Are you becoming more anxious about how to manage your eating and drinking over the festive period and the impact it will have on your weight, hormones and long term health?
Are your worried about your self-control and ability to say ‘no thank you’?
If so, you’re certainly not alone. I’m currently visiting family and friends who live abroad, and everyone seems to want a little bit of the action ‘planning’ our days and nights. Inevitably it involves eating and drinking!
Add this to the forthcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations with family, friends and colleagues, it can be hard to keep to our good intentions and avoid the seemingly inevitable weight gain – weight gain that is increasingly difficult to get rid of.
There is no easy fix. All of the reasons why dieting is hard are multiplied over the Christmas festivities, but, you can apply some simple strategies that may not stop your worries completely but will encourage your belief that Christmas can be enjoyed.
Not all will apply to you, but I hope that some will help!
While all the above sound excellent, and I know they can work, the largest obstacle in the way of implementing any of the above needs addressing too.
Emotional eating. I truly understand how stressful this time can be, and how emotional. It can be too trying to meet your own or others expectations, mixing with family you may not particularly wish to, missing loved ones.
Emotional eating and drinking can be the largest stumbling blocks.
It’s also vitally important to consider your relationship with food in a different way. Food is necessary so your body can work optimally, and as always those nutrients/calories should be from varied ingredients supplied by nature, not those that have gone through the food processing industry in any way.
The body lets you know it needs nutrients via the sensation of hunger but controlling emotional hunger can be a little more difficult than feeding physiological hunger, and your personal emotional needs should be explored.
They are often related to self-esteem, feeling unloved, relationships, fear of loss, grief, fear of not being enough and of course pressures to conform.
When you feel ‘hungry’, just pause a while and consider are you hungry for sustenance (food) or hungry for something else (expressing an emotion). You probably have no idea what this latter hunger is, you just know you are physically full but want to eat something.
Once you begin to identify emotional needs that you meet by eating, you can begin to learn how to get them met more appropriately. Your stress levels will reduce and the pounds should begin to drop away.
Applying this approach combined with the above strategies will really help you have a better relationship with food and manage the Christmas Holiday period with much more confidence.