Ways to Say Yes to Foods You Love (Without Bingeing)!

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

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2 Responses to Ways to Say Yes to Foods You Love (Without Bingeing)!

  1. Sunny says:

    I love these tips! Thanks for this, Morgan. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I could use a few reminders on how to stay sane about food right now. Off to Kentucky to visit my mom and step dad in a few days, and we’ll be making her famous Dutch apple pie, plus decorating sugar cookies with my nieces. I can’t wait to do those things—and looking forward to eating them, too! But I’ve got to be realistic, like you say, and go in with a plan. I want to be able to thoroughly enjoy a few frosted cookies without slipping into binge territory and end up feeling bad about the day. This is going to be a great growing experience for me, since last holiday season I simply avoided sugar and desserts altogether so I wouldn’t have to deal. Now I’ve gotta deal! xo…Sunny

  2. Tamara says:

    I’ve found it helpful to only approach the buffet when everyone’s in line for their meals. Then you go down in one direction, considering every dish before you get to the desserts. You can only put so much on a plate (and I have a thing about making aesthetic plates, so no piling!) The trouble only comes when everyone is finished, mulling around, or busy opening gifts. Then there’s no one to judge and nothing to stop you from sneaking back for more treats.

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