QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Unstress Center

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

I am so stressed about the "bad" eating habits I picked up over the holidays. How do I get myself back in control?

Answer

It is very likely that you will get that "back in control" feeling again. Check out the suggestions below to see if any of this information (from a flyer with no author indicated) is helpful to you. No matter what, be kind to yourself. Self-criticism is not known to be a helpful tool. Encouragement and guidance are preferred.

Plan What You Eat:

 

Keep healthy and tasty food at home.
If need be, pre-package it in healthy portions.
Don't eat sweets by themelves. Eat pie, cake, candy, cookies and other sugary foods with a meal to avoid blood sugar swings that can trigger fatigue, depression, anxiety, cravings and binges.

Plan How You Eat:

 

Do awake (or conscious) eating rather than "oh my...I just ingested a box of candy." This would be an example of unconscious eating.
Do the sit down thing...at a table, with a plate and utensils and even a napkin in front of you.
Taste what you eat. Chew it. Savor it.
When you can, dine with fine, calm people.

Pre-Plan Alternative Decision Strategies:

 

Practice saying, "Yes, thank you, I will have a candy," after having thought about it and even planned for it.
Practice saying, "No, thank you. I would not like a candy," after having thought about it and deciding that you don't want it, or you don't want it now.

 

3/12/98

Marianne Ross, Ph.D., is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in Irvine and Laguna Beach, CA. (714) 497-3454). She also works at the University of California, Irvine. Counseling Center/College of Medicine.

 

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