This time of year can be stressful for all sorts of reasons, and my clients often ask how to manage their behaviour around omnipresent of food and drink. Here are my top tips for how to start changing your relationship with food. It doesn’t have to wait until the new year!
1. Have a strategy
Ask yourself how you would like to behave and what you would like to eat and drink at the upcoming event or social occasion. Visualisation is a powerful tool to allow you to make better choices. If possible make your menu choices in advance, or at least decide how much you will eat and drink before you go out. This will relieve the pressure and free up more headspace to enjoy yourself.
2. Eat when you’re hungry not because you think you should
Instead, tune into your hunger levels and eat what your body needs. If people allow themselves to get too hungry, they are more likely to overeat; so, if you know you will be eating late, have a snack before you go out, which will help you make better choices later on. Many people think there is an expectation of what they should eat or drink at any given occasion. But really, are people going to notice if you have 2 canapes rather than 10? Eat what is right for you and do not fall into the trap of clearing your plate because you feel you should. No one who cares about you is going to want you to overeat.
3. Treat your body with respect
Some people always finish what is on their plate, even if they are not hungry, because they don’t want to waste food. Now, I completely agree that wasting food is to be avoided. However, by eating food you don’t want or need, you are effectively using your body as a dustbin. Treat your body with the respect it deserves and only eat the food it needs to function properly.
4. Show self-compassion if you lapse
If things don’t quite go to plan and you end up eating or drinking more than you planned, don’t beat yourself up about it. Making mistakes happens to us all. One mistake does not mean that you will never be able to make lasting changes to the way you eat, it just means that it is taking a while for the new habits to bed in. Keep on keeping on!
5. Acknowledge what you did well
Start reminding yourself of what you’ve done well and how far you have come rather than dwelling on what didn’t go to plan. Change the soundtrack in your head to tell you of the positives not just the negatives.
I'm a Personal Coach who loves finding out about what makes people tick and helping them to make the changes necessary to get to where they want to go so they can thrive.