88 Orchard Road
Skillman, NJ 08558

Tips to Avoid Overindulging

Though the holiday may officially mean something else, Thanksgiving is known as a day of overindulgence verging on gluttony. And not only with food, but with drink and shopping, too. It may be the day when we are encouraged to give in to most of our vices under the guise of giving thanks for what we have.

In order to help you, we have put together a small list of ways that you can keep to your goals and still enjoy yourself.

1. Have a plan

Remember that with a plan you can decide when you are going to indulge and compensate at another time. Even if we cannot stick to a plan 100%, we will almost always do better than if we did not have a plan to start with.

2. Don’t starve yourself before the big meal

It can be easy to look forward to Thanksgiving dinner with so much anticipation that we skip breakfast and/or lunch, but even when the intent is to ‘leave room’ for extra calories this can backfire. Often when we get really hungry we overeat. Coupled with alcohol, it is very easy to seriously overindulge. If you are using time restricted feeding (TRF) as a tool then you can adjust your feeding window accordingly and keep yourself in check.

3. Pace your drinking

Family, food, and alcohol, they often go together on the holidays. And do not worry, no one here is going to tell you that you have to forgo all your favorite booze on the holiday. But (yes there is a but), it is important to pace your drinking. Have a plan that includes how much you want to drink and try to stick to it. Sticking to this one point is often the key to sticking to everything else: besides the 100+ calories per drink, permission usually flows with the alcohol and that often means eating more than we intended.

4. Do not limit what you eat, just how much

If you want to try the sweet potatoes, the mashed potatoes, the turnips and then stuffing then do so. If you want ice cream on your apple pie go for it. You can taste and try all the different dishes while also being mindful of how much you are eating of each.

5. Workout before hand

Working out before dinner does a couple of things for us that are beneficial. It can help put us in a good mindset and reduce stress so we do not seek food or alcohol for comfort, it creates a little bit of a deficit so that it takes a little sting out of our indulgence, and sometimes it helps us to be more mindful of our goals and how easy it would be to delay reaching them with some poor choices.

6. Do not beat yourself up over one meal

If planning and pacing and the workout before hand do not work and you end up looking like my uncle on the couch after dinner with the top button of your pants open, do not beat yourself up over it. It is one meal and not the end of the world. If this happens then we plan again and move forward from that point. The most important idea to keep in mind is that one meal is just one meal, no matter how large, and each meal after that is a new decision with a new possible outcome.

Mindfulness in the Continuing Pandemic

There is no doubt that the pandemic and subsequent lock-down has been a challenge for everyone. If the inconvenience of closing businesses is all that we have had to deal with we should count ourselves very fortunate. Unfortunately for many of us this year has been much more challenging.

And though there may be vaccines on the horizon, it looks like we may need to undergo another round of increasingly tight restrictions on gatherings and closing businesses. Despite our best efforts, the number of cases are steadily rising again and, if Europe is any indication, we will be locking down again before the holidays.

This time, however, we have a better idea of what to except and we can be more proactive in having plans and contingencies in place for if it happens.

Two things that can help are mindfulness and meditation. Both of these practices are great for stress reduction by bringing our awareness to the present and helping us shine light onto what we are feeling and why we are feeling it.

Often our expectations about the future feed into our stress far more than the conditions in the present. Though we should take actions to direct our futures in ways that we wish, we should not live in stressful futures that may never happen.
Stoicism, Buddhism, and Yoga are just a few of the philosophies that train us to be mindful of the things that are under our control and to focus on them rather than the things that we cannot.

At Princeton Center for Yoga and Health many of the classes we off are based on stress reduction, mindfulness, and being present in the now. Whether you are looking for a new philosophy or simply need a break from worry over the future, we have a class for you.

In addition we are excited to bring back our popular 8 weeks Mindfulness Stress Reduction Program. Join our Free Intro to learn more.

We encourage you to use these classes to compliment your other exercise and nutrition efforts, as well as to reduce stress, meditate on the the things that matter to you and to dive into understanding why you want what you do.