Health & Medicine

Overindulge at Thanksgiving? Use these tips to get back on track

Thanksgiving is over, and you're likely feeling a little stuffed and miserable from eating and drinking a bit too much this past weekend. Looking toward December, there are likely many upcoming opportunities to overindulge before the holiday season is over.

Most of us don't mean to overindulge — it's just so tempting this time of year.

But there are a few ways you can get back on track and carry healthy momentum into the new year.

n Drink lots of water. Hydration is key when you're focusing on moderation. Drinking water helps you feel full, which means you're less likely to want to fill up with unnecessary calories.

n Don't skip breakfast. It's easy to forgo your morning meal after a heavy dinner the night before — you might feel a bit sluggish, and you're just not hungry. Make yourself eat a light breakfast. It will keep your metabolism up, and it helps keep your meal schedule on track.

n Snacks are your friend. Our work/life schedules sometimes mean that a lot of hours pass between lunch and dinner. Plugging in a healthy snack in that time can do wonders for keeping your metabolism and blood sugar steady. That way, you're not absolutely starving by the time dinner rolls around, and you might be less tempted by some of the rich, calorie-laden foods of the season. Try some fruit with nuts, or a mix of fresh veggies with light dressing.

n Have dinner parties at home. With hectic holiday schedules, sometimes it's just easier to stop at a restaurant and let someone else do the cooking. Unfortunately, restaurant food often means giant portions and tons of calories — not to mention added pitfalls like unlimited bread.

Cooking dinner at home is almost always the better option because you are in control of how your food is cooked, and you control the portion sizes. If you're having a get-together, challenge your friends to all bring a dish for a healthy potluck. And if you do eat out, try having your waiter box up half your meal to take home before you even begin eating — that way you're spreading out those calories over multiple meals.

Don't forget about calorie burning. Get your workouts in. This is the time of year where even the most dedicated fitness buff can fall off the wagon a little bit. Making time for short workouts, even a consistent 20-minute walk, can do wonders for how you feel.

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