Cure for the Holiday Hangover: How to Recover from a Season of Overindulgence

By: Deb Lowther shutterstock_74386801 250

The Holidays are such a fun, festive, let-your-hair-down and loosen-your-belt-a-notch time of year. Let’s face it – we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays that we fall off whatever exercise and eating right regime we managed to fit in.

Now it’s January and you have the dreaded Holiday Hangover. You know the one: it’s the feeling you get after a few weeks of enjoying the Santa shaped shortbread your Mom makes, the boxes of chocolates at Aunt Millie’s, the-once-a-year deep fried turkey cousin Bob serves up and all made worse by the lack of time for exercise during the holidays.

Each January, we all vow to make a change, and start this year differently – exercise more, go to bed earlier and eat more salad! The gyms are crowded and the lettuce is flying off store shelves, but by March all is quiet again at the gym and lettuce is going on sale.

The truth is the best cure for the Holiday Hangover is not a New Year’s Resolution, but a Lifestyle Resolution.

The turkey and trimmings are a wonderful part of the holidays and some indulgence is okay if, throughout the year, you make little decisions each day that have a big impact all year long. Make sure you create new habits; don’t just make temporary changes.

Start the New Year Off with a Lifestyle Resolution

The best place to start is to Be Real. You are not going to give up chocolate and french fries and live happily ever after without them, but you also know picking up an order of fries at the drive thru twice a week is not going to make you feel better. Save the fries for a once-in-a-while treat and try putting the chocolate in the freezer (out of sight, out of mind really does work).

Be Smart. Start looking at your diet and not looking for a diet! Look at the food you eat regularly and then make small changes that will positively impact the amount nutrients you are getting. Choose realistic portion sizes, cut down on seconds, fill most of your plate with fruit or veggies, drink water instead of sugary sodas and avoid regular late night snacking. Learn about the importance of key vitamins like Omega 3’s for brain and heart health, vitamin D for strong immune system and B Vitamins for energy.  By adding in extra-good-for-you food, it leaves less room for the not-so-good foods.

Be Committed. No one else is going to clear time in your schedule to fit in exercise except you. If a healthier and more active you is what you want, then commit to getting to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, take the stairs, or go for a brisk walk with kids in their stroller or wagon. If friends motivate you, enlist their help. If at home DVD’s will get your heart rate moving, invest in a few. If time is a factor, make it a family affair and write it on the family calendar in PEN.

Cure your Holiday Hangover by resolving to have a healthier lifestyle, hang on to the things that work and make you feel energized; modify the things that don’t.  Change it up, try a new food, subscribe to healthy recipes on line, try a new cardio machine or yoga class at the gym and get to know the vitamin isle at the grocery store.  Make it work for you, and then when you need a treat, enjoy that frozen piece of chocolate!

Deb Lowther is a mother of three young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active.  You can visit her websites to learn more &

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