H.A.L.T. Intuitive Eating Help For The Holiday Binge Season.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Everything we do in life begins and ends with our minds. We choose to do something or not. WATERMELLEN did a great series of blogs on the concept that we might actually be mentally wishing ourselves fat for protection from past or present hurts.
How we look at and respond to food is exactly the same way, it starts in your mind.
HALT is an acronym that can help you discover why you are about to eat.
A Angry or anxious
Thinking of these concepts when you are deciding to eat something will help you check in with your emotional and physical state to prevent mindless eating. So before digging into that plate of cookies, that extra slice of dessert, second helping of dinner or pouring a drink, HALT and ask yourself:
Am I hungry? Hunger is your body's signal it needs refuelling. It is not a sudden sensation, but comes on gradually. It will slowly intensify. If you get sudden hunger pangs, that is more than likely just a sudden craving -see food and you want it. So if its more of an emotion -the trigger of seeing a favorite treat, continue to walk yourself through the halt steps.
Am I angry or anxious? The holidays are a high stress time, whether good or bad, its going to increase your appetite. If anger is at the root of why you want to eat (the project you worked so hard on was criticised) slow down and take some deep breaths. Work your way through it. If you are still angry, do a quick high intensity exercise -shadow box the person who insulted you. A good distraction and a way to let off steam.
Am I lonely? Being single at holiday time can be really lonely. While your married relatives are enjoying their time with their families, you are left on the outside. The craving for the original comfort food becomes stronger -those which are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates call your name. They are deliberately designed to be addicting -the 'feel good' hormone serotonin is released by consuming these foods. Once you start you can't stop. That is why so many people fall victim to mindless eating. Reach out to people. To your Spark friends. To your 3D friends. Get social, hang with people, not food. Go for a walk, getting in nature is always so calming. Get some loving with a pet -walk a shelter dog if you don't have one yourself. Know there are people who do care about you and you are not truly alone -that they are only a phone call away. They are never too busy to answer the phone.
Am I tired? On the holidays you will be overworked and overwhelmed. By the prep work, the stress of buying gifts, for working people in retail, the busiest time of the year dealing with irate and harried customers. Dealing with year end work. Inventory, etc. When you are exhausted and over tired, you will crave carbohydrates to fill the void and give you a quick energy burst but leaves you empty in nutrients and unsatisfied and quickly craving more when the initial rush wears off. Also inadequate sleep will increase your hunger hormones. Its especially essential to get at least 7 hours of sleep during your peak stress time. Lose the screens an hour before bed. Dark room, no lights and keep it cool. Meditate or read something boring before bed. Write down your to do list so you won't be mulling it over in bed.
The holidays will cause food to be on your mind a lot as you see endless food commercials, see brightly colored displays at the mall. Plan for a healthy snack to ease the cravings. Always drink lots of water to make sure you are not dehydrated and feeling that false hunger.
If you are alone that doesn't mean you can't enjoy decorating your place just for your own pleasure. I have year round lights all over my living room. I use them when I work out to dance videos -my own private disco ball! Perk up your happiness levels by watching funny online videos -there is no end to them there or watching a comedy. Go see a good movie, Do a gym workout, take a fitness class to be around people. Tour around your neighborhood and see how many Christmas light displays you can find to enjoy.
Always take a moment for yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed and tired, take a long hot bubble bath and a power nap. Do some yoga stretching. Just breathe deeply and start feeling calmer.
Before you sit down to eat your big meal, some tips are:
Take a smaller plate, you don't need a platter!! Eat only your favorites. No seconds. Take three deep breaths before you pick up your fork. Enjoy the aroma. Savour the brilliant colors. Eat slowly, putting the fork down after every bite. Chew thoroughly to ward off indigestion.. Savour the flavour. Get involved in the table conversation to prevent finishing too quickly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to feel full.
The HALT acronym comes from Bonnie R. Giller, registered Dietition and intuitive eating expert. A good person to follow, lots of advice and free live Facebook trainings, question & answer. She really wants to help people to stop dieting and start living for good!
If you are observant, remember Jesus is the reason for the season, if not, its a great time to get together with friends or relatives who may be too busy at other times of the year to get time off.
Live your life to the fullest, each and every day. You only get one chance at it!!