7 Ways to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

Guest post by Jihan Boughman, dietetic intern at Metropolitan State University of Denver

1. Put Healthy Food Front and Center

Avoid snacks before dinner or put out only healthy, low calorie snacks like fresh fruit and a vegetable tray with hummus. Position yourself out of reach of food while socializing to avoid mindless snacking.

2. Drink Water Before Eating

Even though water contains no calories, it fills up your stomach, helping you to feel full with less food.

3. Start with a Smooth Soup

Smooth soups leave the stomach more slowly, making you feel fuller longer, thus limiting the amount of food you eat at meal time. It’s also a great way to sneak some more vegetables in during the holidays.

4. Use a Smaller Plate

Studies show that using a smaller plate can actually trick your brain into
thinking you’ve eaten more food than you have.

5. Be Present

Pay attention to the people around you and enjoy conversation while
eating slowly. We tend to spend a longer time around the dinner table at
holiday meals. Make your meal last by chewing slowly, setting your utensil down, and engaging in conversation to avoid wanting another helping.

6. Wait 20 Minutes Before Deciding on Seconds

This is how long it takes your brain to realize you’re full.

7. Take a Walk

Take a stroll after your meal to help your body start to utilize some of that holiday food as fuel!


Jihan Boughman is a dietetic intern at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She holds a master’s degree in human nutrition from Colorado State University and is working towards becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Jihan is passionate about the integrative effects nutrition and exercise have on a person’s physical and mental well-being. Eventually, she hopes to work as a professor of nutrition and conduct research related to nutrition and exercise at high altitudes. In her spare time, Jihan can be found volunteering at her local boxer rescue or spending time with her husband and her own three boxers.