Overeating During Holidays
Are you afraid you’ll gain weight from over-eating during Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays? Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s actually centered around eating and eating specific foods! And for most of the meal, the items we eat are those we don’t typically have during the rest of the year. Lots of sweet desserts and even the vegetables are sweetened versions: like sweet potatoes with marshmallows! It’s a recipe for binging!
How To Avoid Overeating During the Holidays
But you don’t have to worry about overeating when you listen to your body! You have a built in system that tells you how much food is enough: hunger and satiation. You also have a built in system that tells you when you need liquids: Thirst!
There are a few reasons that these systems fail to work. One reason is you overeat is from you denying yourself from having these foods during the rest of the year.
When foods are “forbidden” or “bad” and you resist eating them during the rest of the year, these foods become the thing that you over-eat and binge on when you’re around others who are doing the same thing!
Another reason you overeat is when you’re started eating and you’re busy not paying attention to your food. You’re eating mindlessly and not paying attention to the signals from your stomach saying: STOP NOW!
Another reason that causes overeating during the holidays is from early childhood conditioning. The food is on your plate! Are you a member of the “clean plate” group? That’s kids who were forced to eat everything on you plate when you were growing up? You were taught to ignore what your body told you. You HAD to eat it whether you were full, or even if it tasted disgusting to you! – I will never understand how my finishing my food would help the children starving in Africa!
I was very lucky that my kids would taste the food I prepared. I had a rule: you have to taste it, and then if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it. My son Ben had a “fixation” on a particular food that he wanted to eat EVERY DAY for lunch! “Peanut butter and jelly” – and if I cut the bread in half the wrong way, he wouldn’t eat it because it “didn’t taste the same” – 😂 After one year of PB & J, he went on to LIVERWURST!!! He had it at a friend’s house- I never served it. But I had to buy it for him so he could eat it every day! 🤪
My daughter, Sarah, on the other hand ate most everything – except FISH! One day I made fish fillets, but I cut them up in a different shape fried them up crispy.
“What’s this?” she asked innocently.
“It’s CHICKEN fish”, I answered, but put the emphasis on the chicken and almost whispered “fish”.
Dutifully she tasted it. I thought it was delicious. But she said:
“Why does it have hair on it?” I laughed and told her she didn’t have to eat it. I realized that’s how her taste buds perceived the fish. I would NEVER make her eat HAIR!!
How NOT to overeats during the holidays:
1. Start by taking small portions on your dish
2. ENJOY the food and pay attention to how delicious it tastes- when it doesn’t taste as great as the first few bites, that’s your body telling you: you’re reaching satiation
3. Cut you food into smaller portions and make sure you chew thoroughly – don’t talk and chew at the same time!
4. Take your time eating. Make sure to smell your food and think about how it tastes.
5. If you want more, take a small portion instead of a glob of food
6. Don’t listen to people telling you: TAKE MORE! Your body knows how much you need- you don’t have to make anyone else happy by your eating- only yourself.
7. STOP denying yourself during the year, and then no food will be “bad” next year!
Happy Thanksgiving! It’s MY favorite holiday. Which is yours? Make sure to share what you are grateful for!