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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Counter-Intuitive Holiday Eating

Tis' the season that brings many of our favorite childhood foods and treats. Ironically, this is also the season that gives us just as many tactics, tricks, and diets to keep us from eating them. And so begins the holiday dance of indulging and refraining, pleasure and willpower, "good days" and "bad days." Bah humbug. If this isn't enough to turn someone into a Scrooge, I don't know what is...

In general, we get so fixated on what we are eating between Thanksgiving and New Years, when we should be more focused on what we eat between New Years and Thanksgiving. Yet common sense doesn't seem to matter. We still "throw in the towel" or obsess about food this time of year.

The Good News:

The solution need not be so complicated. You don't need to count calories. You don't need to use fake, imitation ingredients. Nor is there a need to run 2 extra miles each day.

Here are 3 tactics that we use with the best of intentions that seem to backfire time and time again...and their simple, yet counter-intuitive, remedies.

Dieting During the Holidays

This is a strange form of self-torture.

Remedy: Don't diet. If there is a diet, there is a revolt lurking just around the corner. Remember, you can't break a diet that doesn't exist. "Cookies?? Sure, I'll have one." Then you move on with your life. (This actually happens, folks).

Last Supper Syndrome

"I am going to eat all of these cookies since I will never devour sugar like this again." Bullsh*t. I'm calling your bluff. I keep an ear out for these types of statements. They point to black-and-white thinking.
Remedy: Own the fact that you will most certainly want something sweet to eat at some point in the future. (Maybe even now) Incorporate these now. So you love peppermint bark? Then eat a little after lunch and a little after dinner. Everyday. Nothing horrible will happen to you. Doesn't this make more sense than counting how many days you can refrain from eating it and then eating all of it in a self-defeated flurry?

Making New Years Resolutions in October

So you already decided that you are going to diet in January? I smell a Christmas cookie binge baking in the oven! All this does is affirm the lack of trust you have in yourself around holiday foods as well as a "Get Out of Jail Free" card that gives you permission to eat entirely carelessly and mindlessly.

Remedy: Make a resolution to NOT diet after New Years. Think about it. What would change for you?

So here's the recap:

Don't diet. Incorporate treats daily, on your terms. Make a resolution to NOT diet after New Years.

Are you up for the challenge?

Laura K Burkett is a Holistic Health and Eating Psychology counselor in Grand Rapids, MI. She received her education from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC and is certified through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Laura works with clients individually as well as in groups, workshops, and corporate programs. She works with men and women to deconstruct chaotic eating patterns and emotional eating. learn what foods serve them best. and reconnect with what they want for their health and their life.

You can find Laura at

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