1. When you’re the party queen, buy some food you don’t like!
Right, the emotional eaters are now freaking out, but this does make sense… If emotions trigger your over-eating I’m willing to bet you show love with food. It’s second nature for you. You want to show everyone how much you care so you choose your favourites, or certainly flavours you relate to, even at a subconscious level. Your childhood favourites, perhaps?
Yes, you make sure there’s plenty of the good stuff you like, different salads and lean meats to choose from.
But if you struggle to stop eating crisps once you start, buy crisps in flavours you don’t like — the kids aren’t going to care. Pick up the biscuits that you’re not a fan of. No one is going to judge you for not having triple chocolate chip, fairy dust and unicorn breath cup cakes on hand at every turn. (yes, I made that up. They are not a thing!) If you don’t like mince pies, there you go.
2. Use smaller plates
When your plate is smaller you can pile it up and it looks like you’ve got loads of food, so the mind is automatically satisfied you’ve eaten plenty.
3. Run towards the salad
If you eat lots of veg you’ll aid your digestion, and you’ll be full of good stuff. So yes, eat it first and then savour the your favourite treats. You’ll feel energised instead of stodgy.
4. Eat before the event
This tactic ensures you body gets proper nutrition and you can then pick at the party food. No one is going to be offended that you don’t hoover up everything in sight. No one will notice.
5. Hang out with the health food friend
See the friend heading for the salad. Run! Run towards her and eat with her. When you look at her plate it will look like yours so you won’t get what I call FFFOMO (Fat Food Fear of Missing Out) and you’ll be mirroring her behaviour, so you won’t start to feel awkward. Eat with your pal who lives on chocolate and chips and looks like a piece of string (we all know one, don’t we?) and you’ll start anticipating what she might be thinking about what’s on your plate and you’ll feel this urge to be like her and eat crap.
And if all else fails…
It’s the morning after… maybe even the afternoon after… you wake up with the mother of all hangovers and start flash-backing to cheeseboard carnage. Then you remember washing it down with three bowls of Aunty Nelly’s sherry triple. Don’t give yourself a hard time. Don’t do that, ’oh, I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb’ thing and go on a sugar bender until January.
We all fall over. We all trip up. When you learned to walk, how many times did you fall on your bum before you got the hang of it? You laughed, didn’t you. You got up and you kept going until you could walk with confidence. You didn’t throw your hands in the air and scream ‘That’s it, I’m over this walking thing. I’m sitting here til the day I die.’ You laughed, got up and tried again. Eating right is just like that.
So no catastrophising. If Christmas is about love, joy and peace, that includes you too. Have an amazing time this festive season. Love to all.