With holiday celebrations taking place it can be tempting to "save up" calories for the foods you anticipate eating later. This is a set-up for overeating. As your body becomes more desperate for food, the drive to eat becomes stronger and stronger. When you finally start to eat that biological drive can take over and you overeat.
Then comes the "guilt" – which I put in quotes because guilt implies you actually did something wrong. When you tell yourself that you were bad for eating the logical next step is to punish. Attempting to compensate for calories consumed by rigidly controlling your food, purging, taking diet pills or laxatives, or exercising to burn calories only serves to fuel the cycle that resulted in the overeating in the first place. For more on this, check out Dr. Michelle May's Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle.
An alternative to the idea of saving up calories? Here are a few tips:
- Eat meals as you normally would leading up to a holiday gathering. Don't skip meals.
- Have a snack before you go if you're going to be overly hungry by the time you get there.
- Listen to what your body needs. Pay attention to the subtle cues for hunger and fullness before you reach the extremes.
- Mindful eating – pay attention to your food while you're eating. Savor every bite. Stop when satisfied.