It’s so easy to over-indulge with the abundance of special, once-a-year homemade food surrounding us throughout the holidays but you don’t have to give in! Here are 10 ways to help curb that overeating and avoid that full, bloated feeling while still being able to enjoy the day and the food.
1. Eat before the holiday party/meal. Making sure you don’t go on an empty stomach can help curb eating too much too quickly.
2. Sit down when you eat. Give yourself an opportunity to be more mindful to the food you’re eating.
3. Watch your vulnerabilities. Oftentimes we can use food to help us cope if our emotions are high. Try to pay attention to the things that make you more vulnerable to high emotions. Some common examples are: not getting enough sleep, being sick, or not being active.
4. Talk to people. Fully participating in conversations and being engaged can help as a nice distraction from food and high emotions about being around a lot of people. Just focus on the one conversation you are in and try to tune the rest of the event out in that moment.
5. Find a distraction from food. There are usually many opportunities to keep you occupied at a holiday event. Whether it’s children, pets, or sports games, they can be very helpful strategies to help some time pass without eating.
6. Step outside. The cold holiday weather can be really helpful when anxiety or ruminating thoughts come in. Take a step outside, letting yourself feel the cold air and take some deep breaths in until you feel more in control of your emotions. It might even require a walk around the neighborhood
7. Move from the food. Don’t stand right next to the appetizer table. That can be a dangerous location. Take your food and walk away.
8. Take small amounts. If you want to try different types of food, take sampling sizes to start. You can always return for more after.
9. Plan for people who are food-pushers. If you know that there are certain people who worry that you don’t have enough food or push what they have made on you, think of a polite way ahead of time. It doesn’t have to be some big excuse; it can just be a simple phrase to help get you out of it.
10. Really EAT your food. Use all 5 senses to help taste and savor your food. It will help you feel more satisfied AND help you from eating again later.