Been Naughty or Nice with Holiday Eating?
This time of year is ridden with guilt. Guilt for not getting the gift shopping done early, guilt for not baking more, guilt for not putting up more decorations, guilt for whether you should get someone a gift or not and the list goes on. You don’t need to add to this with eating guilt.
Take a moment to be nice to yourself and your eating through the holidays. And please, please, do not try to do something crazy like loose weight. That is setting yourself up for failure. Better yet, don’t get on the scale at all through December and January.
The naughty thoughts I am referring to are “I overdid it”, “I shouldn’t have eaten so much” , “I will squeeze into this holiday dress I wore two kids ago”, or “I’ve blown it so I will wait until the New Year to get back on track.” These are all no, no thoughts. They don’t encourage you or focus on what you have done well.
If you need a pep talk to change your food thinking over the holidays, read on. I have three eating tips for being nice to yourself through the holidays.
1. Eat your favorite traditional dish.
Yes, I am giving you permission to eat. And better yet enjoy your favorite holiday foods. The key is to be super picky. Eat only your absolute favorite holiday treats. And as much as possible around your favorite foods stick to your normal eating routine.
What specific foods do you think of when someone mentions the holidays? For me it will be a cranberry bliss bar, glass of full fat spiked eggnog and monkey bread with the kids Christmas morning, Remember, you are being finicky.
Holidays are about people, memories, holiday cheer and food. It is not about food, food and more food.
2. Stand with your back to the buffet or food table.
Out of line of sight, out of mind. This really works. Researchers that watch the eating behavior of people found that skinny people were three times more likely to face away from the food table or buffet than heavier people.
This also gives you a chance to pay attention to your gut and not your eyes when deciding if and how much to eat.
3. Eat before you get to a party.
It sounds crazy to eat before you get to a party filled with food. The problem is if you end up there famished, you will overeat on fat and calorie laden party food. The best strategy is eat a little something before going. This also makes it easier to concentrate on the people, the venue, the conversation and event, not just the food.
Whatever you do, be compassionate. Don’t beat yourself up for eating too much, drinking too much or going off of your plan. Life is a journey of experiments where you try things out, figure out what works for you and what doesn’t.
Next time, do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. And don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for strategizing and reflecting on your eating to discover what works best for you and what is best crossed off.