How To Avoid Holiday Overeating

by : noixia

The holidays are upon and so is the urge to overeat. While a few nibbles on grandma's triple chocolate truffles and aunt Glinda's red velvet cake might seem innocent enough, according to "Consumer Reports on Health" that's exactly how most people pack on their annual weight gain- overindulging during the holiday seasons.

Most reasons for overeating during the holidays are purely psychological. You could easily avoid overeating if you knew the dieting mind games and the mental tools needed to combat them. To help you stay on track during the holidays, use these tips to defeat the five most common dieting mind games before they kick-off the holiday seasons.

1. Beating the "feel good" factor

People overeat during the holidays because it makes them "feel good". Chocolate and sugary foods load the body with serotonin- the feel good hormone. Instead of eating sweets to feel good, try talking with a visiting relative and joking. Plus, give out lots of hugs; this will also boost your body's level of "feel good" hormones.

2. "It's the only time this year I'll get to eat this food"

The "holiday food shortage" mentality spurs overeating. There is never a shortage of holiday food. When you get the urge to overindulge in a particular food, get the recipe and make the dish yourself.

If a dish proves irresistible, eat a portion and still get the recipe. That way, psychologically you'll know that if you ever want to eat this dish again, you can.

3 "This dish reminds me so much of home" sentimental overeating

It's not the food that reminds you of home but the people with whom you enjoy the food that reminds you of home. Food is so wonderful and powerful because we associate people with the food. Instead of remembering your family by eating, try to recall some of the other activities that your family enjoys doing together such as shoveling snow, ice skating or making Christmas ornaments.

4 I'll make it up at the gym

Exchanging pecan pie for 30-minutes at the gym makes the gym seem like something "bad". Instead decide what sport or activity you want to engage in this winter: hiking, walking, ice skating, swimming, golfing etc. Exercise because you want to, not because you have to. (Note: Have you seen how empty gyms are during the holidays?)

5 It's no big deal, it's just once a year

While people may only gain around one pound during the holidays, if you've been gaining an extra pound for last 10-20 years this adds up. While overeating this year may seem OK, if you keep doing it, you'll consistently gain more and more weight.

In short, the easiest way to keep your body weight on track this holiday season is to focus less on food and more on the people that you love. Now, just remember, before you down that how jug of spiked eggnog, ask yourself, "Do I need to go hug somebody first?" Happy Holidays.