Last night’s holiday party: you and that box of doughnuts were really hitting it off. Long story short, you over indulged a little bit..and now you have a food hangover. During the holiday season especially, it happens. Nothing to get too worked up about. As long as one night of over indulging doesn’t turn into days, a week, and eventually a season full of poor food choices and eating habits.

Getting back on track the day after indulging and staying on track between all the indulgences is key to sticking to your health goals and feeling your best.

Don’t beat yourself up

Over eating and guilt go hand in hand, unfortunately. But, they shouldn’t. There is nothing shameful about enjoying food but we’ve been conditioned to believe that if we eat and dare to enjoy indulging, it’s something to be guilty of, or something we should punish ourselves for the next day by restricting or over exercising. NO! This just keeps you in a negative relationship with eating healthy and living a healthier lifestyle. You will not be motivated to get back to healthy eating if you are thinking about eating salad and working out for an extra hour to “compensate”.

Leftovers: get them out

You might feel bad about wasting the leftover apple pie or stuffing. But, food is either fuel or fun. Fuel, meaning it is fueling your body, or fun, meaning it is social and enjoyed in a social context (when indulgences are more appropriate).  Once the party and social event is over that that apple pie was meant for, it no longer serves a purpose in your house. Give it away or throw it away.

Keep your next meals clean - but still satisfying

Make your followup healthy meals ones that you enjoy eating. If you’re not excited about the healthy food you’re eating, getting right back on track will feel like a chore, like something you are forcing yourself to do. Wake up the next day, and eat your favorite healthy breakfast. Keep it clean- but still satisfying. That way it’s not a “punishment” for the day before, it is just your norm that you are returning to - and excited to do so. No negative connotations. Fiber and protein will give your body the nutrition it's seeking after the indulgent meals.

Drink lots of water

Not surprising. Being hydrated and keeping water coming in will make it that much easier for your body to flush everything out efficiently from the day before, and will keep you from feeling as sluggish.

Do not weigh yourself

Day after over eating - do not step on the scale! You are definitely holding on to extra water and bloating so the scale will be up a few numbers - but it is just reflecting water retention. Check the facts: there are 3500 calories in one whole pound of fat. It would be nearly impossible to gain even one real pound in one day, so don't fret, and don't let the scale control you and dictate your mood.