There are three reasons you tell yourself not to indulge in holiday binge eating:
Family photos; you’re stressed to look your best.
Exhaustion; eating too much food will leave you tired and sluggish.
Peer pressure; by your family, friends, or co-workers telling you to ease up when they’re ironically the ones offering you food.
Whatever your reasons, there are equally good reasons for you to dig in.
Food restrictions can actually work against you. As the expression goes, you always want what you can’t have. By telling yourself you absolutely cannot have certain foods, you will end up craving those foods resulting in unhealthy overeating. If you let yourself have what you want, then you won’t end up in this guilt-ridden cycle.
A common result of Thanksgiving turkey is the exhaustion that the chemical tryptophan releases into your body. Some of you might’ve experienced this sleepiness minutes after your Thanksgiving meal. But, why deprive yourself of the second serving of homemade apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream? Or, your fifth piece of peppermint bark? The holidays are your vacation time. Isn’t a good time to rest during your vacation? The relaxation and lack of self-judgment might do you some good.
Vanity can play a large part in your holiday season either because of parties or because you’re seeing family and friends that you haven’t seen in a while so you want to look your best. But, your constant self-awareness about food or calories in the fruitcake could be a bummer to your grandma who’s been waiting to see you all year.
This is a good time of the year to tone down your diet beliefs and appreciate your family and friends and their cooking. They want to express their love for you by cooking you a hearty meal, so hush up about your veganism or gluten-free non-celiac worries and make your aunt smile. You’ll look happier and therefore more attractive in those family photos.
If you’re facing the opposite challenge which is the judgmental family member harping on you about your heaped-up plate, take their criticism with a grain of salt. These comments are usually remarked from a good, thoughtful place even if they come out more harshly than intended. Remind them that your time together is more important than the eggnog or the honey roasted ham.
Remember, you’ve been working hard this semester, especially for finals. Treat yourself and, healthily, enjoy the holiday morsels.