7 Steps to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays
‘Tis that time of year when the scent of baked pie fills the air, friends and family are abound, and the common thread of celebration is often tied to a huge plate slathered with delicious goodness. But the holiday season should not be mistaken for a free pass to eat like we have never had a meal before. Instead, try these simple tips to avoid access eating during the holidays:
Make conscious food choices
Eating consciously means that you intentionally choose the foods you eat and put conscious thought into how the food will affect your body, mood, and attitude. Whether you choose to munch on an apple or a chow down on a candy bar, make a commitment to be completely aware of what you’re putting in your mouth and how much of it you’re eating.
Eat less, more often
Waiting too long to eat between meals can lead to overeating. There is no perfect plan for how often you should eat because every “body” is different. A good rule of thumb is to focus on eating a diet rich in raw, colorful fruits and vegetables in as large of portions and as often as you like. Enjoy pseudo and non-gluten grains like quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat as well as lean cuts of poultry in small portions.
Pack your refrigerator with smoothies, vegetables, and fruits
Get rid of the “crack” in your kitchen also known as: white sugar, white flour, white potatoes, white rice, and white salt. Take that a step further and toss out any food products that contain these elements including: pastas, breads, crackers, pastries, cereals, granola bars, and other snack foods that lack nutritional value. Replace these foods with mason jars filled with yummy green smoothies prepared by you and mounds full of fruits and vegetables that can be used to make healthy meal plans.
Bring your own healthy foods
It never fails. Every time I visit my mom, her kitchen is filled with all the cakes and treats that remind me of my childhood. I have learned to bring my own smoothies or other yummy vegetable variations with me so that I can still partake in family meals in a way that supports my eating habits. People who know and love you will not be offended by your choice to bring your own food to the party. They may even be inspired to start looking at their nutrition in a new way!
Get sensual with your food
Make it a point to engage your senses when you eat. It takes your body approximately 20 minutes to realize it’s full and since interacting sensually with your food requires you to slow down; you will naturally eat less and improve your digestion. Vision: Take an appreciative look at your food and be interested in its shape and quality. Be thankful for the time that it took to prepare your meal and savor every bite.
Touch and Taste: notice the texture of your food and the way it feels when it’s in your mouth. Chew your food slowly and thoughtfully; appreciating the nourishment the food is about to provide. Scent: Be it savory or sweet; take the time to really smell your food. Notice what emotions or memories the scents stimulate in you. If it’s a positive memory, hold the thought in your mind and allow yourself to relive the moment. Hearing: Take note of the sound your chewing makes. Notice if you’re chewing in a noisy and rapid way or slowly and methodically. The sounds of your chewing may be a good reminder to eat your food more mindfully.
Refrain from the idea that it is ok to overeat
“It’s ok if I overeat this one time” or any other variation of that statement should not be in your lexicon. The desire to overeat is usually a need to fill a hole in another part of your life. So you’re only subjecting yourself to poor digestion, toxic build up, obesity/overweight, addictive behavior patterns and are never dealing with the issue that caused you to overeat in the first place. Notice what times of the day, what emotions you are experiencing, and the activities you are partaking in when the desire to overeat arises. Jot these occurrences down in a journal and see if a pattern appears.
Handle with compassion
If, in spite of all my advice, you take it upon yourself to eat to your heart’s content, remember not to judge yourself too harshly afterwards. Focus on having compassion for yourself and make a conscious decision to change one thing in your eating pattern the next time you reach for a snack or sit down for a meal. Feelings of guilt, frustration, and fear of weight gain are common emotions experienced after overeating that only perpetuate the process of overeating.
Go nuts for your health!