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8 Ways to Prevent Holiday Overeating

Holiday Overeating

The holidays can be a very difficult time for the average individual. They can be an incredibly stressful time—not to mention painful. Especially if anyone has dealt with a loss earlier this year. This may be the first holiday season without your loved one. Even if you’ve faced a loss years ago, each year the pain and grief can be triggered by the holidays.

The holidays can also be an extremely stressful time of year for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Depending on the nature of one’s depression or anxiety symptoms, the first thing a person may want to do to self-soothe and alleviate symptoms is to eat. When this is a motivating force behind eating, it can be easy to overeat. This is even easier to do during the holidays due to the fact that comfort food is often heavily served during the holidays. Indulgences abound during the holidays, like cookies, chocolate, turkey dishes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, breadsticks, and the list goes on!

That being said, those who suffer from mental illnesses are likely a bit more prone to overeating, which can lead to a cycle of self-loathing. This is especially difficult if this person has gained weight over the holidays. The only thing that individuals who are struggling with a mental illness can do this time of year is to realize they will be in for a challenging time and plan ahead. In doing so, here are some steps to take:

Eat a Healthy, Filling Breakfast

Dinnertime during the holidays presents an opportunity for overeating to easily happen. This can be avoided by eating a healthy breakfast rich in proteins, complex carbs, and fiber. In doing so you’ll be less likely to overeat throughout the day. However, temptation still might be an issue, so here is the next tip.


The best way to get distracted from overeating is to talk with others and listen to what they have to say. This can be sparked by sharing your own thoughts with friends and family during holiday dinners. If you’re busy talking to others, then you’re going to be less likely to overeat and snack mindlessly. However, if you don't want to socialize because you’re not particularly fond of the people joining you for dinner, the next tip may help a bit more.

Bring a Book, Magazine, or Activity Book

Even though it’s important for anyone who has a mental illness to socialize, they cannot be forced to socialize with those who they’re not overly fond of. This can lead to more stress which can lead to stress and comfort eating. In these situations, it’s always best to bring something with you that will keep you distracted such as an enjoyable book or magazine to read. Or, you can bring an activity book and do crossword puzzles and word searches, or you can bring your own adult coloring book. While this will help hold you over, you still will need to eat dinner so here’s another tip to utilize during dinner time.

Sit Down When You’re Ready for Dinner

If you eat standing up, you will be more likely to grab more snacks or extra helpings and mindlessly overeat. This way, when you are sitting down you will only grab what you need and that will be that. If you are still worried about overeating and grabbing extra helpings even when you are sitting down, here is another tip to utilize.

Eat a Healthy Snack Beforehand

If that hearty breakfast did not fill you up as much as you hoped, you can always have a healthy snack rich in fiber and protein, and even healthy fats to help keep you satiated and not as tempted to overeat. Some healthy snacks include nuts, dried fruit, string cheese, celery with peanut butter, or apple slices.

Holiday Eating

Don't Think in Extremes

You may be struggling with an all-or-nothing approach. Perhaps you’re thinking that you should deprive yourself of a piece of chocolate cake for dessert because you’re trying to be mindful of what you’re eating. The fact of the matter is that you’ll want to eat what you want in moderation if you allow yourself a small portion. It’s only when we do not allow ourselves a bit of indulgence that we’re tempted to binge on our favorite foods. Never forget that moderation is the key to everything, and black and white thinking can do more harm than good.

Plan What You Want to Eat Ahead of Time

There’s nothing wrong with asking the dinner host what he/she plans to serve. This way you can decide what foods you want to have ahead of time, as well as and which ones you don't care to waste calories on. If you plan this ahead of time, you will feel more in control when it comes time to fill your plate. You may also want to research the portion sizes that are best for each dish you plan to eat.

Take the Winning Supplement

It always helps to take a daily micronutrient supplement as a means of combating any triggers to indulge this holiday season. Focus Essentials makes a wonderful micronutrient supplement that will help you feel more clear-headed, in control, and better overall. When one is feeling better due to healthy mental health management, the risk overeating during the holidays will not be as strong as it might be otherwise. Be sure to take this supplement consistently in order to reap the many benefits, and if it doesn’t work as you hoped, you can always get a refund.

Most of all, find something during this festive time to look forward to that you enjoy. That said, have a safe and happy holiday season.

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