Food Addiction Around the Holidays


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If you are a compulsive overeater, a binge eater, or a food addict, it becomes particularly problematic during the holidays where there is more food, more often, in more volume than usual. If there’s a holiday to celebrate, can food be far behind? You can’t take for granted that you will handle each eating encounter the same way you typically would. Each eating encounter has rituals all their own. You will be invited to many holiday celebrations filled with food. Just this week I went to a sit down dinner honoring my best friend, got an invitation to her husband’s retirement party, I and another friend celebrated our many years of friendship and still another friend and I are going to dinner and a movie on Thursday. Food (including alcohol) – if it’s not water, it’s food – may be free, look good, taste good, or smell good, but it’s not a reason to eat. Everything offered at a celebration fits that description. Abundance, unusual, frequent, and memorable culinary concoctions whet the mind and salivary glands but there are consequences of remorse and frustration as the holiday increases your waistline and resolve. If your brain is thinking I shouldn’t be eating this but you cannot stop, there are some things you can do. If you want to lose weight or even maintain your weight during the holidays, lots of small efforts add up to big success.

 

Plan Ahead

If you want to lose weight or even maintain your weight during the holidays, lots of small efforts add up to big success.
Things you can do in advance of the holiday is to call your host(s) and see if they’d care to tell you what they are serving. Reach out to the restaurant or caterer. Look on line if the holiday party is in a restaurant , club, or tent. Give thought to your choices in advance so you can envision these things before you head out for the festivities. Your goal is to eat the same way during the holidays as you do during the other days of the year. You’re the same person. In that way, if something comes your way you’ll know if it was part of your plan or if it was a visual, situational or circumstantial stimulus. You’ll do better than if you did not have a plan.

  1. Plan in advance the content of food. Is it a protein or a no-protein meal?
  2. Plan the number of items you’re going to consume. Is this a one item meal? A two item meal? Three? Think about it before you enter the food pit.
  3. Choose bread or beverage or dessert or alcohol, one of four or none. Think about that too. I can always toast the bride and groom with water but I want the icing rose on my piece of wedding cake.

 

During the Festivities

Introduce yourself to people you do not know. Sip water from a wine goblet. Think I want to weigh ______ on January 1st, ______ . Think I can do it! If you’re thinking of eating unplanned food, move yourself, move the food you are contemplating, sip water. The moment passes whether you eat or drink or not.

Whether a holiday, or other day, eat, drink, and be merry, for the right reasons. Feed the smaller person you want to be. You’ll do better than if you did not have a plan.
  1. At any food-centric get together, walk around the buffet table without a plate. Carefully and thoughtfully select the few things you’ve planned to eat at that meal. Once you’re clear about your choices, pick up a plate and put on it the things you’ve chosen.
  2. If you’ve ascertained you’re hungry, and food is on a plate, eat slowly and thoughtfully while conversing with everyone at the table. You’re at a party to have fun and to meet (or honor) others. Alcohol, bread or dessert is part of the festivities; not the entertainment.
  3. Food on your plate needs to be eaten with utensils. No finger foods.
  4. Cut each bite of food to the size of a nickel or dime. Anything bigger leads to shoveling not savoring.
  5. Put utensils down between bites of food. Fill up on ambience and conversations.
  6. Sip (don’t gulp) water between bites of food and sips of beverage.
  7. Make sure mouth is empty before inserting more food. The slower you eat the more memorable and enjoyable the meal will be.
  8. When uniformed servers are pouring wine to anyone holding stemware, be mindful that alcohol causes lack of resolve. Wait to have a drink after you’ve had a few bites of food and a few sips of water.
  9. Choose dessert one night and alcohol the next time you’re dining.

Whether a holiday, or other day, eat, drink, and be merry, for the right reasons. Feed the smaller person you want to be. You’ll do better than if you did not have a plan.

 

Afterward

If you’ve had the holiday party in your own home, send guests home with leftovers in decorative shopping bags. If you’re at someone else’s party, don’t accept a decorative shopping bag.

How do you get through the holidays without letting your eating spiral out of control? Share with me on Facebook and Twitter!

Frequently Asked Question #8 Are You and Your Employees Gaining Weight?
Frequently Asked Question #8
Are You and Your Employees Gaining Weight?

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