So many people dread the holidays. We equate holidays with eating, and eating with weight gain and weight gain with pain. Therefore ruining the holiday experience.
As a society we take this for granted.
The pressure to finish all of food on our plate around family members is just too great. So we overeat, feel guilty or shameful and prove that this whole annual process is just too difficult to fix.
Quick fix programs will not solve this problem.
Holiday weight gain is caused by two things.
A lack of self awareness
An assumed expectation
A Lack of Self Awareness
We completely tune out of what our bodies are telling us around hunger and fullness. And it's not really our fault either. No one every really taught us how to be self aware as a kid. We were taught to eat when everyone else is eating, to finish everything on our plates and to not waste food.
Becoming self aware around your hunger and fullness cues is the number 1 skill you must acquire in order to find your ideal weight and maintain it permanently. No matter how much you weigh.
This means eating when we are physically hungry and stopping when we are about 80 percent full. Not stuffed.
But this is only half the battle. Most of my clients know how to use this skill, but are afraid of the backlash from other people. Meaning that we can sometimes worry about what other people think of us.
"Why didn't you finish? Did you not like the food?"
"You have to have desert, don't be disrespectful."
"Why aren't you eating? Are you on a diet or something?"
Don't cave when these responses come up. Tell the truth. However other people handle your response is their business, not yours. At the end of the day you control what, when, why and how you eat, right?
An Assumed Expectation
We assume that we will gain weight around the holidays before they even arrive. And that's too bad, because it does not have to be that way.
It is not a given that you will gain weight around the holidays.
In fact most people maintain their weight or even lose weight weight around the holidays.
Go back to cause number 1. They are self aware and trust their body.
But what about the actual food itself? Isn't it more calorie dense that the food we eat at other times of the year?
So is the milkshake you really enjoy and look forward to in moderation that is apart of your diet during the summer.
It is not the food. It never is the food. It is how we view the food and what kind of relationship we have with the food.
Weight gain is not set in stone: You have control
Enjoy the holidays. Get curious around your thinking when you are at the dinner table. What other people think can not cause you to do anything, unless you let it. Begin to develop the skill of being self aware and know that you are in total control of your weight. You may just need some help.