The holiday season is a festive season that is annually recurring. It is a period associated with shopping, gatherings, gift-giving, Christmas carols and, food and wine feast from Christmas parties, holiday meet-up with friends and family members, thanksgiving, new year celebration and of course, Christmas Day which probably results to binge eating and weight gain for most of the people which later on had a feeling of regret because their regular pants no longer fit them.
Combatting the massive amount of available delicious food is not necessarily hard for everyone. The challenge is indeed with the people whom they are with, the pressure from friends and family who don’t exactly understand all the efforts you have put through with your current diet.
We are always aware of our life decisions, to treat ourselves and have a bite of our favorite non-healthy options every once in a while or have a bottle of an alcoholic drink once in a blue moon. You may have already conditioned your subconscious and habits to eat healthily all year round but it seems a bit challenging when you are with some people who put your discipline to test. In this article, you may use some tricks and strategies that you can use with your folks to battle them in forcing you to dig in on every food that is on the table.
Read more: Binge-eating disorder – Symptoms and causes
Why they pressure you?
People have their set of reasons why they put themselves into poor eating choices. People oftentimes don’t intentionally want to sabotage your diet plan. They may not be aware that what they are pushing you to do is extremely difficult on your end. They just have something at the back of their minds why they are doing such.
Food is Love. Food is a way of showing affection for most of us. Remembering our younger days, our mothers and even our grandmothers often cook foods that we love because they are aware that we love that food and that’s how they show you their love for us, the same goes for other people.
Food is a social centerpiece in almost any culture. And in most holiday festivities, the main focus is food. On any given instance, if you are pressured by the party host to get more food is maybe they don’t want you feeling unsatisfied or they don’t want so many leftovers after the party.
However, there may be circumstances that people pressure you due to their unselfish reasons. Some people tend to force you to binge eating because of their failure. Seeing you fill your plate with sweets and carbs somehow lessen their bad feeling about their failure. For someone who is witnessing a healthy person taking another portion of the dessert, it would make them think to get another one for themselves. This usually happens when you used to practice unhealthy eating habits together before, they may want to rekindle the past you two shared.
Binge eating? Just say no
Given that it is a holiday, you are not forced to overeat and forget about your healthy diet.
Here are some strategies to save yourself during the possible confrontations:
1. Blend in. This is the easiest way to avoid arguments. If you know how your family dinner scenarios would be in terms of drinking and eating, try to take food in small portions or only take certain foods on each trip on the long table. If you are avoiding comments on your food portions, you may try any of these:
- Lay the food out wide on your plate to give the illusion of more food that there is.
- Try only taking certain types of food at a time and take multiple trips to make them believe that you are eating more than you are.
- Slowly eat your food which will make time for your body to send a signal to your brain that you are already full and also keep you at the same pace as everyone else.
2. Don’t draw attention. Avoid bringing up that you have a different diet than everyone else unless you are being asked. Bringing it up may make you look like bragging that you are eating better than everyone else. It can also make you look like talking down to other people who have unhealthy food choices.
3. Never complain about the food. Never say anything bad about the food or it will bring attention to yourself and you will be marked red flag by other family members or friends.
Holidays are supposed to be a joyous season and family won’t be happy seeing any of the members miserable. This will give them a chance to challenge your type of diet. It is okay to get something that is not on your healthy options, the holiday can be a good excuse for that.
Watch your words
Being secretive about changes in our diet won’t be enough. Eventually, people will start noticing the food that is on your plate and will have their feedbacks.
This is how to handle different circumstances:
1. Answer the question and divert – Give a short and on-point answer and immediately change the topic.
2. Tell the truth – This could put an end to their question or they’ll just give you a shrug or less positive answers.
3. Ride on with their comments or questions – Don’t put too much attention to their comments, just get on with it.
4. Recruit them – With some family members, you don’t need any special formula to make them understand where you are coming from. In some cases, you might need some explanations and just ask for their support.
5. Push Back – If they keep on pushing that is already making you uncomfortable, stand on your ground and end your conversation.
You don’t need to deprive yourself, eat only boring foods, or take your treats with a side order of guilt. Be picky about the food that you consume, balance your plate with foods that are high in protein and fiber. Stay away from foods that are high in carbs and sugar and don’t forget to keep your exercise routine.
You may also want to read: How to stay in shape and healthy while traveling