Ah, the holidays. The fun, the family, the friends, and…the food. Now we could talk about having a “colorful plate,” or “being mindful at parties,” but, trust me, it doesn’t work. Anybody who has been paying even an ounce of attention already knows, for the most part, what we’re supposed to be eating – real, whole foods and a lot less processed junk. Diet after diet talks about what not to eat, but never discusses HOW not to eat it. Enough! The problem isn’t the knowing, it’s the doing. When there’s a pint of ice-cream in the freezer, the knowing you shouldn’t eat it doesn’t really help.
Most of us, don’t overeat because we’re hungry. We overeat because we’re tempted.
We try and try to manipulate what we eat with no attention paid to our environments that make us eat.
Of course there are food environment issues at a societal level, but if you don’t want to wait for the government, the food industry and/or cultural norms to change, you have to start focusing on your personal food environment.
To outwit the ice-cream, don’t try yet another diet that tells you not to eat it. Focus on a strategy that removes it from your environment.
As the year rounds out, try focusing first on your home environment by clearing out every single processed food that tempts you. Leave nothing but ingredients in the house. No one is a match for 24/7 temptation. Quit asking that of yourself. Then, you can relax in those environments (like a holiday party) that you can’t necessarily control 100%.
In environments that you can’t physically control, mental separation is the next best thing. Distract yourself! Go for a walk, leave the room, play a game, talk to a loved one. Oh, and spread the word. Maybe there are others in your environments that would like to change things too!