Updated: Dec 22, 2019
How to moderate during Festivus Shenanigans.
Christmas food anxiety! Let’s be real, any celebration where there this an over abundance of ‘good’ food anxiety.
Do you start to think about, worry about or stress about it days or weeks in advance? Worry about how much you are going to eat or perhaps what you are going to eat?
Often, I think we can get into the habit of making events a lot bigger in our head than we need to. What I mean by that is, we think that these events are few and far between when really in our very privileged lives there is no shortage of delicious food and gatherings with loved ones. Yes, it might be a special occasion, but this can also be used as an excuse for said over indulgence that leads to food hangovers.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying eat cardboard. Eat the food you want to eat, just moderate.
It is also helpful to take away this idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food. For some people these labels do more harm than good. Can you eat is moderation? Or do you need to put a few strategies in place until sensible eating just become your natural habit.
I’ve complied a few things that have helped me over the years. Now I rarely over stuff myself to the point of feeling sick, like I used to. And if I do…because I am human, I choose let of go any guilt and to see it as a lesson and reminder for next time. I hate food hangovers just as much as drinking hang overs, which is why I have these habit in place to avoid feeling shit.
Just because you have exhibited a particular habit of over-eating and over-indulging on party food in the past, doesn’t mean you have to next time. Each time you practice these tips your moderation muscles become stronger and stronger.
Questions to help build awareness:
How do I want to feel after the event? Ask yourself this regularly, before you put food on your plate. Better yet, if you connect how you want to feel and connect to a health goal this very much helps to keep you on tract.
What is your current mindset? All or nothing?
Is this nutritious for my body and or soul?
How did this make me feel last time?
Do I already feel full?
Can I eat it without feeling guilty/shitty/sick/over full?
What are my health and wellness goals?
Will eating this food add to the enjoyment or meaning to the occasion?
Are you eating just because it is in front of you?
Tips before & during the feast:
Exercise before you go – this way you may not want to waste your time and effort exercising to then ‘undo’ your hard work by eating food that you will have to work even harder to burn off… but let’s face it, you probs won’t actually burn it off.
Have light first meal of the day or don’t eat at all (fast).
If I know that I don’t want to eat a lot at a party, I will often have a green smoothie to fill me up or to at least make sure that I have had at least one nutritious meal in the day
If I know I have an event coming up, I often don’t eat until that time. I am used to fasting so I plan my fasting. Because I fast doesn’t mean that I over eat as much anymore. Just that my new level of full is different, a lot lower than it used to be.
Ask people to help keep you accountable… and don’t get the sits with them when they do keep you accountable.
Plan ahead – scope out what is there. Even better, make something nutritious to take if you can. I always prefer to make salads for parties. That way I know I have something to eat.
Hydrate before you go – we make smarter food choices when we are hydrated.
Drink water 20 minutes before eating – this helps to fill some space in you belly but gives your stomach enough time to replenish the stomach acid for digestion.
Try not to drink while eating, this will neutralise your stomach acid.
Avoid bread and wasted calories where you can.
Wait 20 minutes before eating 2nds! Remember you need to leave room for dessert too!
See your plate - If eating finger food, use a plate and gather the food all at once so you can see how much you are eating rather than continuing to go back multiple times.
Use a smaller plate! – this is a good trick for reducing you portion sizes. When we use large plates we tend to put more on them.
Eat more plants - not the indoor plants! Fill the plate with plants; salads, veggies, fruit.
Eat your salad first. I do. Just today for our family Christmas that's is all I had (especially when they are pimped salads that I make).
Eat until you are 70% full – especially if you know you want desserts.
If drinking alcohol, have water between each drink.
Drinking alcohol makes you eat more. Consider cutting back.
Eat slowly! Actually chew your food. Chewing food is where digestion actually starts. Your gut doesn’t have teeth in it. I’m sure the food will not run out, it is festivus everyone always over caters. Appreciate the tastes and enjoy it!
Peppermint tea can help with digestion (wait at least 20 minutes after you eat).
And Bob’s your Uncle! There you have it. Hope these helps, they have absolutely helped me. Share in the comments below what strategies you use.
Most of all be radically kind to yourself if you do over-indulge. Give yourself permission to be human.
If this is something that has been a persistent theme for you, reach out. I can help!
Happy festivus y’all.
Big love & peace out!