MORE DELICIOUS THAN THE BINGE
Who said healthy eating had to be boring and disgusting? Make every meal more delicious than your usual binge foods. Then that’s what you’ll be craving rather than continuing the binge.
Go to Pinterest, check on Facebook, look up recipe videos on YouTube. There’s such an incredibly large variety of healthy delectable foods that make you feel like you’re indulging as you never have before.
Eat these often and stop dealing with the guilt or the weight gain. As an example, my mouth watering coconut cream sweet potato mash is so easy to make. Yet it’s healthy and it’s such a favorite that it was the first side dish requested for our Thanksgiving meal this year. And it doesn’t have any sugar in it!
I also made a creamy vegetable casserole that everybody loved. Both options were healthy but so yummy that people didn’t even realize they were supposed to be part of my healthy eating routine.
If you’re craving holiday foods, make healthier versions of them.
How to make sure you have foods that are more delicious than your binge foods…
To accomplish this, create a list of the healthy foods you like. If you love green beans add them to the list. Crazy about broccoli? Add that too.
These are some examples of veggies but think of whole natural foods that you enjoy that make part of your most indulgent dishes. I’m talking about fruits, starches, proteins, etc.
Then add those to the list.
After that, go to Pinterest or YouTube and search for “healthy broccoli dishes.” You can even narrow down your search by being more specific. Look for “healthy broccoli breakfast dishes.” You can also request “easy healthy broccoli dishes” or “broccoli dishes to make in under 10 minutes.”
Do the same for all of your favorite ingredients. Don’t be afraid to plan meals ahead of time and batch cook on the weekend. You can store food in the freezer to preserve it longer and have entire meals readily available.
ARE YOU READY TO RECOVER FROM HOLIDAY BINGE EATING?
Now that you have these five tips to recover from holiday binge eating tell me something. Are you ready to recover and make this the first holiday you leave your big pants in the back of the closet?
Use these tips during the holiday season and beyond, to keep up your progress with eating healthy. And to go shopping for smaller pants, rather than going to the back of the closet for the bigger ones. Because who doesn’t love shopping??? 😉
Most importantly, enjoy family and friends because, this time of year that’s the most important thing we celebrate.
HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE INGREDIENTS
What else do you do to stay on track during the holidays and recover from a binge meal? Comment below to let me know.
And don’t forget to sign up for the Fit and Healthy Conversions Cheat Sheets. you’ll get measurements and conversions of regular foods to healthy baking ingredients. These charts will set you well on your way to eating healthy delicious baked goods.