Aside from family and friends, for the most part the holiday period seems to revolve around good food. It’s at the forefront of Christmas day itself and then there’s all the food and chocolate-based presents which you try to power through on the run up and beyond new year.
On top of that, there are all the festive parties and staff nights out where it becomes far too easy to give into temptation, whether it’s food or alcohol. Not to mention the cold weather at this time of year which seems to inspire a certain level of comfort eating.
It’s true that since the beginning of December you have probably succumbed to the temptation of the festive binge but the good news is that there are ways to gain control over it. Arming yourself with a few mental tactics and you’ll not need to feel the festive guilt.
#1: Don’t limit yourself
It can be easy to go into the holidays with black and white thinking but this is ultimately what leads to binging. Avoid trying to go cold-turkey on the Christmas snacking (pun completely intended) because this will ultimately lead to you craving all the foods you’re not allowing yourself to have. The human brain works fairly simply and wants what it can’t have. At the same time, just because you’ve have a few chocolates doesn’t mean you have to write the day off as a bad eating day – you can gain back control.
#2: Mindful eating
Being aware of what you’re eating is half the battle. For those who are more susceptible to binge eating, you need to be able to practice mindful eating. You should avoid labelling foods as good and bad and instead focus on slowing down and being conscious of what you’re putting in your mouth. Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve eaten rather than incessantly reaching for the next handful of snacks. Be aware of all the tastes and smells and you’ll find that you actually become more satisfied with what you’re eating.
#3: Focus on people and experiences
It’s often too easy to let the food become the center of attention. Aim to make the holidays about the people around you and the experiences and you will find that you focus far less on wanting to graze. If you’re going to a party, have some food before you go so that you’re not wanting to continuously snack throughout. Additionally, set yourself some goals like speaking to a handful of new people.
#4: Keep moving
We all do it. It’s nice to unwind and this time of year and let go of the hectic lives that we all lead. However, try not to use this as an excuse to never get out the house at all. In the mornings, try going for a short walk or do some light exercise to keep you stay focused and relieve stress. Stress is one sure-fire way of binge eating, so if you can minimize this then you’re on the right track.