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5 Tips to Enjoy Your Holidays Without Needing to Detox Afterwards

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Once the New Year hits, do you feel like you need a detox after all the holiday foods and parties? Don't worry, you can enjoy the season guilt-free!


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Once the New Year hits, do you feel like you need a detox after all the holiday foods and parties? This feeling can be common post-holidays, but the good news is you can enjoy the season guilt-free while still eating some of your favorite foods. Implementing a few shifts in how you enjoy your food can help you stay balanced and feel less sluggish during and after the holidays.

Holiday buffets, parties and sweets galore are some reasons why you can feel sluggish after the holiday season. You may also notice after the holidays your pants may feel a little snugger.

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Do you know how much weight we all tend to gain over the holidays? It may be less than you think.

I suggest there should be more freedom and enjoyment in our approach to eating, not less.

On average, research has shown people gain between one and five pounds over the holidays. While this may not seem like a lot of weight, health experts suggest the weight gained over the holidays isn’t lost the rest of the year for most people. Thus, the slow creep of weight gains over the years.

Detox and cleanse are popular buzzwords around the New Year because most of us have eaten too much rich food while maybe being lax on other healthy habits during the holidays. (Actually, the term detox is misleading, as this doesn’t really happen in the body. However, that is a topic for another day.)

How can you truly enjoy all the holidays have to offer, along with your favorite foods, while not feeling bloated, lethargic and yucky when it’s back to the normal routine?

The good news is you CAN enjoy your favorite holiday festivities without literally weighing yourself down. In fact, I suggest there should be more freedom and enjoyment in our approach to eating, not less. These tips can help you end the feeling of guilt and like you need a detox after your holidays.

CHOOSE your indulgence and enjoy it guilt free.

That’s right: you don’t need to avoid holiday foods. In fact, actually choosing and embracing your indulgences is really important for a healthy approach to the holidays. Where we can get off track is the constant bombardment of holiday food around us, and we are eating everything and anything in sight.

At holiday parties or wherever you are, focus on enjoying your food. Choose which foods you really want to eat, and go for it. However, don’t munch on foods that you don’t really enjoy because they are just there. Be intentional.

5 Tips to Enjoy Your Holidays Without Feeling like You Need to Detox Afterwards

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Food is meant to be enjoyed. Americans tend to forget that; we tend to feel guilty for eating certain foods. If this is you, shift your mindset this holiday season. CHOOSE foods you really want and ENJOY them in moderation of course. Don’t eat foods at a party or around the office just because they are there. It’s a shift in how we relate to food.

Don’t mindlessly munch.

This tip is similar to choosing your indulgences. Enjoying your food means you are intentionally eating something you really like. Mindlessly munching means you are half-heartedly and hurriedly eating foods just because they are there.

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When we mindlessly munch, we can be more apt to overeating and not really enjoying your food. This can leave you feeling unsatisfied, still wanting to eat more and overstuffed.

Don’t starve yourself before the holiday parties.

If you are going to a holiday event later in the day, you may think starving yourself that day can “justify” splurging at the party. What actually happens is you are ravenous going into the party, you eat fast and furious and this leaves you feeling overstuffed and bloated.

What can be a healthier option is to eat balanced meals leading up to the party. Make sure you get plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, as these are high in fiber which can help keep you satisfied. Then going into the party, you are not so ravenous and you will be more apt to slowing down when you eat and not feeling super stuffed. You’ll feel better afterward!

S  L  O  W  down your eating.

Many health experts and psychologists suspect one reason many of us eat beyond feeling full is because we eat too fast. As food enters the stomach and starts to get full, a message is sent to the brain to stop eating. However, this message takes some time, about 20 minutes.

Therefore, if you eat fast (under 20 minutes) you may be more likely to eat beyond the point of feeling full to where you are stuffed.

Many cultures around the world have a slow, relaxed pace with eating a large meal. While you may think this could increase risk for eating more food, the reverse usually happens and may be one reason why they have lower rates of obesity.

Need a practical tip for slowing down when you eat? Put your utensil down in between bites.

When you slow down while you eat, you are allowing for the full message to be sent to the brain before you over stuff yourself. Plus, this means you are more likely to really be tasting your food and enjoying it.

Need a practical tip for slowing down when you eat? Put your utensil down in between bites.

When eating special holiday foods, we may eat them quickly because we feel like we shouldn’t be eating them. However, this can lead to eating a large amount of food while not feeling good about it. Instead, savor your bites of foods you love- guilt free. You will actually be satisfied with a smaller amount.

Load up on fruits and veggies first.

This is a good rule of thumb anytime: fill up with fruits and veggies first at meal times. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables, even at holiday celebrations. Other foods you want can fill up the rest.

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If you are still truly hungry after first helpings, go for other yummy foods you really want… while truly enjoying them…and eating slowly.

Your holiday celebrations may not typically include many fruit/veg based dishes. Bringing a fruit/veg based dish to the party can mean there will be at least one produce dish to fill up on! Who knows, other people may be glad you brought it too.