Here are few ways to help you manage emotional eating this holiday season:
Make a list of activities that you enjoy doing such as meeting with friends, walking, reading, journaling, gardening, going to the movies, doing arts and crafts, watching DIY videos, etc. Keep this list in your wallet and refer to it when you get the urge to eat out of boredom.
Call up a friend or family member who can take your mind off of eating and maybe offer a helpful ear if you need to vent.
Try waiting out the urge by giving yourself 10 to 15 minutes before you go to food. If you still want to eat after the 10 minutes have a small portion or have foods available to you already portioned.
Drink a glass of water or have a cup of tea. Sometimes hunger can be mistaken for thirst.
Keep healthy snacks with you especially if you know that you will be away from home for long periods of time. Some healthy snacks can be almonds, baby carrots, cut up fruit, and celery.
Don’t deprive yourself or punish yourself by not eating. Eat exactly what you want. Restricting yourself will add more uncomfortable feelings to an already complex experience. Allow yourself to have a treat on occasion and portion it.
If you think your eating is due to stress, depression, anxiety or inability to regulate your emotions, acting on the urge to eat won’t resolve those symptoms, it will make them worse. Seek out help from a mental health professional and free yourself from emotional eating by learning healthy ways to cope with your emotions and relate to food.