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November 26, 2013

How to Get Back on Track after Holiday Overeating

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

If you ate too much on Thanksgiving, join the club. The good news is that Thanksgiving lasts for just one day, so you probably didn't do much dietary damage. The not-so-good news is that there will be more opportunities to overindulge from now until New Year's Day. 

Chances are, you won't entirely escape the approaching feeding frenzy known as December. Use these tips to get back on track fast on days when you wake up feeling sluggish, bloated and annoyed with yourself for going overboard.  For more tips on surviving the holidays, and delicious recipes, download a copy of our Fun Food/Happy Family online magazine

Begin with breakfast. Breakfast charges up your metabolism, and a healthy meal sets the tone for a better day of eating.  Skip refined carbohydrates like white bagels, pancakes, and muffins - they will make you want to eat more than you should. Opt for whole grains, like oatmeal made in the microwave with Hood Milk and topped with nuts and dried fruit, or two eggs, a slice of whole grain toast, and fruit.

Eat regular meals and snacks . You indulged at the company Christmas party, at your aunt Sallie's holiday dinner or when you got together with old friends to celebrate the season. After starting the day with a balanced breakfast, don't skimp on food to punish yourself for yesterday's transgressions; it could actually lead to overeating later on.

Pack in the protein. Chances are you overdid it on fatty foods such as chips, cookies, and candy; nobody ever eats too many carrots and celery, after all.  Make protein the centerpiece of today's meals and snacks.  Protein-packed foods, such as Hood Milk, Hood Cottage Cheese, Greek yogurt, eggs, poultry, lean meat, and seafood, keep you fuller for longer and won't provoke spikes or lulls in your energy level.

Walk it off. Get to the gym and move around as much as you can during the day. Working muscles chow down on glucose in the blood to help you feel hungry again so that you can quickly get back to a healthy eating pattern.

Drink up. Sip at least 6 glasses of water today.  Holiday foods are high in sodium and low in potassium so you're probably retaining fluid. It sounds counterproductive but drinking water will help restore fluid balance in your body.

Carry on. Don't dwell on overeating or drinking too much. Forget about it! Concentrating on how much you ate and drank could trigger negative thoughts about your so-called willpower and set you up to overindulge again and again. 



Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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