Avoid Emotional Eating During the Holidays

emotional eating

The holidays can be a time of love and togetherness, but it can also be time of stress. Whether you’re worried about holiday shopping, hosting your family or pressures at work, it can be easy to let your emotions take over your eating habits during this time of year.

So how can you get through the holidays without sabotaging your weight loss efforts? Read on to learn how you can curb your cravings and put a stop to emotional eating this holiday season.

Identify why you’re eating emotionally

It’s easy to say, “I’m feeling stressed, so I’m going to eat some comfort food to make me feel better.” But don’t expect it to work. People tend to eat emotionally to distract themselves from a particular emotion. Emotional eating won’t make your feelings go away — it will simply postpone the inevitable.

When you find yourself reaching for a plate of Christmas cookies instead of confronting stressful feelings, set a timer for 5 minutes and spend that time allowing yourself to feel those feelings. Identify exactly what is stressing you out or making you feel sad or angry. Finally, come up with some concrete ways you can deal with the circumstances causing those emotions — and no, digging into another piece of pie doesn’t count!

When the timer dings, you’ll have resisted the impulse to emotionally eat and equipped yourself with some actionable solutions to your problems.

Upgrade your cravings

If you’re still feeling hungry after confronting your feelings, go ahead and eat a healthy meal or snack. This is always preferable to going hungry, which will just backfire and increase your cravings.

If you’re craving a certain kind of food in particular, just upgrade to a healthier version of that item. For example, if you’re just dying for some pizza, try making a homemade version with whole wheat crust, shredded chicken, tomato sauce and just a bit of low-fat mozzarella. You’ll satisfy your cravings without all the guilt.