Intuitive Eating During the Holidays in 5 STEPS!

Written By janinebrunetti

On December 20, 2019
Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating? It’s not a Fad, it’s the SOLUTION!

Everywhere you turn, you see best foods not to gain weight, diet ads, gym membership promotions…and it’s a bit of a merry go round, isn’t it? Intuitive Eating will help you gracefully step off the merry go round of losing and gaining weight which chips away at your self esteem and empower you as the strong self you are!

The New Year New You, only lasts but so long. It doesn’t seem like many resolutions stick.

And that’s because our deep beliefs about our bodies, our food intake and our self esteem doesn’t improve with a diet, gym membership or lifestyle change.
We can change our mind through 2 things: Repetition And Hypnosis

But let’s go back to Intuitive Eating. There’s so many people who forego the whipped cream, or the cookie or even a rich meal in the name of not wanting to gain weight. And so they skip the french fry to go home and eat a bag of chips, cookies and <<Insert whatever else here>>

The issue is that the magazine articles, blog posts and advertisements for PREVENTING HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN are not only unhelpful, but they paint FOOD in a negative light. The focus on restricting or ignoring our body queues for when we’re hungry and what we’re wanting, disconnects us from our intuition and leads to unsatisfaction and then trying to fill in that void with foods you would never eat, but you’re feeling defeated.

 

So, I’m going to give you a challenge this last holiday season of the decade. Don’t just do the same thing you did the last 9 years…And no, this isn’t a fitness or no carb keto/ intermittent fasting challenge. This is a challenge to tune into your body, and let yourself enjoy foods you love, be thankful that you can enjoy foods you love, and then move on with life.

Here are the challenge guidelines – I think you’re going to like this!

 

Eat and Drink what YOU really LOVE and leave out anything else.

There are many times, we try to force ourselves to eat a celery stick when we want a slice of pizza. If you allow yourself a slice of pizza, you’ll eat less, enjoy it and not have to MAKE UP for depriving yourself and you’ll wind up eating less calories.  Tune into what you are eating, enjoy the experience and ironically you’ll be less likely to eat just to eat or out of emotion. So for instance, if you’re at a pot luck, party or buffet, have a look around and make intentional decisions about what you actually want to ingest. Take a small amount of each item and give yourself permission to go up for seconds, if you really want…You’ll be amazed by what happens!

 

Keep your meals steady!

Sometimes if we have a big dinner or party ahead of us, we skimp beforehand to avoid excessive calories. While I understand there’s yin and yang, the real balance is treating a party just like another meal. Perhaps it’ll be more calories than your salad with a lean protein; however, if you treat it like an enjoyable meal with time to always have what you want, you don’t have to starve yourself before and then inhale all the foods you would never touch.  Aim to eat foods from a variety of food groups throughout the day: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and fat. This way, you’re not ravenous and needing to eat the first thing you see once mealtime rolls around.

 

Get involved.

Contribute a Favorite Dish you either like making yourself from scratch or from a shop you really appreciate. Or maybe volunteer or offer your help whether that be donating, giving of your time, or helping with an initiative that lights you up!  Sharing something with others that you enjoy is meaningful on so many levels. Food is special. But it’s just one component of the holidays. There’s so much to celebrate and you have opportunity to leverage the magic of the season that brings people together and creates lasting memories. Bond over your love and appreciation of food, friends, and being together.

 

Mindfulness.

Be Present! Focus on the people you’re with, and enjoy experiences in the moment. It helps to be grateful for what you have in the now. Clearing out associative negative thoughts will be easy once you swarm your mind with positivity and thankfulness for what you already have. You can’t be grateful and worry at the same time. Once you narrow your focus on what you want to feel, the  results will astound you! Try it 🙂 Make a list of at least 2 things you like to do or feelings you want to experience, and then make it happen!

 

Take a STEP back!

The BIG picture is what I’m referring to. Food is a wonderful way to share memories with loved ones, but there’s so many other ways to make memories: shopping, going for walks, seeing holiday themed displays, physical activity like ice skating, and personal connections with loved ones over hot cocoa or happy hour. Know that eating a little too much in one meal isn’t doom and gloom. It’s the sum of all your actions, not just one meal. It’s normal to consume a little too much here and there. But don’t beat yourself over it. It’s about being in love with yourself and your life…Take the power away from food and reclaim it yourself!

Now, that you’ve read the helpful tips, I want to share some of the most common IRRATIONAL holiday food tips I’ve seen over the years, and I can confirm that they DO NOT WORK!

  1. Eat with your non-dominant hand while at holiday parties. There’s so many things wrong with this, but primarily ignoring your body is my top reason for this being an offender! We don’t need to be so hard on ourselves!
  2. Chew each bite of food at least 30 times. Seriously? Who is going to do this – being present is one thing, but this is excessively moving in the opposite direction! While eating slowly does help you digest, eating THIS slow is borderline restrictive!
  3. Wear a size smaller or tight clothes. This is so so unhealthy for your circulation and downright UNCOMFORTABLE! Yes, I’ve worn snug jeans that have kept me honest, but I’m not about to do damage to my body to psych myself out of eating – that’ s just hurting yourself!
  4. Reduce taste testing. Again, if you’ are inline with your body, you’re not going to gain massive amounts of weight from tasting something you poured your heart into before bringing to a party. This is a mindset that is not going to help you reach your goals. Again restrictive which leads to binging!

If you got value from this post, drop value in the comments!

If you’re struggling with something body image/ food related this holiday season, please don’t be hard on yourself, and feel free to comment or contact me to help you with some tools and techniques that are tried and true!

BONUS: For YOUR FREE Mindful Eating Meditation, You can access it below!

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