Eat Empowered, Emotional Eating

Why Do We Eat So Much on Thanksgiving?

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Why is Thanksgiving a binge-fest? Why do we not only allow, but plan to give in to our gluttonous selves on the last Thursday of November? Why is Thanksgiving all about the pumpkin pie? The puffed appetizers? The black Friday plans? The in-dul-gence?! Man, we’ve taken this holiday and made it all about stuffing our senses like we stuff that bird. The thing is, why we eat so much on Thanksgiving may not have everything to do with the food. It’s super possible that the food is just a symptom of something bigger. Whaaaa? Yeah. Have you ever thought about eating the Thanksgiving meal on a Tuesday in July? More likely than not, it would not bring out the worst in you to dive into that food. You could eat that decadent meal in an empowered and healthy way without eater’s remorse and the three day post turkey day coma. If it isn’t just the food, what is it about Thanksgiving that makes it so challenging for us to navigate this holiday easily?

Stress comes with the holidays. Stress is a huge trigger to overeat. Thanksgiving brings on not only the bad stressors of travel, broken routines, extra time in crowds, and the like. It also brings good stressors that you may not think of: spending time with your 2 year old niece or 85 year old grandmother, writing your holiday cards, standing out in the cold while you watch your alma mater annual football game. . . these are wonderful things, but they take extra energy and this can be draining. You want to keep your stress level to a minimum at all times, because with stress comes the hormone cortisol, which is destructive to both your waistline and your health. NL Live Consciously Tip: PLAN for these stressors, both good and bad, so that you won’t feel overwhelmed and not know why. {Tweet this!} Identifying the stressors of the day will help keep you in check. Have a mantra, something like “be in the moment” to remind you stay present and not get overwhelmed.

Your world is disrupted. Is it possible you’re overeating at Thanksgiving because you’re out of routine? We celebrate Thanksgiving to honor a time when bread was broken among strangers from different lands and harvests were meaningful because everyone participated. These days, the holiday has evolved and we eat with our families and friends and shop at the market down the street for our feast. Still, Thanksgiving is a day, followed by a day off, followed by a weekend that turns our regular day-to-day on it’s ear. Most schools and businesses are closed. Our world breaks routine. The thing is, your body likes routine. It likes to sleep in it’s own bed, pee in your toilet at home, and sleep and wake at the same time. Routines are healthy and even good disruptions keep our systems from humming at their best. NL Live Consciously Tip: As much as possible, stick to your daily lifestyle routines of sleep, waking, morning habits, coffee of choice and wellness work. The little bit of consistency will make it easier to recover from Thanksgiving and set you up for a healthy December.

Your nurtured self is on a shelf. Could the desire to overdo it on the sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows related to your disconnection with your body? Let’s face it, celebrating turkey-day is not always easy on the old self care routine. As a host, there is lots of planning, prepping, organizing and expectation to manage. Taking time to squeeze in a bubble bath, read a few pages of your novel, or flip through your Instagram just ain’t gonna happen. Any chance you could re-think that one? We need our nurturing time to restore balance to our bodies. Taking care of ourselves, beyond the basic teeth brushing, hair washing and toenail clipping takes us from surviving to thriving. When your wellness isn’t thriving, you’re more likely to get sucked into overeating, skipping the exercise and having the extra glass of holiday cheer that starts a cycle of unhealthy behaviors. NL Conscious Living Tip: Feed your soul like you’re feeding your tummy this Thanksgiving {Tweet this!} by planning to listen to your favorite tunes, call your bestie in Cali, or a similar self-nurturing few minutes of the day. Feeling good makes you want to fuel-good!

Enjoy yourself this turkey-day, and do it in a way that you can feel great about. Think beyond the food to the underlying reasons you may overdo it. Maybe one of the reasons above speaks to you. Squash your stress, maintain balance in your world and remember to nurture yourself. Happy Thanksgiving!

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