All too often, my clients report “I don’t keep cookies in my house. If cookies are there, I end up eating the whole package. It’s easier to not have them around...”
While that may seem a wise solution to the eating-too-many-cookies problem, depriving yourself of cookies tends to backfire. That is, when the opportunity arises for you to eat cookies, you likely end up eating the whole plate because this is your “last chance” to ever eat a cookie. “Last chance eating” leads to food binges, weight gain and feelings of being powerless over food.
An alternative to staying away from cookies is to eat cookies every day, at every meal. This will take the power away from them. Think about it. Do apples have power over you? Doubtful. That’s because you can eat an apple whenever you want. So why do cookies have power over you? Because you deny yourself the privilege of enjoying cookies from time to time. After three days of cookies-at-every-meal, they will likely lose their power.
If you liked cookies as a kid and like them now, you will undoubtedly like them in the future. How about trying to make peace with cookies?
“I hate holidays like Thanksgiving … there’s so much food and all I do is eat too much,” complained one of my clients. Clearly, she was missing the point of the holiday! I encouraged her to put more focus on the PEOPLE and not the food. Yes, she would have the opportunity to enjoy a nice meal, but she could also enjoy the companionship of family and friends. By putting food on the bottom of the priority list, she might find that she could better enjoy the holiday.
If you are fretting about calories, remember that overeating on Thanksgiving is normal; it is not bad or wrong. Even “normal eaters” overeat, as do dieters and binge eaters. One extra-large meal will not ruin your life forever! And, if you pay attention to your hunger signals, you’ll discover the day after Thanksgiving you will not be very hungry; you will naturally choose to eat less (without enforcing a starvation diet).
I hope you have a nice holiday, find a few minutes to count your blessings (rather than count calories), and are able to be thankful for having a healthy body that allows you to enjoy an active lifestyle.