After a long day of overindulging on everything from candy canes to candied ham, you are most likely waking up with a food hangover. If that sounds familiar to you, I can only assume you’re thinking, “I need to get back on track today” or “I’m going to start a strict diet when the New Year arrives so I might as well enjoy as much holiday food as I can now.”
I’ve been there. I’m sure you have too. So my question to you is: Which thought are YOU having?
I will admit that when I was morbidly obese my thought was to indulge in every scrumptious food item available. I didn’t even care if I was hungry or not. If any delicious holiday food was offered to me I would eat it. I figured that when on my upcoming diet, which was also my New Year’s Resolution, the food restrictions were going to be awful. So in order to alleviate any issues with possible food cravings when the New Year arrived, I would take care of them before I began my new New Year’s Resolution diet.
This never worked. I tried this method for more than twenty years. The end result was me tipping the scales at a whopping 300 pounds. Lovely.
I have learned many things since then. For one, we don’t need to look at any calendar or wait for a particular day to arrive in order to get back on track. We need to get back on track immediately. We do not need to wait for the New Year to arrive in order to eat healthier, limit food portion sizes or exercise daily. We are completely capable of doing it today.
Another thing I’ve learned is that yesterday’s food overindulgence is over. It’s done and no matter how much we may regret what we’ve consumed, we can’t undo the past. Don’t dwell on it, and please do not add to the guilt by eating even more today. That will just add to the problem.
If you are trying to alleviate a “food hangover” here are a few suggestions:
- Drink water. Stay hydrated because your body needs water to process calories. Even if you are mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down which does not help the food hangover. In order to figure out how much water you should drink, take your current body weight and divide it in half. That number is the amount of ounces of water you should consume today … and every day.
- Give your metabolism a boost and tie on those walking shoes! If you really want to help alleviate the food hangover, walk briskly outdoors. And if you walk during the morning hours you will truly reap the benefit of increasing your metabolism which can last for several hours. This can also assist in helping to relieve joint and muscle stiffness that may have occurred from all that gift lifting! Remember that 15 minutes of walking burns about 100 calories for an average sized person. Since walking is considered a weight-bearing activity, the more a person weighs the more calories that person burns per mile.
- Snack healthy today, about every 3-4 hours. It’s true that eating more often can help you lose weight and helps you burn more calories over the course of the day. The goal here is to keep your metabolism moving. One of my favorite snacks happens to be plain popcorn. One cup of air-popped popcorn contains about 30 calories and contains a beneficial amount of fiber – I love the stuff!
- Keep portion sizes under control, always remembering my favorite quote: “The first bite tastes the same as the next twenty.” Really think about that when you are enjoying any food item that may lead you to encounter a food hangover. It’s all about control.
Do you have any tips to share that help you alleviate a food hangover?
Photo credit: ldandersen