When it comes to feeling confident in our eating, we all know that special events and holidays can be super challenging! Since Easter is this week, I wanted to do a special post on “How To Not Binge On Easter Candy”.
You can use this as a reminder for any holiday, but I know for me, Easter was always really really tough. I had some of my worst binges on or after Easter, so I hope this helps you stay sane and eat “normally” on whatever holiday you’re celebrating!
(And remember, “normal” eaters DO occasionally eat too much or have too many sweets. It’s all about self-forgiveness and moving forward 🙂 )
Replace “Don’t Eat That!” With “How Can I Eat Balanced?”
What happens if I told you NOT to think of a pink elephant? You immediately think about a pink elephant 🙂 The more I tell you not to think of it, the more you can’t help but have the image come to mind!
And so it is with food.
When you say to yourself “don’t eat that dessert”, “you better not have that candy”, “don’t you dare sneak a jellybean”, that is then all you think about.
Even still, after years of feeling “normal” around food, if I say “do NOT eat that Reese’s egg”, all I can think about is the Reese’s egg. (Which, BTW, I have a love/hate relationship with them…they are so delicious, but so addicting and I think they put some kind of drug in there 🙂 )
So what can you say to yourself instead?
Some version of:
How can I eat balanced?
What will I truly enjoy?
How can I savor this?
What feels delicious and nourishing right now?
What feels satisfying to me?
These questions take the shift off what you CAN’T have to what you CAN have (which takes some of the mind battle & rebellion out of it!)
Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced.
When your blood sugar is low, your brain is starved for glucose and not functioning at its optimum level.
This is something we want to be really mindful of, especially on a holiday!
Typically, we like to “save up for” an event. Since we usually eat larger quantities at a holiday dinner (or have foods we wouldn’t normally keep in the house), we try to not eat as much during the day. This is actually the opposite of what serves us!
Eating every 3-4 hours helps keep your blood sugar even and your energy stable. It allows you to make more conscious decisions around food because you’ve kept your body in balance.
When you feel balanced, you don’t get to that place where your blood sugar drops and you feel like you could eat ANYTHING!
Here is what my day typically looks leading up to a holiday dinner:
8:00 Eggs, toast, coffee or a breakfast casserole
11:00 Protein bar
1:00 Turkey and cheese sandwich, salad, or some leftovers that are in the fridge
4:00 Cheese and crackers, hummus/veggies, or something more substantial to ensure I’ll stay full until dinner (sometimes another sandwich or some leftovers)
6:00 Dinner + Dessert
I arrive to dinner balanced and able to consciously make choices that are nourishing!
Eating regularly and often will keep you so balanced that you’ll arrive to dinner in a much more even, balanced place!
(Which will help you make more thoughtful decisions. And these can include rich or sweet foods-it’s just that when you’re in this place of balance, you are more aware of what you’re choosing!)
Focus On Others.
This isn’t food related per se, but can definitely be a game changer. You know when you’re faced with a tray of desserts and you kind of mentally panic? And you have 1000 thoughts in your head? (Don’t eat too many! You’ll be mad at yourself later! But I really want a cookie! But I know I’ll end up overeating!)
What snaps you out of this endless battle going on in your head? Focusing on others. You get out of your own mind by focusing on someone else.
Can you offer to help the host in some way?
Can you engage in a meaningful conversation with someone?
Can you clear the table or set up dessert?
Can you think of ways to engage others in conversation?
Can you offer to take one of the kids on a walk or outside?
The quickest way to getting out of the food battle in your own head (and trust me, I’ve been there a thousand times!) is to focus on helping someone else.
It sounds simple, but it works wonders!