How to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

How to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

Read Time: 2 ½ minutes


  • Avoid the classic holiday comfort foods and opt for healthier seasonal food options such as whole cranberries, butternut squash, multicolored cauliflower, and warm spices.
  • Try to avoid hanging around the appetizer table at parties and social functions, as this can be an easy way to overeat by snacking.
  • Show up to big holiday meals having already eaten, and start with lighter options like salads and soup before moving onto the main course.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay healthy and feel fuller—especially if you are drinking alcohol.
  • Stay physically active during the holidays with low-intensity exercise
  • Bring healthy food options to potlucks to avoid eating foods rich with salt and sugar

The holidays are a time to enjoy family, friends, and food—lots of food. With so many tempting options available at the dinner table, it’s easy to overeat. Doing so, however, can derail healthy eating habits and cause weight gain that sticks around far longer than we’d like. 

How can you stay on track during the holidays? Check out these tips to avoid overeating during the holidays while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Seek Out Healthy Holiday Foods

As cold weather hits, many of us reach for comfort foods, but you shouldn’t neglect the many nutritious fruits and vegetables available during this time of year. Whole cranberries, butternut squash, multicolored cauliflower and warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon offer tasty seasonal options that won’t wreak havoc on the waistline.

Avoid the Appetizer Table

Parties and events typically have appetizer tables. While it’s fine to visit the table and make a selection, avoid hanging out by the food. It’s too easy to eat mindlessly while socializing. Instead, try to draw conversation away from the appetizer table to avoid unnecessary eating.

Arrive at a Big Meal Satisfied

Eat a healthy snack about an hour before going to a big holiday meal. A cup of vegetable soup or an apple can provide fiber to help you feel satisfied and less likely to overeat. Starting the meal with a salad or broth-based soup can also help you feel satisfied without overindulging.

Stay Hydrated to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

Proper hydration is essential for many vital body functions, but it can be easy to forget to drink enough during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Keep water with you, and drink frequently. 

Drinking plenty of water also helps you to feel fuller. If you are at an event with alcohol, try alternating each drink with a glass of water. If you have undergone weight loss surgery, we advise our patients to abstain from alcohol and its empty calories

Stick with Physical Activity

You probably feel like you’re spending all your time running around, but it’s important to devote time to physical activity during the holidays. A walk, hike or jog with family and friends are great options for staying active. 

If you prefer less intensive exercise, you can try yoga, a pilates class or something as simple as taking your kids or grandkids to the park.

Take Initiative at Potlucks to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

When bringing food to a potluck, choose dishes that feature healthy ingredients and are low in salt and sugar. Some options for healthier side dishes include:

  • Homemade cranberry sauce
  • Sweet potato casserole topped with walnuts
  • Spiced butternut squash soup
  • Roasted maple Brussels sprouts
  • Mashed cauliflower

Partner with an Expert

No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, Dr. Borland’s team is ready to assist you along the way. We offer compassionate support and expert guidance through weight loss surgery and recovery. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation or check out our other weight-loss resources to learn more.