If you’re someone who struggles with your relationship with food, the holidays, with all the drinking and eating they bring, can feel very overwhelming.
Many feel a loss of control or powerlessness as they try to navigate the parties, potlucks, and nonstop food at their offices, and are often left feeling guilty or restricted based on their decisions.
And while there’s a lot to say on this topic, I want to keep it simple and focus on a strategy that I encourage all of my clients to use, and that is to eat foods that satisfy you, in adequate amounts throughout the day.
Time and time again I’ll hear people say things like,
“I’ll skip lunch to save calories when I’m going out to dinner.”
“I didn’t eat a snack because I knew I’d be eating more than usual at the party.”
“I’m trying to be good all week so I can splurge this weekend.”
The number one reason people report feeling out of control around food is simply because they often aren’t eating enough food, let alone foods that satisfies them.
Not eating enough sets your body up to crave food
This is why you get to that ravenous point where you want to eat everything in sight. And the longer you wait, the more you’ll crave energy-dense foods, like chips, french fries, and cookies because your brain knows it’s the quickest way to get energy into your under fueled body.
Pair this with the fact that many are also mentally restricting intake by avoiding certain foods, and there’s no wonder a person eats compulsively when he or she gets around them.
Sadly, people have gotten the message that this is a sign of weakness, or that they simply need to learn to control their hunger better, or that they failed, none of which could be further from the truth.
Eat. Foods you enjoy. Throughout the day
Eating can go a long way in helping you feel more in control in all food situations.
Try to remember that by skipping a meal or snack in an effort to save calories, you will very likely end up eating those calories, plus more, later on.
If you’re going to a party tonight or tomorrow, make sure you eat in a way that fuels you both physically and mentally. Don’t opt for the small salad in an effort to save calories and carbs- your mind and body will keep track of that shortage and it will likely backfire.
Even if you’re going to eat more carbs than you usually do that day, eat the sandwich for lunch, if that’s what you want, and allow the snack that you know you typically need to carry you to dinner.
If your favorite cookies are in the break room, eat one with your lunch or take it for later to have with dinner. And please, please, please don’t take the approach of,
“I might as well eat everything now because I’m going to have to give it all up come January.”
This is one of the number one triggers for compulsive, out of control eating that I have only see cause more harm than good.
Bottom line… if you’re hungry, eat.