The holiday season is two months’ worth of food, family, and fun, and while it is enjoyable and much deserved at the end of the year, enjoying it a little too much can create some post-holiday regrets. There is nothing wrong with a slice of pie at one party or stealing one of Santa’s cookies on Christmas Eve, but too many indulgences can cause unwanted weight gain or throw your formerly well-balanced diet for a loop. It doesn’t take much cheating on your diet to start the guilt trips, the shame, and the overwhelming feelings of failure. Beating yourself up about enjoying the holidays isn’t emotionally healthy, but neither is reckless abandon with sugar, carbs, and processed foods for your physical health. If you haven’t been able to keep a balance with your seasonal snacking or splurging, don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, what are New Year’s resolutions for?
Emotional and Social Eating
The holidays are commonly blamed for a lack of dieting discipline, as there are so many occasions to lose your will power to social or emotional eating conditions. When you are already on a restricted diet, such as the HCG diet, the overwhelming presence of sugar and sweets around the office at your in-law's house presents temptations, unlike a normal routine where you have carefully planned your meals. Even though your current protocol may be working for your weight loss goals, the reason it may be working is the discipline and restricted intake that it requires. Having a list of approved foods makes it easier to navigate eating environments fueled by emotions or social pressure, and consciously making the right choices can help keep you from straying too far from the path. Head for the veggie tray rather than the dessert or make the most of soups and salads rather than the main course and starch-filled casseroles. With some creative maneuvering, you can still be diet and health-conscious when making your way between parties, gatherings, and holiday dinners. However, if you caved in to the cheesecake or your mom’s famous potato casserole, there are several ways you can get back to a healthy eating plan after the holidays have passed.
Start With Breakfast
Developing healthy eating habits means you need to start the day off strong with a healthy and filling meal. Breakfast can make or break your day, and should you choose to be smart about your breakfast intake, you infuse your day with higher energy levels, improved concentration, and a reduced need for snacking and overeating the rest of the day. Choose high fiber and protein combinations, such a low-fat yogurt with granola and a slice of whole-grain toast. Avoid sugary cereals or carb-filled pastries.
Stick to Crunchy Fruits and Veggies
Rather than pulling out some chips or a handful of peanut M&Ms for a bit of a crunch during your workday, reach for a healthy portion of fruits and vegetables. Having carrots, celery sticks, red peppers, broccoli, or cucumbers already cut up and ready to serve can make it easier to choose something beneficial to your body over-processed foods. Snacking during the workday isn’t usually because of hunger but boredom, accessibility, and distraction. Snacks like berries can provide your body with antioxidant protection and reduced sugar, although including an apple in the early hours of the days help improve your fiber level and infuses your body with healthy sugar that can curb a sweet tooth. The more fiber and antioxidants you snack on during the day, the more your body will be able to digest your food more effectively as well as keeping you feeling full longer.
Assess Your Belly Weight
If you felt like you were fairly good about portion control throughout the holidays, your extra weight might not be weight at all. Depending on the foods you may have eaten, you could be experiencing bloating. If the foods you are were high in sodium, your body may be retaining too much salt and water. You can use a warm cup of lemon water in the mornings with your breakfast to help get your metabolism going. You will also want to limit your salt intake, and opt for foods that are high in potassium. Leafy green vegetables, bananas, and baked sweet potatoes can help regulate any extra sodium that is in the system, alleviating your bloat and feelings of fullness.
Despite your misgivings, you can repair the diet damage that you might have created during the holidays. Accept the past and move toward a healthy future. Change your eating habits and make good choices one meal at a time in order to get back on track.
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