It’s no secret that it is easy to overindulge during the holiday season. Between the abundance of food offered and available, along with a packed social calendar filled with parties and festivities, it can be easy to overeat. However, over time, it can develop into an unhealthy habit that results in weight gain and an increased risk of diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Breaking the cycle of overeating can be challenging, but you can do it.
I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter as I share some proven strategies to help you overcome overeating during the holidays and beyond!
Do you struggle with overeating? Schedule a consult, and we can work together to customize strategies to overcome overeating in your life.
5 Ways to Overcome Overeating During the Holidays
1. Practice Self Care. Rest, exercise and stress management are essential components of a healthy life, and when ignored, it’s easy to turn to foods high in sugar and fat as a way to manage one’s energy and emotions. The fact is, stress increases cortisol, a hormone that increases appetite levels. Therefore, being stressed can lead to increased hunger, overeating, and, ultimately, weight gain. By making a conscious effort to practice self-care by reducing stress, you can help prevent overeating.
Holiday Tip: Maintain a regular sleep and exercise schedule, and find a buddy to keep you accountable during this busy season. Manage stress by listening to music, gardening, practicing yoga, meditation, exercise, and breathing techniques.
2. Minimize Distractions. From scrolling through your Facebook feed during lunch or eating popcorn while watching your favorite TV show, being distracted during mealtime causes you to overeat. Distracted eating can also cause you to eat more food later in the day because you do not realize or remember what you consumed.
Holiday Tip: Make an intention to unplug from phones, computers, and other reading materials (aka magazines), so you can tune in to your body and the food you are eating.
3. Understand Your Triggers. Empower yourself for success by understanding what foods or situations might increase your risk to overeat or binge. Simply understanding your struggles can help prevent, or at least reduce, the frequency of overeating episodes.
Holiday Tip: Remove temptation from your fridge, pantry, or office stash. Share your goals with someone close to you, and make a conscious effort not to bring leftover foods home that are tempting.
4. Journal. Use a food and mood diary to help identify patterns and triggers around overeating. Record what you ate, who you were with, how you felt before you ate, how you felt during the meal, and how you felt after. Over time, you can reflect and see what food or situations might trigger a binge episode.
Holiday Tip: Practice identifying the emotion before eating your feelings. Were you hungry? Anxious? Angry? Lonely? Tired? Bored? Embarrassed? While it can be uncomfortable to sit through and feel your feelings, it can also be powerful to realize that the emotions will pass. Food is only a temporary fix to your feelings.
5. Eat on a regular schedule. Avoid the temptation to save up your calories by not eating all day, so you can indulge in dinner or party foods. Waiting to eat until you are starving only leads to overeating! Eating well-balanced meals and snacks regularly helps stabilize blood sugars and hunger levels, ultimately empowering you to not overeat later in the day.
Holiday Tip: Aim to fuel and nourish your body regularly by incorporating plant-based fats, lean protein, and high-fiber foods at meals and snacks.
If you struggle with overeating, the holiday season can be particularly challenging. While the tips listed above are an excellent place to start, they are just the beginning. Schedule a session, and we can work on specific strategies for you, empowering you for a healthy and happy holiday and beyond!
Simple Tips to Become a More Mindful Eater
As the holidays approach, it is important to take a step back and approach your eating habits. By putting more thought into what you consume and becoming more aware of your eating habits, you can create a more positive and healthier environment to enjoy delicious holiday treats in moderation and without guilt.
Principles of Mindfulness:
• Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, non-judgmentally.
• Mindfulness encompasses both internal processes and external environments.
• Mindfulness is being aware of what is present for you mentally, emotionally, and physically in each moment.
• With practice, mindfulness cultivates the possibility of freeing yourself of reactive, habitual thinking, feeling, and acting patterns.
• Mindfulness promotes balance, choice, wisdom, and acceptance of what is.
- Eat Unplugged. Avoid watching TV, surfing the net, reading the paper, etc. while eating. When you eat, just eat.
- Take time to focus on the sensations of the food. The smell, taste, and texture of the food. Try eating in silence (this may not always be possible, but experiment with it when you have a chance). Turn off external noises and when you eat, just eat.
- Practice. Your current eating habits did not develop overnight, therefore neither will becoming a mindful eater. It will take practice and patience. Learn to re-eat and taste foods. Set aside time each week to practice mindful eating. Slow down, taste the food, set no boundaries on what can and cannot be eaten, pay attention to what you really enjoy eating compared to foods you eat “just because.”
- Re-assess your favorites. We all have “favorite foods” but oftentimes these so-called “favorites” are really just habitual “favorites.” Meaning in the hustle and bustle of life, we have stopped asking ourselves “do I still really enjoy chocolate cake, or do I enjoy the memories and feelings that are associated with chocolate cake.” You will surprise yourself to learn what foods you really do love, compared to the foods you eat because of habit or the feelings that are associated with it.
- Re-connect with food. Plant a garden, cook, visit a local farm, and make bread or pasta from scratch. Taking the time to reconnect with food and seeing where it comes from can give you a whole new appreciation of the nourishment you feed your body.
|“Do not waste one moment on regret, for to think feelingly of the mistakes of the past is to re-infect yourself.” – Neville Goddard|