Week before last, I posted some tips on how to say no to food offered or given to you that you don’t want to eat. I mentioned that I have a history of overeating in situations (mostly with my family) and when I have familiar and comforting foods right in front of my face all the time. While it is good to be aware of this, I don’t necessarily want to restrict myself completely from having some of my favorite (and often more decadent) foods around the holidays, because that can set me up for overeating later.
Fortunately, I have gotten to a place where I can (most of the time) eat some of what I want without overeating. Here are some things that have been helpful to me in figuring out how to eat what I want, and avoid bingeing:
• Plan ahead of time. Know what your true trigger foods are, and which ones you can handle have some of. If you go into it with a plan, it’s much easier to deal with the situation once it is in your face.
• Prioritize. Do you love one type of cookie versus just liking another? Focus more on what you love. You deserve giving yourself that. Example: I loooove my grandma’s apricot cookies, but think her biscotti is just okay (I don’t think she reads blogs, but shhh…). I take an apricot one.
• Get in and get out. Take the food item, or amount of food you planned on having and just stick with that. Don’t linger around the cookie table if you’ve already gotten your cookie. Also, I like to serve myself, that way I am getting exactly what I want and what is right for me.
• Sit down and enjoy what you are eating (no guilt!). This is a very important part of allowing yourself to have what you want and being aware of it (as opposed to just scarfing it down because you feel bad about it).
• Be firm, yet gentle. Be realistic with yourself about what you can handle, but also don’t beat yourself up and try avoid the black and white thinking that Sunny talked about last week.
• Take a deep breath, be mindful of what you’re eating and doing. I find it helpful to ground yourself and remain truly present in the situation—you don’t want to be zoned out when eating a favorite food, do you?!
*Also, even if foods are given the title of “only have this once a year,” remind yourself that if you really, really want it some other time in the year, you can probably make it. No need to binge on it now.
Do you guys have any good ideas to add to my list? (You can never have too many!) —Morgan