Holiday Over-Eating Problem? Here Are Some Solutions
Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all right in front of us, and the one thing they have in common: food will be in abundance. For people who have a bad habit of turning to food for comfort or emotional eating, it can derail their diet and have other negative health consequences. How can you avoid emotional eating this holiday season?
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Get support: To stop emotional eating, get around people who can hold you accountable and provide you support so you’re not turning to food to feel better. Instead of food, call, text or have a face-to-face conversation with a friend, loved one, therapist or someone you feel comfortable with. Talk about what’s bothering you and how you can fix it without relying on food.
Find out what’s really bothering you: If you have trouble with emotional eating, that means there is an underlying reason. In other words, why are you turning to food? What is really going on? What’s on your mind? What’s bothering you? Food is simply the effect, but first you must identify the cause of the problem.
Stay busy: Never give food the chance to sneak in and be there for the taking. This means avoiding boredom and finding things to occupy your time. Get involved in a work project you have been putting off. Read a book. Clean the house. Exercise. Do something other than turning to food.
Eliminate the temptation: If food isn’t present then it’s impossible to eat emotionally. This means keeping only healthy options around the house or office. Don’t bring leftovers home and avoid stocking up on unhealthy snacks and beverages that have lots of fat, calories and high concentration of sugar. Keep Halloween candy out of reach and ask your kids not to eat it in front of you.
Relieve stress in other ways: Instead of turning to food to relieve your stress, try other proven and useful ways to do this. Go for a walk, swim or hit the gym. Try meditation, mindfulness and yoga. Listen to some calming music or relaxation programs. Engage in any activity that you really find joy and excitement in.
Delegate: This time of year is very busy for most of us between time spent with friends and family, holiday meals and get-togethers, buying presents, holiday travel, holiday parties and more. There’s no reason you should have to do everything by yourself. Make a list and delegate the responsibilities to everyone in the family.
Don’t forget about yourself: During the holiday season, we put so much time and attention on others and many of us forget about ourselves. Never neglect number-one. No matter how busy you are, always take at least 30 minutes each day to relax, refocus and recharge. You can’t be there for others until you’re taking care of yourself.
Just say ‘no:’ When your great aunt insists you try her homemade apple pie at Thanksgiving or your friend offers you a Snickers, politely say ‘no.’ Be polite and thank them for offering, but let them know that you are paying extra attention to the foods you eat and although you would love to indulge, your health is more important right now.