(KRON) – You managed to get through Thanksgiving, but you’re feeling guilty. Now you fear the next phase of food fests — that is, office parties, family gatherings, and cookie exchanges. If that sounds like you, health expert Karen Owoc has some tips to help control your eating and some humane ways to stay on track this holiday season.
1. DON’T beat yourself up for “being bad”.
• Avoid dwelling on having gone back for seconds (or thirds).
• Beating yourself up because you “went off your diet” will only bring on negative feelings of failure, guilt, and frustration which are triggers for emotional eating.
2. DON’T starve yourself or overly restrict your calories to “make up for being bad” or to compensate for the excesses.
• Starving yourself, that is, consciously and severely restricting calories, will drive you to want to eat everything in sight and will ignite the cycle of binging all over again.
3) DON’T vow to “go on a diet” and here’s why…
• A “diet” vs. a lifetime eating plan can make you fat. A diet can be counterproductive.
• Diets are often associated with the Three D’s: Deprivation, Defeat and Depression. These emotions can trigger a cycle of compulsive overeating, obsessions, and emotional eating binges.
• Most diets focus on weight (that is, chasing that elusive number on the scale) and not on how you feel.
4) DON’T punish yourself with a workout.
• Workouts are meant to reinforce positive feelings, i.e., increased energy and greater psychological well-being, not negative ones.
Also, don’t negotiate calories with exercise.
5) DON’T dwell on past lapses.
• Stop recollecting what you ate with regret and guilt. Move on.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
― Lao Tzu
6) DO eat mindfully the next time you eat. Stay in the present. Eating mindfully means you:
• Stop eating when distracted by the TV, computer, phone, etc.
• Chew more and savor each bite.
• Eat with chopsticks or smaller utensils to slow yourself down.
• Eat only when you’re physically hungry.
• Take sips of water between bites.
• Stop eating when you’re comfortably full..
7) DO acknowledge your achievements.
• At the end of each day, ask yourself what you did to get you closer to your goal and acknowledge that achievement — no matter how small. These are the kinds of thoughts that will propel you forward and sustain your motivation.