6 Tips for Resisting the Urge to Overeat at Holiday Feasts
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By: Sarah Grace Powers – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
It’s a big holiday week in the US…. What is it called? Stuff Yourself Day? Oh, that’s right… Thanksgiving!
Airplane cabins will certainly be stuffed with people traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to reunite with family. It’s a lovely holiday really, with far fewer demands than other holidays. The spirit of this celebration is about gratitude and giving thanks. What’s not to love?
Well, there’s just that one element… at least for those of us who are wanting to eat healthily, and perhaps lighter. And that is the basic fact that this holiday week peaks with one particular shared meal, Thanksgiving Dinner.
We pull out all the stops. Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, rolls, pumpkin pie. Let’s face it, it’s a meal of gargantuan proportions.
Between, wrestling with the anxiety that gets triggered by family dynamics, and the sheer deliciousness of the food, this day can be a sure recipe for throwing you off your intentions eat healthy and to be in tune with your body’s needs.
In short – it’s tough to resist the urge to overeat!
Don’t get me wrong – I’m the last person to recommend trying to stick to some strict diet on Thanksgiving. I think that (barring severe allergies or food sensitivities) that there are times when we can have ‘legal cheats’ from whatever eating program we might be following. And certainly a holiday spent with loved ones and centered around food is one of them!
What I AM talking about is staying tuned into your own body. It is an act of self-love to listen to your body’s signals. That overstuffed feeling just doesn’t really feel good! And, remember, only you know your own body. While one person might feel full consuming half as much food as you can comfortably eat, for another it might take twice as much to get them to satiation.
Here are a few tips to help you get tuned into YOUR signals and to stay connected to your intentions and to your own feel-good when it comes time for the big feast.
This easy-to-learn technique involves tapping on specific meridian points, which reduces stress hormones in the body in addition to many other benefits. EFT has been scientifically proven to reduce food cravings—right in the moment. Better yet, it can relieve anxiety and other unpleasant emotions that can often cause us to eat more than we want!
In the case of holiday feasting, you would want to do some tapping during the days and hours leading up to the meal. You could also take some quick bathroom breaks to tap down your urge to overeat once the extravaganza begins.
If you’re unfamiliar with EFT and you’ve never tapped before, watch a video HERE to learn how to do it in just a few minutes.
Three Deep Breaths
Before you reach for the cracker and cheese appetizer, before you pick up your fork for that first bite of mashed potatoes, before you dig into that delicious pumpkin pie, try pausing and taking three deep breaths. This will help with digestion and also to tune you back into your own intentions.
It’s a simple practice that you can use before any meal. It helps you to remember that this food is for your body’s nourishment. It’s a celebration with your loved ones. Your nourishment, and your enjoyment, will happen with greater effectiveness if you are relaxed and tuned into your body.
Savor each and every bite.
Eat only the things you know you really love and enjoy and then really tune into the taste and texture of those creamy mashed potatoes, or that luscious, rich gravy. Allow yourself to revel in a feeling of inner appreciation for the sensory delight that the food on your tongue can give you.
In the same vein — remember to chew slowly and thoroughly. (I know you’ve probably heard this before, but it really works! More chewing releases more saliva, which will help your body to let you know when you are full.)
A Glass for Each Glass
If your celebration includes wine or other alcoholic beverages, drink one full glass of water for each glass of wine or each drink. This gives your body a chance to absorb the alcohol and your brain a chance to decide if you really want another.
Additionally, you’ll feel way better the next day!
Tune into the Spirit of this Holiday
Make each bite be an offering of gratitude to Whatever or Whoever you thank for your blessings. Acknowledge that, despite what anyone told you when you were a child who didn’t want to clean her plate, your stuffing yourself does NOT do anything to feed those who are going hungry. On the contrary, your treating yourself and your own body with respect and care can strengthen you to be of greater service to those in need.
On that note, you might want to spend part of this day, or the day before, helping an organization that is feeding the hungry in your community. Or, you could make a donation of food or money. Giving is receiving and when we who are blessed with an over-abundance of food give of ourselves, we automatically feel more self-love and self-respect. This leads to greater ease in listening to the signals from our own body when it comes to food intake.
Ditch the people pleasing.
Stick to what you know is true for YOU. Even if Aunt Bessie is repeatedly urging you to take that second slice of pie because, “you know you love it,” resist the urge to eat it just to get her to shut up. The EFT tapping mentioned above can help with the temptation to continue eating long past when you are full simply to assuage the anxiety caused by spending time with family!
Know that you are sovereign in your own body, mind and spirit. They will still love you when you abstain from certain foods or from eating too much—even if your brain might be frantically telling you otherwise.
Bon Appetit! Or, as they say in Mexico: Provecho!
More by Sarah:
Sarah Grace Powers is a certified life coach and EFT Practitioner. She is a ‘dream resuscitator’, helping clients rediscover their passions and reinvent themselves no matter what their age or circumstance. In her previous career she owned and operated an herb shop and has practiced holistic living for over three decades. Find her at sarahgracecoach.com