The Road Block of Dieting

Eating During the Holidays

Take a listen to my latest conversation with a very close friend who has been struggling with diet mentality and a victim of the Fad Diet roulette.   Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/shanna-fontaine/holiday-eatingast

After listening, it’s so easy to relate to people’s lifelong struggle with fad diets.  It becomes even harder around the holiday season.  Often, this is the time when dieting habits hit a road block, disappear, people eat everything in sight, and they have a mindset that their diet will start later.  The next holidays, special event, anniversary, or even after a certain function turns into the next and even the one after that. 

There is no need to have a new start date if you are not relying on the diet mentality.  Instead, you are living a lifestyle that enables you to survive the holidays without overeating or feeling guilty and cheating on a diet. 

I really appreciated the example Nigel used about children in the store you tell not to do something.  They absolutely will do it because they conscious thought of doing it has been placed in their minds.  They are suddenly fixated on it.  The same thing happens when you go into a holiday setting with ample amounts of food and lots of people talking about everything, including how amazing the food is.  It’s automatically setting you up to revert back to those childlike habits.  It’s just human nature.   

For more information about intuitive eating, please refer back to the links provided in other blog posts. 

Script:

[Nigel:  Hey Shanna. 

Shanna:  Good Morning Nigel, thank you for joining me this morning.  I invited you here to share your latest experience with eating around the holidays.  You had mentioned you’ve been dieting lately.  Remind me again what diet it is.

Nigel:  The keto diet.  Since my birthday about a month ago I started eliminating All carbs from my diet. Especially desserts, pastas, potatoes, ughhh Oreos. 

Shanna:  So you’ve been restricting yourself from an entire food group?  How is that working for you??

Nigel:  To be honest, I was doing well when I was in control of the food that was put in front of me but when others were in charge of what’s in front of me it didn’t turn out too well especially at Thanksgiving.  I am anticipating it not working out too well at Christmas either.  All those different foods, all those pastries, desserts, strawberry cheesecake, Oreo cheesecake,chocolate, where do I start and where do I stop. 

Shanna:  So by not working out to well at Thanksgiving, how much did you end up indulging.   

Nigel:  I actually ended up eating all of the things I had restricted myself from over that past month and put back on the seven pounds I had lost. 

Shanna:  It sounds like you lost at Fad Diet Roulette.  For better words it’s when you constantly restrict yourself from eating certain foods.  If you’re doing a fad diet around the holidays at the same time that your extremely limiting yourself, once you see those cookies it’s game over.  Instead of eating just one cookie, you are going to eat more than you would if you weren’t restricting yourself from it in the beginning. 

Nigel:  So are there any tips of tricks you have to getting off of this so called ‘Fad Diet’ roulette?

Shanna:  Everybody thinks food when they think about the holidays.  For a person who is on a diet, it puts you into an automatic argument with yourself.  Coaching yourself through the entire social experience.  By eating intuitively throughout the year, it eliminates the extreme need to rely on diets during and after the holiday season which is extremely difficult and where the problem begins. 

Nigel:  So it’s almost like telling a child to not touch something at the store.  They’re going to eventually touch everything at the store because it’s been brought to their attention. 

Shanna:  Exactly. By already being an intuitive eater instead of going in to the holidays with a diet mindset, you already have the mindset that it is okay to have one cookie, not ten.

Nigel:  So how can eat intuitively around the holidays?

Shanna:  The first thing you want to do is think of eating as a lifestyle, not a diet. Listen to your body cues and think of the effect of food on your life both physically and mentally. 

Nigel:  So I want to listen to what my body is telling me.  Eat when I am hungry. 

Shanna:  Yes, eat when you are hungry and eat what you want but in a moderate amount and do not eat more than what make you full.  The second thing you want to do is eliminate the arbitrary benchmark.  It’s so easy to put artificial timeline on your next so-called diet start date.  Those artificial timelines is what messes you up because it’s easy to punt the start date to the next benchmark.

Nigel:  So I shouldn’t be thinking about New Year’s as my next first day of dieting and losing weight? Sounds like an excuse to over eat and start another so-called fad diet from scratch all over again.

Shanna:  Right, while it is important to set goals for yourself, do not set them to include a timeline or decide on an appropriate day to adhere to restrictive eating measure. That short-term goal and just time tables in general ultimately limit your ability to adhere to those diets. It transforms the lifelong random fad diets.  Instead you are changing your lifestyle,which is a long-term outlook which will help you immensely year-round and not just during an arbitrary time period.

Nigel:  That sounds like a great way to help me get off this constant diet kick.

Shanna:  Yes, if you try these two things, you should be set in the right direction around the holidays.  On last thing I would like to leave you with is to enjoy the holidays.  Slow down your eating, taste the foods you enjoy so much and the company you are surrounded by. And also eat those foods in moderation.

Nigel:  Thank you Shanna for giving me the ideas.  I’m going to start listening to my body, stop prioritizing dieting, and slow down my eating to allow myself to enjoy both the food and the company. ]

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