4 Ways to Recover From Overeating After the Holidays

Use these tips to get back on track after the holidays

“It’s Monday. It’s the holidays. You are human. Let it go.”

This statement is so important for everyone who is focused on a weight loss goal, wants to improve their eating habits, or simply knows they over did it over the holidays.  Guilt, frustration, and stress increase our cravings for sweets and fatty foods making it harder to get back on track and make better choices.

Spend some time each day focusing on your breath, doing yoga or writing a gratitude list to begin shifting your mindset towards “I can do it” rather than “this is too hard”.

Beyond changing your mindset, there are a few additional tactics that will help ease cravings, reduce bloating and perk up your energy after the holidays.

Eat Protein at Breakfast
Researchers have consistently shown that having breakfast is a great way to prevent snacking later in the day, but the real key is having the right breakfast.  Waking up after a holiday feast, you might be surprised to find that you’re hungry. But this is because the drop in blood sugar from a high carbohydrate day sends signals to your brain that it needs more food, creating hunger signals when you may still be full. You can stop this cycle from repeating by eating a breakfast containing at least 20 grams of protein.

Examples include:

  • 2 eggs, plus 2 egg whites scrambled with spinach, mushrooms,  garlic, salt, and pepper
  • Green smoothie: blend spinach,  a banana, ½ cup almond milk, and one scoop of protein powder
  • 1 cup cottage cheese with honeydew melon
  • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal,  ½ cup coconut milk, 1 tbsp nut butter, 1 tbsp chia seeds, ½ diced apple

"Kill Cravings" Smoothie
If it feels like you are craving more sweets or fatty food since overindulging, it’s not your imagination. The following drink will provide fiber to satiate and some sweetness to kill cravings without creating another sugar rush.  Blend together the following ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ lemon
  • Kale {remove stems}
  • 1 small carrot
  • Apple
  • 1-2 cups water
  • Add ½ a banana if more sweetness is needed

Move More
Consider all those extra calories as extra fuel and get moving! You may feel sluggish at the start of a workout due to the extra water your body will hold from the high carbohydrate meals, but after a few minutes of warming up you’ll be ready to go.

Not only will you sweat out some of that water, but you’ll also increase endorphins, which helps to improve mood and regulate appetite.

Aid Digestion
Along with the apple cider vinegar in the Kill Cravings smoothie above, there are a few other foods that can help enhance your digestion, which will help you feel lighter and ready to enjoy healthier meals again.  These include:

  • Fermented foods: tempeh, sauerkraut
  • Probiotics: tablets or Greek yogurt
  • Herbal teas: Ginger, peppermint
  • Warm water with fresh lemon

Related: How Digestion Impacts Your Health