Christmas is supposed to be a time when family and friends connect, celebrate and feel merry. The reality is, however, far from that. Families fight, people spend way too much money and in particular we are fearful of eating way too much food. With so many parties and functions to go to around this time of year, as a sufferer of binge eating, just the thought of having to attend and be around so much food can be stressful.
My tips to control binge eating to not only survive this time of the year but actually also enjoy it!
1. Connect with people instead of food
I truly believe that all social occasions are about connecting with people. But when we are pre-occupied with food or our own looks, we can’t be attentive to other people and miss out on being present in that moment.
To create mental space to connect with other people, I recommend Mindful Indulgence. Choose food that you feel would satisfy you and also how much you would like to eat to feel good afterwards buy letting go of rules about good or bad food. I believe that if we are trying to be “good” at parties and eat only “healthy”, we tend to eat more as we don’t feel satisfied and even binge afterwards because we feel we have missed out. So, do yourself a favour and eat what you love, so that you can love what you eat.
Once you have done that, it is time to focus on the people around you. Find someone you can have a meaningful and interesting conversation with. Maybe, even make a goal for yourself to talk to 3 new people and try to focus on that. If there are no new people, think of some interesting questions to ask, show interest in people, go deeper, creating meaningful conversations. You will notice how good it feels to fully connect with people around us. People love being asked about themselves, they will remember that conversation for a very long time and you will notice how full your heart is at the end of the party.
2. Quality instead of quantity
In other words say “NO”. There are so many parties around this time of year – you don’t need to attend all functions, work does, BBQs and what ever else comes up. Prioritise the most important functions and enjoy those to the fullest. Be present with the people who are there. Instead of going to 5 functions and being tired, stressed and miserable, go to two and be happy, relaxed and connected.
3. Limit alcoholic drinks to control binge eating
When we drink too much alcohol, it can be hard to control binge eating. It immediately brings you into an unconscious state which makes it hard to have control around food. Try to limit the amount of alcohol you drink by drinking more water. As fun as it can be at the time, alcohol can rob you of your clarity and purpose. According to Dr.Libby – The current recommendations provided by the Australian Heart Foundation in concurrence with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) now suggest for those who already drink alcohol it is safe to consume no more than two standard drinks per day for both men and women.
4. Weight loss as New Years Resolution
I often hear people setting weight loss goals as New Years Resolution. This can lead to overeating beforehand. “It is the last time, so I might as well just eat as much as I want.” How many times have you set this goal and how many times have you actually achieved it? And I mean truly lost weight and kept it off?
Please save yourself from disappointment and stop setting these unachievable goals. Instead, set the intention to make the most out of this season. Each morning, when you wake up, begin by telling yourself, “today I will do my best for my health and wellness.” And each morning, set a mini goal for yourself. This may be “I will allow myself to sample some office goodies intentionally and consciously, but will not binge on them,” or “I will do 10 minutes of meditation at some point today.”
5. Practice mindful eating to avoid overeating
Mindful Eating and being in the present moment and making conscious decisions how much to eat, what to eat and when to eat. When you make the choice, ask yourself what would satisfy you – not the healthiest food or the food with least calories; but the food you feel would be satisfying and delicious. Ask yourself if you have had enough or if you need more until you feel satisfied.
You want to feel better after a meal, not worse. Focus on your meal as much as you can and eat slowly. Sometimes we get distracted when we have so many people around us and tend to eat mindlessly.
6. Morning routine to control binge eating
Our morning routine determines the rest of the day. Stress, skipping meals, screaming children can be a trigger for overeating during the day. Try starting your day by getting up 10 minutes earlier. Add some 5 minutes basic meditation, setting an intention for the day. Do some restorative long, slow belly breaths while having your cup of tea, open the windows or go out on your deck and listen to the birds and admire nature. Maybe you always wanted to do yoga, but haven’t felt comfortable. Join our online Body Love Yoga Classes which you can do in your own time and from the comfort of your home. If you have the time, go for a walk and consciously enjoy the movement, the fresh air and the nature.
7. Add Gratitude routine
In the stress and craziness of the Christmas season, we forget to see the beauty and count the blessings. Focusing on gratitude allows our mind to see the positive and be much happier and calmer. Instead of focusing on how many people need Christmas presents, think about how blessed you are to have so many loved ones in your life. Instead of focusing on your fear of gaining weight, acknowledge that you have food in abundance and can choose to eat whatever you love and choose to. Remember not to restrict yourself but to eat mindfully.
If you find it hard not to overeat in social occasions and especially around Christmas time, download my free Christmas Survival Guide with proven tools how not to binge during Christmas time and social gatherings.