Wondering how to avoid overeating during the holidays?
The holidays are delightful in so many ways, but sometimes they can also be the beginning of an stress-triggered overeating binge that leaves you exhausted, lethargic and guilt-ridden when the New Year rolls around. More than likely, you try one of the starvation diet plans to lose some of those unwanted pounds FAST. The result? More stress and frustration.
By the time you turn the calendar to February, you’re burned out on the diet and your body aches with feelings of deprivation. The first time you come in contact with the foods you love, you’re likely to binge on them and the pounds begin to creep back on – adding a few extra, of course. Which leads to…MORE stress and frustration.
It doesn’t have to be this way – overeating during the holidays, starving yourself to lose the pounds after the New Year, and then bingeing to satisfy the cravings that come from depriving yourself. So, what to do when you’re invited to holiday parties, dinners and celebrations? Use these pointers below to learn how to avoid overeating during the holidays
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How can I stop overeating on Holidays?
Eat before the celebration to avoid overeating during the holidays
Most of us starve ourselves all day so we can “pig out” at the party. To avoid overeating, try eating during the day. Five or six small meals are best – and eat those foods that really satisfy hunger, such as fruits and veggies.
It’s easy to skip exercise when your life is a whirlwind of activity around the holiday season. Exercise will help to even out the extra intake of calories you may consume.
Limit alcohol consumption.
The old trick of carrying around a glass with sparkling water and a twist of lime keeps everyone from trying to give you an alcoholic beverage. You don’t have to completely give up the bubbly, but quit after a glass.
Ward off depression.
The holidays are typically a time when people become depressed and think about the past, whether good or bad. Drinking too much alcohol can bring on depression as can overeating binges.
Share food gifts.
You may receive lots of food gifts from friends and family that include chocolates, wine and a wide range of other goodies. It’s best to share these gifts if you can. But do save some for yourself – just monitor how much you eat and know when to stop.
Plan Non-eating activities
Rather than continuously eating during the holidays, plan some activities that you’ll all enjoy. For example, play games with the family for a fun-filled evening and pop some low calorie popcorn for a snack. Take the gang on a brisk walk before or after holiday meals. You’ll feel better, and it may begin a tradition you’ll want to keep.
Is it okay to overeat on holidays?
Chronic overeating during the holidays can wreak havoc on your body and mind!
Chronic overeating is both a symptom and a cause of your mind and body not being in sync. Hunger can be triggered by a thought or emotion, but it can also be triggered by vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
You can easily see how chronic overeating can lead to holiday weight gain and cause your mind to think all kinds of negative thoughts about yourself. The worse you feel about your body image, the more your mind takes over and wreaks your self-esteem. You may begin to feel that you can’t do anything right. That’s why it’s important to learn how to avoid overeating during the holidays to prevent heading down that path.
These feelings may permeate your life like a tsunami, leaving you devastated and reluctant to go on with anything positive in your life. To pull yourself out of the muck, you must get to the root cause of why you’ve turned to chronic overeating and what you are getting out of it?
Is it filling a void in your life or giving you comfort as you struggle with stress and volatile emotions?
The harm that chronic overeating has on your body and mind is sometimes visible and sometimes not. Excess pounds or obesity are easily seen, but hidden health problems can arise.
Diabetes, heart attack, stroke and stomach problems are all possible illnesses that can occur because of chronic overeating.
Look out for these signs of chronic overeating
The visible symptoms and results of chronic overeating on your mind include withdrawing from family and friends. It may become difficult to get out of bed and go to work or to continue with your life in a positive manner.
These are definite signs of depression, but it can become a hidden cause of chronic overeating if ignored. If symptoms of depression aren’t addressed, it can wreak havoc on your mind and even cause suicidal thoughts.
Chronic overeating is often a “solution” when you feel stressed, out of control or vulnerable to every negative thing that’s happening in your life. Fatigue will hamper your ability to think in a problem-solving way and you won’t have the energy or the willpower to make positive changes in your life.
Overeating is a behavior that turns into a pattern unless you can identify the problem(s) and take steps to eradicate it.
One of the best ways to begin is to keep a journal of when you overeat and what your emotions were at the time. This step will help you define the root cause of why you have a chronic overeating problem.
