Tis’ the season for overeating! Celebrations filled with fun, friends and joy also tend to bring an overabundance of food. Whether at the neighbors, the office or a holiday party, everywhere we look it is food. As challenging as it is to not overindulge and lose control, there is reason to hope this season. Staying in control is not hard if you have the tools that can help make it happen. In my holiday toolbox, I always keep some basic goals and rules.
First, goals can motivate you to stay on track this time of year. If you write your goals down and read them every morning, it is a great daily reminder to keep you on your path towards achievement. Goals can also give you something to look forward to. If you decide you do not want to gain a single pound this holiday season, that goal can keep you looking ahead to the new year knowing you won’t have any resolutions to make that involve weight! Especially this time of year, a good goal could be to ask yourself what you would like to feel like on Dec 26th?
Another tool that is helpful are rules. Rules help simplify the decision-making process and reduce your anxiety as you head into triggering situations this season. A rule can be as simple as just drinking a glass of water before eating. It can also be very specific like remembering you don’t have to eat all the food in front of you because it is the holidays. But, by all means, it is ok to indulge in your grandmother’s special dessert because she only makes it once per year.
Laying these rules and goals out ahead of time is key and can really be helpful. If you have your goals and rules going into the season, it is much easier to stay focused. Most importantly, don’t get discouraged if you go off track. Just remember that this time of year is not special just because of the food. This can lead to justifying eating everything you want because it is “special”. You can enjoy food all year long and it may even “taste better” knowing you kept your goals and followed the rules along the way!