Overeating at Christmas- Enjoying the food that passes between your lips (Part 2)

Overeating at Christmas – Enjoying the food that passes between your lips (Part 2)

Overeating at Christmas- Enjoying the food that passes between your lips (Part 2)

Overeating at Christmas- Enjoying the food that passes between your lips (Part 2)

Temptation, too hard?

So why not enjoy the food that passes your lips, eat less: enjoy more
1. Write down the consequences for you of losing control, eating too much.
2. Look at this constantly and be reminded how good you will feel if you avoid losing control.
3. Find an ally who can motivate you, support you when you are struggling
4. Temporarily move yourself from temptation; go into another room
5. Reflect on whether you are enjoying what you are eating. Ideally you are enjoying it, if not put it down.
6. Did you know fatty foods-crisps, nuts, cheese, chocolate and pastry taste so good because the flavours are dissolved in the fats and create a nice sensation in your mouth.
7. Think about giving yourself a cut off time, after which you are not going to eat anything

Mindful Eating
Why not try mindful eating. See how much enjoyment you can get out of one piece of chocolate, or a crisp.
Look at it, think of the colour and whether the colour reminds you of anything. Look at the shape, how was it made? Who made it? Was it handmade or produced in a factory? See if you can spend 30 seconds to a minute thinking about the food you are going to eat. Now begin to smell it. Does the smell bring back memories or experiences? This may seem odd, but it is a useful exercise to slow down eating and to notice the enjoyment you are getting from the food. Again see if you can take up to a minute or even longer savouring the smell. Once smelt, bite a little bit and notice how it feels in your mouth, enjoy the flavour. Notice when you need to swallow it. Once swallowed why not reflect on where it is going, what happens now. Your digestive system will kick into action, acid in your stomach will break down some of the larger molecules and then when it enters the intestine all the goodness will go into the blood where it will be used or stored. Spend a little time reflecting on whether your stomach begins to feel full, and whether you still feel in control.
This might be very challenging for you, but it is a useful tool to slow eating behaviour and to register mentally what you are gaining from the food you are eating. This will naturally help you to limit your intake of the food.

Overeating at Christmas- Noticing Temptation part 1

Overeating at Christmas – Noticing Temptation (Part 1)

I have always associated Christmas with indulgence, especially of food but as I have got older, alcohol too. It seems inevitable that my body, as much as I love and respect it, will become abused and treated with complacency.

Why is it that our self control cannot withstand the indulgencies of Christmas? Or perhaps our fear of losing self control because of social pressures to overeat is just as great.

May I suggest, whilst you are still sober and can think clearly you spend a little time identifying areas of weaknesses and strengths to pull you through the gluttony that is Christmas.

Think about situations where there is temptation, for example

  • After drinking
  • Late at night
  • With friends of family
  • Nibbles out for snacking
  • Eating out
    i.    Buffet
    ii.    Restaurants
    iii.    Between meal opportunities
  • Most of the time because there is so much food about
  • Nibbling  sweets and snacks
  • Home alone
  • Christmas blues
  • You might have several completely different temptations, these are some of mine.

Think about when the Christmas festivities begin and how long they go on for?

It’s not surprising we struggle with eating behaviours over Christmas.

Our bodies are really very adaptable. You may have noticed if you have a one off large meal you get quite hot- this is your body burning off the extra energy (calories) it has eaten. It is called Diet Induced Thermogenesis. Naturally, lean people have more of the brown adipose tissue associated with this, if you were overweight when you were growing up you will have less of this fat. The point I want to make is that you can get away with a short period of indulgence over Christmas without it impacting significantly on your body.

So the days with the most temptations can be those days: the days of indulgence, trusting your body to burn off the extra energy. Days of less temptation are the ones where you can focus on having greater control. Aim for 2-3 days of indulgence over the 12 days of Christmas and try to maintain normal eating the rest of the time.