Jewish Journal

Holidays and Eating Mindfully

by Rebecca Cooper

November 28, 2012 | 7:45 am

As the holidays are well upon us, you man be looking for that perfect diet. You want to look your best for the family and friends you may not have seen since last holiday season. You have to lose those ten pounds you gained since last year. So you diet and restrict as the holidays approach.

Then you eat more than you intended. You think, “well I’ve already blown it so I may as well eat some more.”  You will get back on your diet tomorrow. You promise yourself that the New Year will be different, and it is for a few weeks. And so it continues year after year after year.

So how can this season be different? I would like to offer you a recipe for sensible eating to try this holiday season:

  1. Recognize that the holidays are a time when most people overeat. If you do overeat just wait until you are physically hungry before you eat again. You will be surprised how stable your weight will remain just by eating intuitively.
  2. There is scientific evidence that sugar affects some of us differently. You may have a dessert, and then you crave more food and eat uncontrollably. It is important to know how different foods react with your own body, mind, and emotions.
  3. Watch for emotional overeating. Make sure you are centered when you are going to be with difficult people. Keep your side of the street clean. If not, holidays can foster using food for emotional relief.
  4. Don’t deprive yourself! If you feel deprived you will make up for it later. How many times have you chosen the tasteless diet food, only to end up eating what you really wanted to eat later?
  5. Don’t skip meals. You will overeat when you do eat. Remember, the first meal of the day starts your metabolism.
  6. During the holidays many of us compare our insides to other people’s outsides. They have the perfect life, with the perfect family, celebrating their perfect holiday. You focus on what you are lacking. Negative thinking can lead to using food to feel better.

Keep a positive attitude and invest time making authentic connections with loved ones. This is much more important than obsessing about food, weight, diet, or how you look on the outside. The results will be that you will enjoy the holiday season and not gain weight!

If you a friend or loved one that needs treatment for an eating disorder, go to rebeccashouse.org or call 1.866.931.1666.

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Rebecca Cooper is a California licensed therapist, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and the Founder of Rebecca’s House Eating Disorder Treatment Programs™. She is the...

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