So you ate too much at the holiday meal. Now what?

saturated fat meatDuring the holidays, it’s easy to overdo it when it comes to eating. Because there’s food all around you, having a bite here and a taste there really adds up. That’s not even including the main holiday meal itself. When you didn’t think you could eat another bite, it’s time for dessert. By the end of the evening, you’re stuffed.

You’ve probably felt the negative effects of eating too much at the holiday meal, including an aching stomach and poor sleep. But the holiday meal only lasted a few hours, and today is a new day. That said, it’s time to get back on track. Here are five tips to navigating post-holiday meals.

1. Get back into your routine.

This season is known for throwing normal schedules off track. The day after the holiday meal, try to get back to your routine as quickly as you can. It might not be possible to settle back in 100 percent, but try. It starts with waking up at your usual time instead of pushing snooze until noon.

2. Eat regular meals.

This might seem counter-intuitive, but don’t skip meals. You want to keep your metabolism revving instead of bottoming out. That said, try to eat something every 3-4 hours. Your body still have excess calories from the day before, though, so keep your meals and snacks lighter than usual.

3. Drink your water.

You want to flush your system, and drinking water is a great way to do this. In fact, try to drink a little more water today than you normally do. A general guide is to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day. Up the ante the day after a big holiday meal and shoot for a bit more than this.

4. Move, move, move.

You may have skipped your workout yesterday, but today you should get back to it. As I mentioned before, your body still has excess calories from the day before, which means your muscles are fully fueled. You should be able to push yourself a little bit harder today with that extra boost.

5. Refrain from negative talk.

It’s really easy to give yourself a hard time after splurging at the holiday table. Sure, maybe you had two pieces of pecan pie (or more) when you told yourself you weren’t going to have any. Don’t fret about it. It’s over and done with, and you can’t change the past. Instead of stressing yourself out about things you can’t take back, move forward with some positive self-talk. Make a list of the things you have accomplished this week, this month or this year of which you’re proud. When you put yesterday’s meal into perspective like that, it can reinforce the more positive accomplishments you’ve made thus far.

Overeating a one or two days a year won’t derail you from reaching your goal. Just remember that a holiday is just that – one day. And a holiday meal is only one meal. If you get back to your routine, eat regular meals, drink extra water, move and talk positively to yourself, you’ll be back on track in no time.

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