Lighten up after a holiday calorie splurge

Resume your "healthy" normal

A festive splurge doesn’t have to wind up on your hips.  If you go overboard, get back to your usual routine of healthy eating. Stick to regular mealtimes and focus on foods that are filling yet low in calories. Do this by pairing proper servings of lean protein and high-fiber carbs for each meal and snack.

Stay hydrated to manage hunger

Dehydration mimics the symptoms of hunger, so drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help keep hunger and cravings in check. Water also helps to rid the body of toxins and chemicals that can slow down your metabolism.

Banish bloating by eating potassium-rich foods

Holiday foods can be loaded with sodium, which leads to water retention and bloating. Beat that bloated feeling by eating foods rich in potassium, which has a diuretic effect. Good choices include bananas, papayas, kiwis, strawberries, spinach, watercress, cooked beets and broccoli.

Schedule your workouts

The hectic nature of the holiday season makes it tempting to ease off on exercise.  Make a concerted effort to stay physically active by scheduling workouts as you would any event or appointment. Remember that short periods of activity, such as brisk walking, taking the stairs, and resistance exercises have a cumulative benefit – good to know on days when a full workout isn’t possible.

Visualize success

Keep up your resolve to avoid holiday weight gain by imagining yourself looking and feeling great. Avert those easy diet slips now and you won’t greet the New Year with weight to lose.

For more tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, and for delicious high fiber meal plans and recipes, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books:  The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn