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6 Tips to Avoid Overeating This Holiday Season

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6 Tips to Avoid Overeating This Holiday Season

By Dr. Julie Patel-Pannullo


The holiday season is almost here, which of course means plenty of big meals with friends and family. While it’s perfectly normal to indulge yourself a little during these celebrations, the holidays can be difficult for those who struggle with overeating. Continuing to eat after you’re full can lead to excessive weight gain, digestive issues, and physical discomfort. If you regularly struggle with overeating, follow these simple tips while you celebrate this holiday season.

1. Be Mindful of Healthy Portions
A common cause of overeating is simply putting too much food on your plate. Before you serve yourself, you can use your hands to roughly measure portion sizes:

  • Palm = 3 ounces
  • Fist = 1 cup
  • Cupped Hand = ½ cup
  • Tip of Thumb = 1 tablespoon
  • Thumbnail = 1 teaspoon

2. Avoid Trigger Foods
Certain foods present a greater risk of overindulging than others, especially salty and sugary snacks, desserts, and foods that are high in saturated fats or empty calories. If you know that a particular food can trigger an overeating binge, then it’s best to avoid it altogether.

3. Eat More Fiber and Protein
Foods that are high in fiber and protein leave you feeling fuller for a longer period of time, which can prevent you from eating more than you should. Try adding these high-fiber and high-protein foods to your diet:

  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Beans
  • Oatmeal
  • Nuts
  • Fruits and vegetables

4. Eat More Slowly Than Usual
Taking your time and chewing thoroughly may help you feel fuller, even after smaller portions. Eating slowly is also better for digestion and can reduce weight gain.

5. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcoholic drinks may be common at most holiday parties, but don’t go overboard. Excessive drinking is unhealthy enough on its own, but it can also increase your appetite and lead to overeating.

6. Ask Yourself Why You’re Overeating
For some people, overeating can be more of an emotional issue than a physical one. Maybe you’re eating too much because you’re depressed, overly stressed, or simply bored. Whatever the cause might be, identifying your personal reasons for overeating can be the first step toward overcoming them and adopting a healthier lifestyle.

For more advice on nutrition, emotional issues, or any other health concerns, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider (PCP). Your PCP can help you make decisions about your diet and put you on the right track for healthy living. Happy holidays!


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