With the holiday season coming up around the corner, a lot of you are probably looking forward to indulging in all those delicious foods that come along with it! There are also some of you that might be dreading the increased level of stress as you battle the commitment of continuing to fit into your skinny jeans- or just pulling out those sweatpants and leaving every event you attend in a wheel barrow.
So how do we find a balance? Why is it so hard to stick to a reasonable amount of dessert?
The first place to start is with your mindset. Going into an event with pre-conceived rules in your head that you will not eat any carbs, or that you can eat what you want as long as it’s gluten free, or that you will avoid all sugar and sweets is sure to set you up for failure.
The number one rule you must make with yourself this Thanksgiving, is that THERE ARE NO RULES.
Yes that’s right. The minute you tell yourself that there are no good or bad foods and that you are welcome to enjoy and taste anything that catches your eye or appetite is the minute that those foods stop controlling you! Oftentimes when we are too strict with ourselves or create unreasonable rules towards our diet, those foods that are “off limits” seem even more desirable when they otherwise would not be. This can lead to binging because if we slip and taste something we said we wouldn’t, a lot of us just throw in the towel and eat everything in sight. In order to avoid this happening, it is important to lose the rules and stop labeling foods as good or bad. Try to listen to your body’s intuition, take your time, eat slowly and reevaluate your level of hunger every 5 minutes or so.
So other then practicing mindfulness what else can you do to avoid overeating at holiday events?
- Make sure you stay well hydrated. A lot of the time, not drinking enough water can make us hungrier then we actually are! A lot of us confuse thirst with hunger. Try having a glass of water thirty minutes before you plan to eat.
- Don’t restrict or starve yourself before the event. Entering an event after restricting your intake or starving yourself all day will only set you up to make poor decisions and lead to over eating at the event. Try eating a high protein snack before you leave. This will take the edge of your appetite and allow you more self control around the dessert table!
- Eat exactly what you want at the event. If you don’t like brussel sprouts or salad then for goodness sakes, don’t eat them!
- Lose “the diet starts tomorrow mentality”. If you eat a bit more than you intended, just forgive yourself and move on. Everyone knows you can’t lose weight by skipping a meal, so, of course, overeating at one meal isn’t going to make you gain a ton of fat overnight. It may cause some fluctuations in your weight or bloating but most of this is water weight and your weight will resume to its normal state after a few days of sticking to your normal eating routine.
- Lastly, go easy on the cocktails! Alcohol not only dehydrates us but also makes us more compelled to overeat!
Lose the all or nothing mindset, and food will no longer control you.