The holiday season is upon us. Do you greet it with both joy and trepidation? Festivities bring us together with family and friends. It is time to take out the decorations, go shopping and bake the cookies. Ah, there's the rub! Cookies, candy, rich foods all add up to weight gain as the New Year begins. See more about winning strategies with food in my book, Desserts Is Stressed Spelled Backwards.
It's not as hard as you may think to enjoy yourself and wake up in January without having to go on a diet. The first step is to prepare ahead of time by making a list of all the people, places and things that contribute to your downfall during the holidays. Many overeaters try to be "good" and forego the temptations. Then they go home and eat because they feel deprived.
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A common holiday hazard is dealing with all the food that is scattered around wherever you go. Some people put dishes of candy or cookies on their desks at work or in the lunchroom. Seeing or smelling delicious treats is a very strong enticement. What makes it worse is that these treats are not your run of the mill snacks. They are usually the once a year goodies that come with the season.
Once you have a clear picture of how you sabotage yourself you can use a simple and powerful acupressure technique called EFT tapping to eliminate overwhelming cravings and holiday anxiety. With EFT you will be able to feel satisfied when you eat one portion and stop or choose to not eat that delicacy at all!
When you are faced with temptation, think of or look at the scrumptious food that is calling to you. Rate how strong your urge is to eat it on a scale from zero to ten with zero being no interest. Using your index and middle fingers, gently tap each of these energy points for about 3 seconds and rate your urge again:
- The outer edge of you hand under the little finger
- The eyebrow near the nose
- The outside edge of the eye socket
- Underneath the lower eyelid
- Under the nose
- Under the lower lip
- Under the collarbone
- On the side of your body, 4 inches under the armpit.
After a few rounds of tapping as you focus on your desire for this particular food, take a rest and check in on the intensity of your craving. Do this until you decide on a reasonable solution. If you are forcing yourself to say "No", keep tapping until you genuinely can be satisfied with one average sized portion or you discover that you don't want it at all. You can learn how to use EFT for compulsive eating and many other common problems in my popular book, Five Simple Steps to Emotional Healing.
When you are facing a tantalizing buffet or potluck array of extraordinary foods, don’t dive in and pig out. Instead, try one of these suggestions.
Plan 1: Walk along the food table and notice the delicious choices. Evaluate the selections silently. Perhaps you spot a unique dessert that looks irresistible, but next to it is a cake that you know comes from the local supermarket and is pretty ordinary and unappealing. There will be a number of dishes that you either don't like or already make yourself so you know what they taste like. Decide which of the options you want to sample. Only then will you pick up a plate, and take a reasonable serving of each one.
Plan 2: Walk along the food table and evaluate the display. If there are too many wonderful foods to choose from give yourself permission to taste most of them. Put 2 tablespoonfuls of each one on your plate. Then sit down and savor the feast by eating slowly and enjoying the flavor as you hold the food in your mouth.
Plan 3: Every once in a while I have been at parties where there is a particular or unusual food that is so delicious that my "Needy Greedy Inner Child" wants to gobble it all up! The adult part of me knows what the consequences will be if I don't control the ravenous child, so I have devised a way to "have my cake and eat it too."
I seek out the person who made the food and ask for the recipe. I tell my child self that she doesn't have to eat a huge amount, thinking that because she will never get it again she has to eat it all, because we will take the recipe home and make it any time we want.
Another pitfall has to do with the number of festivities that take place during the holidays. You may be invited to a load of parties and dinners where food is not just delicious but plentiful too. Use EFT before the gathering, while you think about all the hazards: too much food to choose from, delicious high calorie specialties that you only get once a year, eating to please the hostess, family anxiety when you are all together, etc.
You will discover that as a result of using 3 minutes of EFT a few times a day, starting a week before the event, you will have a great holiday experience and not wake up in January with an upset stomach, an extra 5 pounds and a load of guilt!
If you are interested in learning how to use EFT with confidence for many other issues in your life you can listen to my audio series, EFT From A to Z.
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