While the holidays are a time to spend with friends and family, for many, the holidays are also a time to put on a few extra pounds. This usually doesn’t happen by choice, but rather by the overeating and disproportionate portion sizes that come with family meals.


Overeating and excessive eating during the holidays can put a damper on your health—that extra weight carried around can lead to additional health problems, as well as issues with your urinary health. So consider these five ways to watch your weight this holiday season!


  1. Stay Hydrated

Alcohol is a popular beverage at nearly any occasion. Although a drink or two in moderation is fine, drinking regularly during the holidays dehydrates you. Being dehydrated can affect brain function and digestive health, and increase fatigue. Not getting enough water can also increase your risk for kidney stones: when there’s not enough water to flush out the kidneys, minerals accumulate and begin to form the stones.


Sip water this holiday season in between drinks and try to drink a full glass during every meal. This will help keep you hydrated as well as full—people who drink more water feel fuller than those who don’t. Staying hydrated ensures that you won’t overeat this holiday.


  1. Don’t Binge

Binge eating is surprisingly easy to do when you’re socializing. This is because you don’t realize how much you’re eating when you’re talking to others or paying attention to what others are doing. When your focus isn’t on your food, the extra calories really begin to add up.


You can prevent binge eating by paying attention to what you’re eating and how much of it you’ve eaten. It’s also important to never arrive to your host’s house hungry. Be sure to at least eat a snack or light meal before arriving to ensure you won’t overeat at the meal. Don’t skip meals, either—keep your metabolism ready for the meal you’re about to eat. Ensure you eat normal meals on the day of your holiday dinner.


  1. Take Time

The holidays can be a time to stress and rush for some. It’s important to remember to take time this holiday season. Take your time while eating. The faster you eat, the more calories you’ll consume. This is because it takes your stomach time to register that it’s full and to tell your brain to stop eating. Eat slower and be mindful while eating. Also be sure to take time before getting seconds. Don’t immediately get more food—allow some time to pass before you consider getting seconds, and when you do, choose thoughtfully. If you’re in a hurry, you can easily overeat or not realize how much you’re eating due to stress.


  1. Bring Something Healthy

If you’re a guest rather than a host this holiday season, ask the host if you can bring a dish. This ensures that if everything else is smothered in butter, you’ll at least have a healthy go-to meal and you won’t be at the mercy of eating whatever’s available. Bringing a dish can relieve the pressure you feel to eat the host’s food if it’s not the healthiest.


If you’re a host this holiday season, ensure you have options available for people who may have food allergies or just want healthier foods on their plate. Salads, raw vegetables with a fun dip, or fresh fruit for dessert can be refreshing.


  1. Reduce Stress

The stress hormone cortisol can lead you to feel hungrier than you really are. This is why it’s important to reduce stress this holiday season. Stress puts your body in a state of “fight or flight” response, which can be very taxing on your adrenal glands as well as your nervous system. Being mindful, avoiding situations you know will be stressful, or meditating can help. You may even want to treat yourself to a massage or facial—this can help relax you, increase circulation, and keep you feeling great!


The holidays are a time to celebrate, but celebrating doesn’t mean overeating or gaining extra weight. You can stay healthy and stress-free this holiday season by staying hydrated, reducing stress, and ensuring there are healthy options available. A healthy weight can help your urinary health as well as your entire body’s health. Happy Holidays!