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Over the holidays many people talk about consciously overeating and putting on a “few pounds.”  Then they vow to start their diet on January 1. This can lead to a pattern of overeating, gaining weight, dieting and then overeating. This pattern, typical during this time of year, is not necessary. Here are some tips to change this pattern during the holidays.

  • Eat when you feel physically hungry. Some people wait all day to eat in anticipation of a party and then overindulge at the party. If you are hungry before you go to the party then eat.  Being physically satiated can help food cravings.
  • Eat to nourish your body, not to nurture your emotions. Overeating can be used to sooth feelings of loneliness, sadness, guilt, and anxiety. Holidays are ripe with emotional overload, over-commitment, and family hassles. Take care of your emotions in ways that do not involve food, such as walking, talking with a friend, writing in a journal, or watching a funny movie.
  • Turn the idea of “exercising” into physically moving your body in a way that is fun. Our bodies were made to move around. Do what feels right to you. Find movement that you enjoy and do that, such as walking, dancing, or yoga.
  • Keep a schedule of movement that is regular. This is the time when many stop their exercise regimen due to a packed schedule. Don’t fall into that trap. Keep that physical “me time” in your day to keep yourself fit and active.
  • Lastly, if you eat in a way that leaves you feeling overfull and worried that you will gain weight- don’t beat yourself up. The worst thing you can do is create more negativity for yourself. Negative comments about yourself do not lead to behavior change and can lead to more negativity which can lead to more overeating.

Use this holiday season to approach food and exercise differently. Don’t give into the mindset that it is natural and OK to gain weight over the holidays. Treat yourself with the loving kindness you deserve that includes taking care of your body and soul year round. Let us know in the comments what your plan for healthy eating and fitness is.

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in helping people with eating issues and eating disorders.  If you are concerned that about overeating, weight or your use of food in general please contact her hereSign up for her FREE Top Tips to End Emotional Eating here. Check out her website at www.FeedYourSoulTherapy.com.

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