Emotional cravings and holiday stress eating are a rampant problem throughout the holiday season. Though these are not habits that are exclusive to this time of year, they do tend to be far more problematic now when compared to the rest of the calendar. Many dieters tend to turn to our weight management support products during this time, but there are more ways to keep yourself from overindulging due to holiday stress.
The stress from having to attend parties, throw celebrations, choose outfits, decorate, buy and wrap gifts, deal with financial strain and cope with social struggles can be very trying. Even among people who absolutely love this time of year, the fact that they are consistently busy over several straight weeks can still lead to emotion based behaviors. When you’re regularly offered sugary, high fat treats and meals, this can make overeating an easy way to cope with heightened emotions. That said, as much as it may seem comforting at the time, it can only make matters worse.
Not only does it set you up for energy spikes and crashes that make you more susceptible to feelings of exhaustion, more stress and a greater likelihood to overeat once again.
Fortunately, there are some great ways to help yourself to overcome the inclination to stress eat throughout the holiday season:
• Don’t avoid the foods you love – At this time of year, it’s silly to think that you should skip all the great holiday foods you adore. After all, they’re a huge part of the enjoyment of the holidays. The key isn’t to make yourself feel deprived. It’s to be reasonable about how much you eat. Keep portions small, particularly when it comes to high calorie, high sugar, and or high fat foods.
• Practice self care – Take time for yourself. A few moments here and there can be all you need. For instance, have a warm, 15 minute bath before bedtime. Go for a walk on your break. Spend an extra five minutes on self grooming so you’ll feel that much better about yourself. These tiny moments don’t seem like much but they add up.
• Keep a journal – Holiday journals are exceptionally helpful and are quite underused. Use holiday sales or go to the dollar store to pick up a book to write in. This can be anything from a gorgeous leather bound journal to a spiral-bound notebook. Every day, start writing. You don’t need to have a strategy. Just start pouring out your thoughts and talk about your feelings. Try to discuss some of the day’s events with yourself. This can help you to get a lot off your chest and organize your thoughts and feelings. The journal doesn’t need to be anything poetic. It’s not meant to be a masterpiece. After all, you may never read it again. The point is to give yourself the opportunity to vent out your thoughts and feelings.