This year has been a challenging year for most of us. From the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to the still lingering election controversies, it seems the list of stressors for the year 2020 keeps growing. And many of us turn to food for comfort. Being inside and alone can mean that food becomes our only comfort at times. We feel stressed, lonely, cooped up, and panicked. Eating does temporarily increase our serotonin levels and makes us feel good for a short period of time, but that feeling doesn’t last and we find ourselves searching for something else to eat because we need more comfort.
The upcoming holidays can bring about a variety of emotions. For some, the holidays are a time for reflection, friends, family, and festivities. For others, the holidays are a time of stress and anxiety. With increased stress, food can sometimes become an easy method for coping. This year, due to the pandemic and restrictions on travel and large gatherings, our holidays may look different. We may be home alone instead of gathering with friends and family. This may increase our feelings of isolation and sadness, leading to more opportunities to overeat or to comfort ourselves with food.
If you tend to turn to food for comfort and emotional support, here are some strategies that could help you deal with holiday stress without overeating.
By practicing these few simple strategies, it is possible to get through the holidays without turning to food for comfort. Pay attention to your body. Eat when you are hungry. Be mindful and slow down while eating. Stop eating when you feel full. Drink plenty of water. Oh, and don’t forget to exercise every day.
Have fun this holiday season! But if your eating gets the best of you, remember that Providers for Healthy Living offers nutritional counseling by our licensed dietician, Kelsey Russell, RDN, LD, and cognitive behavioral therapy and obesity medications by our obesity medicine specialist, Matthew Lowe, DO. We are here to help you regain control of your eating and help you meet your nutrition and weight goals, if you need us. Register as a new patient on our website if you are interested in receiving assistance.
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