Holiday Eating Anxiety

The holidays are here and for many this is the dreaded season of “eating anxiety.”  The holidays are a time to share good food with good company.  Company parties, family events and celebrations with friends all mean lots of opportunities to wrestle with temptation. I won’t give you a lecture of what to eat and not eat.  You’ve heard the list so many times you probably have it memorized, if you’re not totally confused by the contradictions and mixed messages.

The multitude of magazine advertisements for wonderful holiday meals and “sinful” desserts are on the opposite page from the articles on how to keep from gaining those unwanted pounds all that wonderful food will inevitably add to your waiste line.  The marketing of the food and diet industry reinforces for many of us, a belief that our desire for the food we want is immoral.  This dicotomy sets in motion the desire to crave what we think we “shouldn’t” eat, eat it immediately and eat a lot of it.

What happens when you eat what you think you shouldn’t is that your body/mind doesn’t easily register the pleasure of eating.  When you are telling yourself that what you’re eating isn’t OK to eat, you have to eat more to feel satisfied than if you allowed yourself to enjoy the experience from the beginning.

So I encourage you to avoid eating anxiety.  Don’t make what you eat a moral dilemma with legalistic rules for what’s allowed and what isn’t.  Legalize food this holiday season –and all year long.  If there is any other advice, it’s to taste what you eat and savour it so that you really enjoy the experience.  You may be surprised to find that the chances of eating just the right amount are greatly increased.