Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. Recovering From Holiday Overindulgence – Five Tips to Get You Back on Track

    There are so many opportunities for fun, festivity and FOOD over the next three months. However will you resist the temptations you’re facing and accomplish your weight-loss goal?

    After a day of overindulgence it’s easy to feel discouraged and regretful. We’ve all been there before and will be there again. Remember-- it is not the end of the world and the best measure of a “healthy habit” is how quickly you can get back to it.

    Exercise, healthy eating, quality sleep and stress management – they all play a role in losing or maintaining your weight. Here are five tips for reviving your good habits and getting back to feeling your best:

    1) Drink Up

    Water is a sure-fire way to get you back on track post-binge. Whether it was too much caffeine or alcohol, a day of thanks giving, or a late-night holiday party, flush your system with eight to ten glasses of ice water throughout the day.

    Ice water has the added benefit of burning some additional calories because it takes a certain amount of energy for your body to warm up the water. You can even add water to your diet by eating foods with high water content.

    Most fruits and vegetables have a water content above 80%, and some are as high as 95% - try celery, cucumbers, zucchini and spinach, all of which top the vegetable list. For fruit, try seasonal selections like apples, oranges and pomegranates, all of which have about 85% water content. Fruits and vegetables also pack in fiber – a good-for-you nutrient that helps you feel full longer. This may help you eat fewer calories overall, which we don’t need to remind you, may be a good idea post-binge!

    Also keep in mind that thirst is sometimes mistaken for hunger. Drinking a glass of water might just curb your appetite. If it doesn’t, at least you’ll know it’s a real feeling of hunger and make a conscious, healthy choice after your glass of water.

    2) Go Back to Normal, Balanced Eating

    Don’t deprive yourself by drastically cutting calories after a binge. You don’t want to impair your metabolism by skipping meals. Instead, think about getting back to your healthy eating plan as soon as possible. Start with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole-grain fiber-rich foods, and healthy fats.

    If your overindulgence occurred at your own party, be sure to send the less-than-healthy leftovers home with guests and share with neighbors and workmates so that you don’t find yourself absently picking at extra food around the house.

    3) Get Moving

    Nothing makes you feel as good as a calorie-blasting, extra-exhilarating workout! There is a physiological reason why exercise improves your mood – it has to do with the release of the chemical endorphin. According to, exercise can also ward off the holiday blues, boost self-esteem, improve sleep and reduce stress. Be sure to replenish fluids during and after your workout.

    Build natural exercise into your holiday activities by including dancing or animated games, like charades. You can also start an exercise-related family tradition prior to large family feasts. Here are some suggestions:

    • Scavenger hunt
    • Football
    • Volleyball
    • Horseshoes
    • Nature Walk

    4) Let the Sunshine In

    As the weather gets colder it becomes more and more important to take opportunities to get outside. Instead of “vegging out” in front of the TV, get outdoors and walk, read a book or strike a (yoga) pose. Research shows that a natural environment can replenish the directed-attention part of your brain, allowing you to focus and think more clearly. And I think we’d all agree, getting back on track with healthy habits is much easier with a clear head!

    There’s another reason why the sun is so important – sunshine provides the vital nutrient, vitamin D, and signals the brain to slow the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Therefore a brisk walk outside in the sunshine (even in cold weather) can enhance your energy during the day and help you to get better rest at night. Regular sleep patterns have been linked to increased weight loss and improved mood.

    As shorter days approach, take advantage of your lunch hour to soak up some valuable rays. This can give you the boost you need to overcome the guilt of holiday overindulgence.

    5) Be Good to Yourself

    Holidays are not valid excuses for treating your body poorly. If you do go crazy over Thanksgiving or Christmas, don’t beat yourself up. Move on and look forward. Try to make all the other meals around the holidays extra healthy. Using a prepared meal service like Diet-to-Go can help.

    Think of it this way – one pound equals 3,500 calories – so an overindulgence of 1000 calories will only have an effect if you continue to do it day after day after day. (Which you won’t….right?) When you are too hard on yourself, you are likely to repeat the overindulgence or give up on your goal completely. Instead, think of what may have derailed you in the first place and the actions you can take to handle the situation differently next time. But most importantly, be sure to congratulate yourself on getting back on track!

    As the holidays approach and, inevitably, some overindulgence, make sure your arsenal of recovery weapons is stocked and loaded. Practice healthy habits and feelings of gratitude toward yourself and your life. Who knows, you might even be able to lead by example and help your spouse, neighbor or colleague do the same!

    Author: Brandi Redo
    Brandi is a Certified Health Coach at Diet-to-Go, based in Lorton, VA. Balance is the number one mission in Brandi’s life. In her spare time she loves to bike, do Zumba and play tennis, but hates gym exercise. She is an amateur gardener and nature walker, who is on the constant look out for interesting insects and small animals. Brandi encourages people to “find the sweetness in life.”



    Surviving the Holidays
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