My DO NOTs and what to do instead to conquer one of the biggest food fears… OVEREATING.
1. Do not go hungry. Have a snack an hour or two before you go. Good choices would have a protein or fat, if not both. Fiber would be great.
Turkey in lettuce wrap
Veggies with guac
Handful of almonds
Plain Greek yogurt
2. Do not starve yourself all day to make room for that food. This will only backfire. How many times have I saved up calories only to black out and stuff my face without even realizing it?!? Eat as you normally would. If you know your party may consist of something carb heavy like pizza or pasta and desserts… you could ditch excess carbs in the hours before but this isn’t restriction or deprivation, it’s basically a swap for them later, if you really want them.
3. Do not workout a ton extra before it. This never works. It will exhaust you and make you even hungrier. OR you’ll overestimate the workout you did and use it as permission to go hog wild. That math never works. I’ve done it. Trust me. And the mental capacity needed for that is not worth the effort.
4. Do not punish yourself by working out extra tomorrow. This one also never works. Not only is it mean to yourself, but you can’t out exercise your food nor should u spend your life trying to. I did this one a lot. And it landed me in the land of exhaustion, hitting a wall that would throw my yo yo dieting into full speed.
5. Do not pack your own food. Just don’t. You can certainly contribute a dish if you’re asked to, but don’t eat your baggy of chicken. If you don’t know how to do that, message me, I can help you figure out how to adapt to situations where food is not ideal.
6. Do not white knuckle your way through the party. This will only take you away from the fun and most likely lead you to a later binge, whether it’s driving through a drive through on the way home or eating your cupboard. You don’t need to white knuckle. You don’t need willpower. All you need is awareness.
7. Do not obsess over the food at the party. Oh man I lived my life here. Sitting near the food. Eating it constantly. Not being aware of who else was at the party. No. Go enjoy what the party is for. Enjoy the people. And if you’re not enjoying yourself, leave. Seriously. If you can’t find something worthwhile to enjoy, or a reason you are there other than food, then you don’t need to be there. Sometimes distracting yourself with something else at the party for 5 minutes can be enough time for you to see you can enjoy yourself without thinking about or eating all the food.
8. Do not throw in the towel because you ate a “bad” food. Most of the time, we don’t actually eat as badly as we think, until we judge it. Then the aftermath that ensues is what makes us have to unbutton our pants, feel ashamed or vow to start over tomorrow. How do we avoid this? By the next tip.
9. Do not eat food that you don’t really want or love. A party doesn’t mean its permission to eat everything because you’re finally giving yourself permission to and tomorrow or Monday you will start over. However, it can be a time to enjoy some food you may not eat on a regular basis. Survey the area. What food is really worth it to you? Which foods there do you absolutely love? Can you pass up the dessert since you really want the cocktail and you love vodka? Can you skip the dip because you really just want pizza? And if something isn’t tasting as good as you thought, can you stop eating it? It isn’t rude. It’s just listening to yourself. I like to pick the foods I really love, skip the ones I could take or leave, and enjoy it.
No judging or labeling.
No throwing all caution to the wind.
You can enjoy your favorite foods AND still take care of yourself all the while enjoying the company, scenery, ambiance, etc.
10. Know that even if you do overeat, you are ok! Even normal eaters overeat sometimes. It’s just a moment in time. It doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel or wait til Monday or next month to start being good again! All you need is a reset. The best ways to reset, in my opinion, are…
A) take a leisurely walk
B) do something you enjoy like reading, coloring, even curl up and watch a movie, etc.
c) have a healthy snack such as a one scoop protein shake in almond milk, some fresh veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper, or a veggie omelette
D) remind yourself you’re ok! You’re fine!
E) journal. You can look back and ask yourself what happened. Why did I overeat? Was I not paying attention? Was I starving? Did I throw in the towel? Was I stressed about something? Was I tired? Then we can look at different solutions for next time.
F) try to get a solid sleep
G) sweat tomorrow. Not sweat extra. But sweat. You’ll realize u didn’t miss a beat.
Not every event or social gathering will have to be complicated or a giant checklist like the things I’ve mentioned before. But if you feel overwhelmed or anxious about attending them, start with this list. I’m sure a couple tips will stick with you more than others. Choose what clicks for you and before you know it, it will be second nature. Fun and pizza can exist with healthy and happy. I promise. Don’t cheat yourself out of a good time because you don’t trust yourself.
*And remember this: if you don’t judge your food and what you ate, you’ll be much less likely to keep being anxious about it. Leave it in the past and deal with now. Ask yourself, “How can I take care of myself right now? It’s rarely as bad as you make it out to be, it’s you declaring so that makes it much worse.
I struggled with social events for a very long time and I know these tips can help. Be compassionate with yourself. There is nothing wrong with you if you overeat. It is just another chance to learn more about yourself and practice again. Beating yourself up will not fix anything. So take a deep breath, think about which of these tips seem like something that would make sense for you, and pause next time so you can practice them!
Need help healing your relationship with food, fitness and your body? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any coaching inquiries. I’d love to see if we are a good fit to work together!