How to Identify Cravings & Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

Merry Christmas Eve! This is one of my FAVORITE days of the year. Family dinners, holiday baking, and Christmas decorations & music everywhere in the house only add to the excitement!

On the topic of family dinners & holiday baking: this is really the first year I have been extremely intuitive about my eating habits on Christmas. In the past I have used the holidays as an excuse to eat as much of whatever I wanted and call it a “cheat day.” I did limit my cheat to ONE day, but I would overeat to the point of discomfort and this year I realized no flavor of Christmas cookie is worth the way my body feels afterwards.

I am going to keep this post short and sweet because I could ramble on and on about this topic so I figured I would condense the list to four things to consider before you overeat. These are thoughts that have helped me make healthy choices this holiday season and I hope some of you can relate to this list and use it to your advantage!

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1. Are you REALLY hungry?

Chances are: no. Chances are you have already eaten dinner and just want the taste of something sweet to finish off your meal. Which there is NOTHING wrong with, but instead of eating one of everything on the dessert table, try going for just one cookie OR one small sample bite of multiple. You can still have dessert on Christmas, it only comes once a year and you SHOULD treat yourself, but within moderation. Before you go back for seconds wait 15 minutes, drink some water, chat with family, and then see if you are still hungry. If you are, go for it. If not, chances are it was just a craving that passed.

2. Are you hungry enough to eat ANYTHING - or do you just want carbs and dessert?

Whenever I find myself fighting a craving I always ask myself this: would I be okay with swapping out this piece of pie with a plate full of broccoli? Both will fill me up. If your answer is no: chances are it’s just a craving and you’re not actually hungry. Try sipping on some water or taking a small bite of the food you’re wanting.

CLICK HERE to view: 33 Calorie Double Chocolate Fudge Protein Truffles | Healthy Christmas Dessert Recipe

3. How will this food make me FEEL in about 30 minutes?

Yes, dessert and mashed potatoes taste good at the moment, but how will you feel in about 30 minutes? Will you feel overstuffed, uncomfortable, tired, and bloated? I never used to think about this until I finally got tired of feeling sluggish after a big Christmas dinner. Now, I find it so helpful to stop and remember that feeling before I load up on a second (or third) plate.

4. WHY are you filling your plate? Are you nourishing your body or just indulging?

Eating is VERY social - I get it! And on Christmas it is important to eat and be merry while you socialize with family and friends. BUT: that’s not to say you have to binge and eat until you reach the point where you can barely stand up from the table. Treat yourself, but always know your limits and recognize when it’s time to put the fork down.


I hope this list helps you all make healthier choices this holiday! Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and enjoy your time with family and friends. Remember: whether it’s eating healthy and making smart choices or deciding to fit in a workout, you are 100% in charge of the decisions you make during the holidays.

Keep up with me on Instagram @samanthabowers_ for more healthy recipes, workouts, and fitness tips.

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