How To Avoid Over-Indulging This Holiday Season Maybe it’s heading home for a few days, the chaos of large family gatherings, the excitement of being off work, or a combination of it all, but the holiday season often comes with overeating an abundance of unhealthy foods. If we can identify the likely triggers of overeating, we can more successfully avoid indulging a little too much in the holiday-inspired calories . One potential trigger for overeating during the holidays is visiting home. Returning to your family home, the place you grew up in or frequented often when you were younger, can trigger your brain into acting as you did when you were younger. Remember being 8 years old around the holidays? Did you care how many cookies you ate or the fact that you didn’t eat 4 servings of vegetables? No way! You do not need to forgo the family holiday gathering to avoid this trigger, you just need to remind yourself that you’re an adult now. How? Try spending a few minutes alone each day that you’re visiting. Go outside for a quick walk before the festivities begin, or spend some quiet time in a private room. Stepping away from the excitement and grounding yourself can help your brain recognize that you’re just visiting, you are (unfortunately) no longer a kid. Another potential trigger for over-indulgence is the simple temptation of your surroundings. It’s quite the challenge to avoid all sweets when there is a table specifically dedicated to them at your family party! Because the holidays are meant to be enjoyed, we would never advise skipping that part of the spread. Instead, take a walk around and examine everything being served, appetizers and beverages included. Make a special note of anything out of the ordinary. Cheese and crackers, store bought cookies, and things of the sort can be enjoyed any time of the year. Grandma’s famous pecan pie, on the other hand, is just made a few times a year. Designate the out of the ordinary items as your personal menu, and from there, sample them all. Key word: sample. Avoid filling your plate with as much pecan pie or cranberry sauce as your body can handle, and instead, take some of everything. To fill the rest of your plate, bring your own healthy appetizer or side dish. A salad or fruit plate will add some much-needed color and nutrients to your plate of treats. For good measure, add a few small tricks to your https://www.sunlife.ca/ca/Learn+and+Plan/Health/Eating+well/7+strategies+for+healthy+holiday+eating?vgnLocale=en_CA/" target="_blank">healthy holiday plan . Opt to use the salad or appetizer plates as your dinner plate. Starting with a smaller plate will help prevent you from overeating. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the gathering, as often times thirst can be misinterpreted as hunger. Lastly, avoid the “trick” of saving your daily calories for the holiday meal. Eat your typical healthy meals and snacks leading up to the main meal so that you don’t walk in raring to eat. You’re equipped with the best tips and tricks to make it a healthy and happy holiday season, now it’s time to enjoy yourself!