Hello SOTGC community,
When was the last time you went to an event with a fabulous spread and felt anxiety or stress?
The holidays are upon us and so are the numerous food-focused events. You know, the office parties, the networking holiday events, neighbor parties, not to mention the actual holiday happy hour or meal times. We attend these and often experience stress around food-related thinking and pressure internally or externally for consuming part of that spread.
If that’s your experience too, read on for how to optimize and conquer those food-focused events.
7 quick and helpful tips:
- Give yourself unconditional permission to eat—Most of us approach these events with firm rules, but rules typically only increase cravings and social anxiety. Plus you often feel deprived, which leads to communicating a lack of self worth (read: not good for social interactions) Instead, respond to your internal hunger and satiety cues to determine what your body might need.
- Rely on internal hunger and satiety cues—When you trust and satisfy your physical hunger you increase your sense of wellbeing, both physically and mentally. So pause and listen to your body—hunger and satiety cues can be the rumble in the tummy or gnawing in the stomach, or even pain in the stomach; or signs from your speech patterns or ability to think clearly.
- Eat for physical, rather than emotional reasons—It’s very easy after the day you just had to see the brie or the cookie and think, “Now that is what I need!” Emotional hunger is urgent, specific, paired with an upsetting emotion, and typically comes from above the neck. Physical hunger is gradual, open to options, and based in the stomach with a physical need for fuel. “When you can enjoy food with unconditional permission, the process of eating becomes emotionally neutral.”-Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD.
- Stay hydrated—Our bodies literally need water like our vehicles need charging or fuel. And don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink because then your body is already giving you the “I’m de-hydrated” warning light. Instead, consume actual water consistently throughout the day—why? It boosts brain power, helps with appetite control and gut health (poor gut health often contributes to cravings), improves your mood, lowers chance of headaches, and lowers your risk of heart attacks. I’m reaching for my glass water bottle now!
- Discover satisfaction in eating—While you don’t need to put yourself on the chaise and close your eyes saying, “Savor the bite,” it is helpful to be mindful of the flavors your tastes buds are chasing. When you pause in your thoughts to actually enjoy your food, your satisfaction increases to the point that cravings lessen.
- Use nutritional information without judgment—I’ve done it too, said “This food is bad.” Food itself can’t be bad or good, but it can create an impact on your body. Being mindful about how, what, and when you eat allows you to consider the facts about a food item’s nutritional information without labeling it “bad” or “good”. It also allows you to not feel “bad” or “good” based on what you eat. And you understand that one meal will not break your health or weight.
- Listen, rephrase or request, and respond—If you aren’t overly consumed with food-related thoughts you can easily interact with others out of your naturally awesome self. But until those food-related thoughts are re-trained, practice this three-phase social interaction tip: listen to what the other person is saying—don’t think about anything else. Then either rephrase what you heard or request more info about what you heard. Lastly respond with your thoughts on what they said—not your version of their experience. Practicing this three- phase tip will easily allow others to be comfortable with you, and, in return, you will relax and enjoy yourself too.
So there you have it: lovely seven, quick and helpful ways to optimize your experience and conquer those food-focused holiday events.
Which one tip resonated more with you than the others and you will implement at your next event?
Who can you invite to be your wing-woman and coach each other through these tips at the next event?
Connect with me and let me know how it goes!