How to stay in control over Christmas eating:

It's that time of year again when everyone buys enough food to last a month and over-eating becomes the flavour of the month! Or is it? 

Yesterday I was talking to a client who through our sessions has taken control over his eating, ditched unhealthy choices and ended binge eating. However, like many other people, he was a bit concerned that over the Christmas period this control would be put to the test and so he wanted a few quick and easy ways to help him enjoy the festive period but without impacting on his health and happiness. And that's exactly when I have for you here today.

Christmas can be a very testing time if you are someone who wants to be healthy and be in control over eating. There's almost an expectation that you should over-indulge in all sorts of food and drink or you won't be able to enjoy yourself. Of course that's nonsense, however, with sweets in the office and social events and alcohol, sweets and cake seemingly in every direction, it can be easy to overeat and then spend January wishing you hadn't!!

So here I've got 5 simple hacks to help you keep more in control over your eating if you want to enjoy the festive period yet not go too crazy!

Control Eating At Christmas

If you want to keep a sense of control over your eating at Christmas then here are 5 things you can easily do to have a good time yet stay in control - after all, who wants to get fat for Christmas?

1)  Keep it out of sight

If you have loads of sweets and chocolate and food in the house then keep it out of sight. Often with food it really is a case of 'out of sight, out of mind.' If you've ever had the experience of walking in the kitchen or a bakery for one thing, spotting that tasty looking cake and suddenly feeling hungry and like you must have it (no matter how hard you try and resist) then this is for you. Once you have seen the sugar and logged it in your mind, it can become more and more overwhelming until you cave. So reduce this likelihood by storing things out of sight; that way you will only go and get them if you've made the decision to have something to eat.

2)  The 5 Minute Rule

If you decide to eat something not because you are hungry but because you want it, then go and get it and then have it out next to you for at least five minutes. Rather than eating it from the packet as soon as you reach for it or diving right in to satisfy a craving, actually have it there but take control and wait. Doing this will teach you to be in control over food rather than controlled by it. If you do decide to eat it after the time has passed, at least you know you are making an active decision rather than seeking to satisfy a compulsion as quickly as possible.

3)  Keep It In Sight

Whatever you have, keep the wrappers in sight afterwards. What we tend to do, especially with chocolates and sweets, is to eating the current one while already looking for which one we will have next. As soon as one is eaten, it gets forgotten as we move on and on (and perhaps on and on again). Make yourself accountable for how much you are eating by keeping the wrappers in front of you. One of my clients did this at work by keeping the wrappers in a plastic cup and found that their consumption of chocolates declined massively because they could clearly see how many they had already had.

4) Take Your Time

When you do eat sweets and cake and so forth, take your time. It isn't going anywhere so take your time, eat it slowly, savour it and enjoy what you do have. This will slow you down so you don't overeat and you will enjoy what you do have more. Rather than mindlessly shovelling the food in as quickly as possible, take your time, engage in the taste and texture and make eating a pleasure rather than something to just get done as quickly as you can.

5) Use Your Brain

Nothing takes away the enjoyment of, and control over, eating as much as screens. So as far as possible, ditch the TV, tablet and phone and actually look at the food you are eating. Eat mindfully and pay attention. You'll find that you are more in control and make better decisions over what and how much to eat by doing so.

And above all else, be sure to have an awesome, healthy, happy Christmas! 

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

Weight Control Hypnotherapy

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