Party Like a Natural Eater
In a past Blog, I covered the differences between chronic dieters (also called ‘Restrained Eaters’) and Natural Eaters who have not experienced deprivation diets. The disparity rests with the restrained eaters' narrow boundaries, rigid control and inevitable feelings of guilt; the natural eater shares none of these. For restrained eaters, all is presumed well as long as they stay within their narrow boundaries, but when they breakthrough and eat “forbidden food” (or even anticipate overeating), restrained eaters lose their resolve and that can lead to a binge. For restrained eaters, the holiday season is particularly problematic.
Case in Point: The Holiday Party
The Restrained Eater and the Natural Eater go to the holiday party.
- Panics at the thought of “blowing the diet”. (One slip and it’s over.)
- Feels embarrassed about eating in front of others.
- Eats only a small amount of food at the gathering.
- Feels guilty if she slips and overeats, but feels deprived if she doesn't. Either way, she picks a time to overeat when she is alone.
- Welcomes the party and thinks about the people she'll see there.
- Readily eats in front of other people.
- Eats to appetite (i.e. uses hunger/satiety levels to gauge her intake.)
- Eats her favorite foods and balances "what I like with what I need".
- After the party, does not feel guilty or deprived.
Advice from Natural Eaters
"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first."
The natural eater knows that she will definitely eat her favorite food. She also knows that her favorite food tastes better when she is not already full. And so, why make a false display of healthy eating only to spoil dessert? This is a party after all! It has nothing to do with day-to-day eating. And, as it turns out, satisfied people usually stay within their calorie budgets.
Sense and Sensibility
Of course, the natural eater reins it in (without the guilt) because she doesn’t feel like waking up bloated, hung-over, and feeling generally ucky. She practices (at least some of) these behaviors as an expression of self-love.
- Focuses on looking great: hair, skin, nails, makeup, flattering outfit. (She does not tell herself, like Bridget Jones, that her bottom is the size of Brazil.)
- Eats lighter throughout the day to “make room” for party food, but she is not famished upon arrival.
- Prepares a healthy dish to take along. (At least there will be something decent to eat.)
- Checks out the entire array of food before digging in.
- Does not rush to enter the food line first.
- Does not overfill her plate.
- Sits to eat with the other eaters and enjoys her food.
- Doesn’t waste calories on mediocre food or any food she doesn’t really love.
- Eats slowly and consciously to notice when she is full.
- Knows she can always go back for more of something really wonderful.
- Doesn’t sit near the table when eating time is over.
- Limits alcohol to one or two drinks. (Drinking like a fish is not sensible.)
- Dances because it feels good to move.
- Feels great when she wakes up the next day
What are your holiday party plans?