Don’t Let Stress Eating Destroy Your Holidays

Are you attuned to your eating patterns ? If not, consider writing down what you eat for a week or two. You may find that as the holidays approach, you tend to eat more sweets. The holidays encourage greater availability of sweet treats, but many people also overindulge because of stress and mindless eating. If you have certain pre-existing medical conditions such as a heart problem, stress eating can be particularly harmful. Making a few simple changes can help you combat stress eating. Here at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, our physicians would like to wish our neighbors in Las Vegas a healthy and happy holiday.

Wait a Few Minutes
When you get the urge to snack on holiday cookies or visit the office buffet table, try to make yourself wait just a few minutes. Consider whether you’re truly hungry or simply craving sweets. Sip some water; sometimes, thirst is mistaken for hunger. If you’re still craving food, look for the healthiest option available and limit your portion size.

Eat Mindfully
Mindful eating involves paying attention to your food instead of focusing on distractions like the television. Chew each bite slowly and let yourself enjoy the flavor. Put your fork down between each bite to stop yourself from eating too quickly. By eating mindfully, you’re likely to feel more satiated without overindulging and you’ll also become more aware of how much you’ve eaten .

Practice Stress Management
Eating mindfully can help you identify the times during which you’re only eating to cope with stress, not to satisfy your hunger. As you identify these eating patterns, you can work to change them by substituting healthier stress management techniques. Regular exercise is a great way to improve your ability to handle stressful situations. You can also try taking a deep, steady breath in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. If you become overwhelmed, give yourself a timeout. Retreat to a quiet room and meditate or read an engrossing book to distract yourself from the situation.

For eligible patients, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center offers an effective surgical weight loss program. You can request a physician referral by calling a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300. Or, visit us on the Web for more information about our surgical weight loss program.

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