The holidays are often stressful. Plus, sweet treats and rich foods come with the holiday season. This combination can really challenge the emotional eater, who reaches for food in emotionally charged times of need. The Mayo Clinic has created a list of tips for gaining control of your eating habits and here are highlights.
- Know your triggers. For the next several days, write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you're feeling when you eat and how hungry you are. Over time, you may see patterns emerge that reveal negative eating patterns and triggers to avoid.
- Look elsewhere for comfort. Instead of unwrapping a candy bar, take a walk, treat yourself to a movie, listen to music, read or call a friend. If you think that stress relating to a particular event is nudging you toward the refrigerator, try talking to someone about it to distract yourself. Plan enjoyable events for yourself.
There are a few more tips so just
- Don't keep unhealthy foods around. Avoid having an abundance of high-calorie comfort foods in the house. If you feel hungry or blue, postpone the shopping trip for a few hours so that these feelings don't influence your decisions at the store.
- Snack healthy. If you feel the urge to eat between meals, choose a low-fat, low-calorie food, such as fresh fruit, vegetables with fat-free dip or unbuttered popcorn. Or test low-fat, lower calorie versions of your favorite foods to see if they satisfy your craving.
- Eat a balanced diet. If you're not getting enough calories to meet your energy needs, you may be more likely to give in to emotional eating. Try to eat at fairly regular times and don't skip breakfast. Include foods from the basic groups in your meals. Emphasize whole grains, vegetables and fruits, as well as low-fat dairy products and lean protein sources. When you fill up on the basics, you're more likely to feel fuller, longer.
- Exercise regularly and get adequate rest. Your mood is more manageable and your body can more effectively fight stress when it's fit and well rested.
Fit's Tip: Most importantly, if you happen to give into temptation, don't beat yourself up about your slip. Try to learn from your mistakes and figure out a plan to deal with similar situations in the future.