Top 5 Do’s and Top 5 Don’ts on Dealing with The Holiday Hangover

Do

  1. Drink a lot of water. 
    1. Whether you drank alcohol or not during the holiday festivities, you probably ate richer, saltier and sugar-filled foods during this time than you would have normally eaten on any given day. Water helps purify and hydrate your body and makes you feel more energized. Just drink water, please. 
  2. Let yourself get hungry.
    1. You might have eaten passed 2 this holiday and that is perfectly OK, but for a few days after the big feast ( especially in the morning) let yourself get hungry, maybe -3, -4 or -5 on the hunger meter. However, be sure you do not go past -5, this is an act of rebooting your body not punishing it. Going past -5 on the meter, will make you more likely to binge later on. 
  3. Eat lots of vegetables.
    1. During the day, maybe your mid-day meal, have a salad full of both raw and cooked veggies to help get yourself back on track after indulging. This will serve as a reminder of how great it feels to be fueled by healthy foods like veggies, that provide you with extra water, fiber and vitamins.            
  4. Have a high protein, fiber rich breakfast.
    1. Having a healthy breakfast is a great way to set yourself up for a successful day.  My favorite breakfast is two fried eggs, steamed sweet potatoes (Japanese sweet potatoes are the best), and a steamed or sautéed vegetable, like broccoli or kale. You can also try oatmeal with nut butter, or tofu scramble with veggies to help jump start your day after a big holiday celebration.
  5. Exercise.
    1. I find that doing an activity that gets the heartrate up and sweat glands flowing, helps with the detoxification process after the big day of indulgence. It also makes you just feel better after hanging around the day before. 

Don’t

  1. Eat only 1000 calories to make up for a big holiday meal.
    1. Please for the sake of your body and for the sake of your sanity, do not starve yourself to make up for your eating during the holiday meal. That most certainly will not help you bounce back after the holidays, because you will be driving yourself crazy on your way to a binge the next day. Give your body the proper nutrition it needs to fuel your activity throughout the day.
  2. Exercise for 3 hours to make up for the day before.
    1. Exercising for 3 hours is a waste of your vacation time. As suggested in #5 on the do’s list, exercise, but not as a form of punishment, use exercise as a form of appreciation and love for yourself.  Get the endorphins going and use this time as a way to nudge yourself back on the right track.
  3. Weigh yourself.
    1. I promise you that weighing yourself after you have indulged is not a good idea for your mental well-being. Since holiday foods are classically heavier, saltier fare, your weight might have gone up just for the simple reason that your body is still processing the salt, which makes you retain water, in turn making you heavier. Weighing yourself is a sure fire way of ruining your vacation, just don’t. 
  4. Denying yourself.
    1. Sugar is highly addictive, but it is part of the holiday season. I notice that after having a few cookies, I crave sugary snacks more than I ever do normally. I know if I deny myself these treats, I will binge on them later. So give yourself some grace during this holiday season. Put that cookie or slice of pie on a plate, sit down and enjoy every bite you put into your mouth. I would suggest limiting your indulgence to one serving a day until the dessert is gone, then go back to your normal routine. Weaning yourself off the sugar is easier and less frustrating than going off cold turkey (no pun intended).
  5. Forget about your hunger meter.
    1. Remember my magic meter that you can download here. This will help you get back to your normal intuitive eating after your holiday.



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