I will be completely honest that this has been one of my biggest challenges throughout my life. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder from an early age, I have times where my relationship with food seems "normal" and times where I still struggle with overeating and sugar addiction. How well I do depends on so many factors, and my emotional state in the moment is always high on the list.
Speaking of lists, however, when I feel very off kilter with my eating running through a list of what to do to bring myself back to center is one of the rituals I engage in to help ground myself. This is the overarching list that I try to adhere to and I actually run through it in my mind almost like a mantra during stressful times. This is even something you could post on the fridge, especially during the holidays, to help keep you on track when you need that little extra reminder to eat mindfully!
We’ve always the heard the saying to enjoy everything in moderation, and that is definitely true when it comes to food. Don’t try to deprive yourself during special occasions and holidays in particular, it most likely won’t go over well. Having an extra treat here and there won’t kill you. You’re allowed to indulge a bit, just keep portions small when it comes to desserts and make sure you limit how often you eat them. Going the whole season without any treats is cruel and will most likely end in binging later, so have your guilty pleasures, just keep them in moderation.
Watch the alcohol
When the times call for celebration, this most likely means more alcohol. Not only does alcohol add on empty calories, but can also lead you to eating more while drinking. If you are at a gathering, limit yourself to one or two drinks to cut down on the unhealthy cravings you might be feeling afterward.
Focus on the protein
Protein-packed foods are a great way to fill up without adding a lot of sugar and empty carbohydrates. Pack your plate with low-fat meats like turkey and chicken. If you’re vegetarian, eat more of the tofu than the side dishes that are most likely to be sugar and carbohydrate heavy.
Fill up on the water
Don’t forget about water! The celebrations especially are an easy time to drink more sugary beverages than normal. Substitute drinks for water, and drink a lot of it. Not only is water essential for your health, but drinking a glass before a meal can fill you up more as well, preventing you from overeating.
Take your time
Eating too fast is one of the easiest ways to overeat. When you don’t give your body the chance to digest food and feel full before you stop eating, chances are you’re going to end up eating more than you want. Eat slowly and enjoy each bite to give your body a chance to catch up. This way, you’ll end up getting full faster and eat less.
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.