After you identify the cause, you can go about making changes that will lead to the solution to your problem.
Why do we overeat during the Holidays?
To end emotional overeating during the holidays get to the root cause.
When your emotions cause you to overeat, your life can seem out of control and the pounds continue spiraling upward. You may feel that you simply don’t have the willpower to overcome the problem.
Your self-esteem and self-confidence may have eroded to the point where you’re withdrawing from those you love and you don’t feel like going out to have fun.
Sometimes emotional overeating occurs because of certain “triggers” that make you crave certain foods (usually the ones that are loaded with high carbohydrates and sugar) and mindlessly binge on them until you can’t eat another bite.
Chronic overeating is an addiction just like the ones we’re used to hearing about – drugs, alcohol and even sex.
As with other addictions, the root cause of the problem must be addressed before you can gain control over the compulsion.
Below are several reasons why emotional overeating may become an addiction.
The root cause of many addictions can be traced to genetics. If you can prove that some or all of your ancestors had an overeating problem, you may have uncovered the root of yours.
Childhood behavior patterns
When you were a child, your parents may have encouraged you to “clean your plate” (after all, there are starving children in the world). They may have also shown love by feeding you fast food and lots of sugar. Because of this, you may feel compelled to eat everything in front of you – and show love for yourself by eating what makes you feel good.
Stress can trigger overeating during the holidays
One of the most dangerous overeating reasons there is. Even though there may be no good way to eradicate all the stress from your life, you can reduce it where you can. For example, if the end of year holiday stress is taking a toll on you, you can simply use proven holiday stress relief tips to stay one step ahead of the chaos.
Cravings are usually caused by a deficiency in your diet. If your food intake is high in salt, fat and carbs, you may experience a decrease in vital nutrients that your body needs to help stave off cravings. You could also be lethargic and bypass exercise, which is critical to losing weight and releasing endorphins that promote a sense of well-being.
When you have the problem of emotional overeating, you’re replacing a void in your life with food. Researching and discovering what that void is can be the key to solving your emotional overeating problems. You may be able to easily find the root cause yourself, but don’t be surprised if you need help from your health care provider or a therapist who specializes in weight and eating issues.
How do you keep weight off during the holidays?
There are many ways to curb overeating without having to resort to a starvation diet plan. In fact, experts agree that when you attempt to starve yourself in order to lose pounds, you may actually gain weight when you return to normal eating habits.
The natural way of controlling overeating is the best way to develop good habits that will never leave you. Even if you vary from the natural way of eating for awhile (for example, during holidays), you can easily return to eating well every day. Use the tips below to control overeating during the holidays.
Tips for not overeating during the Holidays – The Natural Way
Portion Control – Controlling your portions is the best – and most natural – method to control overeating. Don’t let your eyes rule your mind and stomach. Even if something you crave is being served, dish out a small portion in the beginning. You’ll be amazed at how little it takes to satiate your cravings and hunger.
Boring, huh? But, if you know you’re going to get to eat something you love after the salad, it may seem a bit more appetizing. A natural trick to curbing an overeating habit is to eat a tossed, green salad before you eat lunch or dinner. You won’t be as tempted to load your plate with large helpings of an entrée.
Share Entrees at Restaurants
Most restaurants serve incredibly large portions of their entrees. Plan ahead to either share with a dining companion or get a carry-out box. Some restaurants will let you order a half portion of an entrée – others may let you order from the kid’s menu for smaller servings.
Eat Several Small Meals
When you eat several small meals during the day, you’re not as tempted to binge on food in the evening. Concentrate on eating fruits and veggies during the day to fill you up, but add fewer calories.
Treat yourself at least once a month to a meal or item that you love to eat. Pay attention to the tips listed above so that you won’t overdo it. But, if that happens, immediately go back to your natural eating plan. It will be easier knowing that you don’t have to suffer to lose weight.
Attaining that “full” feeling the natural way can cut your calories immediately without making you feel deprived. You’ll find that you’re not as apt to binge eat when you’re alone or have the opportunity to indulge in rich foods loaded with calories that can cause you to lose control.
As you gain control over an overeating problem, you’ll also gain self-control and self-esteem, knowing that “Yes, you can do it – the natural way!”