How can you cope with Holiday stress eating? The holiday season comes with its share of excesses, including emotional or stress eating. Food can be a source of comfort when times are tough, and what better comfort than holiday goodies, right? Unfortunately, this can lead to overindulgence, guilt, and regret. But it’s important to remember that emotional eating is normal, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it.

Planning is Key

The first step to avoiding stress eating is to identify your triggers. Is it boredom, loneliness, anxiety, or just the accessibility of sweets? Once you know your triggers, you can come up with a plan to avoid them. For example, if you tend to eat when stressed, consider taking a 10-15 minute walk or practicing deep breathing exercises. If boredom is the culprit, plan activities that keep you engaged and active, such as baking cookies with the kids, playing board games, or organizing your closet. Making a conscious effort to avoid or manage your triggers puts you in control of your eating habits and helps you cope with Holiday stress eating.

Use Food to Fight Stress

The best way to avoid stress eating, though, is with food. Some foods can help curb your cravings and calm your nerves. High-protein snacks like boiled eggs, turkey slices, and cheese sticks can keep you full and satisfied longer. Avocado is another superfood high in fiber and healthy fats that promote satiety. Drinking chamomile tea can also help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Other Strategies to Cope with Holiday Stress Eating

Decluttering a room, taking a 10-minute meditation break, purging a drawer, or doing a load of laundry can provide a quick distraction and a sense of accomplishment. These non-food activities can also improve your mood and reduce stress, which in turn reduces your tendency to snack mindlessly.

Recovering from Stress Eating

Okay, so you gave in to the holiday snacks, and now you feel bloated, guilty, and uncomfortable. How can you quickly recover? Try a homemade digestion tea made with ginger, mint, and lemon which can help calm your stomach and ease digestion. A hot bath or a heat pad can also help soothe your stomach. You can also practice mindful eating by slowing down, chewing your food thoroughly, and savoring the flavors. This can help you reconnect with your body’s signals of hunger and fullness and prevent overeating in the future.

Need more inspiration? Check out this article for tips to keep the Holidays healthy.

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