As psychologists experienced in treating a wide variety of disorders, we, here at the Orlandini Psychology group, often come across a disorder that often manifests itself during the holiday season.
This disorder is binge eating and our expert team of therapists would like to offer some tips to avoid binge eating during the holidays, when food is always readily available.
Have a Support System
Be honest with family members or close friends about your concerns regarding binge eating especially around the holiday season. Let them know that you will need their support and encouraging words in order to avoid binges. Additionally, it may be important to ask them to help you avoid specific triggers that may increase the your likelihood of overeating. For example, your support team may help distract you away from the desert table by providing you with encouragement and positive conversations.
Eat Mindfully and Slowly
Eating slowly and mindfully helps you limit your caloric intake, as you are more likely to feel full faster. Eating should not be seen as a guilt-provoking event, rather the primary purpose of eating is to satisfy hunger and it could also be a pleasurable event. While engaging in mindful eating, you focus your attention on your meal and the effects it has on your body. During the holidays, you should be able to moderately eat food that you enjoy and understand bodily cues that indicate that your body is satisfied. Additionally, before you stand in line to serve yourself, ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” and carefully choose moderate amounts of food that will satisfy your hunger without weighing you down.
Limit your Alcohol Intake
Keep in mind that the more you drink, the more likely you’ll reach over for seconds or go overboard on the sugar cookies. Alcohol can often cause us to feel hungry and it may be more difficult to control food intake while under the influence of alcohol. In addition, certain alcoholic beverages contain hundreds calories that you may want to avoid. Having some seltzer water with lime or a cranberry juice spritzer may satisfy your drink craving without adding too many calories to your holiday dinner.
Avoid Starving Yourself or Dieting
You should never starve yourself or attempt to go on a strict diet in order to consume large amounts of food later on. When your brain goes into starvation mode, it naturally wants you to consume as much food as you can in case it has to face starvation again. As a result, starving yourself may influence you to consume even more than you otherwise would have. Having a light snack before attending a holiday party could help curb your appetite and decrease the likelihood of you overeating.
There are times that professional help may be needed when an individual faces significant problems with binge eating. Several individuals may be engaging in this pattern of eating in order to avoid negative feelings or other psychological concerns they may be struggling with. Talking to a professional may help individuals identify specific triggers to their maladaptive behaviors and help them build necessary skills to overcome these patterns of behaviors.
Contact one of our licensed psychologists at the Orlandini Psychology Group, today. We can help!